December 19, 2014

Consolidation and annexation questions

Posted
These are questions regarding the possibility of consolidation and annexation between the AuGres-Sims School District and the Arenac Eastern School District. The questions were submitted at a joint board meeting (AE and AuGres-Sims) on Jan. 26 and shared at the schools’ respective school board meetings in February. Information was courtesy the Arenac Eastern Board of Education.

Questions submitted at the Jan. 26 Joint Board meeting (answers in italics):

What is the expiration date of bond for Arenac Eastern? For AuGres?

a. AE – 2019
b. AGS – 2017


What would the time frame be if it was approved to consolidate? Tow years or longer?

a. July 1 – Consolidation starts
b. Could be as early as 2010


What is the current fund balance of Arenac Eastern? AuGres?

a. Arenac Eastern as of June 2008: $596,160
b. AuGres-Sims as of June 2008: $183,000


Annexation – teachers that are not hired – are they eligible for unemployment? Which district would be responsible?

a. Yes
b. The new district – the old one doesn’t really exist. All seniority is merged and the unemployment is the responsibility of the new district.


Annexation – fund balance of annexed school – is it voted on or does it automatically transfer with assets? If it doesn’t transfer, why?

a. Fund balance transfers with assets.

If consolidation occurs and there is a new teacher contract, do all teachers that are retired go back to pay step one, or are years of service take into consideration?

a. New contract is negotiated. The superintendent, with Board approval, would set the pay scale. New contract would be in place prior to hiring. Years of service considered? Left up to the district.

Does either school have enough room to support elementary and Junior High numbers?

a. Yes
b. Arenac Eastern: Elem. – 109; JH – 74
c. AuGres-Sims: Elem. – 197; JH – 80


Will a combination cause high elementary classes?

a. No. The decision of class size is left up to the district.

Why now? Will there be a significant benefits?

a. There are a number of considerations such as:
i. Declining enrollment
ii. Decrease in fund balance
iii. Increasing cost
iv. Both districts need to consider all options.


Can you just consolidate or join high schools?

a. One school would be a K-8. The high school students would go to a school of choice.

If a K-8 district was formed, would the students be able to be bused to Iosco County (would the boundaries go to Iosco County)?

a. No

Would one school “close” and become vacant?

a. With consolidation – yes

Other states have county wide school districts – where all funds are shared. Has Standish School Districts been considered as a possibility of a county school – i.e.: Arenac County School District?

a. Can annex to Standish
b. Neither board has discussed this
c. County school? Yes, you can. All districts have to vote. It takes 51 percent to pass from each school district. One district could go or both could go.


How much bonded indebtedness does each district have, and how would a consolidation of total debt affect the taxpayers?

a. AE: $2,258,346
b. AGS: $4,515,000
c. Affect taxpayers? Each district is responsible for their own bond indebtedness. They continue to pay until the debt is paid off.


If annexation occurs, who would absorb who?

a. Depends on the district that decided to annex to the other district.

Who pays for the special election fees?

a. Annexation vote
i. If AE is annexed to AGS, AE pays
ii. If AGS is annexed to AE, AGS pays.


Suggestions submitted at the Joint Board meeting on Jan. 26:

1. I think we should do something now.
2. Look at sharing teachers between the schools. I am adamantly against consolidation or annexation.
3. Share a superintendent. Keep school separate, we need Arenac Eastern K-12 in Twining. Art, Music, Foreign Language teachers could spend time at both schools – travel back and forth.

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