Education

Rep. Justin Ruffridge speaks about

House considers, rejects multiple school funding amendments during Wednesday floor debate

Over several hours, lawmakers considered six different increases in the Base Student Allocation to public schools

 

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, speaks in support of debating an omnibus education bill in the Alaska House Chambers on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Tie vote kills early House debate on education funding

Lawmakers went into an hourslong recess that ended with adjournment until Tuesday morning

 

Alaska Council of School Administrators logo. (Photo provided)

Op-Ed: The K-12 Fiscal Cliff: Who is Responsible? Everyone!

Seven years is a very long time to go without a meaningful permanent state funding increase

 

K-Beach Elementary can be seen on March 26, 2020, near Soldotna, Alaska. (Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna man arrested after alleged indecent exposure at K-Beach Elementary

The man was relieved of his duties, banned from all campuses and removed from the premises, police say

K-Beach Elementary can be seen on March 26, 2020, near Soldotna, Alaska. (Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
KPBSD’s Balancing Act budget simulator homepage. (Screenshot)

‘You are in deficit’: New school district software lets users fill budget gaps

The software allows users to toggle between eliminating or preserving various items in the budget

KPBSD’s Balancing Act budget simulator homepage. (Screenshot)
Signs hang on the entryway wall at the Kenai Peninsula Education Association office in Soldotna, Alaska, in this Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, file photo. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Signs hang on the entryway wall at the Kenai Peninsula Education Association office in Soldotna, Alaska, in this Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, file photo. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Protest signs hang on the entryway wall at the Kenai Peninsula Education Association office on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Protest signs hang on the entryway wall at the Kenai Peninsula Education Association office on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Deena Bishop, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, testifies Saturday during a House Rules Committee meeting. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Peninsula residents weigh in on school funding debate

More than a dozen comments were made by residents of the Kenai Peninsula on S.B. 140

Deena Bishop, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, testifies Saturday during a House Rules Committee meeting. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Kenai Vice Mayor James Baisden, right, speaks in opposition to a resolution that would have voiced the City of Kenai’s support for a legislative increase in school district funding during a city council meeting on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai council OKs resolution backing assembly’s request for a bump to state funding for schools

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is facing a $13 million deficit for the upcoming fiscal year

Kenai Vice Mayor James Baisden, right, speaks in opposition to a resolution that would have voiced the City of Kenai’s support for a legislative increase in school district funding during a city council meeting on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Senate President Gary Stevens, a Kodiak Republican, confers with other senators and legislative staff moments before gavelling in the start of this year’s legislative session at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Lawmakers open session with education discussion

Early effort to overturn veto of one-time school funding fails in House

Senate President Gary Stevens, a Kodiak Republican, confers with other senators and legislative staff moments before gavelling in the start of this year’s legislative session at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Kenai Peninsula Education Association President LaDawn Druce (left) and committee Chair Jason Tauriainen (right) participate in the first meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Four Day School Week Ad Hoc Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Group studying 4-day school week model takes shape

Members of a newly minted Kenai Peninsula Borough School District group convened for the first time Wednesday in Soldotna to refine their goals and purpose… Continue reading

Kenai Peninsula Education Association President LaDawn Druce (left) and committee Chair Jason Tauriainen (right) participate in the first meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Four Day School Week Ad Hoc Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Finance Director Liz Hayes (left) presents preliminary fiscal year 2025 budge information during a school board committee meeting on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Budget deficit continues to steer school board talks

Warnings about the implications and scale of the budget deficit the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is facing for the upcoming fiscal year again dominated… Continue reading

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Finance Director Liz Hayes (left) presents preliminary fiscal year 2025 budge information during a school board committee meeting on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Graduates throw their caps into the air at the end of Soldotna High School’s commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

School board mulls grad policy clarifications

High school graduates would only be permitted to participate in the commencement ceremonies of the school they are graduating from under a policy being considered… Continue reading

Graduates throw their caps into the air at the end of Soldotna High School’s commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
A sign welcomes employees and visitors at the Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Assembly calls on state to increase K-12 funding

School districts across Alaska lobbied lawmakers heavily last session for a meaningful increase to the base student allocation

A sign welcomes employees and visitors at the Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Joel Isaak speaks during a Celebration of Life for Dr. Alan Boraas at Kenai Peninsula College on Jan. 17, 2020. Isaak was named deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development on Friday. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion file)

Local Dena’ina linguist named DEED deputy commissioner

Joel Isaak teaches Dena’ina at Kenai Peninsula College and works as a linguist for the Kenaitze Indian Tribe

Joel Isaak speaks during a Celebration of Life for Dr. Alan Boraas at Kenai Peninsula College on Jan. 17, 2020. Isaak was named deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development on Friday. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion file)
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Opinion: Is there a Santa Claus who can deliver education funding?

Santa could you please include something in your pack to raise the Base Student Allocation?

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The Alaska State Capitol is seen in Juneau, Alaska. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: 3 reasons to contact your legislator for education funding today

Can we find 45 legislators who will vote to override?

The Alaska State Capitol is seen in Juneau, Alaska. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Callie Giordano’s first grade Mountain View Elementary School students practice literacy skills on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Alaska’s adjusted school spending trails national average, UAA researchers say

Funding for K-12 education is expected to be a top issue in the upcoming legislative session

Callie Giordano’s first grade Mountain View Elementary School students practice literacy skills on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meet on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

New school board group will study 4-day school week

The group will meet regularly until next July, when committee members will present their findings to the full board

Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meet on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
A pie chart shows Kenai Peninsula Borough School District expenditures by object for the current fiscal year. (Chart via KPBSD)

Explanation of how KPBSD organizes funds caps ‘Budget 101’ series

Finance Director Elizabeth Hayes delivered the presentation to school board members during a Monday work session

A pie chart shows Kenai Peninsula Borough School District expenditures by object for the current fiscal year. (Chart via KPBSD)