Anchorage School District presents board with preliminary budget for upcoming year

The Anchorage School District presented its preliminary budget for the next fiscal year to the board of education.
Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 10:25 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage School Board met for a special meeting Tuesday as the Anchorage School District presented its preliminary budget for the 2023 fiscal year.

The budget was a non-action item during the meeting but it served as a chance for the district to help the school board understand how they crafted the preliminary budget before the board moves towards taking action on it during the Feb. 22 meeting.

A big hurdle for the school district since they’ve rolled out their budget is the massive budget deficit of $67.09 million.

“Technically we are living on borrowed time, we are living on borrowed money, we are living on credit in our school district,” district Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop said during Tuesday’s meeting. “...We’re moving through and have a balanced budget for next year without reductions, but the only reason why is the federal money.”

The district will be able to use $91 million in federal money through ARP Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III funds to help offset the budget deficit for the 2023 fiscal year. That money must be spent by Sept. 30, 2024.

In a message from Bishop on the ASD website, she stressed the need for responsible long-term financial planning since the federal funds can only be used once. In that same message, she also pointed out that ASD has received flat revenue since 2017 since the Base Student Allocation hasn’t changed.

The budget will be discussed during school board meetings on Feb. 8 and Feb. 22. During those meetings, interested individuals can sign up for public feedback.

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