The Kenai City Council has voted against a resolution that would have supported an increase in the funding formula for school districts around the state.
The resolution was offered by Councilman Henry Knackstedt, in response to an estimated $13 million budget deficit for the coming year.
The Legislature is unlikely to pass an increase to the formula, called the Base Student Allocation, because the state itself is facing a budget shortfall. Instead, the House is proposing a one time allocation that would be outside the BSA, as it has done in the past — adding more money for schools without committing itself in the future to a formula that might not be affordable.
The Soldotna City Council and the Kenai Peninsula Borough have passed resolutions in support of the higher amount of formula spending. But after a spirited debate, in which opponents pointed out that every year there are dire predictions of funding shortfalls, and that the BSA increase comes with no accountability, the majority of the council voted to postpone the item indefinitely.
Watch the debate at this link:
The Kenai City Council is comprised of a mayor, Brian Gabriel, and six council members who are elected at large by the residents of the City of Kenai. The vice mayor, currently James Baisden, is selected to serve a one-year term by council members shortly after the election.
Photo credit: Tammy Vollom-Matturro