F-16 Squadron Move Would Seriously Affect North Star Borough School District

The Air Force’s plan to relocate the F-16 Aggressor Squadron at Eielson Air Force base will have serious implications for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District if the move takes place.

One-thousand-twenty-four.  That’s the estimated number of students that the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District stands to lose if a squadron of F-16s are relocated to Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson.  School Superintendent Pete Lewis says that’s a big enough loss to force the closure of the three schools on base.

“There wouldn’t be but you know 50 kids left, a hundred kids left on the base.  It would be difficult for us to continue to provide the quality of education we currently offer, so we would have to look at multiple scenarios in terms of what we might do,” Lewis said.

According to the Air Force, the school district could see a $1.5 million reduction in federal funding if the plan moves forward.  Lewis says the relocation will change how money is allocated to the district.

“Well I think it will be an adjustment in the foundation formula the money that comes from the state and then we also receive impact aid money from the federal government and that is also formula driven and it is a part of how the foundation formula is calculated so it would be a loss in revenue for us,” Lewis said.

The School Board has amended their agenda for a work session Monday night. They will discuss the 2012-2013 school year budget.  There is no word on whether the board will start to look at the effects of the Air Force’s plan.

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