School Board District 3-Nikiski: Continue district’s high quality of service

  • By Joe Arness
  • Thursday, September 28, 2017 9:39pm
  • Opinion

Public education has been, and continues to be, a lightning rod which attracts lots of public support, criticism, attention, and derision. Thru it all, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has continued to provide a quality service to the citizens of this community.

There can be no argument regarding the value of education for the next generation in our community. An educated populace will, in so many ways, improve the quality of life for all of us who live in that population. Our students lead the state in achievement, graduation rates, and general social responsibility. Our employees are recognized throughout this State as leaders not only in the provision of education, but also in the development of adaptations which improve the general service provided by this District.

So, the question now is how do we continue to provide this service in a world where both of our largest funding entities (Borough and State) are facing fairly severe fiscal issues? Those issues are bound to develop into fiscal issues for the District. While we have enjoyed fairly solid support from both the State and the Borough in the past, it is now incumbent upon the District to adapt and reduce…in a proactive way…to the reality that we will be asked to do more for less in the future.

I am confident that this District can and will be able to react to this new reality. It will be the job of the Board (in conjunction with our communities) to anticipate the new funding levels, evaluate and prioritize what we currently are offering, and then determine the most logical way to reduce our annual budget to provide the absolute best product we can given the funding available.

The next few years will be a trying and difficult time for all levels of government in this State…including public education. I am confident that we can and will continue, as a District, to provide a quality service to our communities. Unfortunately, it may look different than it currently does…but with those changes, maybe we can find ways to innovate and streamline our processes and improve our overall effectiveness at doing what we do.

It is, and will be, an exciting time in public education. It is important that the KPBSD continue to be a leader in that endeavor into the future. I believe that we can…and will…given the continuing support of our communities, families, and students.

More in Opinion

No to 67%

Recently, the Alaska State Officers Compensation Commission voted to raise the pay… Continue reading

This image available under the Creative Commons license shows the outline of the state of Alaska filled with the pattern of the state flag.
Opinion: Old models of development are not sustainable for Alaska

Sustainability means investing in keeping Alaska as healthy as possible.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy unveils proposals to offer public school teachers annual retention bonuses and enact policies restricting discussion of sex and gender in education during a news conference in Anchorage. (Screenshot)
Opinion: As a father and a grandfather, I believe the governor’s proposed laws are anti-family

Now, the discrimination sword is pointing to our gay and transgender friends and families.

Kenai Peninsula Education Association President Nathan Erfurth works in his office on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Now is the time to invest in Kenai Peninsula students

Parents, educators and community members addressed the potential budget cuts with a clear message.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: An accurate portrayal of parental rights isn’t controversial

Affirming and defining parental rights is a matter of respect for the relationship between parent and child

Opinion: When the state values bigotry over the lives of queer kids

It has been a long, difficult week for queer and trans Alaskans like me.

Unsplash / Louis Velazquez
Opinion: Fish, family and freedom… from Big Oil

“Ultimate investment in the status quo” is not what I voted for.

Dr. Sarah Spencer. (Photo by Maureen Todd and courtesy of Dr. Sarah Spencer)
Voices of the Peninsula: Let’s bring opioid addiction treatment to the Alaskans who need it most

This incredibly effective and safe medication has the potential to dramatically increase access to treatment

An orphaned moose calf reared by the author is seen in 1970. (Stephen F. Stringham/courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: Maximizing moose productivity on the Kenai Peninsula

Maximum isn’t necessarily optimum, as cattle ranchers learned long ago.

(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: The time has come to stop Eastman’s willful and wanton damage

God in the Bible makes it clear that we are to care for the vulnerable among us.

Caribou graze on the greening tundra of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska in June, 2001. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: AIDEA’s $20 million-and-growing investment looks like a bad bet

Not producing in ANWR could probably generate a lot of money for Alaska.

A fisher holds a reel on the Kenai River near Soldotna on June 30, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: King salmon closures long overdue

Returns have progressively gone downhill since the early run was closed in June 2012