Local News

School district’s budget reserves get a boost

A big chunk of the extra $1.5 million that the Ketchikan School District will receive this year will be held in reserve following a decision Wednesday night by the School Board.

An extra 34 regular-education students, plus 16 additional intensive special-needs students, means the school district will receive nearly $1.5 million more from the state than had been budgeted this year.

District officials had recommended adding back items that fell below the funding line during the earlier budget process, such as library supplies, travel and training, custodial supplies and summer school.

District staff had proposed leaving about $330,000 in reserves.

The School Board chose Wednesday to fund some of those items – such as the summer school — but to hold about $600,000 of the extra money in reserves. The unallocated money would have gone to supplies and technology upgrades.

Board Member Stephen Bradford said the purpose is to have money available throughout the year.

“Certainly if any department comes up short on supplies and such, they can come to the board with a reasonable proposal and we’ll consider it, and we might add the funds to it at that time,” he said.

The board on Wednesday also discussed the possibility of a seasonal sales tax for student activities. The School Board agreed to submit the idea to the district-borough liaison committee.

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