The final reading and approval of the Juneau School District’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget will be the main topic at the Juneau School District Board of Education’s special meeting at Juneau-Douglas High School 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The board opened up discussions during the first reading of the budget at its regular meeting March 13. Cuts will most likely occur with the approval of the budget. The proposed budget presented by Director of Administrative Services David Means outlined cuts of more than $3.5 million.
Some of the biggest cuts included in the first reading were: decreasing the amount of teachers and materials by $889,366 due to a projected decrease in enrollment; reducing middle school pupil-teacher ratio, high school core and lower elementary specialist by a total of $776, 616; and shifting high school activities directors and staff over to City and Borough of Juneau funding which will lead to a decrease in $405, 531 in spending.
The total proposed budget for FY 2019 is $70,914,772. FY 2018’s budget was about $72 million; FY 2017 was about $83.6 million and FY 2016 was about $85.6 million.
Some amendments of the proposed budget occurred during the March 13 meeting. Changing the ratio of health assistants to nurses from 6-4 to 7-3 came after several health assistants and nurses stated their case of the importance of keeping health assistants at the schools. This amendment gives some assurance to health assistant positions and more funding for something else possibly being cut.
That particular change also allowed the board to reconsider and adopt spending toward SAT, ACT and Work Keys testing. Initially, spending for those tests was removed, but the nursing assistant ratio amendment saved the district $20,000. Those savings will now be applied to the testing costs.
The public will be able to comment at the meeting.
The District intends to submit the budget March 30 to the CBJ.
Planning Commission looking at harbor plans
Juneau’ downtown harbors will be part of the discussion during the CBJ Planning Commission regular meeting at Assembly Chambers 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Information on the Harbors Uplands master plan, which includes details about the between Bridge Park to Norway Point and Marine Park to Taku Dock Urban Design Plan, will be highlighted.
The Bridge Park to Norway Point portion will outline access and parking improvement including creating 46 new parking spaces and the construction of a service road and a separated pedestrian path that would connect Norway Point to Harris Harbor. Currently, there is no direct connection between those areas.
Other areas outlined in the report will be: improved commercial fishing and vessel services; installation of an icehouse and a “net shed” for fishing vessels, which would allow nets to be repaired out of the weather; and expanding and relocating the Marine Services Yard from the University of Alaska Southeast Tech Center to the expanded Norway Point.
The main issues outlined in the Marine Park to Taku Dock Urban Design Plan will be a focus on creating better visitor infrastructure along the waterfront. This will include: creating a bus staging area with 12 to 15 stalls; constructing a covered waiting area and public restrooms facilities for the staging lot; and the consideration of a seawalk expansion.
• Contact reporter Gregory Philson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 523-2265. Follow him on Twitter at @GTPhilson.