February 13, 2019 Communication to KPBSD staff and Key Communicators:
Today Governor Michael J. Dunleavy released an amended FY20 budget with a significant reduction to education funding. The budget documentation made available to this point does not give us the detail we need to determine the amounts specific to our district.
We are communicating with the Department of Education, and are hearing the cut will come from under-funding K-12 Education Foundation Formula, not reducing the Base Student Allocation (BSA) value as some media is reporting. This is significant to us because of the way the BSA corresponds to the minimum and maximum range the Borough can contribute to K-12 education. In contrast, under-funding the foundation formula and keeping the BSA intact would not reduce the range the Borough can fund to education.
In the next two days, we expect to provide you accurate information for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. It is important to remember that this is the start of a process that will also proceed through the Senate and House. We ask the public to focus on the future they value and want to build in Alaska, and communicate that to family, friends, coworkers, and especially our elected officials in local, state, and national government.
As soon as we have details, we will share accurate facts about the Governor’s FY20 amended budget and the potential reduction in revenue impact to KPBSD’s FY20 budget.
*How-to understand funding
The Foundation Formula is the funding mechanism for K-12 education and has many steps in it. Included in the Foundation Formula is the BSA – Base Student Allocation that is a fixed amount every year. A tricky part to understand school funding and a cut is that two ways exist for reductions or increases, and one impacts the local required minimum and maximum allowable amount the Borough can contribute, the other does not.
The legislature can under-fund the Foundation Formula, or change the BSA amount. When only the Foundation Formula is under-funded, it doesn’t affect a borough or municipality contribution to K-12 education. The local (Borough) contribution is tied to the BSA fixed amount to determine the required minimum contribution and maximum allowable contribution to schools, and so if the BSA changes (decrease or increase) it also creates an adjustment percentage to the required minimum contribution and maximum range the Borough can contribute to education funding.