BAY CITY, Mich. - A majority of public school officials in Bay and Arenac counties would support sharing business and transportation services, state-run health care for school employees and higher taxes to generate money for schools, according to a report in The Bay City Times.

In a straw poll taken at a public town hall-style gathering, the superintendents, administrators and school board members also indicated they would support hiring a single superintendent to oversee all their districts, if such a move was cost effective, but were divided on cutting funding for athletics and said they would not support reductions in fine arts programs, according to The Times.

About 85 to 90 percent of district spending goes to teacher and support staff salaries, according to The Times.

Various districts shared budget information and plans for spending reductions in view of reduced state aid, according to The Times. Bay Arenac Intermediate School District Superintendent Michael Dewey said a communications committee is being formed to spread information to parents about education funding at the state and local levels, The Times reported.

The Bay City Times, "School districts come together for crisis meeting, spell out realities," Dec. 7, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Cuts to the Classroom: How Will Funding Reductions Affect Michigan Students?" Nov. 9, 2009