Fairbanks school district proposed budget released
Fairbanks North Star Borough School District administration will present the district’s fiscal year 2017 – 2018 proposed budget at the school board’s Feb. 6 work session.
The proposed budget totals $245,120,637 and reflects the administration’s best effort to present a spending plan that supports the community’s commitment to successful student learning and demonstrates efficient and effective use of human and financial resources. The proposed budget represents an increase of $3,785,320 or 1.6 percent over the district’s 2016-2017 approved budget.
The district’s proposed budget is based on Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s FY2018 proposed budget, and reflects a small decrease in projected enrollment as well as a static level of state funding based on the Base Student Allocation (BSA).
The district is projecting a decrease of 121 students for a total projected enrollment of 13,700 for the 2017-2018 academic year. The decrease in projected enrollment equates to a $980,170 decrease in projected foundation funding from the state.
Alaska state statutes recognize that fluctuating local property values affect the local government’s ability to fund education, and that recognition is part of the state’s funding formula. The Borough’s January 2016 certified full assessed value determination increased from the prior year by $357 million. This increase in real and personal property valuation results in a decrease in state foundation revenue in the amount of $1,113,440 thus the proposed budget includes an increase in the request for local contribution of this same amount.
On the expenditure side, the budget reflects step movement and increases to salary scales based on newly ratified collective bargaining agreements for all employee groups. A restructure of the district’s health care benefit is expected to contribute to a 1 percent decrease in the health benefit contribution rate, saving approximately $1 million. The proposed budget also includes $2.8 million in anticipated transportation expenses that would not be covered by estimated state transportation funding.
The district faces several unresolved issues that could impact the budget. The legislative outcomes in response to the state revenue challenge and the level of local contribution that is yet to be determined could affect the revenue side of the budget.
The proposed budget document is available on the district’s website at www.k12northstar.org/budget.