School board accepts budget and calendar

Lower enrollment means less in foundation revenue

Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Juneau School Board approved a new school calendar and finalized the current operating fund budget Tuesday evening.

The seven School Board members voted unanimously to adopt the proposed fiscal year 2006-2007 school calendar, while Margo Waring was the only board member who did not support the final revisions for the fiscal year 2006 operating fund budget.

Juneau School District Administrative Services Director David Means presented the final revision of the operating fund budget to the board Tuesday evening. He told the School Board that the average daily membership for the district was 131 students below the projected enrollment, which resulted in $267,743 less in foundation revenue. The direct appropriation from the city of Juneau was also reduced, by $61,581, to meet the requirements of a state funding formula.

"We were surprised, I think, on the student count that it was 131 students fewer than what we were expecting," Means said after his presentation. He said he knew the count was down, but didn't think it would be that many students down.

Although the money provided by the state and by the city is at a lower figure after the budget revision, the actual budget figure is higher because of an extra $392,609 that was added from the prior year fund balance. The budget before the revision was set at $47,319,203. The revision the board approved Tuesday sets the budget at $47,669,859.

"Really what that represents is accumulations of decisions that we've had to make administratively for some time," Means said.

The energy costs went up in the revised budget, from $980,000 to $1,040,000. The relatively warm winter and the decline in oil heating prices from the fall kept that number lower than what it could have been, Means said.

"At one time, when the prices spiked or peaked a lot ... we thought that we'd need more money," he said.

Most of the heating costs, about $640,000 annually, goes toward electricity. Last year the heating oil cost about $340,000, which increased to approximately $380,000 this year.

Money set aside for maintenance was reduced by $74,141 in the revised budget. Originally $90,000 had been set aside for maintenance, which was then reduced to $15,859.

The School Board accepted a calendar for next school year that is similar to this year's in most regards. The board decided to move parent-teacher conferences to the week of Thanksgiving. Two in-service days have been scheduled for October to coincide with hosting the state Reading Conference, and the board moved an in-service in April from Take Your Child to Work Day to an earlier Friday. The district will also celebrate Alaska Day as a holiday on Oct. 18.

The school year will begin on Aug. 23, 2006, and will end June 1, 2007. The calendar calls for 170 days of instruction for students, with 182 days for teachers.

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