School dollars: District issues preliminary budget

The preliminary Kenai Peninsula Borough School District budget for Fiscal Year 2013 shows the district operating under a more than $2 million deficit for the year.

The budget was presented by KPBSD assistant superintendent Dave Jones during Monday’s Board of Education meeting. The district’s preliminary general fund budget totals $143,007,644 while budgeted revenue from all sources comes out to $140,526,201, according to the budget. 

“That’s a deficit of $2,481,143 (million) when we start (next year),” Jones announced to the board and a standing-room only crowd.

Jones said the deficit will be paid off out of the fund balance — essentially, the district’s savings account — which will allow programs already put in place to continue for another year.

“Spending the fund balance to do ongoing operations is not an intelligent thing,” Jones said. “But it’s something we’re saying at this point in time we’re going to recommend that we do for the next year.

“That would carry us forward for a year on the same programs we have.”

The reduction in the projected enrollment for FY13 means there will be fewer certified positions, explained KPBSD communications specialist Pegge Erkeneff. The formula the district uses to determine staffing levels has not changed, which means the pupil-to-teacher ratio will stay the same, Erkeneff said. Since the budget process is fluid and will not be finalized until April, changes are possible.

“If we reach the end of the budget process and still have the $2,481,143 deficit, the administrative recommendation to the school board will be to make no staffing reductions and pay for the deficit with the fund balance currently existing within the general fund,” Jones said.

Jones said the district has requested an additional $1.2 million from the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly to offset increasing expenses. Jones also mentioned that if Senate Bill 171 gets passed in Juneau, it would provide a $125 increase to the Base Student Allocation. For KPBSD, that increase would result in approximately $2.1 million, Jones said. 

In other business:

  • The board presented Soldotna Mayor Peter Micciche on behalf of the city of Soldotna a Golden Apple Award for the city’s service to Soldotna Middle and Soldotna High schools.
  •  The board heard presentations as well as choir performances from Soldotna Middle School and Soldotna High School.
  •  The board unanimously approved the Career and Technical Education Plan as presented. 

The next school board meeting will be March 5 at the Borough Administration Building in Soldotna.

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