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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Op/Ed- A School District no more? Willow Run Board calls for elimination of its' High School

Photo Credit-AnnArbor.com
Willow Run Public Schools has been on a steady climb of losing students for years, since early 2000's along with yearly budgetary deficits.

Reading the latest news from the Ypsilanti Courier regarding the districts' School Board calling for a deficit elimination plan to axe Willow Run High School appears to signal the end is near of a once mighty proud school district.



From the Ypsilanti Courier June 26, 2012:
According to Willow Run’s amended Deficit Elimination Plan, closing the high school in 2013-2014 is one way the district can reach a positive general fund balance and satisfy state requirements. 
“That was the strategy that we talked about in the Finance Committee meeting,” Willow Run Community Schools Consultant Bert Emerson said. “Not a real plan to take the district forward, but rather to satisfy the state’s requirement that we show them a plan that nominally does solve the problem.” 
Emerson said that closing the high school is one of countless ideas that school board members are considering, as well as consolidation of Willow Run and Ypsilanti Public School Districts.
The open question is how can a Public School District truly operate without a High School Facility? Currently Willow Run Public Schools has only two remaining elementary schools, Holmes and Ford; along with one middle school which is connected to the High School building.


It would be hard to believe that parents choosing between Charter based educational facilities or nearly by Public Schools of Van Buren, Ypsilanti or Lincoln, would opt to send their children to a district without a functioning High School.


From Ann Arbor.com June 26, 2012:
According to Willow Run’s amended Deficit Elimination Plan, closing the high school in 2013-2014 is one way the district can reach a positive general fund balance and satisfy state requirements.
“That was the strategy that we talked about in the Finance Committee meeting,” Willow Run Community Schools Consultant Bert Emerson said. “Not a real plan to take the district forward, but rather to satisfy the state’s requirement that we show them a plan that nominally does solve the problem.” 
Emerson said that closing the high school is one of countless ideas that school board members are considering, as well as consolidation of Willow Run and Ypsilanti Public School Districts.
Willow Run Public Schools face a $1.7 Million dollars deficit, according to reports released in May 2012. A possible merger with nearby Ypsilanti Public Schools, who also have struggled to maintain enrollment levels, will be one of the ballot proposals district voters can decide during the November 6th General Election.


Either way, until State Governmental resources step in to assist Willow Run Schools with its' deficit -which is doubtful with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signing of a bill in May 2012 expanding charter schools statewide- a reasonable conclusion to believe is soon the proud Flyers will be no more.


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