Good afternoon, ASD Families.
We are seeking your input on solutions to the estimated $68 million budget deficit for FY24.
Our main funding source comes from the State of Alaska (SOA) Foundation Formula, which starts with a formula called the Base Student Allocation (BSA)
, multiplied by the number of students enrolled. Since 2017, the formula hasn’t changed much while costs increased. The BSA is not inflation-proof and inflation has skyrocketed. To help, we were able to fill the budget gap with temporary one-time funds. However, over time a growing structural deficit has continued to increase. By the end of this school year, the temporary funds will mostly be spent, leaving us with a multi-million-dollar deficit for next school year.
Right now, we are in the research phase, not the recommendation phase, of our FY24 budget solutions plan. My motto when solving problems is that all options are on the table. However, the very last thing we want to do is directly impact classroom education. When researching recommendations, the District will place the greatest value on areas that have the most impact on the largest number of students.
What does this mean? Well, when the research is complete, we will have to make tough recommendations to the School Board that will involve significant funding reductions. Our recommendations will start with your input.
, September 9,
we will publish the first of several community surveys on our FY24 budget solutions webpage
and in the September edition of ASD Connect. The first survey is intended to understand general areas to prioritize for potential reductions. Next month, you can expect another survey along with in-person and/or virtual outreach opportunities to provide us with recommendations. The District will continue to update the School Board every two weeks during the budget work sessions. You can view previous budget work sessions on the School Board webpage
. The next budget work session is scheduled for September 20th at 4 p.m.
These will be difficult decisions that impact many families. The Legislature plays a huge role in terms of school finance. While we appreciate their support in providing one-time funds, more work is needed for inflation-proof education funding. I am committed to making sure the School Board and your legislators have the best information, meaning your recommendations, when considering the future of school funding. The District needs to have those discussions and collaborate with the legislature to find synergies that benefit education.
When facing this kind of deficit, there must be no surprises. My promise to you is transparency.
Jharrett Bryantt, Ed. D.
Anchorage School District