November 19, 2015
Contact: ASD Communications
Phone: (907) 742-4153
During the next few months, the district will participate in community discussions about what is valued in public education and the ASD budget.
“We must engage the community in this conversation,” said Superintendent Ed Graff. “About 90 percent of ASD’s costs go to salaries and benefits for the district’s highly skilled and dedicated employees.”
Due to flat revenue and local inflation costs, the district starts each budget process at a deficit.
Guidance provided by the Anchorage School Board is to build next year’s budget based on state statute, which includes a $50 increase to the state’s Base Student Allocation. This calculation will create a $10-$13 million dollar gap between revenues and expenditures.
“As we work through various options, challenges and opportunities surrounding next year’s budget, we will continue to focus on students,” said Graff. “We know the greatest impact on a child’s education happens in our schools.”
Superintendent Graff and the Anchorage School Board are asking for the public to share their thoughts and offer a variety of ways to participate.
Online community engagement
The district will gather meaningful dialogue through an online group insight platform called ThoughtExchange. This process will allow participants to share their thoughts, identify what is most valuable and view results of the feedback provided. ThoughtExchange is a two-step process. Any member of the community may participate in any or all steps. The first step, where participants will share their answers to open-ended questions is open now through Nov. 28. Click here to participate.
In-person community conversations
ASD will hold four public meetings where participants will discuss various budget considerations and share their thoughts. All community conversations will take place from 6-8 p.m. on the assigned dates.
The meetings will include interactive technology where participants will vote on various questions. Interactive voting is limited to 140 people, sign up to reserve your spot.
The Anchorage School Board welcomes public testimony at its meetings. Board meetings are held twice per month at the ASD Education Center. The board meeting schedule and information on how to sign up to testify is available online. The school board’s budget readings and votes are schedule to take place at the Feb. 1 and 16 meetings.
The school board also encourages Anchorage community members to share their thoughts on public education funding with state legislators as they develop the state’s budget and associated education funding.