ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Juneau School District will cut nearly 70 positions and $5.8 million in spending from its proposed budget for fiscal year 2013, in response to an expected shortfall with no presumed increase in state or city funding.
Budget documents released by the district project a $4.3 million shortfall -- $1.325 million of which was due to expiring grants -- if it maintains current service levels into next year.The personnel cuts include an estimated 69.7 positions, which were drawn from across the district to minimize cuts to teaching staff. They include:
• 16.7 percent of top managers
• 12.7 percent of school and program administrators
• 12.5 percent of exempt supervisors and central office staff
• 10.8 percent of support staff
• 6.9 percent of teachers, counselors and specialists
Most of the $5,787,445 in spending cuts comes from cutting or consolidating positions. Program cuts include canceling a drug testing contract for athletes at Juneau’s high schools, reducing travel by district employees and providing less money to individual schools’ music and activity funds.
In prepared remarks Tuesday before the Juneau School Board’s Budget Committee, JSD Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich said the cuts would resonate beyond the district, as a Juneau Economic Development Council analysis estimated total losses to the community at over $11.4 million.
“To put that into perspective, picture a full-size school bus filled with talented and hard-working people,” Gelbrich told the committee. “Now, watch as that bus drives onto the ferry and out of our community, and those people seek employment elsewhere.”
Juneau NBC affiliate KATH-TV’s Mikko Wilson described the mood Wednesday at Juneau-Douglas High School, where he also teaches part-time, as “pretty somber this morning, not surprisingly.”
Sixty-three percent of JSD’s budget is provided by the state, with 35 percent coming from the City and Borough of Juneau and 2 percent from other revenues. The district’s budget projections assumed neither the state nor the city would increase its fundingy.