Superintendent continues investment in the classroom with budget update

 

June 12, 2015

 

NEWS RELEASE

 

Contact: Heidi Embley

ASD Communications

Phone: (907) 742-4158

Email: Embley_Heidi@asdk12.org

Web: www.asdk12.org

 

Superintendent Ed Graff will present the Anchorage School Board with a second amendment to the 2015-16 budget at the board’s meeting on Monday night. The amendment takes into account funding levels outlined in HB 2001; the state budget adjustment will reinstate approximately $4.8 million for ASD.

 

The superintendent proposes to direct the funds toward efforts that were originally planned when the funding levels were set in last year’s legislative session.

 

“We are pleased to have the Base Student Allocation fully funded,” said Superintendent Graff. “We are ready to move forward with finalizing our budget so we can get teachers in place to support our students for the upcoming school year.”

 

Superintendent Graff said the proposed budget amendments will have a very intentional focus on students. The majority of the funds will go to classroom teachers at all grade levels with a priority on supporting early literacy efforts in grades K-2.

 

“We know that having quality teachers in our classrooms are critical to student success,” said Superintendent Graff. “Additionally, student data shows our recent efforts around early literacy are proving successful and our investment is having a positive impact on student learning. By focusing on this area, we’re addressing immediate needs of our students that will provide long-term benefits.”

 

Superintendent Graff is proposing to use the reinstated funding as follows:

 

  • $220,000 for charter schools - This represents the charter schools’ share of the reinstatement of state foundation formula funding.
  • $3.6 million for class size adjustment and early literacy – This reverses an increase in the class size so it will remain the same level as it has been in the past two years. Grades K, 1 and 2 will remain a priority as the district continues its emphasis on early literacy.
  • $565,000 for STEM curriculum – This fully equips STEM science kits for grades K-6.
  • $400,000 for middle school support – This supports professional release time in middle schools to give principals flexibility for elective teachers to address student needs.

 

This final budget proposal has 34 fewer positions than the superintendent’s original 2015-16 budget proposal presented in February. Over the last five years, the district has cut approximately 315 positions, 93 percent of which were non-teaching positions. The district was able to mitigate further cuts to staff positions by forward-funding $18 million from this year’s budget to next school year.

 

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