ASD, Assembly discuss projected 2025 budget deficit at joint meeting

ASD, Assembly discuss projected 2025 budget deficit at joint meeting
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 5:41 PM AKDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2023 at 2:12 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - During their first joint meeting of this school year, members of the Anchorage Assembly and the Anchorage School Board repeatedly mentioned a lack of funding as a major concern.

The school board president and the Assembly both want the legislature’s help to deal with what they learned Friday is an expected $95 million shortfall coming next budget year.

School board president Margo Bellamy said inflation and not enough state funding are to blame.

The school district will need $649 million to balance the budget in fiscal year 2025. Right now, it only expects to have around $554 million.

This all ties into the per-student funding the state gives local school districts. The district’s position is that the base student allocation formula has not been changed for eight years or adjusted for inflation. That means they only get about $5,900 per student.

Bellamy said to meet their budget needs, the district needs an increase of $1,200 per student.

“Our Assembly has been very supportive and involved. They did a resolution on their own last year in support of the BSA, and so this year we’re going to do something similar but it will be a joint effort, the school board and the assembly, and that is to assist with our legislative priorities,” Bellamy said.

Additionally, Bellamy said the assembly is putting together a task force to address increasing state funding with lawmakers and other funding limitations. Bellamy says in the past the district has looked at on-time funding sources to deal with budget shortfalls.

The district will submit its 2025 budget to the assembly in March.