Ann Arbor and Whitmore Lake Public Schools voters will decide in November if annexation plans should go forward. If they do it will be the second time a pair of Washtenaw Intermediate School Districts have merged in the last few years.
If Ann Arbor Public Schools annexation of Whitmore Lake Schools goes forward the Washtenaw Intermediate School District will be reduced to 8 member districts. WISD Superintendent Scott Menzel says practically it doesn't change much since the footprint will remain the same.
However it will bring in more revenue since Whitmore Lake has been at the bottom of state foundation funding and those students would start receiving essentially Ann Arbor's allowance.
Menzel thinks an annexation will be less of a challenge than the consolidation he helped lead, "There are a lot of behind the scenes things that will take a tremendous amount of time and effort, but it isn't going to be the complete rebranding and restart that we had with Ypsilanti and Willow Run, where they came together and formed a new school district."
Menzel appreciates the courage the two boards showed in proposing the annexation and says it's now up to voters to decide if they want to move forward with the plan. He adds a lot of work is going on in Lansing to make it a partnership that could benefit the community and serve as another model for districts trying to provide quality education despite shrinking resources.