March 22, 2017, Education funding update
Education funding and the House of Representatives – Status Quo education funding
The House of Representatives passed HB57 operating budget, which includes Status Quo education funding. This is in alignment with the Governor’s proposed budget. Today it was announced HB57 bill is scheduled <pending introduction and referral> with the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) on Thursday, March 23, 2017, at 9:00 a.m.
Education funding and the Senate – unknown. Possibly 5% reduction*
The Senate Finance Committee proposed operating budget SB22 does not have an amount for education funding included, yet. Last week during public testimony, when several KPBSD constituents called and emailed legislators, and testified at LIO offices, Senator Lyman Hoffman said the SFC would be reducing education funding by 5% when it was added in this week. However, no action has taken place in SB22. If you take two minutes to read the testimony from Superintendent Dusek, and from Assistant Superintendent Jones, you will better understand the work KPBSD is doing to assist with a fiscal plan, and learn how that even with Status Quo funding, costs continue to rise, and it is challenging to continue to innovate and successfully meet the needs of every child who comes through the door.
The uncertainty about education funding is stalling KPBSD from issuing contracts to our non-tenured teachers, in whom we have a significant investment. Further delay will force newer staff to seek positions elsewhere. This will negatively impact students and create increases in the professional development costs required to prepare newly hired employees.
The Borough has not yet made a commitment to FY18 funding, and if the state reduces foundation formula funding in the BSA, that has a negative impact and linked effect on the amount the Borough can provide.
KPBSD asks you to contact legislators to offer your thoughts about a fiscal plan and education funding.
Legislators representing the Kenai Peninsula:
- Senator Peter Micciche, Peter.Micciche@akleg.gov
- Senator Gary Stevens, Gary.Stevens@akleg.gov
- Representative Mike Chenault, Mike.Chenault@akleg.gov
- Representative Gary Knopp,Gary.Knopp@akleg.gov
- Representative Paul Seaton, Paul.Seaton@akleg.gov
- Representative Louise Stutes, Louise.Stutes@akleg.gov
Senate Finance Committee members
- Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair, D – Bethel, Lyman.Hoffman@akleg.gov
- Senator Anna MacKinnon, Co-Chair, R – Eagle River, Anna.MacKinnon@akleg.gov
- Senator Click Bishop, R – Fairbanks, Click.Bishop@akleg.gov
- Senator Peter Micciche, R – Kenai, Peter.Micciche@akleg.gov
- Senator Mike Dunleavy, R – Wasilla, Mike.Dunleavy@akleg.gov
- Senator Natasha Von Imhoff, R – Anchorage, Natasha.vonImhof@akleg.gov
- Senator Donny Olson, D – Nome, Donald.Olson@akleg.gov
What can you do?
- Advocate for a state fiscal plan
- Ask your principal or school site council about the impact of education funding
reductions to your school and KPBSD
- Contact your state legislator via phone, email, or town hall meeting
- Testify at a legislative hearing via an LIO office, make a telephone call, or write a letter
- Attend a Borough Assembly meeting
- Share your #golden story about the impact of schools and K-12 education
- Talk to family, friends, elected officials, community partners
KPBSD appreciates the hard work and advocacy of all of our local legislators, and as we wait upon the Senate to make decisions, we are thankful that Senator Micciche and Senator Stevens support education on the Kenai Peninsula.
Recent Alaska Legislatures have a strong history of properly funding K-12 education. The numbers from this year’s Alaska Senate Majority Survey show that the majority of Alaskans would like to see that continue. KPBSD asks the legislature to continue funding as in the past.
Several new education related bills have been proposed this week. KPBSD administration is analyzing and reviewing these bills, and will keep you up to date.
Save the date!
On April 6, 2017, from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m., Superintendent Dusek will provide a legislative and budget update via Skype for Business, followed by a question and response time. Everyone is invited. Hosting schools where you can gather in person are: Homer Middle School; Mountain View Elementary; Nikiski Middle-High School; Seward Elementary; Skyview Middle School; and Susan B. English School.
Thank you for your advocacy, and care for our students, our staff, our schools, and communities. Your voice might make the difference. Please speak up to share about why you value education and want to see the good results for our young people continue into the coming years.
- KPBSD Budget 101 blog post
- KPBSD Finance webpage
- KPBSD communications blog for updates about reduction impacts
- Webpage: The Legislature and KPBSD
- Website: The Alaska State Legislature
*Think in terms of this:
If the Alaska State legislature passes additional revenue cuts to state education funding, the KPBSD $3.45 million budget deficit will increase. And, state reductions can affect the Kenai Peninsula Borough maximum allowable contribution to KPBSD. The additional state funding impact to KPBSD would be:
- 1% Reduction to BSA = ($ 1.05 million)
- 3% Reduction to BSA = ($ 3.18 million)
- 5% Reduction to BSA = ($ 5.29 million)
Ten KPBSD teachers equates to one million dollars.