General Update – Snippets April 7

This is a “General Update” edition of the CRSD Snippets.   Please visit www.crsd.us for more district news and information.  

LEGISLATURE

It comes as no surprise to anyone who follows the Alaska news that budgets for almost every entity that relies on state funding will be stretched very thin in fiscal year 2017.   The CRSD’s budget is no exception.   It is likely that there will be a reduction in the number of employees and transfers will be required.   A reduction in revenue and significant increase of expenses must be addressed in this year’s budget development.

For the past several years, the CRSD’s budget has been subsidized by a provision that spreads the financial impact of declining enrollment over several years.   CRSD will not qualify for that provision next year (unless enrollment drops 5% or greater) resulting in a $256,000 reduction in revenue.

This past week a bill was introduced in the Alaska Senate that will increase the amount school districts must contribute to the public employees and teacher retirement systems.   The proposed legislation would increase CRSD payroll expenses approximately $165,000. Additional increases of approximately $30,000 each year for retirement will continue through FY19.

In another untimely blow, we were recently notified that the premium for CRSD health insurance will increase 25% for the 2016-2017 school year.   This correlates with the increase experienced by other employers and Alaskan school districts.   The increase for insurance benefits will add approximately $240,000 to district’s expenses for the 2016-2017 school year. The premium will total $22,968 per year per insured employee (90% paid by CRSD, 10% paid by employee).

Other factors that may impact the budget are ongoing collective bargaining between the Board of Education and its certified and classified associations.   The CRSD will also be asking for request-for-proposals and negotiating a new pupil transportation contract.

CRSD is only one local entity facing the brutal facts of low oil prices.   Other valuable agencies in our community will struggle for funding and/or cease operations all together.   This further impacts the local economy, CRSD, and local business.   Unemployment impacts school enrollment.

Almost daily the business office staff is working on the budget.   We have spent the last weeks going through the CRSD budget line by line to identify potential savings.

In a previous Snippets, I outlined the opportunities for public input on the FY17 budget.   A flow-chart outlining that process remains on the www.crsd.us homepage.   Please watch the district calendar and call your local school office for dates and times of upcoming meetings related to the budget.   Depending on the timing of final funding bills approved by the Legislature and signed by Governor Walker, I expect that I will be presenting budget recommendations to each school’s ASB in early May.   The CRSD must submit a budget to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development no later than July 15th.

If you can’t attend one of the budget related meetings, and/or would rather provide input individually, please contact me or one of your elected Board members at the district office, by email or phone.

AMP TESTING

Due to issues with their test vendor, the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development notified school districts on Friday, April 1st that all Alaska Measures of Progress (AMP) assessments have been canceled. Students will not be participating in statewide testing this school year.   DEED is currently in the process of issuing a request for proposals for a new testing vendor.   Despite the lack of a statewide assessment, students in the Copper River School District and over thirty-five other districts take MAP assessments to measure student academic achievement.   To learn more about your students(’s) standardized MAP test scores, please contact their teacher.

20160308_175725SLANA SCHOOL ARCHERY PROGRAM

Students at Slana School have been participating in the National Archery in Schools
Program (NASP) since the beginning of the school year.   Volunteer Coaches Ole Bates and Lyle Beauchamp have donated hours of their time to teach the students how to safely and accurately handle a bow and arrow.   Mr. Bates and Mr. Beauchamp bought all the students blue team shirts, which are also being sold to help raise money for the program.   Seven students competed in a State of Alaska NASP tournament, with three scoring high enough to qualify for the national tournament in Louisville, Kentucky.   The students are raising money to attend the May 12th-14th, 2016 competition, including airfare and hotel expenses.   Congratulations and be20160308_182142st wishes to Avery Hart, Thomas Abraham, Linnea Beauchamp and their coaches. If you would like to make a donation toward their trip, please contact Coach Bates or Coach Beauchamp at 822-5868.   Please visit the Slana School Facebook page or call the school to find out about other fundraisers, including a raffle, and community barbecue dinner.

IMPORTANT DATES

April 15th – Early Release

April 18th – Inservice / Parent-Teacher Conferences

May 13th – Inservice Day

May 18th – Kenny Lake Graduation Ceremony

May 19th – Slana Promotion Ceremony

May 20th – Glennallen Graduation Ceremony

Published by

Michael J.

Superintendent

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