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Block: APS on brink of fiscal cliff

October 15, 2012
Emily Siegmon - News Staff Writer , The Alpena News

ALPENA - Diane Block, assistant superintendent for operations and Title I director, said Alpena Public Schools is on a financial cliff, during Monday evening's board of education meeting. However, she said staff and administrators are looking for possible solutions and different directions to move forward during financial hardships.

"I promised to talk about the potential looming deficit at every meeting," she said. "We're looking at a rough year in terms of finances."

Block said one of the major factors that has impacted the school budget since last month is the increase in retirement rate. She said financially retirement is broken down in two ways - legacy costs and other costs that will appear in the near future.

"It's bad news, in terms of our budget," she said.

The current increase will amount to a 25 percent retirement rate, which Block said has been discussed along with other outcomes that will affect the APS budget.

"We recently took action on the enhancement millage, which will appear on the Feb. 26 ballot. Alpena, Alcona, and Hillman schools support it. It's sufficient enough to have on the ballot," she said. "This is one potential solution that could potentially raise $4 million."

Block said the 2011-12 budget is in and allows a financial "cushion" for this year, but final pupil count results have not been calculated at this time, but will show enrollment impact.

"We have a lot in the verge of knowing ... shortly, it will be verified," Block said.

Emily Siegmon can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 358-5687.



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