Educators are worth the investment
On behalf of the hundreds of dedicated school district support employees I serve, my hope is that the community will join us in understanding what led us to the point where we are compelled to strike and why we believe it’s vital to the future of our public schools.
We are not at odds with our school district. Quite the opposite, we are and always will be a crucial part of the district. Working together to find solutions to the challenges we face is critical. Association presidents met with Superintendent John O’Brien and HR Director Nate Crabtree earlier this month with the goal of building relationship and trust. The discussion was positive, productive, and a great start to rebuilding the damage caused by over a year of bargaining. We will continue to work together to ensure KPBSD offers our young people the best possible education we can provide.
However, the district hired an expensive, out-of-town lawyer who has obstructed the bargaining progress and the efforts of our team of educators who volunteer their time after work to participate in this process. This, and the appalling lack of authentic and honest dialogue about health care costs, the most important issue to our educators, is why the bargaining process has ground on for nearly two years.
In order to attract and retain the next generation of educators to our communities we must provide competitive wages and benefits, solve the health care crisis, and rebuild the trust between our educators and the district. We all want the same thing — a high-quality education for every student on the Kenai Peninsula.
I remain steadfast in the belief that our educators are worth the investment. I hope our district does too.