Anchorage, Mat-Su assemblies want full school bond debt funding

Earlier this year, Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed a total of $100M for reimbursing districts for school bonds.
At a joint meeting, the Mat-Su and Anchorage assemblies call for full funding for school bond...
At a joint meeting, the Mat-Su and Anchorage assemblies call for full funding for school bond debt reimbursement.(Heather Hintze)
Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 3:56 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -The Mat-Su Borough and Anchorage assemblies are urging Gov. Mike Dunleavy to reinstate school bond funding.

During the last round of budget cuts, Dunleavy vetoed a total of about $100 million for school bond debt reimbursement.

School districts used the money for building new schools and renovating existing ones. When the bonds were passed by voters, the legislature was allocating reimbursement funding for 60-70% of the funding.

Mat-Su Acting Borough Manager George Hays said the state shifted a large burden onto the borough by cutting the reimbursement.

“This is going to be devastating for us if we lose this amount of money. Unlike many of the other municipalities, boroughs, we build a lot of schools. We built six schools in five years. The school bond debt for us is huge,” Hays said.

Anchorage lost $20.5 million and Mat-Su lost about $16 million in reimbursement money from the state this year, according to the joint resolution.

The assembly members say Dunleavy has a “moral and constitutional obligation to public schools through school bond debt reimbursement” and call on the governor and the legislature for full funding in the 2022 budget year.

While it’s a joint resolution, each assembly will vote separately. It will go to the Anchorage Assembly on Oct. 27 and to the Mat-Su Assembly at its next regular meeting on Nov. 17.

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