A sign announcing the closure of Kenai Peninsula Borough School District schools at K-Beach Elementary can be seen on March 26, 2020, near Soldotna, Alaska. (Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

A sign announcing the closure of Kenai Peninsula Borough School District schools at K-Beach Elementary can be seen on March 26, 2020, near Soldotna, Alaska. (Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Assembly OKs at least $45M for schools

Assembly approved $7 million less than the district received for FY 2020.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly voted unanimously at their Tuesday meeting to contribute at least $45 million to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District budget.

The amount of money the district will receive from the borough isn’t finalized yet, but the assembly’s actions on Tuesday ensure that the district will receive at least $45 million from the borough.

The borough, which is the second biggest funder of the district behind the state, told district administration earlier this year that they intended to fund the district to the max at $52,776,437. But, with a drop in oil prices, projected declines in tax revenues and other financial hits related to the global pandemic, the borough assembly offered the district $7 million less than the district received for FY 2020.

The request for $52 million from the borough would be a $264,382 increase from 2020 spending. At this funding level, the district could hire elementary school counselors and additional special education intensive needs teachers, an April 7 letter from acting superintendent of the district, Dave Jones, to the borough assembly said.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education approved the district’s budget at their meeting April 6, and passed it onto the assembly, requesting the maximum allowable contribution from the borough, $52,776,473. The budget passed by the school board gives the district a total budget of $157,104,246.

Money from the state and the borough make up nearly all of the revenue the district receives — 99% — with the state funding about 62% and the borough funding about 37%.

The state uses a foundation formula of $5,930 per student to allocate costs for districts. The district is expecting that same flat funding from the state for the FY 2021 budget, which is the same level of funding the district received from the Alaska Legislature for the last four years. Revenues for the district from the state, based on the student allocation, are projected to be around $77 million.

Assembly members Tyson Cox and Jesse Bjorkman announced potential conflicts of interest before voting on approving the $45 million budget floor for the district. Cox’s wife works for the district and Bjorkman is a teacher at Nikiski Middle/High School. Assembly President Kelly Cooper deemed that neither assembly member had a conflict because the money for the district did not directly impact salaries.

The assembly will begin their budget process at their next meeting, May 5. During the budget process, the assembly will have the opportunity to raise school district funding above $45 million. The borough’s entire budget will be finalized in June.

More in News

In this Sept. 21, 2017, file photo, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks at a rally in Montgomery, Ala. Palin is on the verge of making new headlines in a legal battle with The New York Times. A defamation lawsuit against the Times, brought by the brash former Alaska governor in 2017, is set to go to trial starting Monday, Jan. 24, 2022 in federal court in Manhattan. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
Palin COVID-19 tests delay libel trial against NY Times

Palin claims the Times damaged her reputation with an opinion piece penned by its editorial board

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19 at all-time high statewide

The state reported 5,759 new cases sequenced from Jan. 21-23

Volunteers serve food during Project Homeless Connect on Jan. 25, 2018, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion file)
Project Homeless Connect to provide services, support on Wednesday

The event will be held at the Soldotna Sports Complex on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Schools aim for ‘business as usual’ as cases reach new highs

On Monday, there were 14 staff members and 69 students self-isolating with the virus

Triumvirate Theatre is seen on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 in Nikiski, Alaska. The building burned in a fire on Feb. 20. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Triumvirate construction on hold as theater seeks additional funding

The new theater is projected to cost around $4.7 million.

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
KPBSD schools to start 2 hours late Tuesday

Due to weather, all but 4 schools will be delayed

Data from the state of Alaska show a steep increase in COVID-19 cases in January 2022. (Department of Health and Social Services)
Omicron drives COVID spike in Alaska as officials point to decreasing cases in eastern US

On Friday, the seven-day average number of daily cases skyrocketed to 2,234.6 per 100,000 people

Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire
Dan Blanchard, CEO of UnCruise Adventures, stands in front of a ship on May 14, 2021.
Smooth sailing for the 2022 season?

Cautious optimism reigns, but operators say it’s too early to tell.

Former Alaska Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Bakalar speaks a news conference on Jan. 10, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska, after she sued the state. A federal judge on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, ruled that Bakalar was wrongfully terminated by the then-new administration of Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy for violating her freedom of speech rights. (AP File Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Judge sides with attorney who alleged wrongful firing

Alaska judge says the firing violated free speech and associational rights under the U.S. and state constitutions.

Most Read