Board of Education approves budget in special meeting

On Tuesday, June 27, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District approved the budget for fiscal year 2024.
Published: Jun. 29, 2023 at 5:52 PM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - On Tuesday, June 27, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District approved the budget for fiscal year 2024.

Facing a lack of funding that was expected from the state, the board of education faced tough choices Tuesday night, as they worked to fill in the gaps for the school district. While they still received an increased $8.1 million from the state, the borough had only been promised about $54 million when they had asked for $59 million. This in total left the school district with an extra $5 million give or take. The board is however, cautiously anticipating to receive more funds from the borough.

Before and at the beginning of the meeting, members of the Fairbanks Educators Association and the Education Support Staff Association, voiced their priorities, which wasn’t the lack of funds for their contract negotiations. “Our top two priorities are PTR... and then our safety’s because they had put safety’s on the cut list,” said Danielle Logan, the president of ESSA. Members of the FEA echoed her concerns. “Safety’s at West Valley High School have quite literally saved students lives,” said Amy Gallaway, an educator at West Valley High School. She spoke about an incident when a safety identified a student from another school at West Valley. That student had been vandalizing the building and harming other students. She also spoke about the important role that safety monitors play for the students that struggle.

Another topic of concern was the Career Education Center which helps students who are struggling continue on the path to receive a diploma. “I would like to see that as part of your conversations and your considerations because of the value CEC has and the value it has to the food bank,” said Anne Weaver, the CEO of the Fairbanks Community Foodbank.

At the end of the three hour meeting the budget had been unanimously approved. Ten items on the budget had seen significant change:

1. Increased Charter school share of State/Local revenue - $393K

2. Restored Secondary PTR to current levels - $2.1 million

3. Restored Safety Assistants at High Schools - $200K

4. Added AK READS Act support - $243K

5. Added additional Teacher at Ben Eielson High - $117K

6. Restored 2 Teachers to Hutch - $234K

7. Restored CEC lease - $81K

8. Added Board travel - $25K

9. Added Non-Rep 1% salary increase - $121K

10. Increased Allotment budget for Homeschool students - $450K

The currently approved budget for the school district includes a revenue fund of $230.246 million and an operating budget $188.25 million.

On July 27, the borough will vote on providing additional funds to the school district. This could provide an additional $4 million.