Finance approves school funding

Assembly committee votes for $20 million budget for fiscal 2006

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Juneau Assembly Finance Committee agreed to fund the school district to the state's cap, approving a $20 million budget for fiscal year 2006.

State funding and other revenues would bring Juneau School District's 2006 total budget to $46 million.

Superintendent Peggy Cowan said she appreciates the Assembly's support for education.

Assembly member Jeff Bush said he was pleased to see the Assembly approve the school district's request.

"The Assembly even volunteered to look into additional funding for items that the school district didn't request," said Bush, who served on the School Board for six years and ran for the Assembly on the platform of fully funding the school district.

The Assembly might consider funding transportation for homeless children, adding crossing guards and reinstating some funding for community schools. The total amount for the three items is about $55,000.

The proposed school budget includes $19.7 million for general operations, $123,000 for community schools and $200,000 for activities. This budget takes into account the projected 50 students of the recently chartered Montessori Borealis Charter School that will join the school district.

The budget doesn't include the $18,200 the school district wants for student activities. But Cowan said she hopes the Assembly can fund youth activities with revenues from the city's 1 percent sales tax.

The school district's funding request uses a $4,880-per-student state funding formula. The Legislature currently has two funding rates proposed for the 2006 budget. If the $4,919-per-student rate is approved, it will increase the maximum amount of local funding to over $19.8 million.

• I-Chun Che can be reached at ichun.che@juneauempire.com.



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