School board already turning calendar ahead

Posted: Monday, October 03, 2005

With students, teachers and administration all settling into the new school year, it's already time to start thinking about the budget for 2007.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board will meet at Seward High School today, on the eve of Tuesday's election, with three school board seats on the ballot and two school board members seeking seats on the borough assembly.

A work session and hearing are scheduled for this afternoon. The first item on the work session agenda is development of the budget for Fiscal Year 2007, followed by an administration-requested discussion of competency-based education, what it is and how the board envisions it working in the district.

Legislative priorities also will be addressed during the work session, with a review of past years' priorities offered by Superintendent Donna Peterson as an aid in formulating new ones. For 2005, the district's state legislative priorities include:

n Recognizing that children are the first priority in Alaska;

n Assuring that health and safety needs are met for all the state's school-age children;

n Timely state funding of education, rather than a last-minute approach;

n Full funding of changes in the Teachers Retirement System and Public Employees Retirement System;

n Recognizing the high cost of doing business in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District;

n Increasing the funding formula so class sizes can be reduced; and

n Inflation-proofing the funding formula.

Federal legislative priorities in 2005 include:

n Maintaining funding that ensures special-need students have access to career and technical education opportunities;

n Full funding for the federal No Child Left Behind mandates;

n Full funding for the Individuals With Disabilities Act; and

n Development of East End Road from Homer to the top of the hill above Kachemak Selo.

The first of seven public budget hearings will be held at 6 p.m., allowing the public time to share with the board their concerns regarding Fiscal Year 2007.

The other public budget hearings include one at the Skyview High School library in Soldotna at 7 p.m. Tuesday; at the Kenai Central High School Little Theater at 7 p.m. Thursday; at Homer High School library at 7 p.m. Oct. 10; at 6 p.m. Oct. 17, prior to the school board meeting in Soldotna; at the Seward High School library at 7 p.m. Oct. 18; and at the Homer High School library at 6 p.m. Nov. 7, prior to the school board meeting in Homer.

During the board's meeting tonight, John Cote, principal of Seward Middle High School, will discuss the new school, the board will address a number of personnel changes, appointments will be made for two members to oversee gaming in the district, and the board will approve a new student representative.

The following budget transfer requests from Chief Financial Officer Melody

Douglas also are on the agenda:

n $12,901 requested by Connections to purchase software site licenses for student computers and

n $49,000 requested by Aurora Borealis Charter School to pay for the removal of old playground pavement, regrade, compact the site and lay new pavement.

Approval of school board member Debra Mullins nomination to the board of the Association of Alaska School Board also is on Monday evening's agenda.

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