ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The city’s school board is considering a bigger dip into savings accounts to save some Anchorage School District programs, as officials try to deal with a budget shortfall of millions of dollars.
As dozens of school district jobs remain on the chopping block to balance ASD's budget for next school year, at least some school board members are considering taking more money out of their savings accounts -- known as fund balances -- to fund some programs currently slated to be cut.
Superintendent Carol Comeau already proposed taking $3 million out of their fund balances to help cover the budget gap, but on Wednesday night, others on the school board proposed taking out an additional $1 million.
Comeau says the school board can take out as much as $5 million this year in total to avoid damaging their bond rating -- which helps the district get better interest rates when bonding for voter-approved projects.
During public testimony at last night's meeting, several people spoke out against Comeau's proposal to eliminate elementary summer school programs district-wide.
While the school board is looking for ways to fund programs like elementary summer school, the board also asked Comeau to investigate the impact of increasing class sizes by an average of a quarter-student would mean in terms of both money generated and impact on students.
The school board will meet on February 3rd to discuss final changes to the budget before they approve it, and send it on to the Anchorage Assembly.
Contact Jason Lamb at firstname.lastname@example.org