Mat-Su Borough Assembly passes reconsidered budget after cuts to school district scrutinized

Mat-Su Borough Assembly passes reconsidered budget after cuts to school district scrutinized
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 8:40 PM AKDT
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - After pushback from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District over an $11 million cut to the educational operating budget, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly re-adopted a budget which reinstated funding to the district.

On Tuesday night, the assembly held a special meeting to adopt their fiscal year 2023 budget after it had already passed on May 10, which cut millions in funding to the district.

Part of the scrutiny of the original budget was over an amendment that passed, introduced by assembly member Rob Yundt which reduced the educational operating budget by more than $11 million and instead, redirected funding toward transportation projects already approved by the voters.

Assembly member Jesse Sumner also had an amendment that would cut part of the district’s budget.

Once the budget did pass, a motion to reconsider the FY 23 borough budget ordinance was then brought forward after members of the Mat-Su Borough School District School Board and Superintendent Randy Trani testified against the budget, requesting that the assembly reconsider. The assembly approved the motion to reconsider, and unanimously passed the amended budget Tuesday night.

On May 23, the school board and held a joint meeting to discuss the budget. After talking with the school district, assembly members Yundt and Sumner went back and removed their amendments when it came to Tuesday nights vote.

“I just also wanted to thank the school district for engaging with the assembly and coming to what seems like a smart compromise to get things done without effecting the operating budgets,” assembly member Stephanie Nowers said.

With the adopted budget, the Mat-Su Borough’s local contribution to the school district will be $70,696,614 with an areawide mill rate of 8.901 and the non-areawide mill rate of .392 which is down from the previous fiscal year.

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