Commmittee discusses budget amendment

ALPENA – The Alpena Public Schools Finance Committee discussed amending the budget to include the approved bus drivers contract and the enrollment numbers projected from student count day.

“As of Aug. 31, everything was on track,” Assistant Superintendent Diane Block said. “Since the (monthly deficit) report has been filed, we now know where we are with the bus drivers.”

When the budget is amended, the deficit elimination plan also must be amended, and Block hopes to bring the amendments to the board of education at the November meeting.

“We got a couple new grants in the last couple of weeks, and we have the audit results coming out, so there’s a short list of things I know we’ll have to address in the budget amendment,” she said. “That would also involve an amendment to the deficit elimination plan, because they would have to stay the same throughout the year. I don’t foresee any of those items causing an issue.”

Block also told the committee the insurance budget will have to be amended at some point because of the contracts that have been accepted.

“We will experience some insurance savings with the groups that have settled contracts, it’s just too early to know what that savings will be,” Block said. “Everything looks stable. Our plan is still viable. We do still have to deal with the issue and fact that we don’t have a contract with teachers, and what the implications are as of now, with going into fact finding and what our last best offer is, today, our plan is still viable. Fast forward to April and if we still don’t have a contract, there’s going to be implications.”

“The overall piece is, we’re on track,” Superintendent Brent Holcomb said.

Holcomb also has hopes the final numbers from school count day will be better than projected.

“We’re down in enrollment from over a year ago,” Holcomb said. “We projected the decline to be about 100 students, and we think that that decline is a little better than what we projected. Have we lost revenue to declining enrollment? The answer is yes, but not as badly as we thought it was going to be. It means there is a little less strain on the budget than what we thought there would be.”

After the number is finalized, the budget will be adjusted accordingly. There are two school count days, one in fall and one in spring. Ninety percent of funding is based on fall enrollment and 10 percent is based on spring enrollment.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.