budgets

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A race for the school board in Sterling and Funny River is one of the most contested in the upcoming municipal election. Four people are vying for that one seat.


The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education looked out at a sea of red in its meeting in Homer on Monday night. Over a hundred teachers and support staff, who are seeing red over unresolved contract negotiations, wore red to the meeting and spoke out about their concerns.

Negotiations for a contract that was supposed to go into effect this school year began in February but have yet to be resolved. The school district and associations representing teachers and support staff went through an unsuccessful round of mediation and now are moving to arbitration. Dave Brighton, president of the Kenai Peninsula Education Association, says it’s been about a decade since a round of negotiations finished on time and without needing outside adjudication.

“I don’t know why it is that every time we go to the negotiations table we end up going all the way through mediation and then arbitration,” Brighton said. “I can’t remember a contract that we’ve had that didn’t go through that. I’m asking you guys to encourage the school district to come to the negotiation table to bargain.”


The Kenai City Council last week set its budget for the new fiscal year, which begins on July 1. The budget appropriates $16,166,027 from the General Fund as part of a $28,105,942 total budget. Appropriations from the Enterprise and Internal Service Funds amount to just over $3 million, while the city’s Special Revenue Funds contribute about $8.75 million.

The council also committed $750,000 of unassigned General Fund money for future renovation and improvements to city facilities and streets. The employee salary schedule was also amended.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is eying a $1.3 million to $2 million budget deficit next school year. Much of that will be covered by the district’s reserve account. But the rest, depending on how state and borough funding shake out, could mean cuts in the classroom.


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The school district is getting a jump on budgeting for next year, and it’s starting out on a low note.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is bracing for the loss of about 100 students from its projected enrollment this year. That will mean more than empty seats on the bus or fewer sandwiches in the lunch line. Since most state funding is allocated per student, that means less money than the district expected for next year’s budget.

Though this school year is only a couple of months old, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is getting a jump on planning next year’s budget, and wants the community to help.

The district is holding community budget meetings at 22 schools at 5:30 p.m. tonight. Superintendent Sean Dusek will give an overview of the budget via teleconference, then each site will go into more detail about that school’s budget.

This week, Shaylon Cochran sits down with Rep. Gary Knopp (R-Soldotna) to talk about ongoing state budget issues, the economic future of the state and how things could work more smoothly in Juneau.