Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s education funding veto erased nearly $600,000 for Ketchikan schools. But district officials say they’re working to keep cuts from affecting classrooms in the near future.
Dunleavy has said the state plans to back fill the $30 million he vetoed using federal COVID-19 disaster relief funds. But it’s unclear whether that will happen.
In the meantime, to deal with the loss of $600,000 in state funding, district officials propose cutting spending on teachers and aides, along with supplies and equipment, and to carry forward unspent revenue from this fiscal year.
That way, the district can avoid layoffs, district officials say.
And some of the gap could be made up by leftover federal disaster relief money, though exactly how much will be left over at the end of this school year isn’t clear.
Ketchikan’s school board will mull the draft budget when it meets Wednesday by teleconference.
In other business, the board will weigh approving a new science curriculum for elementary- and middle-schoolers. The district’s curriculum director, Alfonso Escalante, says the district postponed purchasing new science materials in 2017 as the state revised its standards. He says the textbooks, software and lab kits from publisher McGraw Hill align with the state’s latest requirements.
Ketchikan’s school board meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday by teleconference. Comments from the public can be submitted to the board clerk by 3 p.m. Wednesday. We’ve got that email address and information on how to watch the meeting at our website, KRBD.org.
The meeting will be streamed at KGBSD.org/live and broadcast on Ketchikan Public Utilities channel 685. Comments or requests to offer live testimony can be emailed to Kerry.Watson@k21schools.org by 3 p.m. Wednesday.