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Anchorage Assembly approves School District budget

Rosemary Shinohara

The Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday approved the 2012-2013 School District budget, which totals $736.8 million, $6.2 million less than the current year budget.

The Assembly had earlier advised the district to hold any local property tax increase for schools to 1 percent, and the district did that. The Assembly sets the upper spending limit for schools and the amount of property tax dollars that will go to support schools. The School Board determines how to spend the money.

About one-third of the budget relies on local property taxes, and 52 percent comes from the state. The balance is from federal and other sources.

The amount of state funding is a question mark right now as the Legislature debates whether and how to increase school funding statewide. The district assumed no increase in per-pupil state spending when it built its budget, but it typically re-adjusts its budget after the Legislature and governor make final decisions in the spring.

As it stands now, the district says with inflation and costs such as employee pay and benefits rising, it has had to trim $24.3 million in services. For example, it eliminated summer school, reduced the number of elementary counselor, librarian and library assistant positions, and cut maintenance positions.

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


By ROSEMARY SHINOHARA
Anchorage Daily News