The Sitka School Board's budget assumes the city will increase its funding by $1-million this year. Now, the Assembly is considering where that money might come from. Options range from eliminating sales tax exemptions to cutting library hours to putting a tax increase on the October ballot.
A deeply-divided school board passed a preliminary budget for next year that keeps both the Blatchley swimming pool and the Community Schools program functioning.
During budget testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, residents urged legislators to roll back proposed cuts to K-12 education, the Alaska Marine Highway System, domestic violence prevention, and public broadcasting.
The Sitka School District is facing a shortfall of up to $2.7-million for the upcoming school year. Superintendent Mary Wegner laid out a range of options, from ending the community schools program to laying off as many as nine teachers.
Staff cuts next year may be a foregone conclusion, as the Sitka School Board wrestles with an uncertain financial future. But board president Lon Garrison says, "We are not going to slash and burn."
The Sitka School District has gone on record in support of continued funding for Mt. Edgecumbe High School, but has no interest in taking the institution off of the state’s hands.
The Sitka School Board -- as usual -- is entering its annual budget cycle facing a significant deficit. But unlike past years, there’s no silver bullet from either the state or federal governments that’s likely to save the day.
2014 in Sitka will be remembered for water: Water piling up behind a brand new dam, and water falling from the sky that brought down a mountain and made a major highway construction project nearly impassable. And if that wasn’t enough, there was something about ice buckets.
The Sitka School Board will consider asking the state legislature for almost $2-million in the coming year, in order to help the district meet newly-adopted standards. The board convened in its first regular session of the new school year Monday night (8-25-14). Meeting state education standards is the first of several costly priorities in Sitka’s schools this year. Also a possibility: A $1.5-million upgrade of Vilandre Field.
The change was prompted by Alaska’s switch to new Common Core standards, which call for introducing concepts anywhere from one to two years ahead of when they are taught now.