After threatened federal budget cuts, it’s an uncertain future for the Alaska Sea Grant and the Marine Advisory Program, whose sole representative in Nome is Gay Sheffield.
Along with tribes, the State of Alaska will receive $9,151,603 from the LIHEAP Grant, which will be shared with Alaskans through the DHHS Division of Public Assistance.
During the consideration to close the center, citing high operating costs and fluctuating attendance, the Department of Health and Social Services said shuttering the Youth Facility would save more than $1 million.
Over the last five years, donations have kept JROTC afloat. But the district can’t sustain the program any longer — especially as they expect cuts in education funding.
The closure would save more than a million dollars outright, but some say it would come at the expense of kids who live in western Alaska.
Berkeley has worked for Nome Public Schools for 12 years — five as a teacher and seven as an administrator. He’s currently the district’s director of federal programs.
To receive state funding, Alaska schools must have a minimum of 10 students. But some lawmakers are looking at raising the number to 20 or 25.
Rural communities — including Diomede, Kaltag, Kotzebue, and Nunam Iqua — have been chosen for a USDA water and sewer initiative.
In order to balance their $14.3 million budget, Nome Schools will remove 5 full-time positions and dip $303,000 into fund balance. They continue to look for cost saving measures.
If a one-time funding bill for education doesn’t make it through the legislature, Nome Schools are looking at a cut of $200,000 as they begin drafting next year’s budget.