LOCAL GOVERNMENTS STEPPING UP TO FILL SHORTFALLS IN SCHOOL FUNDING WON’T BE ENOUGH IF LEGISLATURE DOESN’T RESTORE BASIC FUNDING
By Lisa Parady
May 20, 2015
The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly increased the local contribution to public education by almost $5.5 million over what was provided for the current school year, but this increase is still well short of the roughly $12 million budget in budget cuts brought on by reductions from the Alaska Legislature.
The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly voted to fund the FY16 budget to the cap and to retroactively add funding for FY15 to meet last year’s cap. The Mat Su City Assembly passed $1.35 million increase in education funding. Sitka is planning to increase the seasonal sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent in order to add an estimated $1.1 million back to the local school budgets.
Not all school districts receive funding from resources outside of state funding. For example, Kuspuk School District as a Rural Education Attendance Area will not have another entity to step up and fill the gap created by the legislature. There will be no one “saving” these rural districts from the funding shortfall if the legislature doesn’t restore the funding as promised.
Lisa Parady, J.D., Ed.D.
About: As a non-profit established in 1973, the Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA) has a unifying purpose to support educational leaders, provide a voice that champions possibilities for all students, and engage in purposeful advocacy for public education. ACSA is comprised of professional educational leaders of Alaska’s schools and school systems. Members include superintendents and other central office administrators, university professors, elementary and secondary principals, and school business officials. ACSA takes a lead role in supporting and advocating for public education. For more information about ACSA’s mission to support K-12 education across Alaska go to http://www.alaskaacsa.org/
Received May 18, 2015 - Published May 20, 2015
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