Local News

School Board to take final vote on FY ’15 budget

After multiple discussions and public hearings, the Ketchikan School District FY2015 budget is scheduled for a final vote at Wednesday’s School Board meeting.

Upon approval, the budget of about $41 million will be given to the Ketchikan Gateway Borough for review. The School Board will be able to make changes later depending on funding levels from the state and borough.

In the School Board meeting agenda, there is a resolution regarding the School Board’s stance on chloramine. At previous meetings, community members have asked the Board to take a stand on the use of chloramines to disinfect Ketchikan’s water.

The proposed resolution says the School Board takes no official position concerning the use of chloramines.

The Board will continue to discuss the federal guidelines of the Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act and how that might impact things like food served in classroom celebrations and concession sales in Ketchikan schools.

Two amendments approved at the School Board’s last meeting that relaxed some of the regulations were sent to the state Department of Education and Early Development. According to district Business Manager Matt Groves, the Board will need to change the wording of an amendment that allowed food from concessions to be sold during the school day to anyone other than a local student. DEED, with direction from the USDA, says the rule must apply to all students, regardless of where they attend school.

A new survey measuring obesity in Ketchikan students might factor into that discussion as well. Ketchikan School District staff measured the height and weight of 88 percent of current pre-K through 9th graders. The analysis found that 41 percent of those students are overweight or obese.

The Board also will vote on two new contracts. One is a $98,000 contract for Felicia Wells to teach special education at Houghtaling Elementary School. The other is an $84,000 contract for Andrea Marthinsen as the school district physical therapist.

The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in Borough Assembly chambers at the White Cliff building. Public comment will be heard at the start and end of the meeting.

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