Time to Testify; Education funding absent in SB22 operating budget work draft

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Contact: Pegge Erkeneff, 907.714.8888

News Release

Your opinion counts. Offer your thoughts about K-12 education funding to the Alaska Senate Finance Committee today

The current version of SB22 does not include a funding amount for education.

At the opening of public testimony on March 16, 2017, Co-chair Senator Lyman Hoffman clarified that education funding is not included in the current budget proposal because the Senate Finance committee, “contemplated that may be reduced by 5%, or a nickel on a dollar.”


Soldotna, March 16, 2017—Education funding is absent in the SB22 operating budget work draft. State aid for the education foundation formula will be added back in on Monday. Except, testimony on the budget is today and tomorrow, this week.

Will you please take two minutes to tell the Senate Finance Committee why you value funding education? Give your perspective in person, by telephone, via email*

If the state education funding is cut by 5 cents on every $1.00, it’s likely that 50 KPBSD teachers could be eliminated, and no longer be educating our youth in August, 2017. 

*Senate Finance Committee – SB22 Operating Budget – Statewide Public Testimony

Time limit is two minutes. Thursday, March 16:
9:00 – 10:30: Juneau
1:00 – 2:00: Glennallen, Seward, Homer
2:00 – 3:30: Statewide Offnet
3:30 – 5:00: Anchorage
5:00 – 6:00: Kenai, Kodiak, Dillingham

Written testimony can be submitted to finance.committee@akleg.gov

Superintendent Sean Dusek said today, “I’m very concerned about what the Senate is contemplating. Now is the time for people’s voices to be heard, and fully engaged in this process.”

Senate Finance Committee, 3.16.17


Go to a local LIO office in Homer, Kenai, or Seward; call-in; or email your testimony.

General instructions

  • Public testimony limited to 2 minutes per testifier
  • If you are a member of a group with the same message, in the interest of time, please select a spokesperson to testify for the entire group
  • Identify yourself (first and last name), the community in which you live, and any relevant affiliations

By Phone (LIO offices in Homer, Kenai, and Seward, plus Off-Net):

  • Public members are strongly encouraged to testify from their Legislative Information Offices (LIOs), as there are limited Off-Net phone lines that are prioritized for those who are unable to physically reach their LIO;
  • If public members cannot reach their LIO, they may use the limited Off-Net phone system
  • 844-586-9085 (toll-free) or 907-586-9085
  • All Off-Net callers are required to hang up immediately after testifying in order to keep as many lines open as possible for other callers.

Written testimony:

KPBSD fiscal reality
KPBSD requests the Legislature maintain status quo funding, as proposed by Governor Walker.

The KPBSD FY18 proposed budget is calculated with a status quo funding for education. Status Quo funding projects a KPBSD deficit of ($ 3.4 million)*.
To balance the budget, KPBSD identified expenditure reductions of ($ 2.6 million), and the use of General Fund Balance (savings) of $ 872,358. This is prior to additional education funding cuts. The $2.6 million dollars in expenditure reductions includes 30.76 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions.

If the Alaska State legislature passes additional revenue cuts to state education funding, the KPBSD $3.4 million budget deficit will increase. And, state reductions can affect the Kenai Peninsula Borough maximum allowable contribution to KPBSD. This is the additional state funding impact to KPBSD:

  • 1% Reduction to BSA = ($ 1.05 million)

  • 3% Reduction to BSA = ($ 3.18 million)

  • 5% Reduction to BSA = ($ 5.29 million)

A 5% reduction in state funding also reduces the Borough’s ability to fund KPBSD by $1,217,554.

Perspective: Ten KPBSD teachers equates to one million dollars.

For several years, budget reductions have come through efficiencies, Pupil to Teacher Ratio (PTR) increases, and reduction of staff. Increased costs related to healthcare and serving our intensive needs students continue to rise.

The effects of these cuts have been kept as far away from the classroom as possible and most of the public do not realize these are already in effect. But, $8,550,530 has already been reduced in KPBSD since FY15.

  • FY15 Budget Reductions       ($1.25 million)
  • FY16 Budget Reductions          (1.37 million)
  • FY17 Budget Reductions          (3.44 million)
  • FY18 Budget Reductions          (2.48 million)

Total Budget Reductions:        ($ 8.55 million)

Further reductions to education funding in FY18 will increase the deficit, thus likely impact KPBSD staff, classroom instruction and support. Mr. Dave Jones, assistant superintendent of instructional support said, “Any perceived fat in the budget has been cut, and any further reductions will have to be personnel related.”


The number one KPBSD Board of Education legislative priority is, “Provide sustained, reliable, and adequate education funding for Alaska’s students.”


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