The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will be hosting a budget forum on Thursday in Kenai for the public to better understand the district’s budget on Nov. 2, 2018, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will be hosting a budget forum on Thursday in Kenai for the public to better understand the district’s budget on Nov. 2, 2018, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

District to host public budget forums

Residents can attend a forum on Wednesday, Feb. 20, Thursday, Feb. 21 and Tuesday, Feb. 26.

On Tuesday, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District began their efforts to educate the public about their upcoming budget through a series of forums.

The forums are a way for the public to understand the district’s budget in light of recently proposed cuts to public education from Gov. Dunleavy, a press release from district spokesperson, Pegge Erkeneff, said.

“Participate online, or in person, to ask questions about revenue, expenses, funding, and cuts that potentially impact the classroom, teachers and support staff, sports and programs, and class sizes,” the release said. “Become involved so as a community we can make informed decisions that will affect our schools. Parents, staff, students, business partners, community members, and elected officials — it’s time to participate.”

The district is currently building its budget for next year.

After Gov. Dunleavy released his budget last week, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District could see reductions of $20 million — or the equivalent of 200 teaching positions.

“Our annual budget is one of the most important things we do each year, and it’s more important than ever with the potential funding cuts we face,” Dave Jones, assistant superintendent of instructional support, said in the release. “We want to give our parents, staff, students, and community members a chance to learn about our budget, participate in the process, and ask questions.”

Superintendent Sean Dusek said it’s important to get community feedback on the district’s budget process.

“Over the past several years the district has been able to gather valuable feedback and input through the budget development process,” Dusek said in the release. “This year will be especially important as we work to become more efficient while maintaining our priority of small class sizes. We look forward to community participation in the process, especially as the State and Borough deal with economic issues that directly impact school funding.”

Residents can attend a forum at 6 p.m., on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at Soldotna High School, on Thursday, Feb. 21 at Kenai Central High School and on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Seward High School. At the Soldotna High budget forum, video conference will be available to residents near schools in Cooper Landing, Homer Flex, Hope School, Moose Pass, Nanwalek, Ninilchik, Port Graham, Sterling Elementary, Susan B. English, Tebughna and Tustamena Schools.

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