The Juneau School District’s adminstration buidling is at the corner of Glacier Avenue and 12th Street. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

The Juneau School District’s adminstration buidling is at the corner of Glacier Avenue and 12th Street. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Here’s how Dunleavy’s proposed education cuts would affect Juneau schools

Over $20 million would be cut from districts across the state

Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced a supplemental budget proposal Monday that would cut the extra $20 million for schools approved by last year’s legislature for this year.

“It’s pretty unnerving to be in a position where you’re in the middle of the operating year and to have the fiscal outlook change,” said Juneau School District Superintendent Bridget Weiss.

Weiss said that the school board is pretty used to preparing for year-to-year variances in the budget, but to have a drastic cut in the middle of the operating year is tough.

[Capitol Live: Gov proposes cutting $20M of already-approved education funding]

According to documents provided by the Department of Education and Early Development, $671,008 would be cut from Juneau School District’s budget if the proposed legislation passes.

“Once we have a legislative decision, and then in August get our final enrollment, we kind of go about our business and start operating and focusing on the education of our kids,” Weiss said. “Mid-year, to now be looking at how we undo planning, it’s a challenge.”

Each year, school districts across the state build their budgets based on revenue and enrollment assumptions. This year, those assumptions included the $20 million that was appropriated and approved last June.

“Last year, the Senate and House put aside partisanship and crafted an education budget that responded to public demand for increased education resources,” said Sen. Tom Begich, D-Anchorage in a press release. “Local schools and communities have been hit hard with the high cost of energy and the lack of inflation-proofing of our funding formula. The actions of the Governor send our education system backward, something our schools can’t afford.”

Begich said in the annual Senate Majority survey of Alaskans, 51 percent responded identifying education funding as too low, while only 14 percent identified it as being too high.

“For us halfway through our fiscal year to be looking at adjustments is very unusual,” Weiss said. “It certainly adds a different level of financial stress and pressure at a time of year we are normally focusing on the education of our kids.”

When asked where the school district might look at making those hundred-thousand dollar cuts if the proposed budget passes, Weiss said, “There aren’t any easy answers.”


• Contact reporter Mollie Barnes at mbarnes@juneauempire.com or 523-2228.


Here’s how Dunleavy’s proposed education cuts would affect Juneau schools

More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Jan. 22

Library Director Dave Berry and Advisory Board Chair Kate Finn participate in Library Advisory Board meeting on Tuesday Jan. 17, 2023, at Homer City Hall, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Emilie Springer/Homer News)
Homer Library Advisory Board upholds decision to retain LGBTQ+ books

A citizen’s group last year submitted a petition asking that the books be removed from the children’s section

Courtesy Photo / Juneau Police Department 
This photo shows Woodrow Farrell Eagleman who police say after going missing on Jan. 11 was seen leaving town on Jan. 12 via airport surveillance.
Police: Man reported missing took plane out of town

A Juneau man recently reported as missing was found leaving town on… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Thursday, Jan. 26

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Juneau-based actor Xáalnook Erin Tripp was recently named one of the 2023 Artists in Business Leadership Fellows for First Peoples Fund program. Tripp said she intends to use to program’s grant funding to set up a professional recording studio in Juneau for her voice acting career and to share with other artists in the community. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
First Peoples Fund to help Juneau actor create recording studio for voice acting

Xáalnook Erin Tripp among artists with Southeast ties to earn the award.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Katie Botz, a Juneau school bus driver honored by Gov. Mike Dunelavy for her advocacy on behalf of abuse victims, stands to applause during his recognition of her during the State of the State speech Monday night at the Alaska State Capitol.
‘A victory for all of us’: Juneau woman recognized among Resilient Alaskans for her advocacy

Katie Botz’s presence — and brief absence — as a victims advocate led to a big win and governor’s honor.

Arnold Vosloo as Colonel Bach addresses US soldiers in latest film, “Condor’s Nest” in theaters and digital release on Friday. (Courtesy Photo / PMKBNC)
‘Popcorn thriller’ set in South America features actor from Alaska

“Condor’s Nest” will be available on demand Friday.

Jim Cockrell, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Public Safety, speaks in Wasilla at a May 3, 2022, news conference. Cockrell has ordered an investigation after troopers mistakenly took a school principal into custody for a mental health exam. (Photo by Yereth Rosen / Alaska Beacon)
Troopers, misled by false court order, detained principal for mental health check

State troopers mistakenly took Alaska’s 2022 Principal of the Year into custody…

The Juneau School District’s recently announced the new principals for Juneau Community Charter School and Mendenhall River Community School who are set to start in their positions this fall. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
District selects new principals for Juneau Community Charter and Mendenhall River Community School

The new school heads will join the district in the coming academic year in the fall

Most Read