150305_TimFulton_woolseyThe opinions expressed in commentary on KCAW are those of the author, and are not necessarily shared by the station’s board, staff, and volunteers.

Greetings. My name is Tim Fulton and I am the clerk of the Sitka School Board.

The district budget is looking at a larger than normal deficit this year. There are several factors contributing to this, but one of them is that the governor has taken out of his proposed budget the one-time funding (HB278) that schools were promised last year. 

The House and Senate Finance Committees are currently going along with this cut, leaving out what schools across the state were promised and have planned on.

The school board is hopeful that if these two committees hear enough public outcry they will keep their promise and put the one time funding we have based our budgetary decisions on back into the state budget.

The House Finance committee is taking public testimony on Thursday March 5TH starting at 4:30 and ending at 6:00.This is at the Legislative Information Office Located in the Totem Square Building.

I know that the prospect of testifying is very intimidating for most of us. I also know that our Legislators are hearing from us, your School Board all the time. This money will make a big difference in the education of our students.

How does testifying work?

You go to the Legislative information office and put you name on the sign up sheet.

There will be a point that they will open the mic up for Sitka and they will start going down the list.

When they get to you, identify yourself and your affiliation, such as concerned parent, business owner etc. You then make your statement.  The district web site should help with the statement or contact any one on the school board for help.

It is possible that if enough people show up you can designate a spokesman. It would be so awesome to have 50 people there. That many would send a very clear message. Even a small amount of participation from parents and community members is more than  our legislators are used to hearing.

Please don’t hesitate to contact any of us so we can help you help our schools.

Thank you.