Tag Archives: Sitka School Board
The Sitka school district will not lay off any teachers next fall, but at least two programs -- Home Ec and shop in Blatchley Middle School -- could be cut. The Sitka school board Monday night (4-22-14) passed its final budget for the coming year, with conservative assumptions on enrollment and state and federal revenue. But it’s not likely that any of the cut programs would be restored, should additional funding come in.
Should the state do more for schools when local governments -- like Sitka’s -- are not doing all they can? That was the question hanging over a joint work session between the Sitka School Board and Sitka Assembly Thursday night (4-10-14). The board presented a draft budget to the assembly with a modest increase in local support to schools -- less than $200,000 -- but also delivered a clear message that more was needed.
The budget picture for the Sitka School District next year is starting to look a little less dire. What started out as a projected $1.5-million deficit just a few weeks ago, has been teased down to $44,000 -- but only by drawing on over half of the district’s savings account.
The number of finalists for superintendent of the Sitka School District has been cut from three to two. Eddie Campbell and Mary Wegner will be interviewed by the school board and district staff in Sitka next week. A third candidate, Joseph Krause, is no longer in the running.
The Sitka School District’s transition to the new Common Core Math curriculum has fallen behind schedule. Despite an intensive planning schedule in all buildings, program facilitator Lyle Sparrowgrove told the school board Tuesday night (2-4-14) that students won’t see new classroom materials until next fall.
In other business Tuesday night (2-4-14), the Sitka School Board put its weight behind an effort to increase funding for locally-sourced food in schools across the state. In a resolution to the legislature, the board cited the success of Sitka’s Fish to Schools program as justification for extending a similar statewide program beyond one year. Nutritional Alaska Food for Schools was introduced by Anchorage Republican Bill Stoltze in 2012, and piloted last year.
Despite an upswing in enrollment, the Sitka School Board is going to be cautious as it starts to build next year’s budget. At its regular meeting this week, the board decided to assume that Sitka Schools will have about 20 fewer students than they have now.
Sitka voters next Tuesday will choose between two candidates for one seat on the Sitka school board. Lon Garrison is a six-year veteran of the board, the current president, and the group’s lead legislative strategist. Challenger Stephen Courtright is in his ninth year as a professional educator, and has developed strong views around the interaction of policy and the classroom. The pair answered questions from the public in a live candidate forum Wednesday evening (9-25-13).
Candidate statements are a listener service of Raven Radio -- not an endorsement of the candidate. All candidates for municipal office have been offered the same opportunity. Hello, my name is Lon Garrison and I am running for the Sitka School Board. I was first elected to the board in 2007 and then again in 2010, this will be my third time running for the board. I believe this is a critically important election. The Sitka school board and public education as a whole are facing unprecedented challenges and potential changes.