The local teachers union in the Ann Arbor Public Schools just ratified a new contract that saves the district $4.3 million in the 2010-2011 school year. According to, the union president said his members wanted to do their part to close a $20 million gap between district revenue and projected costs of $183 million.

However, the union's concessions only cover 22 percent of the deficit, yet the employee compensation costs mandated by its contract consume 77 percent of the budget.

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From where will the rest of the savings come?


From the remaining 23 percent portion of the budget not consumed by union wages, of course. Unfortunately for Ann Arbor families, that could mean trimming back or eliminating "nonessential" programs like art, music and athletics. Mr. Holland may need to find a new place to work on his opus.

The same scenario is playing itself out in other districts across the state as well.


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