Fairbanks school district seeing a teacher shortage

  • Wednesday, August 12, 2015 9:58pm
  • News

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A teacher shortage felt across the country has reached Alaska, leaving Fairbanks North Star Borough School District officials with a high number of positions to fill.

Officials last week had 21 certified teaching positions to fill in time for classes to begin on Aug 19. By Tuesday, only seven teaching positions were still open, but 52 support staff positions remained vacant, reported The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

School district spokeswoman Sharice Walker said unfilled support staff positions range from school nurses to kitchen workers. She said the number of openings is an unusual occurrence for this time of year.

As the 2014-2015 school year came to a close, Alaska schools were facing uncertainty with a likely multi-million dollar budget cut from the state’s legislature. The Fairbanks school board subsequently began issuing notices to district staff members, telling them that they may no longer have jobs with the district for the following school year.

Walker said some staff, when contacted by the district to be recalled, had already moved on to new jobs, which could have contributed to this year’s staff shortage.

Fairbanks Education Association President Nancy Duez said another contributing factor could have something to do with funding.

“When funding comes through so late, it causes a problem for our district when it comes to hiring,” Duez said. “Funding came through so late that by the time our district was able to offer contracts to teachers and go to the job fairs … a lot of those applicants were already picked up by other districts.”

The situation in Alaska is one similar to those in other parts of the country.

During the recession, many states cut teaching positions. As state budgets rebound, many districts are finding there are no teachers to fill the spots.

 

­­ — Associated Press

More in News

Wood is piled near the entrance to Centennial Park on Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Federal grants for wood projects accepting applications

The Wood Innovations Grant Program seeks to fund expansion of wood use projects

Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral candidate Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings addresses the KPBSD Board of Education on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Mayoral candidates reiterate commitment to school funding

Dave Carey, Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings, Zach Hamilton and Peter Micciche spoke to KPBSD Board of Education members

The Kenai Public Health Center is seen on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Report: Alaska makes progress, falls short on 2030 health goals

Healthy Alaskans 2030 tracks 30 health objectives related to a variety of health factors

The Homer Spit stretching into Kachemak Bay is seen here on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Homer woman indicted over seaplane incident

Marian Tillion Beck was indicted on charges of negligent operation of a vessel and attempted interference with the navigation of a sea plane

Soldotna High School can be seen in this Sept. 2, 2021, photo, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion file)
‘Little Sweethearts’ family dance to debut at SoHi

The event will be hosted by SoHi’s freshmen student council

Soldotna City Council members interview city manager applicant Elke Doom (on screen) during a special city council meeting on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Doom, Bower named finalists for Soldotna manager gig

The two will visit Soldotna for in-person meetings on Feb. 7 and 13, respectively

The northern fur seal rescued by Alaska SeaLife Center staff is seen on Jan. 31, 2023, at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Kaiti Grant/Alaska SeaLife Center)
Northern fur seal pup admitted to SeaLife Center rescue program

The pup was reported by Sitka residents using the center’s 24-hour stranding hotline

The Kenai Community Library children’s section is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Literary competition returns to local schools

Battle of the Books aims to instill in kids a love of reading

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
Climate activists hold a rally outside the Alaska State Capitol Friday afternoon in advocacy for legislative action to improve Alaska’s renewable energy development and future sustainability.
Climate activists hold rally near the Capitol

Statewide organizations advocate for legislative action

Most Read