School Board Has Four Options For $2.5 million Deficit

On Monday, the local School Board adopted a new budget, with some hesitation over large deficits.


Dr. Atwater has explained that the District is required to submit their budget several months before they know their total funding from the Borough and State Legislature…


Dr. Atwater: “We’re required to submit our budget to the Borough in April, and the Borough in turn doesn’t have to tell us what they’ll give us until later in the year, 30 days after the submission of the budget, and the state of course doesn’t know until the session ends, which is April 15th, so we have all these things happening after the fact, it would be really nice if we could have our level of revenue known while we were doing our budget and then you could in good faith know what you were doing. Instead we have to always play catch up.”


Assistant Superintendent Dave Jones explained there’s currently a $2.5 million deficit…


Jones: “Well right now, there’s basically four options of things that can happen; the revenue sources that could change to decrease the deficit… possibly the state of Alaska could give us additional revenue and the legislature’s currently in session working on that. We’ve requested from the Borough additional revenue, so if they gave us additional revenue the deficit would be reduced, and then the other two options are to make budget cuts or for the Board to use additional fund balance, beyond what they’ve committed to.”


And if the money doesn’t come through…


Jones: “Our discussions have been, since 82 percent of the budget is related to salary and benefits, is probably that that discussion will probably be about staff.”



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