Large turnout for meeting on school budget

The Fairbanks North Star Borough school district has released its proposed budget for next school year, and the numbers have officials worried.

At a town hall meeting last night, representatives from the district explained the numerous cuts in the budget.

The district is facing a shortfall of millions, despite the fact that they're accounting for an optimistic 100 dollar increase to the base student allocation and an increased local contribution from the borough.

House bill 278, submitted by the Governor, would only increase the BSA by 85 dollars,  and house bill 245, submitted by North Pole representative Tammie Wilson, would repeal the required local contribution from boroughs.

Superintendent Pete Lewis said right now there is a shortfall of about eight million dollars expected.

He said “We have proposed cuts of about 39 teachers and we have a small drop in enrollment that will also eliminate another 9.9 teachers overall from rthe previous year.”

The district’s budget review committee will now look at the numbers, and come up with a plan to present to the school board.

Lewis said the cuts could mean increased class sizes and that reducing staff numbers also has a local economic impact