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The community was told by District Leaders and elected officials' that if the districts did not combine soon, both would face a state takeover by an "emergency manager", hereby leaving the future of the public schools in City and Township of Ypsilanti out of the hands of school officials, residents, tax payers, community members and other stakeholders.
Prior examples of "emergency management" of a school district by State Officials have been mixed with questionable results. Muskegon Heights Public Schools, taken over by a private charter corporation called Mosaica had one of four teachers in the district, quit less than three months into the school year. Financially, this experience for Muskegon Heights residents has not been successful either, as the Mosaica had to loan $6 Million dollars from the State to continue operations until the end of this school year.
Noting the above, it was not a hard sell for Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Menzel, along with YPSD head Dedrick Martin and WRCS Laura Lisiscki to convince parents and taxpayers in these districts something had to change. The open question was what would such change look like. If Monday, February 25th "Appointed School Board" meeting was any example "change" for the immediate future it will equal "not much at all".
Which presents another problem with this "merger". Why was the combined school board not elected among willing potential public servants in these communities?
There was at least two candidates who sought elected seats on the YPSD School Board, D’Real Graham and Daniel Raglin, along with Mark Wilde who sought re-election to the WRCS Board. Only Raglin made it on the appointed board. Wilde and Graham election results were dismissed. Two former officials from the YPSD and WRCS board were appointed along with three "new" faces ---one of whom did not send her children to the school district she was "appointed" to oversee.
Worse, why after was $12,000 wasted on a "Superintendent Search" for newly named "Ypsilanti Community Schools" the final result appears to be two former leaders of Co-Superintendents YPSD - Martin and WRCS -Lisiscki, under the "overseer" leadership of Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Menzel will run the "new" school district at least into the upcoming 2013-14 academic year?
Yes, you read this correct, Ypsilanti Community Schools will have THREE Superintendents for two former school districts estimated to have been at least $14 Million dollars, in debt.
Here are some other interesting highlights of Monday's Meeting:
Larger questions or comments exist in this complex case of merging two former rival crosstown school districts to make note of in this article.
Otherwise, what was the difference between both school districts getting a "emergency manager" from the State --who suppose to eliminate all the debt by taking structured cuts across the board, and keeping two Superintendent on the job ---so to speak-- that failed to pull these districts out of the red?
Independent Underground News & Talk will continue to follow and update this story, as necessary.
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