Fairbanks North Star Borough school board approves 2020-2021 budget
On Monday, June 8th, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District School Board approved a fiscal year 2020-2021 budget for the district totaling more than $244 million.
According to board president Wendy Dominique, the school board met six total times to discuss the budget this year before coming to a final decision. During that time, more than $3 million in expenses were removed from the budget.
“I hate reductions. I hate cuts. And we try our best to make sure we don’t cut people or class size. And sometimes it comes down to just that: Do we want this product? Do we want this program? Well we have to cut here,” Dominique said.
After the last budget meeting failed to pass a final budget, the June 8th meeting had discussion of 4 items totaling $582 thousand, with members finally voting to reallocate $155 thousand from a Special Reserve Fund into the General Fund.
After this adjustment, the budget was approved.
Dominique explained the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the budgeting process, saying, “Our whole thing was looking at our future, our financial uncertainty going forward. We don’t know what it’s going to be like with COVID around, and all the things that are coming to the district these days. So we wanted to make sure we had looked at everything humanly possible that we could cut going into next year, so that it wouldn’t be such a hard cut for the years to come.”
The school district’s budgeting recommendations and process can be seen on their