The Kodiak Island Borough
School District will be
making another $456,000 in cuts to its FY 13 budget. The school district was
hoping to benefit from extra fish tax revenue, but the Kodiak
Assembly voted 4-2 against increasing its contribution to Kodiak schools.
hope that we can get something done tonight and came as close to this cap as
possible and thank you all for participating tonight."
assemblyman Dave Kaplan speaking not long before he twice introduced an
amendment to a resolution that sets the minimum amount at which the borough
will fund the school district. The resolution offers up just over $9.9 million
for the district. Kaplan first proposed increasing that amount by $400,000.
With assemblywoman Carole Austerman absent and assemblyman Jerrol Friend
sitting in for absent Mayor Jerome Selby, the body failed to pass the
resolution. Kaplan and assemblywoman Chris Lynch voted for the increase.
Assembly members Mel Stephens, Tuck Bonney, Louise Stuttes and Friend voted
further discussion, Kaplan again offered up an amendment to increase the
borough's education contribution- this time by $200,000. Again, the resolution
failed with only Kaplan and Lynch voting in favor. Assemblyman Mel Stephens was the most vocal against the amendments.
feeling is that for sometime the school distract has simply shown an inadequate
amount of budgetary restraint."
the resolution only sets the minimum amount the borough must contribute to the
school district, the assembly could come back before June 7th- when
their budget is due- and offer up more money. However, only an assembly member
from the prevailing side of the vote- those who voted no- would be able to
propose such an amendment. Stuttes and Bonney- who voted against the proposed
increases- did not participate in any discussion regarding the resolution.
Stephens was clear about not wanting to give more money to the school district.
Friend also said that he is against increased funding.
honestly feel that a lot of the programs, these numbers aren't going to affect
the programs as hard as everybody says. The school district is gonna make do,
then have in the past and they always will."
"We'll make cuts.
We'll make do but the people who are going to feel it, unfortunately, are our
teachers and our students."
school board president Melissa Borton giving her reaction after the vote. As
part of her testimony to the assembly she pointed out that the school district
is the largest employer on the island.
we employ around 416 employees in Kodiak. We bring a strong economic base and
economic stability to this community. In the last four years we've reduced our
budget by 34 positions. That's 34 people who no longer hold jobs here in
top of that, Borton says they've already cut ten positions this year and will
have to cut more to gap this nearly half-million dollar budget shortfall.
FY 12 the district had to dip into its fund balance to supplement its budget.
School board member Aaron Griffin says that happened because the budget cycle
was late last year and that the school board wasn't expecting flat funding, even
though the borough has flat funded the district since 2009. Contracts had
already been sent out and signed by the time they realized they wouldn't have
the money to meet their obligations. With just under a million dollars left in
the fund, he says they will likely not spend any fund balance this year.
Griffin called into the
meeting from work to give his testimony. After the meeting he shared his
disappointed that the assembly would think that we're being shortsighted. We
spend the money that we have. We're not allowed to save money. We're not
allowed to have a savings account and that's state law. We spend what we get
and, you know, they cut us. At the same time their own personal revenues, their
budgets are growing. Like I said, I wish I could say I'm surprised but I guess
I really am not. "
district's preliminary budget came in just over $46 million with an expected
enrollment of 2,512 students. The borough will approve its FY 13 budget on June