If oil drops below the present price of $96 per barrel, the state will have a difficult time balancing its budget.
Still Comeau says parents do have choices here. She -- and various members of the Board of Education -- are urging citizens to write their state lawmakers and ask for passage of Senate Bill 171. That bill would not only convert school districts to a 3-year-budget plan, which Comeau says would be helpful, it would also restore some of the $19 million dollar shortfall she and the board are struggling with.
In addition, the school board is urging Anchorage residents to contact the mayor and the Anchorage Assembly. The board says that each year, the city of Anchorage charges the School District half a million dollars for the collection of taxes.. An expense that the Board of Education feels that the district shouldn't have to pay. In addition, The Board says that Anchorage charges the district another 2.75 million dollars for Safety Officers, Officers who do not serve the schools full time.
Comeau and The Board feel the officers are extremely valuable, but that it's wrong for the District to have to pay for them. They ask citizens to write the assembly and ask for a reevaluation of this policy.
If all else fails, Juneau could still come to the rescue. In the end, lawmakers -- and the Governor -- could decide to restore some of the budgetary shortfall. In the end, they did exactly that last year.
But time is running short. There are just over 4-and-a-half months to go before the new fiscal year begins.