The Dillingham City School District school board unanimously approved the budget for Fiscal Year 2018 at its Monday meeting.
The Dillingham City School District school board approved their $9,275,184 budget at their meeting Monday night. The meeting was well attended, and 11 teachers, parents, and community member offered public testimony.
Most of the testimony centered on a few main concerns: teacher retention, the addition of administrative roles, and reduction of food staff. Annie Shade voiced some of these concerns.
“My main concern is with the guidance counselor’s positions and moving those to assistant principle positions,” said Shade. “One thing that it does is change sort of a helpful position into kind of a punitive position, at least in the eyes of the students. My second concern is with the science positions. I think it was three years ago we had four science teachers, and we’re looking at two in the fall. I’m concerned about how that’s going to work.”
After listening to testimony, the school board unanimously passed the budget. Kim Williams and several others in the audience expressed disappointment that the school board passed the budget without any of the requested amendments.
“I feel like there’s smoke and mirrors by this board because, in fact, what you have adopted is this budget that has been presented to you,” said Williams. “Sure you can give the public lots of assurances that you are going change this, but you have adopted it based on what is presented in this document.”
School board president Chris Napoli explained that the board has now approved the dollar value of the budget. The content itself is likely to change.
“Our priorities are instruction. The budget does change. There’s specific areas that we want more information on for our April 24 meeting. There’s no smoking mirrors. So as people have been involved in this process, they know you’re never locked in. A budget always changes. I’ll put my word on that one,” said Napoli.
The school board agreed that it would further discuss the budget’s added administrative positions and the reduced food service staff at next Monday’s meeting.
The city traditionally has contributed $1.3 million to the school district annually. The school budget is scheduled to go before the city in a workshop on May 4.
Contact the author at email@example.com or 907-842-2200.