In addition to district business Monday night, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education also dealt with some state business as members considered a call for resolutions from the Alaska Association of School Boards.
The AASB sent each board in the state a packet of current resolutions to be approved, reintroduced, deleted or amended. Area boards now are responsible for sending back their reactions to the resolutions and adding any new measures of their own for a state board vote in November.
Among the local board's decisions was a new resolution asking for legislative help in dealing with increases to employer contribution rates to the Alaska Public Employees' Retirement System and Alaska Teachers' Retirement System. (See related story, page A-1.)
In addition, the board voted in favor of amending and reintroducing two sunsetting resolutions.
Resolution 2.4 -- Education Funding Formula -- urges the Legislature to provide adequate, sustainable funding, to reconsider district cost factors and to mitigate negative financial impact of such a reconsideration on individual districts.
On a motion from school board member Nels Anderson, the board voted to amend the resolution to take out reference to mitigating negative factors under the rationale that such mitigation for districts that already are getting the better end of the cost factor deal would continue to subject underfunded districts to inequitable funding.
He also moved that the Legislature determine the required aspects for a fair and accurate cost factor study then vote on a completed study rather than tabling discussion due to lobbying from districts. The rationale for the amendment came from last year's area cost factor study, which determined that the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has been underfunded for years, but was tabled by the Legislature. The amendments passed unanimously.
Resolution 4.4 -- Addressing the Teacher, Specialist and Administrator Shortage -- urges the state to look into incentives, state-supported recruitment, flexible certification, improved teacher housing and other strategies to help alleviate the statewide shortage of teachers, specialists and administrators.
On a motion from school board Vice President Sammy Crawford, the resolution was amended to add that the state should look into reciprocity for teaching certification, so that teachers could move from state to state with more ease. The amendment passed unanimously.
The board also plans to reintroduce several sunsetting AASB resolutions, including:
n Resolution 1.4, which opposes mandated, unrestricted and unfunded nonpublic school and part-time student access to public school activity programs;
n Resolution 1.5, which supports locally developed charter schools as alternatives to standard education programs given certain criteria;
n Resolution 1.6, which opposes using public tax dollars for private, parochial or home-school vouchers;
n Resolution 1.7, which urges the Legislature to provide all school-designated funds and related interest to go directly to school districts;
n Resolution 1.9, which encourages school districts to work with the Alaska Department of Educa-tion and Early Development to improve the state's No Child Left Behind work plan;
n Resolution 1.10, which asks for EED power to register and set standards for home-schooled students in the state;
n Resolution 2.5, which asks the Legislature to financially support standards-based education, including increased learning time, curriculum alignment, enhanced teacher in-service, improved recruitment and special needs accommodations;
n Resolution 2.7, which holds AASB for monitoring issues during the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act.
n Resolution 2.9, which supports simplifying the capital improvements project application process;
n Resolution 2.10, which advises the Legislature to follow the EED's priority list for nonbonded projects without adjustments, deletions or additions except for emergencies;
n Resolution 2.12, which encourages federal and state governments to increase funding across the board;
n Resolution 2.13, which supports the idea of an education endowment;
n Resolution 2.15, which calls for the Legislature and administration to fully honor past bond indebtedness commitments;
n Resolution 2.16, which supports restored funding for municipal revenue sharing and assistance;
n Resolution 2.18, which asks the state to fully fund pupil transportation;
n Resolution 4.3, which promotes the establishment and expansion of post-secondary education programs to train additional certified special education teachers and service providers;
n Resolution 5.1, which supports adequate and equitable funding for school-to-work programs; and
n Resolution 5.2, which urges EED to expand its distance delivery programs.
The board also voted to approve continuation of the following AASB resolutions:
n Resolution 1.11, which urges the Legislature to change the age for compulsory school attendance from 7-16 to 6-17;
n Resolution 2.1, which asks the state to fully fund tuition payments, which were eliminated by Gov. Frank Murkowski this year, for students displaced in custody issues;
n Resolution 2.2, which asks the Legislature to develop a fiscal plan providing a long-term approach to education funding;
n Resolution 2.6, which asks the Legislature to reconsider funding for "intensive needs" students and to provide separate money for bilingual education based on need;
n Resolution 2.22, which asks the state to help mitigate increases in insurance costs;
n Resolution 4.1, which supports funded staff development;
n Resolution 4.2, which supports efforts to establish a financial incentive for teachers and districts interested in participating in the Nation Board for Professional Teaching Standards process;
Finally, the board voted in favor of adoption of two new AASB resolutions. One supports use of projections when districts are estimating enrollment and revenues to develop a budget. The other calls on state policy makers to adequately fund new accountability mandates to meet the needs of Alaska youth.
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