Opportunity to testify – HB 115 Comprehensive State Revenue Restructing


Statewide Public Testimony Opportunity
Friday, February 17, 2017
1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
In person, by telephone, via email*

House Bill 115 Comprehensive State Revenue Restructuring Act

“An Act relating to the permanent fund dividend; relating to the appropriation of certain amounts of the earnings reserve account; relating to the taxation of income of individuals; relating to a payment against the individual income tax from the permanent fund dividend disbursement; repealing tax credits applied against the tax on individuals under the Alaska Net Income Tax Act; and providing for an effective date.” Read the full bill.

The number one KPBSD Board of Education legislative priority is, “Provide sustained, reliable, and adequate education funding for Alaska’s students.”

If a solution to the state fiscal challenge, and funding public education is a priority to you, please be part of the solution, and make time to tell your story or offer your opinion on Friday. The House Finance committee will listen to public testimony about the proposed bill HB 115 for two hours.


Go to a local LIO office in Homer, Kenai, or Seward; call-in; or email your testimony.

General instructions

  • Public testimony limited to 2 minutes per testifier
  • If you are a member of a group with the same message, in the interest of time, please select a spokesperson to testify for the entire group
  • Identify yourself (first and last name), the community in which you live, and any relevant affiliations

By Phone (LIO offices in Homer, Kenai, and Seward, plus Off-Net):

  • Public members are strongly encouraged to testify from their Legislative Information Offices (LIOs), as there are limited Off-Net phone lines that are prioritized for those who are unable to physically reach their LIO;
  • If public members cannot reach their LIO, they may use the limited Off-Net phone system
  • 844-586-9085 (toll-free) or 907-586-9085
  • All Off-Net callers are required to hang up immediately after testifying in order to keep as many lines open as possible for other callers.

Written testimony:

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Volunteer Laura Johnson receives Golden Apple award


Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Golden Apple Award | February 6, 2017

Ms. Laura Johnson

Ms. Laura Johnson is an exemplary volunteer at Cooper Landing School.

Once a week she volunteers to teach art to the kindergarten through eighth grade students at Cooper Landing School. “She consistently finds a way to engage the students of every grade level,” said Susanna LaRock, school secretary.  “If a lesson plan is geared toward a specific age group, Laura will personalize it so that it becomes interesting for every student in our small school. Students learn art skills and to talk about art, with terms like perspective, realism, and abstract. Ms. Johnson takes pride in displaying the student’s art projects in the halls of the school and keeping the school looking beautiful, which in turn encourages the children to do the same. Every art project is mounted and displayed beautifully, and our school always looks colorful and bright.”

Last fall at Halloween time, Ms. Johnson decided that it would be fun for the kids to do a mural of Edvard Munch’s The Scream. She spent hours at home drawing the general outline of the painting in mural size and making it into sections so that each student could paint a section. Then she came into the school and taught the students about the background of the painting, and about the artist Edvard Munch. She also taught about paying attention to colors and shades, and then gave each student their section. Ms. Johnson chose sections for students, ranging in age 5 to 13, according to each student’s ability and strengths. The finished product was fantastic—16 students with varying abilities created one work of art together.

Throughout the school years, Laura notices which projects students find most interesting. She then locates other similar projects to build on their learned skills. When she notices that one student has a harder time following the directions, and thinks more outside the box, she sits down with that student and teaches them how to do the project their own way, but to keep within the parameters of the assignment. Students at Cooper Landing School learn art skills and to talk about art, with terms like abstract, realism, and perspective.

Ms. Johnson puts in countless volunteer hours making sets for the school’s Christmas play. It is common for her to spend an entire school day working on sets, and she finds ways to involve the students in the process to encourage pride and ownership of the sets. Last year, the older students helped to decorate and design the set for the production of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” When Laura realized that the younger students did not have much of an opportunity to participate, she invited each of them to decorate stockings to hang by the fireplace. This year she was even more determined to make sure that every student participated in the set design, so she created window scenes, and every student, in every grade, made items that were displayed in the windows.

Cooper Landing School is welcoming and bright because Ms. Johnson volunteers with her heart and spirit, making a difference for each child.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education is proud to recognize Ms. Laura Johnson for her dedication to the students of the school district, past, present, and future.

Click here to nominate a business, community member, volunteer, or KPBSD staff for Golden Apple recognition
School website: Cooper Landing School
Golden Apple recipients

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Seward SOS – Sources of Strength learning

“A best practice youth suicide prevention project designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying, and substance abuse. … Sources of Strength moves beyond a singular focus on risk factors by utilizing an upstream approach for youth suicide prevention. This upstream model strengthens multiple sources of support (protective factors) around young individuals so that when times get hard they have strengths to rely on.” – Sources of Strength

Seward Middle School and Seward High School roll out Sources of Strength training. A blizzard couldn’t keep adults from a day of learning on Monday, and Tuesday added students to the learning. #SewardStrength


Day 1 – adult SOS learning #SewardStrength

The program identifies and increases the Sources of Strength that students already leverage to overcome adversity and challenges of all kinds. Seward Middle and Seward High students learn to recognize their strengths and use them to support each other and the larger Seward secondary age school community.

Training continues in Kenai on February 15 – 16, 2017! A network conference is in the works for late April or early May to include learning for SOS students, partners, and student leaders from non-Sources of Strength schools. Stay tuned.




Nikolaevsk mines a day of sports travel

When the #KPBSD Nikolaevsk School basketball team traveled to Nenana, learning happened on the road! Students stopped by the Usibelli Coal Mine for a tour led by the senior engineer. A visit to the lab, shop, mine, and a presentation on the science behind the operations was insightful! #AKlearns





Survey: Should Paul Banks Elementary host a Boys and Girls Club?

KPBSD so pen school start and end times

Public Comment Opportunity now open through February 14, 2017

Dear Parents in the Homer area,

I need your input to determine the level of interest in our community to host a Boys & Girls Club at Paul Banks Elementary, which would serve Homer area schools.

I’ve heard from several parents who are concerned about after-school childcare starting in August, when the school start and end times will permanently change. Students from other Homer area schools could be bused to Paul Banks.

This survey is the first step in finding out the need and what population would use a Boys & Girls Club.

Thank you for taking time to complete this survey–it will close on February 14, 2017.  Click here to take the survey!

Thank you,
Eric Pederson, principal
Paul Banks Elementary School

You’re invited: February KPBSD community budget forums

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Alaska fiscal challenge and impact to KPBSD budget

Do you know which educational opportunities for your children and the youth in our communities might diminish because of a multi-million dollar budget deficit in the KPBSD? 

Attend a budget development forum to learn about the proposed 2017-2018 KPBSD budget, the $3.45 million deficit with status quo revenue*, expenditures, revenues, and administrative recommendations to address the deficit.

Parents, staff, students, business partners, community members, and elected officials—mark your calendar and bring your questions:

  • February 14, 5:30 p.m., Seward High School Library

  • February 15, 5:30 p.m., Soldotna High School Library,  This presentation will also be broadcast via skype for business at these school locations: Kenai Central High School library, Nikiski Middle-High School library, Port Graham, Nanwalek, Susan B. English, and Tebughna schools.

  • February 21, 5:30 p.m., Homer High School Library

Be informed so you can advocate for the 2017-2018 school district budget which will define opportunities and offerings in August, 2017. The budget recommendation will be presented to the school board on March 6, 2017.

*Why be concerned?
Think in terms of this: ten KPBSD teachers equates to one million dollars. If the Alaska State legislature passes additional revenue cuts to state education funding, the KPBSD $3.45 million budget deficit will increase. This is the additional impact:

  • 1% Reduction to BSA = $1.05 million
  • 3% Reduction to BSA = $3.18 million
  • 5% Reduction to BSA = $5.29 million

“Alaska is addressing its ongoing fiscal challenges, and it is important that everyone is involved in the conversation to ensure a long-term fiscal plan is finally implemented,” said Sean Dusek, superintendent. “As a part of this conversation, we will continue to prioritize services to provide the most effective and efficient education possible for all of our students. Your voice will help shape those priorities as well as clearly communicate that all students should remain the number one priority in Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula Borough.”

“Our annual budget is one of the most important things we do each year,” said Dave Jones, assistant superintendent of instructional support. “We want to give our parents, staff, students, and community members a chance to learn about our budget, participate in the process, and ask questions.”

Action ideas

  1. Attend a KPBSD school site council meeting, school board meeting, Key Communicator Hour
  2. Communicate with your school, friends, neighbors, legislators, and elected officials
  3. Watch the nine minute video shown at the fall community budget meetings to learn how KPBSD crafts a budget in response to the fiscal reality impacting all aspects of state government and funding for public education
  4. View any of the other short videos that explain aspects of funding and budgets*


KPBSD Finance Department

KPSBD online video channel: Budget

  • FY18 Community Budget Development presentation, 10-13-16, PDFand Video
  • Budget Basics PDF and Video
  • Fund Balance Categories PDF and Video
  • General Fund Revenue PDF and Video
  • Grants PDF and Video
  • Staffing Formulas PDF and Video        *link includes all videos & PDFs

If the future success for our KPBSD K-12 students is dependent on a quality education so graduates will be prepared for college or a career, funding public education is crucial. In this time of fiscal uncertainty, KPBSD asks everyone to attend a public budget meeting, and become involved in the financial solutions for our school district and state.


FY18 february budget meeting announcement graphic

KPBSD Key Communicator Collaboration

On February 7, 2017, a KPBSD Key Communicator Collaboration with more than seventy participants met at the Challenger Learning Center, in Kenai, Alaska.

Click here to view Key Communicators Collaboration presentation

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Attendees: School board members, Key Communicators, site council representatives, leadership team, students, regional principals, community partners

Purpose: Collaborate with key people in our schools to talk about issues KPBSD faces this year, reflect on what we are doing well, ask questions, give administration a perspective, and grow advocates for KPBSD public education

KPBSD Key Communicators
KPBSD formed a network of people who are interested in our schools in order to cultivate positive relationships with the school district and in our diverse communities. Conversations happen every day in school parking lots, at the grocery store, via social media, and in everyday ordinary life interactions. At times, people of all ages who care about public education want facts about issues in order to communicate effectively with community leaders, each other, and elected officials. Our KPBSD Key Communicators are informed about school district initiatives, issues, and celebrations through responses to questions, email messages, media releases, and e-newsletters from district office communications–and have an open line of communication with district leadership to ask questions and express concerns and celebrations in the school district.  Together we will broaden community advocates and share our #golden stories.

All the places our students go… #golden

Ian Beaudoin

Ian Beaudoin emails his thank you to the principal of #KPBSD Soldotna Montessori Charter School 

January 18, 2017

Principal Sanders,

I wished to reach out to you, as well as your esteemed faculty, to express my deepest gratitude for your guidance and to thank you personally for the formative years I spent as a student at the Soldotna Montessori Charter School.

I recently have been accepted to the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and will look to continue my post graduate studies at some of the finest Universities our nation has to offer.

I can affirm that these academic achievements, and this level of educational attainment, would not be possible without the devotion, care, and opportunities, afforded to me during my K-6 education. It was during this time that I first experienced the grandeur of New York City, and participated in the Model United Nations program. That experience, though difficult, certainly has impacted the trajectory of my life, as I now reside on the East Coast, and it remains a cherished memory.

If nothing else, I hope that this letter will continue to inspire your devoted efforts to facilitate an institution that takes pride in intellectual curiosity, individualism, one that cultivates unique and innate passions within its students.

Please extend my sincerest thanks to Mr. DeVolld. He always believed in my abilities, and more importantly instilled belief in myself. As a teacher, he pushed me to strive to become the best version of myself. Being a dedicated mentor is the highest achievable honor, and a true description of one’s moral character.


Ian Beaudoin

One district: 44 diverse schools: School choices in KPBSD

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KPBSD responds

To everyone who is concerned and outraged:

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and  Soldotna High School are disappointed and troubled by recent social media postings.

Today, more than ever, we each need to pause and think about what we tweet, post on social media, and say to one another.

Hate filled, racist, and disparaging remarks run counter to the mission of the KPBSD, our schools, our athletic programs, and will not be tolerated.

We want you to know that the school district and Soldotna High School administration are addressing this. We welcome constructive discussion. Conversations about the appropriate use of social media will continue with our students.

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Posted in Perspectives by Pegge. No Comments

Spotlight your favorite KPBSD teacher in 2017 BP Teacher of Excellence program

Would it be fun to celebrate your favorite KPBSD teacher or education ally in a public forum? 

Go online by February 1 to complete your nomination for the 2017 BP Teachers of Excellence program. Five teachers from the Kenai Peninsula will be publically celebrated by BP, their school, family and friends, and throughout Alaska. Do it now!

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Winners will be notified by March 30, 2017.
If you nominate a winning teacher, you will be sent an invitation to attend the award ceremony. The list of winners will be announced on the website in May. Click to see past winners.

NEW! The Educational Allies Award celebrates a person who makes a positive impact in their school or community. Nominate anyone from a principal, to a school nurse or teaching assistant. Do you know an unsung hero? Share their story here.




BP recognizes teachers throughout the entire state of Alaska for their dedication to teaching and for inspiring students. Each Teacher of Excellence chosen in the KPBSD will receive a $500 gift card and an award certificate. In addition, $500 will also be awarded to the winner’s school or PTA group.

Online nomination due by February 1: http://www.bpteachers.com/

Resources to share the program: www.BPTeachersToolkit.com 

More information: 1-888-530-8962 or 907-564-4001, email: AKbpteachers@bp.com

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