Across Alaska, Friday was the last day in a four-week period where student attendance translates into school funding.
Public schools receive a major chunk of their funding from the state under what’s known as the foundation formula. It’s complex, but generally, the more students in attendance in October, the more state funding each school receives.
This year, a typical student with perfect attendance between Sept. 30 and Oct. 25 is worth $5,680 to his or her school. That’s the figure that legislators and education officials call the “base student allocation.”
Funding adjustments, including extra money for students with special needs, cost-of-living differences from district to district, and reductions for efficiencies at larger schools, introduce more complexity.
Huge tables of data due to the state Nov. 8 are being compiled to count every public school student in Alaska.
The Juneau School District is expected to announce its final numbers early next week. Preliminary counts are about 106 students lower than expected – and that means the district is over budget by about $1 million this year. That amount covers salary and benefits for about 10 teachers.
- Alaska’s oldest Native organizations are trying to attract younger members. That and other issues are on the table at the ANB-ANS Grand Camp Convention Oct. 5-8.
- As the air gets colder and the days shorter, the Skagway tourism season is coming to a close. Overall, tourism staff says this summer was a success. The last cruise ship of the season has come and gone and shop owners around Skagway are preparing for winter, cleaning up and closing their doors. The streets that were recently busy with visitors are quieting down.
- These are the days when a president turns to thoughts of legacy. As the months tick down on this Administration, President Obama has created a marine national monument off new England and last month vastly expanded one near Hawaii. Alaska interest groups are working to get his attention, too. Some want him to take bold action in the 49th State before he leaves office, and others are urging him to resist those calls.
- Homer Electric Association held an informational meeting on September 28 to answer questions about the upcoming vote on deregulation. The meeting, which was held at Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, attracted more than 100 people. The overwhelming majority were HEA customers who expressed concerns about the consequences of deregulation.