Merger talks end in Arenac County

TWINING, Mich. – School consolidation talks have come to a halt in Arenac County, where Au Gres-Sims residents wanted to merge, but Arenac Eastern residents did not, according to The Bay City Times.

An unofficial mail survey conducted by the districts showed that of those responding, Au Gres-Sims residents favored the move, 131-61, while Arenac Eastern residents voted 89-45 against, The Times reported.

“It’s a dead issue,” Arenac Eastern Superintendent Rocky Aldrich told The Times. “From the start we said that both communities would have to support consolidation to move forward. That didn’t happen.”

The rural districts are separated by 10 miles and both face declining enrollment and reduced funding for academic and extracurricular programs, The Times reported.

 They still plan to share resources Aldrich told The Times, including the possibility of sharing art and Spanish teachers and a combined band program.

The Bay City Times, “School consolidation plans for Au Gres-Sims, Arenac Eastern scrapped,” April 16, 2009

Michigan Education Digest, “Au Gres, Arenac consider consolidation,” Jan. 30, 2009