Superintendent warns staff and teachers will be lost with 'flat' funding

May 9, 2018

KPBSD Superintendent Sean Dusek conducting a Facebook Live on May 8, 2017.
Credit Facebook screenshot

  As the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's academic year winds down, it's budget season is heating up. Superintendent Sean Dusek took to Facebook Tuesday night, as he does regularly to field questions about the district, and began with some comments about the district's budget picture.

"I'm very grateful that the assembly and the borough administration has set our funding floor. It is the same as we're getting this year, so we call that 'flat funding.' I do know that they will be working during their next few meetings on increasing that funding, which would be very, very helpful, because with flat funding from the state and the borough, we have over a $3 million deficit," Dusek said. "We're committed to utilizing some of our savings, we call that fund balance, to offset some of that deficit."

That won't be enough to cover the whole deficit, however.

"With flat funding we still have to come up with about $2 million worth of cuts," Dusek said. "And so, you know, part of that, unfortunately will have to be staff, both at the district level and in the schools."

Meanwhile, the State Legislature has made some progress with its budget, which gives Dusek some optimism, but mostly for the distant future.

"Looks like they may be wrapping up here by the end of the week. They've passed some very important legislation. We're hopeful that we'll see some additional funds coming for next school year, but we know for sure they forward funded us, so we're appreciative of that," he said. "And with the passage of Senate Bill 26, we believe that a couple years from now we're going to have additional funds coming in. But that's not until 2020, so we still have to work on this year."

Dusek said he figures that work on this year's school district budget should be wrapped up in the next couple of weeks.