Schools Face Funding Squeeze Over Buildings

A Senate Subcommittee on Finance in Education has been meeting in Anchorage to discuss the rising cost of education. Kenai Peninsula Superintendent Dr. Steve Atwater said the problems are common…


Dr. Atwater: “Districts across the state are experiencing more and more tension in terms of being able to make ends meet, because of all the various costs associated with schooling.”


Atwater said the main culprit identified by the subcommittee is school buildings…


Dr. Atwater: “There’s a sense that if districts had buildings that were more efficient, that they would be able to save money on energy. And I think what they’re finding is a lot of schools in Alaska, because of declining enrollments, are only half-full, and as a result it’s difficult not to heat the whole building, they’re heating the whole building and really only servicing half of what the building’s designed for. So I think that’s the big one. The question is: where does the district find the money to make those corrections and is it appropriate to borrow money to do that?”


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