APS committees updated on looming deficit & enhancement millage
District officials have not been hiding behind the truth and in fact have been proactive in making sure staff and the community stays informed.
The topic was brought up again this week, to a couple of committees of the board of education. Diane Block, the district’s assistant superintendent of operations said, “We need to manage this process. We can’t avoid it (deficit spending).”
Superintendent Brent Holcomb met with union groups to make sure they understand there are not enough program cuts to balance future budgets and the only area for savings is employee wages and benefits, which account for 89 percent of the budget.
A committee is also working on the district’s image and branding to make sure it is appealing to students outside the district. And the committee wants to make sure employees are also representing APS with the best of intentions.
Holcomb said the committee has a series of strategies to roll out throughout the upcoming school year, which will include public meetings. He also continues to talk about an enhancement millage which would provide all member schools of the AMA-ESD some financial relief if approved by voters.
Holcomb is also concerned the district doesn’t paint too bleak of a picture. “We don’t want to send the wrong message and scare people away or drive off students.”
He said the district will not fire teachers to trim the budget, which would make classroom sizes much larger and unmanageable for those who remain.