ASD asks legislature not to cut funds

The Anchorage School Board is asking the state legislature to restore one-time school grant funds to the state’s budget. The House passed a budget that removed the $32 million late last week.

The School Board passed a resolution during their Monday night meeting explaining how their portion of the funds – worth $8.7 million – has been used and why they need to keep it. The money goes toward pre-K classes, literacy coaches, and keeping early grade class sizes small – strategies that data says are effective at helping students succeed.

The resolution also says that without the funds, the district will have to cut teachers.

School Board member Kameron Perez-Verdia says they understand the extreme financial difficulties of the state, but the district needs the money.

“We’ve experienced four years of cuts. In many cases we’ve heard the term that we’ve cut ourselves so much that there’s nothing left and we’re cutting into the bone. So the loss of these funds would be significant for us.”

If the state government cuts $8.7 million in funds then ASD will also lose $2.1 million in local money because of funding caps.

Anne Hillman is the healthy communities editor at Alaska Public Media and a host of Hometown, Alaska. Reach her at Read more about Anne here.

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