May 21, 2024 - AAPS Budget Update

Ann Arbor Public Schools logoDear Ann Arbor Public Schools Community,


I want to provide an update about last night’s special Board of Education meeting.


Last week, we unveiled a comprehensive budget plan that addresses the district’s financial shortfall and puts the Ann Arbor Public Schools on solid footing. I am deeply grateful to the thousands of staff, students, and community members who provided feedback, ideas, and suggestions that helped inform the comprehensive budget plan.


During last night's meeting, a majority of our Board voted to support this plan so we can continue addressing our financial challenges. The vote, while difficult, will allow us to move forward. While none of the decisions in the plan are desirable, our goal has been to make the necessary changes while minimizing the impact on students. We have also initiated several measures to reduce spending, cut costs and find efficiencies wherever possible.


As we implement this plan, which represents a 6 % reduction of our overall budget, we are also crafting communications efforts to address one of the root causes of our current situation: declining student enrollment.


Upon hearing hundreds of comments at last night’s board of education meeting and receiving feedback over the past few days, I would like to clarify some elements of the plan, which are available for review here.


District Level Leadership  

As has been the case since we began addressing the budget shortfall, we continue to review the organizational structure of the district-level leadership staff. 

This school year, we have already eliminated four district-level leadership positions by not filling vacancies.

We will be eliminating another two district-level leadership positions next year by not hiring for these open positions.

In addition to these six positions, we will continue to work on the organizational structure of the central office to find further efficiencies. 


Elementary World Language Program

• The program was designed to provide cultural and language exposure for our fourth—and fifth-grade students, and it currently provides two 30-minute periods for these students to be exposed to Spanish.

• For the 2024-2025 school year, the elementary world language program will be eliminated.  We will explore the possibility of a redesigned program at a time when the financial situation allows. 

• This program does not include our English Language Learners (ELL) who will continue to receive the instruction and support we have provided for years. 

All language content included in the elementary world language program for fourth and fifth graders is repeated in the sixth and seventh grades.

• Twenty schools are served by this small, certified group of specialized language teachers. These positions are challenging to fill. We have often had to use substitute teachers or leave positions open because of the challenges in hiring these positions.


Project Lead the Way and specials schedule

Our elementary students will continue to receive instruction in art, library, music, and physical education, along with the inclusion of Project Lead the Way (PLTW).

The shift of PLTW into the specials schedule allows for uninterrupted literacy and math instructional blocks and common planning time for classroom teachers to better meet the needs of students.


Libraries and librarians

Library programs are not being cut and school libraries are not being closed.

• Most librarians will remain full-time in a single building. In a few cases, librarians will be shared across schools.

Access to media centers, research materials, books, educational resources and all the tools our libraries offer will remain available to students and staff.


Co-teaching in band and orchestra

• Secondary music programs are not being cut or eliminated. No music, band or orchestra classes have been eliminated. 

Secondary band and orchestra teachers will continue to have the support of a co-teacher; however, co-teacher support will be reduced.

Secondary co-teachers will fill out the rest of their assignments with current music teacher vacancy positions across the district. This means secondary co-teachers are not being laid off. 


The board’s decision represents a significant step for the Ann Arbor Public Schools to ensure we will be a more financially stable district for the years ahead.


It is clear that our community is passionate about the education of our children and preserving our excellence. I remain confident that we will get through this challenge together and emerge stronger.


Thank you,

Jazz Parks

Interim Superintendent