Miller outlines budget picture on Action Line

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Juneau School District Superintendent Mark Miller talked about the status of funding for next school year while a guest on Action Line Thursday following a meeting with the Assembly Finance Committee Wednesday evening.

    Miller said they were told by the committee that the local government would fund the district's general fund to the local cap as allowed under state law.
    "That's step one in the process, a first good step," Miller said.

    Now they have two other pieces to put in place, according to Miller.
    One is the request to the Assembly for about a million and half dollars outside the cap for activities, transportation and food services.  "They put that on hold for right now.  That's pretty big for us," he said.

    The other piece is funding from the Legislature.  "Of course, we have no idea if the state is going to increase our BSA (base student allocation)  funding or not," he said.  The House moved to increase it.  It's kind of stuck in the Senate right now and that will go to committee."

    Miller said those are two very big pieces in the total equation of whether or not they're going to have a year that they can afford.

    Miller refused to send out layoff notices last year and he's embracing the same stance this year.  "They would have to go out to tenured teachers by May 15 and we're not going to do it.  We don't need to send out tenured  teacher layoff notices.  

    The district is required to information its  probationary teachers whether or not  it wants them to come back by the last day of school which is May 24.  "We're still looking at exactly what our staffing is going to be.  I feel about 95 percent confident that anybody who we want to come back and wants to come back next year, at least in the teaching ranks, will have a position."

    Miller admits that there are still a lot of question marks that could impact what ultimately happens.  "We're already on a razor thin margin and we don't get any increase in the base student allocation, we're probably looking at having to cut another $800,000 from an already strapped budget."

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