School board writing wish list

Posted: Monday, October 02, 2006

Before the school board meeting gets under way in Homer on Monday evening, board members will consider reapplications of three charter schools and state and federal legislative priorities during afternoon work sessions.

In a work session scheduled for 3:30 p.m., members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education will review applications from Aurora Borealis, Fireweed Academy and Soldotna Montessori charter schools seeking renewal of their contracts.

The school district’s Charter School Oversight Committee is slated to conduct negotiations on the contract applications beginning at 11 a.m.

By established regulations, “When proposing to use a district facility, which is already in use as a public school, the principal and a site council representative of the school shall also be involved in the negotiating process.”

It is the responsibility of the board to negotiate the contracts, conduct a public hearing and then decide whether to approve the contracts.

Board members will be asked to develop a list of state and federal legislative priorities during a work session scheduled for 4:15 p.m.

Among recommendations from Schools Superintendent Donna Peterson is asking the federal government to add a statement to the No Child Left Behind Act wording with regard to “easing transferability restrictions for districts in improvement status.”

In a memo to the school board, Peterson said, the restrictions “severely limit the ability of these districts to provide supplemental learning opportunities for struggling learners in high poverty areas and identified subgroups.”

Priorities aimed at Juneau ask state legislators for changes regarding public employee and teacher retirement system liability and for an increase in student transportation funding to reflect rising fuel costs and the costs of meeting mandated demands from special education and homeless populations.

During the regular school board meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at Homer High School, members are expected to consider excluding elected officials from the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS).

Whether or not board members are excluded as a result, the school district would remain liable for board members already vested in PERS.

Also on the agenda is the appointment of a new student representative on the school board. Soldotna High School student Lydia Ames was elected by district high school representatives to provide a student perspective to the board.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at

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