Local News

School Board to discuss gift policy

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough School Board will hold its final session of summer break Wednesday.

The Board is inviting the public to a hearing about how gifts to the school district are reported. The issue has been a topic of debate throughout the summer – Business Manager Matt Groves initially raised the issue to clarify the policy, as it was unclear whether every donation must come before the School Board and therefor the public.

Some board members opposed the idea of reporting all gifts in public. Some, including Board Member Michelle O’Brien, have said that reporting smaller gifts may put some donors under an unfair spotlight. Increased scrutiny, those board members have said, may discourage future donations to the school district.

The board – and the public – will take a look at the clarified text of the rule. That rule says that, moving forward, cash donations of less than $10,000 do not have to be reported. Accepting other gifts such as services, items or donations related to fundraising are at the discretion of the superintendent. Only cash above the $10,000 mark must come before the School Board for approval. In keeping with the original wording of the rule, a gift may be used at a particular school at the designee or superintendent’s discretion.

The School Board will also vote on Tatsuda Supermarket’s bid to provide milk for the year to the school district. The store offered a bid of 54 cents per half-pint.

A grant from the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development Child Nutrition Program is also under consideration by the board. Members will decide whether to approve more than $70,000 in fresh fruits and vegetables for the district’s elementary schools.

The Board meets at 6pm in Borough Assembly Chambers. Public comment will be heard at the start and end of the meeting.

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