We have stated before that we have faith in the leadership at Alpena Public Schools, and specifically Superintendent Brent Holcomb, to get the school back on track financially. Over the past several years APS has faced several challenges, most stemming directly from dwindling enrollment.
This week our support of Holcomb and APS administrators was renewed after Michigan Department of Education officials approved the deficit elimination plan the school submitted last month. On top of that, the plan went through the process quickly and without change.
"We have been preparing our staff and community for some time that a deficit was likely, but at the same time have been laying the groundwork for the solution," Assistant Auperintendent for Operations Diane Block said in a News story earlier this week.
None of the details of the plan are surprising, as administration has been transparent in its operations and kept the public informed of the tough decisions being made. While cuts are never popular, APS administration and its board of education have done everything they could do to make the cuts needed while keeping a quality education the top priority.
The process is not over, but has just begun. The school must submit monitoring reports to the Department of Education and must emerge from deficit by the end of fiscal year 2015.
Barring any more hits to the local economy, we are confident that the school will work its way out of its deficit while continuing to provide area students with a quality education.