KEA Seeks School District Funding to the Cap
By Dan Bockhorst
February 20, 2018
1. The Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District (KGBSD) has a current-year operating budget of $44,115,565. Additionally, payments for school debt service add $3,510,233, and another $400,000 has been budgeted for school capital improvements this year. Those figures total $48,025,798. With a student population of 2,287, the total equals $20,999 for each student served by the KGBSD.
2. The KGBSD ranks in the top third among Alaska’s 53 school districts and the State boarding school in terms of the extent to which schools are funded toward the cap.
4. It was also reported that a KEA representative stated, “. . . if you look at Wrangell if you look at Juneau if you look at Sitka – they’re funding to the cap of education, so what is different in Ketchikan?” That statement is inaccurate. Neither Wrangell nor Sitka fund to the cap. KEA officials have stated that they brought “the negotiations into the public eye” because “KEA felt like the community deserved to know.” The community’s interests are best served when accurate information is provided.
5. The Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District ranks higher among its counterparts statewide in terms of funding than it does with respect to any of the following performance and accountability measures:
6. The Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District has received significant increases in local funding in recent years. For example:
a) FY 2018 Borough appropriations to the “Local Education Fund” were 5.0% more than FY 2017 (see http://www.borough.ketchikan.ak.us/DocumentCenter/View/4807, page 6). A significant portion of the growth is attributed to increases of more than $1 million in Borough taxes since January of 2017.
b) FY 2017 voluntary cash contributions by the Borough to the School District increased by 34.4% compared to FY 2016 (see http://www.borough.ketchikan.ak.us/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/
c) FY 2016 education funding by the Borough increased by 7.4% compared to FY 2015 (see http://www.borough.ketchikan.ak.us/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/324, p.3 of 4/29/2016 letter).
Received February 19, 2018 - Published February 20, 2018
Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:
Representations of fact and opinions in letters are solely those of the author.
E-mail your letters
& opinions to email@example.com
Published letters become the property of SitNews.