APS to use 37% of fund balance to make ends meet in 2020-21

The board of education for Alpena Public Schools adopted a new general fund budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year Monday that uses 37% of the district’s estimated fund balance or savings account.

The fiscal year starts July 1 and runs through June 30, 2021.

The new budget includes revenues of roughly $38.8 million and expenses of $40.9 million, leaving a deficit of approximately $2.1 million. The district will take that amount out of its fund balance to make ends meet. That account currently has an estimated balance of $5.7 million.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the school district to put forth a conservative budget that includes a state aid funding loss of $500 per student. Many unknowns still exist with the state budget, including funding for schools. The pandemic has taken a large bite out of state income and sales taxes; and the cost of fighting the virus has also had a large impact on the state budget.

In addition to an anticipated loss in state aid, the new budget for Alpena Public Schools includes a loss of 50 students, an estimate that is much higher than the past few years. The largest chunk of state aid is paid to schools based on the number of students.

The budget in the current year is calling for a deficit of $315,000.

The board Monday also formally approved the sale of the newest house in Wildcat Court, which sold for $2,000 above the asking price of $250,000.