Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Despite budget cuts Juneau School District Superintendent Dr. Mark Miller said he is pleased with the improvement the district has made in recent years.
Superintendent Mark Miller told the Chamber of Commerce that things are looking up at Juneau schools. Miller, School Board President Brian Holst, Director of Student Services Dr. Bridget Weiss and Ted Wilson, Director of Teaching and Learning, gave a presentation during the luncheon.
Miller said despite the loss of student enrollment and state funding, many test scores and graduation rates have improved, "Our graduation rates are up, are performance for under served students are up, our test scores are rising, we are headed in the right direction."
He said the district has 4,679 students this year compared to 4,783 last year. They currently employ 684 people, with close to half of them teachers. The budget will be tight this year. The district has cut $11 million dollars and 92 full time positions since 2011.
Miller said he appreciated the support the Chamber of Commerce shows the school system. "I loved being here today. These are the people who keep the community going and support our schools. I love being able to talk with them and answer the questions, this allows us to be on the same page and work together. That is critical."
Miller said the system has cut back, saving $2.5 million per year on energy costs. He said of the $87 million budget this year 90 percent are for salaries and benefits. The graduation rate was 86 percent for the 2016-2017 school year and Juneau kids performed above state average on reading and math tests.