Educators raise concerns about virtual school contract

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. Local education officials expressed concern and surprise after the state announced March 31 it had entered into a half-million dollar contract with an online public school based in Florida. In mid-March, Gov. Mike Dunleavy ordered schools to close to “non-contact days” — which prohibited students from being … Continue reading Educators raise concerns about virtual school contract

Proposed tax would boost school maintenance, construction

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. A bill that would deduct $30 a year from every worker in Alaska and pool that money to be used for maintenance and construction costs in the state’s schools is making its way through the Alaska Senate. Senate Bill 50 is sponsored by Sen. Click Bishop (R-Fairbanks), Sen. … Continue reading Proposed tax would boost school maintenance, construction

District proposes $30 million bond package to address aging school facility needs

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. A $30 million bond package proposal is in the works to tackle nearly 20 different deferred maintenance projects in school buildings across the peninsula, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent John O’Brien announced at Monday’s Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meeting. The district is … Continue reading District proposes $30 million bond package to address aging school facility needs

KPC to shut down dorm this summer

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. Residence hall operations will pause after the semester ends at Kenai Peninsula College’s Kenai River Campus. The one-year hiatus will begin June 30, the college announced in a Tuesday press release, giving administration time to determine how the campus can move forward in the future. The residence … Continue reading KPC to shut down dorm this summer

‘Building little scientists’

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. It’s Thursday afternoon, and Megan Pike — Kenai Watershed Forum’s newest education specialist and Adopt-A-Stream coordinator — is dressing up an elementary school student like an insect. She gives the student a puffy coat to mimic an insect’s exoskeleton, some homemade antenna made from a headband, pipe … Continue reading ‘Building little scientists’

Strike averted after tentative agreement struck

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. An educator and support staff strike was averted hours before it was slated to begin, early Tuesday morning, when the school district and two employee associations reached a tentative agreement. The agreement for a three-year contract, reached at 1:37 a.m., will be effective between July 1, 2018 … Continue reading Strike averted after tentative agreement struck

Educators set to strike

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. Educators and staff will strike, starting Tuesday, a Friday night press release from two employee associations said. Executive committees with the Kenai Peninsula Education Association and the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association voted on Friday to notify the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District on their intent to … Continue reading Educators set to strike

School starts without a new contract

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. The school district and two employee associations have not reconvened after efforts to come to a contract agreement fell short Aug. 13. School began Tuesday for majority of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, and teachers are starting another school year without a contract. For over a … Continue reading School starts without a new contract

Strike looms as talks continue

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. The school district and two employee associations will be meeting Aug. 13 to continue bargaining for a new contract. If an agreement can’t be reached, the associations have voted to strike. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is hopeful an agreement will be reached next week, a … Continue reading Strike looms as talks continue

‘Everything is on the table’

This story was originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed $130 million in state funding for the University of Alaska system on Friday. Now, UA President Jim Johnsen said programs, faculty and entire campuses are at risk, and tuition increases are a possibility should an override to the governor’s veto fail. “We’re … Continue reading ‘Everything is on the table’

District staff resignations and retirements highest recorded

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. Facing potential state, local and district budget reductions, many non-tenured teachers are considering employment elsewhere. To date, 86 certified staff and administrators resigned or retired, the highest number in the years the district has been tracking the data, Pegge Erkeneff, communications liaison for the district, said in … Continue reading District staff resignations and retirements highest recorded

School district employees vote to strike

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. A week after contract negotiations with the school district hit a standstill, peninsula educators and staff have voted to strike. In a Facebook post published Wednesday night, the Kenai Peninsula Education Association reported that more than 75% of certified staff voted “yes” on a walkout. For over … Continue reading School district employees vote to strike

More than 200 students enrolled in homeless assistance program

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. As of May 10, 218 students were enrolled in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Students in Transition Program, Kelly King, program coordinator for the district, said. The 16-year-old program provides services to homeless students and students no longer in the custody of their parent or legal … Continue reading More than 200 students enrolled in homeless assistance program

School district, employee associations continue contract talks

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. In an all-day collective bargaining meeting on Monday, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District rejected one proposal from two employee associations, and is currently analyzing another, a press release from the district said. The associations also rejected a district proposal offered during Monday’s meeting. President of the … Continue reading School district, employee associations continue contract talks

Attorney general: $20 million schools appropriation unconstitutional

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. Alaska’s attorney general has declared a $20 million appropriation for school funding made during last year’s legislative session unconstitutional. The one-time education funding was enacted by the Legislature through Senate Bill 142 and signed into law by former Gov. Bill Walker in June 2018. In a formal … Continue reading Attorney general: $20 million schools appropriation unconstitutional

UAA graduates some of the school’s last teachers

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. Many of Alaska’s newest educators walked across the stage at the state’s largest university to graduate last weekend. Many of them were also the last to come out of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s School of Education initial licensure programs. Kelsey Hernandez graduated on Sunday with a … Continue reading UAA graduates some of the school’s last teachers

Education advocacy group suing Dunleavy

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. An education advocacy group, Coalition for Education Equity, is suing the governor and state education commissioner for failing to release $20 million appropriated for public schools during last year’s Legislature. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Alaska Superior Court in Anchorage, asserts Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Commissioner of … Continue reading Education advocacy group suing Dunleavy

K-Selo grants gets two-year extension

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. Efforts to build a new school in Kachemak-Selo are still going strong, and a two-year extension on a state grant gives the borough more time to find additional funds for their match. Last year, the Legislature enacted a bill allowing Department of Education and Early Development construction … Continue reading K-Selo grants gets two-year extension

Peninsula teachers looking for extra income, second jobs

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. Arin Bowen starts her morning at Soldotna Montessori where she works as an interventionist. In the afternoon, she works as the Quest teacher at Redoubt Elementary. Her workday doesn’t end there though. She works as a referee for high school volleyball and works at Challenger Learning Center … Continue reading Peninsula teachers looking for extra income, second jobs

Official: Kenai Peninsula College student enrollment down

This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion. After years of growth, Kenai Peninsula College is seeing a decline in student enrollment. Enrollment decreased 4 percent between 2017 and 2018, according to an update given by Suzie Kendrick, KPC advancement programs manager, at Wednesday’s Soldotna Chamber Luncheon. “It was years before we saw red numbers … Continue reading Official: Kenai Peninsula College student enrollment down