KPBSD

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Funding health care coverage in Alaska’s school districts is expensive, but a new bill is attempting to reduce those costs. House Bill 156 would allow municipalities, University of Alaska employees and school districts to opt-in to the state’s health care program. It may help districts like the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District get a leg up when negotiating health care premiums. However, not everyone is jumping onboard with the idea.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District employees voted Wednesday to strike next fall over rising healthcare costs. Members of both unions representing teachers and support staff in the school district voted overwhelmingly in support of the strike if both parties can’t agree on terms of a new contract this summer.

Negotiations over the renewal of a collective bargaining agreement between district employees and administrators has been going on for over a year.

Negotiations moved into non-binding arbitration earlier this year, but once again stalled over healthcare costs.

Unions reject KPBSD's latest contract proposals

May 9, 2019
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and employee unions are at an impasse again over contract negotiations. On Wednesday, the district proposed contracts, which adopted recommendations put out by a third party arbitrator.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

A third-party arbitrator has released recommendations on how it thinks the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and employee unions should settle an ongoing dispute over renewing employee contracts.

There are stark disagreements over healthcare costs, wages and personal leave.

Arbitrator Dorothy Fallon recommended that the district provide .5-percent salary increase for staff this year followed by 1 and 2-percent increases the following two years, something both employee unions have pushed for.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

A Paul Banks Elementary School teacher was one of four educators in the Kenai Peninsula School District to be recognized by British Petroleum this year. Wendy Todd won a teacher of excellence award. Todd teaches kindergarten at Paul Banks Elementary School in Homer and also coaches basketball at Homer High School.

According to a press release from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Todd creates a welcoming environment for her students. The district says her biggest strength is helping intensive needs students or behavioral students improve their learning and behavior.

Image courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposed a roughly $270 million cut to K-12 education funding Wednesday as part of his 2020 budget proposal. Now, school districts across the state are assessing what those cuts mean.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff said the specifics of the cuts are unclear.

Renee Gross, KBBI News

Contract negotiations between the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and its employees are reaching a boiling point. The end of this month will mark one year since contract negotiations began and staff are demonstrating out of frustration.

Later this month, negotiations will move into arbitration, but middle ground may be hard to find.

Alaska Department of Education and Early Development

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development is assessing schools in a new way. The department rolled out it’s new accountability system in late October, which they call the System for School Success. 

Schools flagged by the program as low performing can now obtain more funding but some say the system is not an accurate measure of their success

The System for School Success has two parts. The first part gives the school an overall value, based on data such as test scores, student growth and chronic absenteeism.

Courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

The 2018 school counselor of the year award went to a traveling counselor on the Southern Kenai Peninsula. The Alaska School Counselor Association honored Natali Jones last week.

“At the Alaska School Counselor conference, I found out that I had won," she said. "I was looking at the big screen and I see one my principals, Joshua Hinds, on there, and I instantly knew. So, I kind of got a quivering lip and started to cry, but joyful tears. It was really exciting.”

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Homer Middle School now has the prestigious distinction of being a National Blue Ribbon School. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos awarded the 2018 blue ribbon honors to roughly 350 schools nationwide earlier this week.

Homer Middle School was one of three schools to be awarded in Alaska. The middle school was recognized in the exemplary high performing school category, which is measured by state assessments or national tests. 

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