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

The Alaska State Capitol on Friday, March 1, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska House passes budget with roughly $2,275 payments to residents, bill goes to Senate

The bill also includes a roughly $175 million, one-time increase in aid to school districts that would be paid according to a funding formula

The Kenai River flows near Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. The Riverfront Redevelopment project will impact much of Soldotna’s riverside areas downstream to the bridge. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna riverfront redevelopment planning moves forward

Soldotna City Council on Monday unanimously approved the creation of a project manager to shepherd the Riverfront Redevelopment Project

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Corey Cannon, who plays baseball as part of Soldotna Little League, speaks to the Soldotna City Council during their meeting in Soldotna on Wednesday.
Soldotna Little League receives donation for facility repairs

The city owns the fields, but the Little League leases the land and is responsible for the maintenance of the facilities

Aleutian Airways logo. Photo courtesy of Aleutian Airways
Aleutian airways to halt Homer service during runway project

Service will be suspended beginning April 15

tease
Homer pedestrian pathway project selected for federal funding

The project will create greater nonmotorized transportation access in Homer

Vendors speak to attendees of the Kenai Peninsula Job and Career Fair in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Job Fair draws employers, seekers

The Job Center has options and opportunities to connect people with training, coaching and funding

Vanessa Uei checks in guests during a grand opening for AK Wellness & Tanning in Kenai, Alaska, on Saturday, April 6, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
AK Wellness & Tanning holds grand opening for new location

The expanded location is along the Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai

The Kenai Senior Center’s dining space is readied for the annual March for Meals fundraiser in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Photo by Ken Aaron, provided by Kenai Senior Center)
March for Meals raises funds to support senior food service

The local event was organized by Kenai Senior Connection and hosted at the Kenai Senior Center

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
An array of solar panels stand in the sunlight at Whistle Hill in Soldotna on Sunday.
Federal grant awarded for Whistle Hill solar project

The annual production of the completed system is estimated to be enough electricity to power 19 homes

Most Read