Soldotna, April 10, 2015—The Senate and House Conference Committee for HB 72 Operating Budget formed. The first meeting is Friday, April 10, 2015, at 4:00 PM.
- KPBSD understands that difficult financial decisions have to be made. We have confidence in our legislators and Speaker of the House Chenault, who have demonstrated support and advocacy for public education on the Kenai Peninsula.
- Over 80 percent of our 2015-2016 budget is related to staff (salary and benefits). The proposed reductions of $8 million translates into the potential loss of up to 100 positions and vital programs.
- It is a constitutional responsibility of the State of Alaska to provide and maintain a public school system open to every child.
Principal Nate Crabtree, K-Beach Elementary: “Legislators are proposing additional reductions to education funding. Our children have one chance for a K-12 education and it needs to be the best we can provide. KPBSD is committed to delivering a quality education to our students and providing stability for our staff and communities. Unanticipated education funding reductions, proposed this late in the budgeting process, will have an impact on K-Beach Elementary. While it is imperative that we find ways to save money as a state, we need to carefully consider doing so in a way that doesn’t negatively influence students during these very formative years when the emerging skills of reading, writing, and math are taking root. Please consider ways in which you can positively influence legislators. Time is essential; the legislative session ends April 19, 2015.”
Principal Dan Carstens, Nikiski Middle-High School: “When I learned of the possible additional reduction to the BSA [Foundation Formula 4.1% reduction], I was taken aback and immediately examined my current staffing sheet to determine what else could go. It came down to programs and opportunities for our students. … I looked at our Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and would have to have lighter versions due to the fact that our instructors would need to teach a wider variety at mainly a beginning level. In other words, not a deep understanding, only introductory. Which would be a shame, especially with the variety of equipment we currently possess.”
Soldotna High School student council: “We, the students of Soldotna High School Student Council would like to address the current status of HB72 as it stands on April 8, 2015. We are gravely concerned about the educational implications of this bill if it should pass as it currently exists. … We would encourage you to continue to look at a variety of ways to help balance the budget without such extreme cuts to education.”*
Please contact legislators to voice your opinion about the proposed reductions to education funding.
The Senate Finance Committee amended HB 72 with a 4.1 percent reduction to the Foundation Formula educational funding on April 2, 2015. The impact to KPBSD is:
- Reduction of state contribution to KPBSD: $4,238,432
- Reduction of local (borough) contribution to KPBSD: $977,007
Governor Walker proposed an operating budget reduction of educational One-Time Funding in HB 72.The impact to KPBSD is:
- Reduction of state contribution to KPBSD: $2,262,989
- Reduction of local (borough) contribution to KPBSD: $520,487
Potential 2015-2016 revenue loss to KPBSD: $7,998,915
Total possible reduction in state funding to KPBSD: $6,501,421
Total possible reduction in local (borough) funding to KPBSD: $1,497,494
- Email the entire Legislature: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/poms/
- Individual Senator Contacts: http://akleg.gov/senate.php
- Individual Representative Contacts: http://akleg.gov/house.php
*HB72 Operating Budget Conference Committee Members
- Representative Mark Neuman – Representative.Mark.Neuman@akleg.gov – 800-505-2678
- Representative Les Gara – Representative.Les.Gara@akleg.gov – 888-465-2647
- Representative Steve Thompson – Representative.Steve.Thompson@akleg.gov – 877-465-3004
- Senator Pete Kelly – Senator.Pete.Kelly@akleg.gov – 877-665-3709
- Senator Anna MacKinnon – Senator.Anna.MacKinnon@akleg.gov – 800-861-5688
- Senator Donald Olson – Senator.Donny.Olson@akleg.gov – 800-597-3707
Kenai Peninsula Legislators
- Senator Peter Micciche, Senator.Peter.Micciche@akleg.gov– 907-465-2828
- Senator Gary Stevens, Senator.Gary.Stevens@akleg.gov– 907-465-4925
- Representative Mike Chenault, Representative.Mike.Chenault@akleg.gov– 907-465-3779
- Representative Kurt Olson, Representative.Kurt.Olson@akleg.gov– 907-465-2693
- Representative Paul Seaton, Representative.Paul.Seaton@akleg.gov– 907-465-2689
- Representative Louise Stutes, Representative.Louise.Stutes@akleg.gov – 907-465-2487
Connect with KPBSD on Facebook, twitter, our Mobile App, and website to follow updates. Contacts for Alaska legislators are noted in this announcement, and also on the Alaska State Legislature webpage.
- HB 72
- KPBSD and the Legislature webpage
- The Alaska State Legislature webpage
- Media Release April 3, 2015: Proposed reduction to education funding in Alaska
- April 7, 2015: Education Funding and KPBSD
- April 8, 2015: HB 72 and Education Funding in KPBSD
- *April 9, 2015: Soldotna High School student council addresses education funding