Anchorage School District Superintendent Carol Comeau was pleasantly surprised to get nearly $19 million in extra money for the upcoming school year. Some of the money comes from a one-time legislative appropriation to offset high energy costs, although the district can use it for re-instating positions or other needs. There is also new money to bolster technical and vocational training and some funds will offset retirement costs.
Comeau says the funds will be used to upgrade aging computer equipment, restore 20 teacher positions and supervisors as well as expand internet and online class offerings.
She says she’s grateful for the funds but wishes there was more stability built into the system for building budgets for the district. She says the district can’t go directly to the voters to request funding increases; it must go through the legislature and assembly.
Comeau says even though the yearly struggle over building the budget is frustrating, she’s very grateful to the legislature for increasing the career and technical education funding. The new total must still be approved by the Anchorage Assembly.