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School Board hears from staff

Posted: October 16, 2012 - 10:08pm  |  Updated: October 17, 2012 - 2:13pm
Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meeting was filled to standing-room-only during its Monday October 15, 2012 meeting as teachers and staff filled the room after protesting the lack of a contract between the district and the two unions. The two sides presented their offers in a non-binding arbitration and are waiting on an opinion resulting from that meeting.   Rashah McChesney
Rashah McChesney
Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meeting was filled to standing-room-only during its Monday October 15, 2012 meeting as teachers and staff filled the room after protesting the lack of a contract between the district and the two unions. The two sides presented their offers in a non-binding arbitration and are waiting on an opinion resulting from that meeting.

More than 100 people packed into the room at the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District meeting Monday in Soldotna.

The group, made up of teachers, staff and union supporters, spoke for more than an hour about the lack of a contract between the school district and the two unions and how they thought the board of education members could help.

“I feel like you guys wield a lot of power,” said Terri Tidwell, a member of the KPESA bargaining team. “Power that holds all of the employees and all of the students in this district at your hand.”

So many people stood to speak for themselves, or read statements submitted by other teachers and staff in the district who couldn’t attend the meeting, that Joe Arness, board president, allowed an extra 30 minute period for statements.

The district and unions have yet to come to an agreement and are currently waiting for a judgement from a non-binding arbitration meeting during the first week of October.

Buses from Seward and Homer arrived with teachers and supporters who rallied outside of the meeting before packing into the room still holding their “fair contract” signs.

Teachers and staff spoke of having to hold down second jobs to support their careers in education and the skyrocketing cost of health care.

“I have people at my church say ‘You guys make too much money.’ Well, let’s take a secretary that makes — let’s say — 16 dollars an hour. She only works nine months out of the year,” Tidwell said. “They cut back support people, hour by hour, little by little, just so we can make it up. So we can make up what we need to run the building. We take that nine months of pay and try to stretch it out to 12 months.”

Arness thanked everyone who spoke at the end of the meeting but said he was concerned at the amount of misinformation clouding the contract issues between the school district and the unions.

Board members were also told by district administration that money was tight.

Superintendent Steve Atwater told the board that the district was in the middle of its 20-day count for certified enrollment and while its numbers were close to what it had projected, there would still be close to a $2.9 million shortfall and the district would have to dip into savings.

The district’s state and federal legislative priorities were revised an approved by the board as was its strategic plan.

The school district also had to submit a district improvement plan after preliminary Adequate Yearly Progress Data given to the state suggested that the district would move from level one to level two of improvement.

Each district receiving federal Title I funding that is identified as a level two district must submit a District Improvement Plan according to information provided to the board by the administration.

The plan was due to the Department of Education and Early Development by Oct. 1 and covered a two-year period of improvements within the district according to board documents.

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donnalee 10/20/12 - 09:33 pm

Under Alaska retirement system we have little choice with our 401K. We cannot control how much goes into it. We cannot withdraw or take a loan on it. and If we work past 60 we still are not allowed to touch it until we stop working. These rules are more restrictive then 401Ks run by other companies. These rules are old, out dated, and left over from the pension system--not available any more. The 401k rules need to change--we who have the 401k should get more to say about how to manage it. If the stock market crashes, we loose that money. There is nothing we can do--I would love to pull my money out. Not allowed. a 401k is not a pension or retirement plan. It is just a forced bank account in which the government has a right over a portion of it. A percentage of 401ks are a saving account for the government.

Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 10/21/12 - 08:33 am
donnalee Thanks for your post on 401k's

Your correct about the control of 401k's and how it is absolutely a scam by the money controlers and i don't realy think it was ever ment as a Good thing for anyone to count on for a long term.
I lost alot of the small amount i had saved while working for HEA, but others that gave the max lost more when the market crashed. When i was forced to retire due to injuries i had to move it and did so to a local/national investment firm until i retired, which came soon after at a younger age that demanded. I saw the Sept. 2008 crash coming and at a 25% fine got my money out and saved alot by doing so i do believe.
I'm not a stock person but simple signs showed me that trouble was coming and i needed to prepare so i did so and did not suffer total lose.
Like i said as a 40+ yr Union member that left Texas, went to Colorado to join the IBEW to escape & due to unprincipled employers that abused employees which abound every where still to this day.
Unions were Good at first but have changed into an ugly monster of massive control with money hungry people doing exactly what we tried to escape from.
I do believe now after i have studied Gods word about the coming One World Union of Revelation 13; that Unions where a stepping stone ment and used for Good like ALL Government supported things are SUPPOSED TO BE, but has now reared it's ugly head and we see that picture of whats coming in Rev. 13; now starting towards a TOTAL GLOBAL CONTROL OF ALL PEOPLE, UNION OR NOT, with the NOTS being done away with by RESTRICTIONS AND SANCTIONS leading to EITHER Submission and Obediance or death for not Joining the Union One.
Hard times are coming for every one and i see where the UNION ONE is coming faster than before and it's not pretty.
My allegiance use to be Union, Govt, Family then God, now it's God, Family,Thats Global Family, Govt. then Union.
Good luck if your a teacher and realize whats coming from all this over spending and demands for more when there is no more. It will lead us ALL into that desired SHARING EQUALLY PLAN and no body will have much other than maybe food for self after a hard days labor and that leaves out other family members that can't work or provide and they will not be allowed to drag down the rest and will be done away with for the supposed Good of ALL.

freedomlibertytruth 10/23/12 - 07:05 pm
no takers, no response? better report card, for better pay

how about a better report card, for better pay? too fair? too much to ask for?

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District rates #4 in Alaska.

Alaska State Report Card, Alaska ranking #47. (nearly at the bottom)

America is 17th in the world.

not even going to try to explain why failing schools earn a payraise? no surprise there. Unions, liberals, progressives.

Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 10/23/12 - 08:30 pm
Dow drops another -243 points, -500 in 3 days

Be smart, beg for a contract extention and buy nonperishable foods while there still in the stores before this 'NO MIDDLE CLASS LEFT BEHIND SHARING EQUALLY DREAM ACT' comes to fruition, leaving us with nothing at any level of this class warfare they've pushed.
Do you folks really think that the union is gonna prevent this class war thats ment to make everyone equal is going to increase union workers wages or decrease them?
What part of spreading the wealth don't ya seem to understand that your included in that spreading and sharing equally plan and that it's not the rich that support Obama thats gonna suffer?
I didn't even graduate from high school, but i'm smart enough to see & i can read the writings on the White house wall thats very plain to see and read of whats coming.

JerriWood 10/23/12 - 09:07 pm
It takes a village.

All politics are local. With that said, teachers have absolutely no control of what walks through the classroom door each day. It would be easy to say that every child needs to achieve certain standards for each grade, but when a child walks in 2 years behind, hungry, sick, tired, not prepared for the day because they were watching t.v. or playing video games instead of doing their homework, well what's a teacher to do? Ship those kids back home and don't let them come to school until they're ready, capable of learning? There would be a riot in the streets. We can't keep blaming teachers for our kids inability to achieve when they don't have complete control of the kids. When was the last time you asked your kids what they learned in school today? Did you ask them to show you their graded papers? Do they have any homework and did they get it done? do they need some help? When your kids are having problems do you take the time to call the teacher? Do you respond to the teacher when they call? Do you go to all the parent-teacher conferences? Education is a collaborative effort. Teachers aren't babysitters. If they were, they'd get paid more than they are now. You want better outcome for your kids, then work together, the community, the school/teachers, and parents. Be that 3 legged stool these kids need to reach their dreams.

freedomlibertytruth 10/24/12 - 04:30 pm
blame bush your schools are

blame bush
your schools are failing, blame bush,why not BHO blames everyone but himself for his failures. Here you may see the key to your education malfunction.

your excuses don't wash. Not at all, not even a little bit.
when will you stop the absurd propaganda nonsense?
Search back to the conditions of American schools from the 1600's to today. You can't hide the truth from everyone, as there are still photographs, documents, books, and memories of our old timers. You can only fool some.

How did Americans and immigrants succeed under the harsh conditions of our history, and manage to create the greatest most prosperous country.

They didn't do it by failing, demanding higher wages, and blaming their incompetence on everyone else. This loosers game will not continue for long.

your first step in your enlightenment is to admit what your predecessors understood - some people are not as smart as others.

A baby step into the truth. A tiny step for mankind.
but a great big step towards better treatment and opportunities for Americans to learn that they don't have to be a college elitist snob to have a good life.

Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 10/27/12 - 05:03 pm
Hows the Battle going Teachers?

Just wondering whats up. Did you ask for an extention of your contract as it is, like i suggested you do?
Hard times are coming and high wages are on the way out in this SHARING EQUALLY PROGRAM AND NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND IS A FARCE.
Get a deal while you can and hope that it lasts and you can still get the wages your getting now and even have jobs as hard times are almost here as any common sence teacher that knows a little about economics can clearly see.

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