After a change in the state’s local contribution calculation and one-time capital funding, the Kenai Peninsula School District anticipates operating in the black for the coming school year.
On April 2, the KPBSD Board of Education passed the budget for fiscal year 2013 that included a $2.5 million deficit, but after changes brought by the state, the district will have $953,251 available, pending the governor’s signature for state funds and the Borough Assembly’s approval of the mayor’s budget.
The mayor’s budget includes a $43.5 million transfer to the district for operations and in-kind services, which is about $250,000 more than the borough has given the district the last couple of years, KPBSD Assistant Superintendent Dave Jones said.
The state’s change in the minimum required local contribution calculation deals with the mill rate, Jones said. Instead of using the 2011 adjusted full tax value multiplied by 4 mills, the state changed the formula to the 2011 full tax value multiplied by 2.65 mills. The difference between the two formulas works out to $2.7 million for the district. It brings the state’s total contribution to the district to about $74.1 million, which is more than the district received for the current year, $71.5 million, Jones said. Jones said the state opted to pay the difference so that the boroughs across the state would not have to.
“It lowered the minimum required contribution amount, or the cap,” Jones said. “And because they did that, they basically took away the ability for the local boroughs to fund (schools) and the state said that difference for the boroughs will be supplemented by the state by that amount.”
In addition to the change of formula, the state also increased funding for Career and Technical Education by about $413,000, Jones said.
“The CTE money will be for four years and the change in calculation will continue on,” Jones said. “Those were the funds that had to do with foundation formula.”
Since the state decided to change the borough’s required contribution to the district, the state will pay the difference, and that will be found in the foundation formula. The foundation formula determines how much money the state provides the district each year.
In the Governor’s Budget for FY 13, there is $25 million appropriated in the Capital Fund for one-time allocation for Alaska schools, and the district’s cut of that will be $1.75 million, pending the governor’s approval.
“There’s no guarantee we’ll ever get that amount again,” Jones said.
The additional FY 13 funding expected from the state for general fund use is $4.8 million. That includes the extra $413,000 dedicated to career and technical education, Jones said.
In the budget approved in April, the total general fund expenditures were estimated at $143 million, with $69.4 million, or 49 percent going toward instruction, and $20.7 million going toward operation and maintenance of buildings.
Jones said it is too early to tell if that surplus could be used for additional staffing, as negotiations are still taking place between the district and its employee unions.