The Mat-Su Borough School District has released its preliminary budget for the fiscal year ending next summer. On Thursday, school officials were at Su-Valley Junior and Senior High School to present the budget and answer questions.
According to the preliminary budget, the school district could be entering a period of structural deficit. That deficit projection begins at $6.4 million for the 2016 fiscal year, and grows to $10.6 million by 2019 using the current budget assumptions.
Those assumptions include a continuing three-percent annual increase in funding from the Mat-Su Borough, an increase in per-student state funding scheduled to expire in 2017, and no further one-time funding from the state. Growth in student population is also figured in. On the expense side, staff salaries increases, health insurance premiums, and utility costs are factored in, along with other cost drivers.
Any of the factors on either side of the ledger could change. Governor Bill Walker’s proposed state budget removed one-time funding that was included by former Governor Sean Parnell’s administration. In the case of the Mat-Su, that amounts to about $4 million.
The next step for the district budget is the Mat-Su School Board. The board must approve a budget and send it to the Mat-Su Borough Assembly by the end of next month.
Links to the budget presentation given on Thursday are available here.