The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly held a public hearing about school district funding at last week’s regular meeting.
At issue was the minimum amount that the assembly should contribute to the fiscal year 2011 budget. During an earlier work session, assembly members expressed a desire to maintain the same level of funding that it contributed last year.
The school district had asked assembly members for a local funding increase from $10,290,000 to $10,713,469. The higher amount was requested in order to pay for the hiring of two math intervention specialists and a technology support person.
During the public hearing, several people spoke in favor of the higher level funding including representative from the villages who participated through video conference. In person, the assembly heard from several citizens including third grade teacher Cat Ellen DeVries. She shared success stories from Main Elementary school where the district’s only "math interventionist" has been working with students.
— (KIBSD Budget 1 "Intervention at a … single penny count.")
Along with the voices in favor of the higher funding, there was one person who spoke in agreement with the assembly’s position and that was Mel Stephens.
— (KIBSD Budget 2 "So, I’m usually … the cuts there.")
Assemblywoman Pat Branson explained the reason behind the assembly’s desire to maintain level funding.
— (KIBSD Budget 3 "I understand the problem … way to do things.")
Following the public hearing, the assembly members voted unanimously to maintain the current level of funding for the district. Assemblymembers Judy Fulp and Jerrol Friend were not in attendance.
Borough Mayor Jerome Selby also offered his perspective on the funding including a suggestion that the money the district requested is in their own bank account if the school board chooses to use it.
— (KIBSD Budget 4 "You know the …way or another.")
During an earlier interview, district finance director Luke Fulp had stated that the reserve funds are needed for unexpected expenses and potential increases in operating costs.