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District to address term limits

Borough lawyers recommend seating elected board members

Posted: Monday, October 15, 2007

If a planned work session on the school board election results and term limits lasts no longer than the scheduled half hour, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education today is slated to hear presentations on distance education and the Work Force Development Center.

Sean Dusek, director of secondary education for the school district, said he plans to update the school board on distance education delivery technology, current offerings and current participation as well as plans for expanding opportunities through the Work Force Development Center based at Kenai Central High School.

Workshops on the two subjects are slated for 4:30 and 5 p.m. today, prior to the regular school board meeting at 7 p.m.

First, however, the board is to discuss the recent election and the impacts of term limits approved by the voters Oct. 2. A work session on the election is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

The school board's agenda packet for today includes a letter from the Kenai Peninsula Borough attorney, Colette Thompson, and deputy borough attorney, Holly Montague, to the board recommending the term limit provisions contained in Proposition 3 not be recognized and school board members elected Oct. 2 should be seated.

The lawyers state "a municipality is precluded from exercising power over education unless, and to the extent, delegated by the legislature. A municipality cannot enact an ordinance that conflicts with a state education statute."

On Thursday, sponsors of Proposition 3 the Alliance of Concerned Taxpayers issued a press release saying attorneys working with ACT do not believe the borough attorneys' legal opinion would stand up to a legal challenge.

The public is not permitted to provide input during school board work sessions unless invited, but may address the board during the regular meeting in the evening.

During the work session scheduled for 4:30, Dusek plans to review the Work Force Development Center, which provides instruction to high schoolers in advanced construction, metal fabrication and advanced power mechanics, and is soon to begin offering a Certified Nursing Assistant program.

He said he will also give board members an overview of the tech-prep program, which works with the University of Alaska Anchorage and Kenai Peninsula College offering instruction in Computers 1, 2 and 3.

The development center also works with community partners to assist youth with employability skills covering such soft skills as how to shake hands and how to dress for work, Dusek said.

Through an Alaska Works partnership, Dusek said the district is working to assist the Work Force Development Center in placing mini-courses elsewhere in the district.

The 5 p.m. work session today will review the delivery, offerings and current participation in Distance Education.

Dusek said Rich Bartolowits, distance education coordinator, will demonstrate how lessons are delivered effectively online.

"He will give the board a taste of what the student sees," Dusek said. "We can capture a teacher's lesson, archive it and send it anywhere."

Approximately 100 students currently take advantage of distance education, Dusek said, receiving instruction in language arts, math from beginning algebra to advanced calculus, computer applications, health, Earth sciences, U.S. and world history, drafting, art appreciation and accounting. Alaska history also will be offered, he said.

"We have a little over 100 students receiving distance education. We're delivering 130 classes," he said, explaining that some students take more than one class by way of the program.

The school board also is scheduled to consider 2008 state and federal legislative priorities.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.



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