ASD facing deficit, taps principals for budget feedback

ASD looks towards school principals on feedback for budget redistribution
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 6:58 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage School District is facing a historic budget deficit of approximately $68 million.

The ASD School Board’s Finance Committee met Wednesday afternoon to continue discussions regarding budget revisions.

District Chief Financial Officer Jim Anderson shared with the committee that his goal was to keep the process of allocating funds transparent to the public.

“Transparent doesn’t mean easy,” Anderson said.

Prior to the committee meeting, Anderson held a workshop with district school principals in which they were asked to identify both potential budget cuts and areas that may need further funding. Anderson said that their input is vital to the reconstruction of the budget.

“I think it was important to involve principals this early because they are going to help us with the solutions and they are going to help us plan the implementation,” Anderson said. “Frankly, without their support, you can’t implement good ideas from the [Education] center, right?” Anderson said.

Additionally, Anderson said they will soon be receiving student activity data, and that during the process of redistributing funds in the budget he wants to make sure they are focusing on student success.

“The end of the day, you prioritize on the mission and the mission is educating students and sometimes you may actually invest more money in a program that’s working while reducing programs that you can’t validate that they are working,” Anderson said.

Anderson also said the district will start evaluating which schools could be closed — or merged together — starting in October.