ASD Chief Financial Officer, Jim Anderson speaking at at a joint meeting of the Anchorage School Board and the Anchorage Municipal Assembly (11/18/22)
Mr. Anderson indicates that there are some politicians who will not vote to support a Base Student Allocation (BSA) increase unless the district closes schools.
During the meeting there is no detailed discussion of how closing the schools will fill the budget gap or for how long savings from consolidation will accrue. Instead, Mr. Stock outlines educational benefits of consolidation (but does not acknowledge educational disadvantages) and Mr. Anderson explains the political reasons for closing schools.
The hold harmless provision that Mr. Anderson mentions became law in 2018 and allows school districts to continue to receive funding at pre-consolidation levels for two years after closing a school. The provision received widespread support and seems like a generally good idea. What is problematic is politicians holding education funding hostage for all children in Alaska until there specific notions of efficiency are realized in specific districts.