Local News

Sitka schools could face $1M+ deficit next year

The Sitka School District will probably have to bridge a $1.6 million budget gap when it starts planning next year’s finances.

School Board members said Tuesday they plan to take at least $500,000 out of reserves to address the shortfall. But that still leaves $1.1 million to find somewhere else in the budget.

Last year, Sitka Schools faced a $900,000 deficit. District officials managed to close the gap by making cuts to the budget and thanks to additional money received from the federal and state governments. The School Board must plan its budget before it knows how much money it will receive.

And this year there’s another X-factor. The school board is in negotiations with the two unions that represent teachers and hourly employees, such as secretaries and classroom aides. Board members met in closed session at the end of Tuesday’s meeting in order to discuss negotiating strategy.

Last night’s budget conversation took place a little earlier than it usually does in the year. That’s because district Business Manager Dave Arp is leaving his post next month. Superintendent Steve Bradshaw says budget hearings won’t begin in earnest until February.

The Sitka School District operates a general fund budget around $19 million. It employs about 200 people and serves about 1,300 students.

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

Conservation in building design a new ‘energy resource’

“One of the dangers there, as oil prices continue to go up, is that people will start to shift over to electricity, and all that additional capacity that you’ve gained by raising the dam will just go into existing inefficient buildings, or into new inefficient buildings," says Jon Heller. (Blue Lake Expansion photo/Desiree Brandis)
Sitka’s public library and centennial building will both be undergoing major renovations over the next couple of years, each growing in size by roughly one-half. But the energy costs to run both buildings will stay the same, thanks to a suite of new technologies that keep heat indoors. The consultant who’s designing the systems says engineers now consider conservation to be a major energy resource in new construction. more

Sitka, MEHS runners strong in weekend meet

The Sitka Invitational Cross Country Meet was held over the weekend (9-20-14). MEHS coach Josh Arnold and runners Brittany Woods-Orrison and James Simeonoff discussed the Braves' performance. Kelcie VonScheershcmidt, Erika Seehafer, and Colin Baciocco represented Sitka High. See complete results for the boys and girls events. more