The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly last week voted to fund Kenai schools to the maximum amount allowable for the upcoming fiscal year.
In all, the borough will contribute $54.8 million to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District for fiscal year 2024, which begins on July 1, 2023, and ends on June 30, 2024. Of that, about $9.5 million will go toward borough maintenance and $4.5 million will go to insurance.
The KPBSD Finance Department said earlier this year that full funding from the borough would account for 40.6% of the roughly $135 million the district expects to take in during the upcoming fiscal year. About 59% of the school district’s total funding is expected to come from the State of Alaska.
The $54.8 million figure approved Tuesday is about $2.2 million more than the borough’s contribution last year. Because the assessed value of the borough by the State of Alaska increased, the amount of money the borough is allowed to contribute to the school district increased. All of the money the borough earns through sales tax already goes to funding borough schools.
KPBSD sent its balanced fiscal year 2024 budget to the assembly for approval early last month. The district faced a $13.1 million shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year, which it covered with $6.2 million in leftover COVID-19 relief funds, $820,000 in savings and more than $3.6 million in budget cuts.
Debbie Cary, the president of the KPBSD Board of Education, thanked assembly members Tuesday for funding the school district to the maximum amount allowable. She also thanked assembly members for sending a resolution to the Alaska Legislature calling for a “meaningful increase” to the amount of money the state gives school districts per student.
“Thank you for fully funding to the cap this year and for your support of education and the investment of what education does for our students,” Cary said.
KPBSD’s full draft budget document can be found on the district’s finance page at kpbsd.org.
Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at firstname.lastname@example.org.