2019-2020 Budget Designed to Close a $10.4 Million Gap and Meet Student Needs

  • Dr. Deena Bishop, Anchorage School District Superintendent, presented to the School Board a balanced preliminary budget on February 4, 2019. The proforma budget was presented to the School Board on December 10, 2018. If the District continued to fund every position and program at the same level as last year (as presented in the proforma budget), there would be a $10.4 million deficit. By statute, the District is required to present a balanced budget, matching spending to revenue. While the budget is a plan—a living document that is always changing—it is a way the community can prioritize the work of the ASD.


    Where we are now

    In the 2018-19 school year, average daily membership (ADM) is down more than 1,000 students than last year (830 more than projected). In our present budget, we took into account that we could be down 216 students. The District is projecting a decrease of 580 ADM for next school year making the total reduction over two years 1,626 students.

    In meeting the District’s mission and Destination 2020 goals, we know that in order to provide maximum opportunities to students, we must change the way we do business. In planning the budget, there has been a thorough review of services and programs, aligning student needs with staffing and resource allocation.


    Why are we in this fiscal predicament? 

    The Legislature has chosen not to fund the BSA (base student allocation) at the levels needed to meet inflation since 2010. State funding through the Base Student Allocation has not been increased in Alaska to keep pace with costs. Locally, support for public education is funded primarily through property taxes and Anchorage residents are committed to providing strong support for our schools.


    The way ahead

    In the Anchorage School District this year, we have been reminding ourselves of the “why” of public education. The why in public education is always focused on students. In meeting the needs of students, it is about closing the achievement gap and offering complete access to learning for all students. ASD is a minority-majority District. We educate approximately 46,800 students. More than 58 percent of our student population is considered to be of minority ethnicity.


    Destination 2020 investments from FY 2019 to FY 2020: 

    • New Teacher induction program
    • Wireless access control for 10 Schools
    • School intercom upgrades
    • Replace outdated student devices & display tech
    • Increase Special Education support incl. Pre-K
    • Continue positive behavioral supports - MTSS
    • King Tech HS partnership w/ Lower Yukon School District
    • Increase High School summer school program
    • $4.9M fund balance to retain PTR @ all grades
    • Programmatic roof maintenance
    • Increase PD & course offerings in Pre-AP (MS) & AP (HS)
    • Increase Project Lead the Way pathway
    • K-8 Literacy/ELA
    • Social Emotional Learning (SEL) & positive behavior supports


    Moving learning and schools into the 21st Century model, schools must continue to ask, “What do our students need to be successful?” That is the mission of ASD. To meet our mission, we must meet the needs of every student in every school every day as best we can. Once our students leave us, it is essential that they not only possess the knowledge, but have skills to be able to do something with the knowledge.

    The Anchorage School District depends on and appreciates the support of every neighborhood in our city because we cannot meet the challenges of learning without you.

    Dr. Bishop’s $572.3 million General Fund budget is based on ratios and metrics. By providing equitable staffing according to student enrollment and course needs, ASD is moving student learning forward.


FY 2019-2020 Budget Documents