Assembly approves ASD budget, waits for what happens in Juneau

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) By a vote of nine to one, the Anchorage Assembly approved the Anchorage School District's budget.

Bill Evans was the only member voting no. Patrick Flynn was excused.

Evans says he always votes no on the school budget. "I believe we have a system that basically reinforces mediocrity," Evans explained as he gave his reason for the no vote.

But he clarified that he didn't want his vote to be interpreted as the district doing a bad job. He said he was a fan of the ASD superintendent and that ASD was "on the right track."

But even with the approval of the budget, uncertainty still looms.

The Anchorage School District and others around the state will have to see what happens with funding in Juneau.

Districts rely on the per-student funding formula, known as the base student allocation. Last year, lawmakers cut that formula, leaving bigger budget gaps.

Assemblyman Bill Starr wanted to make sure the assembly gets another look at the budget once the funding is finalized.

"I have seen you having to go for sports fees and elimination of programs and all the other stuff that occurs after we approve the budget. And quite frankly, we get blamed for all of that because you are funded short. And it's a two way conversation until you get the check in your hand," Starr said.

Superintendent Deena Bishop assured the body that the budget can be amended if the funding from Juneau changes.

"So we are taking this as if the revenue increase, we can scale up, and if the revenue decreases, we can scale down. And we know where the needs are in regards to needs at certain schools," Bishop said.

The ASD budget calls for the elimination of 120 positions, 99 of those would be classroom teachers.

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