While Anchorage has lost more than 6,000 students over the past two decades, the Anchorage Assembly wants area taxpayers to approve a $62-million-dollar bond package to construct, renovate, and plan new school building projects.
At the Dec. 19 Assembly meeting, the issue will be introduced, with the aim of getting the question on the ballot for the April 2 municipal election.
Proceeds from the general obligation bonds would be set aside to pay for constructing, renovating, installing, planning, designing, acquiring and equipping educational capital projects at Alpenglow Elementary School, Central Middle School and Chugiak High School, as well as construction of security vestibules and security improvements at Kasuun, Lake Hood and Klatt Elementary Schools. Money would also be used for renovation design of Romig Middle School, replacement of Inlet View Elementary School and planning and design for future projects.
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If approved the bond debt would be paid from increased property taxes levied and collected areawide in Anchorage. The city would also pledge its full faith and credit for the bonds, which means it guarantees bondholders that it will use taxation powers for necessary payouts.
Asking Anchorage taxpayers to approve $62 million in new bonds might be a difficult sell considering the school district’s enrollment has steadily declined from a high of 49,767 in 2002, to just 43,763 in 2023. Based on the average school enrollment at Anchorage’s 95 schools, that’s the equivalent of losing every single student at 13 separate schools.