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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Activities Funding

By Agnes Moran


October 02, 2016
Sunday PM

In FY 2013 the Borough gave the Ketchikan School District a supplemental grant for $200,000 dedicated for Activities. The Borough gave the money as a grant because they wanted to ensure the funds were spent for Activities and did not disappear into the labyrinth known as the District's budget. The School District took umbrage at the grant because it was dedicated to Avtivities, but ultimately accepted it. The funds made their way into the Activities budget and under the watchful eyes of the Assembly were distributed equitably across the programs.

For FY 2017 the Borough increased their voluntary cash contribution to the School District by $917,712 (34%) and gave them the entirety of the cash amount the District asked for. Readers may recall last year when Stephen Bradford was on the School Board and running for the Assembly, he told voters that school funding was "close to being adequate." He said he did not favor "a big influx of local funding" but that "an additional $300,000-$400,000 would have allowed us to really enhance the quality of education we provide." The Assembly, Mr. Bradford included, increased voluntary funding by two or three times that figure.

Moreover, Superintendent Boyle announced at the last Assembly meeting that the District was set to receive an additional $650,000 in funding from the state. Despite these recent windfalls from the Borough and the state, the district actually decreased the amount they allocated to Activities funding in this year's budget. Neither any of the 34% increase from the Borough nor any of the additional $650,000 from the state was directed to increase activities funding and reduce the burden of fundraising on the student athletes.

It was very evident at the September 28, 2016 School Board meeting that not one of the Board members present had ever looked at the Activities audits the parents were referencing in their presentations. The major fund raising issues faced by the team were caused by mismanagement of the Activities department by Kayhi administration. No additional amount of money by the Borough is going to fix that.

The School District's budget has grown so precipitously during Mr. Boyle's tenure, that funding to the CAP is out of reach for this community. If School Board member Eisenhower truly understood CAP funding and even bothered to look at his budgets, he would recognize this. Instead, Mr. Eisenhower curiously lashed out and blamed the Borough for the District's mishandling of Activities. Mr. Eisenhower needs to take responsibility, not blame the Borough.

The School District administration and School Board have demonstrated that Activities funding is not a priority for them. Until they do make Activities funding a priority and fix the issues with administering the Activities department, no amount of money is going to be sufficient.

Agnes Moran
Ward Cove , Alaska

Received October 02, 2016 - Published October 02, 2016

About: "Parent of two Kayhi athletes who has participated in and supported activities fundraising"


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