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Ann Arbor Voters Reject Plan To Annex Whitmore Lake Public Schools

Nov 5, 2014

Whitmore Lake Public Schools officials need to consider other options to avoid falling into deficit.  Voters in that district approved annexation but residents in Ann Arbor Public Schools rejected the plan.

Whitmore Lake and Ann Arbor Public Schools officials react to finding out the annexation proposal has been defeated by Ann Arbor voters.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Disappointment for Whitmore Lake schools officials as Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Menzel announces results on the annexation vote in Ann Arbor.

School Board Trustee Ken Dignan says Whitmore Lake remains resilient and will do what’s best for kids. In the short run, this includes contract negotiations with district employees as an effort to stay out of deficit. Longer term, they’ll make sure state lawmakers keep up with vows to make consolidation of districts a better option. “Make school districts that do this kind of thing whole, don’t make it so the larger school district loses in the end.  You know, other incentives to do so, we’ll talk to them about that too,” Dignan says.

Ann Arbor Public Schools officials that supported the annexation plan saw it as a unique opportunity to add students, and per pupil funding that comes with them. Superintendent Jeanice Swift says the growth strategy was in place before the annexation proposal, and adding students remains the best way to move Ann Arbor Schools forward. “We are innovating, we’re extending our programming to meet the needs of our community.  We will continue to extend and enhance and update and innovate and grow our way forward.  That’s our plan and we’ll continue with that plan,” Swift says.

Swift says the district will also continue to shine a light on the school funding crisis across Michigan.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.