Taylor 1 of 4 districts to take Inkster students

Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — The month before a new academic year begins is always a frantic period for school administrators, staff and parents. The dissolution last month of Inkster Pubic Schools made for a busier than usual August as the Taylor, Westwood, Romulus and Wayne-Westland school districts scramble to absorb an estimated 1,000 new students in the next few weeks.

Registration for Inkster students slated to attend Taylor when classes resume Sept. 3 will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Meek-Baylor Media Center, 28865 Carlysle in Inkster. The registration process begins Tuesday for prospective Wayne-Westland students and will continue through next week.

Taylor School District Supt. Diane Allen was not available for comment, and last week posted a letter online to welcome Inkster families to the district.

“Knowing how sad and disappointed you must feel by the closing of Inkster Schools,” Allen wrote. “It is our goal to make sure you and your children have all of the information necessary to make a smooth transition.”

The Taylor district’s website — www.taylorschools.net — provides information for incoming students. Parents unable to register students on Aug. 12 may do so afterward at the Pupil Accounting Department, 9551 Westlake, Taylor, from 7 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Parents can contact the superintendent’s office at 734-374-1200 for more information.

Inkster students living south of Michigan Avenue and east of Middlebelt Road will attend Taylor schools in September, and bus transportation will be provided to and from school.

It remained uncertain how many will be added to Taylor’s student population; about 370 students are reportedly eligible although student-of-choice options may alter that number.

Details will be confirmed in the weeks ahead which will allow the district to calculate a revised budget. Student enrollment could result in the need for additional teachers and staff, and school officials were reportedly awaiting further information.

Earlier this year the district negotiated with employee unions to address a looming $19 million deficit, which is now subject to a three-year debt-elimination plan. About a dozen staff were laid off and teachers took a 10 percent pay reduction and agreed to a salary cap to meet budget requirements.

Taylor’s current enrollment of about 7,600 students could rise to 8,000 with the addition of Inkster students.

The Inkster school district was dissolved by the state due to insolvency under new state guidelines. The district’s holdings will reportedly be sold to pay off $16 million in remaining debt. Saginaw’s Buena Vista Public School district is subject to a similar decision this month.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)