Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

School to see boost in enrollment funding


December 7, 2017

Haines Borough School District will see a bump in revenue from the state for increased enrollment. Though the firm figures aren’t expected until later this month, the increase in foundation funding is currently estimated at about $143,000.

“We’ll have solid numbers in January,” interim superintendent Rich Carlson told the school board at the regular meeting Tuesday evening.

According to the school’s revised budget documents, enrollment has increased most dramatically for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Some 13 additional K-6 students were noted in the revised student count.

“We have a pretty big kindergarten group this year,” Carlson said in an interview.

There are five additional 7th-12th graders, one additional intensive student and two fewer correspondence students in the updated count, amounting to an overall 6% (16 students) increase in enrollment over last year.

The estimated increase in foundation funding would bring the total revenue from the state to over $2.5 million for the district, and final numbers are expected December 15.

Though budget revisions were on the agenda for the board’s Tuesday evening meeting, the board unanimously agreed to remove them from the consent agenda after Carlson explained some adjustments would need to be made to reflect both the increased monies from the state and the results from the district’s annual audit, which was received after the December agenda was drafted.

The board will take the budget revisions up again at January’s meeting. The two budget sub-categories with the most changes are district administration and special education.

A nearly $16,000 expenditure for the salary of an additional half-time special education employee is also reflected in the special education budget.

Several changes in the district administration budget reflect the departure of former superintendent Tony Habra and the hiring of Carlson as interim superintendent, which occurred in July.

Salary, insurance, TRS (retirement) line items affected by the change in administration will be up for consideration by the board as part of the budget revisions. Carlson’s salary is $7,287 less than what was budgeted for Habra. He also receives a $500 payment in lieu of insurance and is not eligible for TRS, saving the district nearly $32,000 in FY18. However the nearly $66,000 payout to Habra is also included in the proposed changes to the budget, which would result in an overall $13,664 increase for the district administration portion of the school budget.

The board will also consider two other expenditures arising from Habra’s departure— a $2,842 increase for communications “to cover costs associated with the superintendent search” and an additional $5,000 for “legal costs associated with Mr. Habra’s departure, the hiring of an interim superintendent and other personnel issues.”

The next school board meeting is scheduled for January 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the school library.


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