School board to consider $117 million budget

Posted: Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Board of Education will be asked Monday to approve a nearly $4 million increase over the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District preliminary budget previously OK’d for fiscal year 2008.

In April, the school board approved a $113,434,399 budget pending assistance from the state Legislature. Near the end of the legislative session, an additional $3 million was approved as part of the district cost factor as determined by the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), according to a memo from school district Finance Director Melody Douglas, and an additional $775,111 was approved for school improvement grants.

The revised general fund budget the school board is being asked to approve totals $117,272,948.

The revision assumes reinstatement of staffing formulas to last year’s levels, according to Douglas, which results in the addition of 60 full-time equivalent teachers.

Her memo also said moving Sears Elementary School to Mountain View Elementary resulted in 3 1/2 fewer full-time equivalent positions, which is equal to $224,049 in reduced salaries.

A number of concerned parents have expressed their intention to address the board in relation to the removal of James Dawson as principal of Mountain View. Assistant Schools Superintendent Sam Stewart said he has read of the plan, but had no further comment.

Stewart said the school board also will be asked for approval of new standards for the Peninsula Optional High School.

The new school, which will open this fall in portable classroom buildings across Park Avenue from the school district administration building on Binkley Street in Soldotna, will have students work toward demonstrating proficiency in a range of subject areas, including reading, writing, mathematics, social environment, science, technology, personal expression and community connections and careers, Stewart said. He described personal expression and community connections as having community-service learning components.

He said the proposal for the new school would cap enrollment at 40 pupils in the first year. Homer Flex also is adopting this model, Stewart said.

The school board is to conduct a work session on the Peninsula Optional School at 4 p.m. and a work session on the budget at 4:30.

The school board meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at

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