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Juneau School District faces steep cuts next school year
Published: 01/19/2012 18:11:00
On Tuesday evening the Juneau School District Budget Committee received the JSD administration's proposed budget for the 2012 - 2013 school year. With increasing costs and no increase in funding, the available money isn't enough to keep up the same level of service.

Glenn Gelbrich, Juneau School District Superintendent, told use what this means: "The budget in effect responds to the declining resources available for K12 schools statewide, and the potential for increased costs. And so it represents about 5.8 million dollars in potential cuts, and we tried to the degree possible to keep those cuts as far away from the classroom as we could."

Those cuts would be spread across the district, with a majority being about 66 jobs. The assistant superintendent, an assistant principal at each high school, janitors, nurses, various support staff, and about two dozen teachers are all on the chopping block.

According to Gelbrich, this means larger class sizes. "I think what the students will see in the classrooms is that they will have some classes that are considerably larger; there will probably be, right now we would change the ratio of the number of students per teacher up by 2 is the proposal."

The currently proposed budget now goes through a public process before it has to be presented to the city by the end of March.

"We have 3 meetings where people in the Juneau community can comment. The next one is Tuesday January 24th at Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School. Then the following week, Tuesday January 31st at Juneau-Douglas High School. And then the final opportunity in front of the budget committee is Tuesday February 21st, and that's also at Juneau-Douglas High School" said Gelbrich.

He added that "in the end, our job doesn't change. We will have roughly 5000 students who come to school every day, and we'll have to use all the resources available to us to do the best job with those kids we can."

By: Mikko Wilson -