• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 29s

Multimillion-dollar ASD budget shortfall breeds concern

By KTVA Alaska 6:59 PM January 20, 2014

Educators brace for reduction of teachers and staff

ANCHORAGE – The Anchorage School District budget will be released Jan. 21, the same day state lawmakers get back to work.

Lawmakers will have to review and approve the budget with a near $50 million shortfall over the course of two years, leading area educators to believe that even the best-case scenario will have negative effects.

“I don’t think tomorrow is going to be a good case scenario for anybody,” said Anchorage Education Association President Andy Holleman. “I think the district is delivering a lot of bad news that they don’t have any control over.”

According to AEA, the current two-year $49 million budget shortfall will likely result in a reduction of teachers and support staff.  Holleman speculated ASD will lose about 150 teachers, which spread across ASD, he said, will mean each school building could lose between one and six educators.

This year, the budget will be $23 million short, according to President of the Anchorage School Board Tam Agosti-Gisler.

“This is a big cut,” Holleman said. “This is not trimming a program or recognizing that we’ve been doing something that’s not really worth the money. This is having to go in and cut things because there is a lack of funds to make it happen.”

Holleman said this isn’t the first time the district has had to deal with similar major funding issues.

For the past four years, according to AEA, the school budget hasn’t seen any increases, forcing officials to find ways to factor in nearly $50 million dollars in inflation costs with each budget.

Over the past year and a half, Holleman said, ASD has cut nearly 200 positions as a result of the shortfall from the most recently passed budget. And more reductions in teaching staff are ahead, he said.

“Unless we can get more funds out of Juneau you’ll see classes be less interesting, you’ll see classes where students don’t get the individual attention of the instructors, and you’ll see a reduced offering in classes,” Holleman said.

He warned that these cuts could impact students from kindergarten all the way up through high school.

Agosti-Gisler said it’s frustrating to have to deal with these cuts every time the budget is submitted, but there is little to nothing the district can actually do about it.

“Now we’re faced at the point where we’ll have to impact the classroom,” Agosti-Gisler said. “Last year the board asked specifically that they try to find cuts from every place but the direct classroom teacher, but we can’t avoid that anymore because our costs increase every year.”

Holleman warned that this recurring budget shortfall trend will continue unless parents and students demand different from lawmakers.

“Best-case scenario is if parents and students recognize that this is really about to change how school fundamentally works for them,” Holleman said. “If parents and students realize it and do the math and really rally, I think what’s coming out of Juneau can really change but it’s not going to happen unless people really make it a priority.”

Latest Stories

  • News

    Nepal quake: More than 1K dead, history crumbles, Everest shaken

    by CNN / AP on Apr 25, 10:33

      A top Nepalese police official says at least 1,130 people are confirmed dead following a powerful earthquake that struck the densely populated Kathmandu Valley. The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 7.8, shook four other countries in addition to Nepal. Aftershocks continued to ripple through the region for hours. An avalanche swept across Mount […]

  • News

    More Alaska National Guard emails released

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 24, 21:12

    The state released thousands of emails related to the Alaska National Guard scandal late Friday afternoon. It’s been more than 5 months since they’ve handed over any of the information they were ordered to give the media last year. In October, a judge ruled that then-Gov. Sean Parnell’s office must provide any correspondence that relates […]

  • Sports

    Thomas Wins 31st Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year

    by Dave Goldman on Apr 24, 20:42

    The junior ran away with it. It’s been said many times in Cody Thomas’s illustrious career. It also described his path on Friday night as the 2014-15 Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year. The New Zealander claimed the honor at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s athletic banquet at the Lucy Cuddy Center. Thomas’ list of accomplishments not only set the […]

  • Weather

    Evening News Weather, April 24

    by KTVA Weather on Apr 24, 20:40

    Kenai Peninsula/Prince William Sound Mostly cloudy skies for southern areas of the Kenai. Most of the area with some rain showers in the mountains, south of Clam Gulch, and on the east side of the Kenai.   Southeast Expect lots of sunshine for northern and central areas with more clouds and a chance for afternoon […]

  • News

    Change in the Guard: new adjutant general’s vision

    by Bonney Bowman on Apr 24, 18:47

    A West Point graduate with 30 years of active-duty experience, new Alaska State Commissioner and Adjutant General Laurie Hummel says she has a vision to make Alaskans proud of the Alaska National Guard once again. She came out of retirement to tackle the challenging position. “If you’re going to go back to work and get […]

  • Politics

    Leaders raise potential of budget vote without reserve draw

    by Associated Press on Apr 24, 18:32

    Legislative leaders have raised the potential of passing a state spending plan without a vote authorizing a draw from Alaska’s constitutional budget reserve fund. House Speaker Mike Chenault said if the House and Senate majorities reach an agreement on education funding, they could finish up the budgets and leave. As of late Friday afternoon, an […]

  • Crime

    Anchorage police seeking potential victims in harassment case

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 24, 17:08

    ANCHORAGE — The Anchorage Police Department says there may be more victims of a man accused of inappropriately touching children at the Anchor Lutheran School. Adam Wilkinson, 32, worked for the school as a Child Watch employee between 1999 and 2014, and recently entered a guilty plea on a single count of first-degree harassment, police […]

  • News

    Nenana Ice Classic: Winning time is 2:25 p.m.

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 24, 16:59

    Nenana Ice Classic officials say the official winning time for the 2015 Nenana Ice Classic is 2:25 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on April 24. The jackpot for ticket holders with the winning time is $330,330. The payoff for 2015′s jackpot will be awarded June 1, according to NIC website. The tripod tipped over onto the […]