Kodiak Island Borough School District officials say that the student transportation budget will be completely covered by the state this school year for the first time in five years. KMXT’s Casey Kelly has more.
District Finance Director Luke Fulp says a change in how the State of Alaska doles out money for transportation means that Kodiak won’t have to subsidize students’ bus routes this year. The change was one of several recommendations made by the state’s Joint Legislative Education Funding Task Force, which met last summer.
(Fulp 1 :14s “…thought were necessary.”)
In the past the state had tried grants to fund school transportation costs. Then in 2003 it went to formula that was based on enrollment, with adjustments made for each district depending on economic factors in different communities. Fulp says that led to some districts getting more money than they needed, while a lot of others got short-changed.
(Fulp 2 :13s “…from home to schools.”)
The new formula is based on the district’s annual audited costs for transportation, as well as those economic factors that can make moving students back and forth in Kodiak more complicated than, say, Anchorage.
(Fulp 3 :22s “…involved process altogether.”)
The state’s transportation contribution for this fiscal year will be 1.45 million dollars for Kodiak schools. Fulp says that will cover every single bus route, with a little bit left over to cover rising fuel costs.
(Fulp 4 :19s “…happening with fuel prices.”)
The student transportation budget does not cover other travel costs facing the district, such as the amount spent to take kids off island for sporting events and other activities. Those costs are covered through activity fees, fundraising and individual school budgets.
I’m Casey Kelly.