APS approves support for AMA ESD

ALPENA – The Alpena Public Schools Board of Education approved supporting the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District’s general fund operating budget for 2014-15 as it was presented. The intermediate reform legislation requires local boards of education to adopt a resolution offering support for, or disapproval of, the proposed general fund budget.

“The state mandated that local school districts have to approve the ESD’s budget,” Superintendent Brent Holcomb said. “It’s kind of a checks and balances to make sure someone is looking to determine what they’re spending their resources on. Every year we take a close look at it. We’ve found the ESD to be a good partner and we always enjoy working with them.”

The AMA ESD allocates resources to help the local district, with one of the main allocations involving special education. That funding is tied to voter millages, and is one of the services the ESD provides that is the biggest portion of its budget.

“We provide the programming, and put together a budget and submit it, and a certain portion of the budget gets reimbursed for actual expenses,” Holcomb said. “I think we have a positive working relationship with the ESD and they give us a lot to go on.”

In other business:

* gifts of $2,250 and a helium tank and rental from individuals and groups were accepted with gratitude by the board.

* there were four new hires accepted, two instructional assistants and two custodians.

* the board heard concerns from Alpena Education Association members and Alpena residents about ongoing teacher contract negotiations.

* Holcomb and any other board representatives or APS representatives will be attending a meeting with the State Department of Education department staff in Lansing to discuss the district’s situation sometime in mid June.

* the next regular board meeting will be June 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Gerry Ludwig Board Room, 2373 Gordon Road.

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