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Assembly endorses Anchorage school budget

Rosemary Shinohara

The Anchorage Assembly approved the school district's $720 million budget for the 2013-14 school year Tuesday night. It's a reduction of about 6 percent from this year's budget.

In addition to that amount, the state will pay $177 million in makeup contributions to the TERS and PERS retirement system on behalf of the district.

The Assembly approves overall spending by the district and the amount of local taxes that will be used to help pay for schools. The School Board determines how the money will be spent.

The local tax contribution will drop by 2.8 percent, or $6.5 million, to a total of $233 million under the plan adopted by the Assembly.

The district gets most of its revenue from the state, and the state is not expected to increase the basic funding formula this year.

The Legislature has also limited how much local governments can contribute.

With flat funding projections and rising costs, the district expects to need to reduce spending by about $25 million per year over the next six years, school administrators said in a memo to the Assembly.

The district faced a shortfall of about $25 million this year and, to make up for it, eliminated 215 positions including about 90 that were vacated earlier this school year.

The district is also planning to spend $7 million from savings to soften the effect of the shortfall.

Reach Rosemary Shinohara at rshinohara@adn.com or 257-4340.


By ROSEMARY SHINOHARA
rshinohara@adn.com