ALPENA - Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District Board of Education had a discussion about the collaboration of services the AMA ESD provides and gets from the other schools in the district at its meeting on Thursday. The discussion came about from Superintendent Brian Wilmot's report, which included a newsletter from the School Equity Caucus concerning the state superintendent's proposal to make a hybrid system. The system would keep local districts in place, but would create a mandatory transition to centralized administrative and academic functions, including things like transportation, staff training and development, accounting and food service. These consolidated services would be Intermediate School District based.
"We have been involved with one or more districts in consolidation/collaboration in every one of the areas," Wilmot said. "I'm not opposed to the idea of collaboration/consolidation. I think there is opposition to a one-size-fits-all, everybody must do the mandate from the state because it doesn't always save money and its not always more efficient or effective. I would not be at all surprised if we something like this comes out of the legislature in the near future."
Wilmot said there is already collaboration between the AMA ESD and special educaiton, food service, the new technology consortium with Alpena Public Schools, and businesses services with Alcona.
"We've been doing collaboration with special education since we opened our doors here," Wilmot said. "That's because it makes sense, and when it makes sense, we ought to be doing it."
When it comes to consolidation, Wilmot believes it should be up to the ISD's and districts to work together to decide what would work best.
"I think a thoughtful approach would be to enter into discussions on all of these areas that are potential areas for consolidation, and to report out on the findings on those, but not to mandate they do it in every case," Wilmot said. "Very few things in life work all the time, in every case."
Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.