Funding K-12 Public Education | March 2019

In  March, you have several opportunities to become informed, and advocate for K-12 education funding. Events are happening at local schools, in communities, with the school district, the borough assembly, at town halls, and with hearings of bills in Juneau.

2019 March Budget opportunities for public

Monday, March 4, 2019

  • Board of Education Finance Committee meeting: 2:00 p.m., Redoubt conference room, school district offices
  • Monthly school board meeting: 6:00 p.m. Assembly Chambers

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

  • Board of Education worksession: FY20 Budget, 10:30 a.m., Soldotna Prep School Professional Development Room
  • Joint Board of Education and Borough Assembly worksession:  2:00 p.m., Borough Assembly Chambers
  • Borough Assembly meeting: 6:00 p.m., Borough Assembly Chambers
  • One minute public testimony to Senate State Affairs: 6:00 p.m.*

Thursday, March 7, 2019

  • One minute public testimony to Senate State Affairs: 6:00 p.m.*

Thursday, March 21, 2019

  • Board of Education Special Meeting: FY20 Budget: 6:00 p.m., Borough Assembly Chambers, public testimony invited

*Public opportunity to testify to the Senate State Affairs committee

  • Tuesday, March 5, 2019, starting at 6:00 PM
  • Thursday, March 7, 2019, starting at 6:00 PM
    about SB24 and SB23, both related to the PFD.

To balance the FY20 state budget, the Governor has proposed the State of Alaska cut $20.9 million in funding to Kenai Peninsula Borough School District schools.

Public testimony limited to one minute:
1. In person: at the Capitol, 2nd Floor, Butrovich Room
2. Legislative Information Offices: Anchorage, Eagle River, Wasilla, Fairbanks, Kenai
3. Call in: you may call in starting at 5:30 PM to get in the “queue”
From Juneau: 586-9085
From Anchorage: 563-9085
From all other locations: 844-856-9085

more info., and link to listen online:


2019 How to contact your state legislator

2019_02_18_State Reductions and proposed FF cuts FY20

KPBSD Graduate Inspiration: Scott Davis, Kenai Central High School #ClassOf1977

KPBSD Inspiration, Scott Davis, Kenai Central High School Class of 1977

Currently the president and owner of Davis Block Company, Scott purchased part of the company he owns and runs in 1978, right out of high school. Davis says, “When I graduated from high school I was ready to make a living immediately, and I could not wait to start making money. My generation was mostly self-sufficient by the end of high school, and I was especially, as the youngest of five who came along as my parents turned 40 years old. I think my path was pre-determined by an opportunity given to me by my parents: my father was having health problems and selling two different companies he had originally started, one of them was the beginnings of Davis Block.”

Scott Davis KPBSD graduate profile

Davis was a student at Soldotna Elementary, Sterling Elementary, and Soldotna Junior High, but his experiences in the only central peninsula high school provided him a foundation. Davis explains,

“My time in the vocational building at KCHS gave me the skills and confidence to buy into a business at 17 years old. There are good paying jobs awaiting qualified workers in the trades. Welder, mechanics, roustabouts, equipment operators, truck drivers and the list goes on. There is a global shortage of skilled labor. I believe there is an incredible need to give our youth the opportunity to learn a trade if they choose not to further their education with college.”

Mr. Carlson, an auto-shop class instructor inspired the young Davis, who later asked Scott to be his assistant and help teach younger students, a standout experience that influenced his career path. Davis says, “In Mr. Carlson’s class, we could bring our car into class and learn as we fixed its problems. I was able to compete in a statewide trouble-shooting contest with what I learned from his class. Winning this placed me on a list that offered me multiple job offers while still in school. Another teacher I connected with was Mr. Alexander who taught drafting in the same building. He was tough on you if he thought you did not give it your best, but was kind with praise when you did.”

A seven-time Iron Dog champion, Davis has learned from many obstacles in his business and on the trail. He believes, “Most, if not all, obstacles are just a problem that needs to be solved and can be overcome with hard work and never giving up. The art of negotiation and compromise is important—I think owning your own business forces this on you. ‘The buck stops here’ gives you very little choice but to solve the problems.”

“Watching my company ‘hitting on all 8 cylinders’ so to speak,” is a favorite aspect of his work. He says, “When all the hard work, trials, tribulations, and RISK pay off and you can see the results of your vision it’s a win. I am proud to give responsibility to my staff and see them succeed without me. I am lucky to have family involved in my business. It is not always the easiest thing much of the time, but it is rewarding when I see my son running large portions of the company, or I am problem solving with my spouse. At this point in my career, my family is crucial to success.”


For many decades, his competitiveness took him to racing motorcycles, snow machines, and three and four wheelers. “I very much like individual sports … it is just you,” said Davis. “Your results are yours only. Now I love to spend time in the motor home, backcountry snow machine and side-by-side riding. Visiting with my kids and granddaughter Josie is a highlight. My company is very active in helping with multiple community events. I serve on several board of directors such as Wells Fargo (local and statewide seats) as well as being an executive board member of the Industry Alliance. I am the Associated General Contractors membership chair. And, I enjoy building race machines for my son!”

Scott Davis (4)-2

Scott Davis (1)-2

Words to live by…

“Nothing worthwhile will be easy for the most part! Start slow and build on your successes while shedding the losses and failures as just a learning experience! What I started doing in business doing 43 years ago does not really exist in this day and age. Keep looking for ways to diversify. EVOLVE!”


Davis Block web site:
Davis Block & Concrete on Facebook
Irondog: Who is Scott Davis? Video

Do you have a story tip about a KPBSD graduate to profile in our Wednesday Inspiration? Kindly email Pegge Erkeneff, KPBSD communications liaison,


How to contact your state legislators

2019 How to contact your state legislator
Public opportunity to testify to the Senate State Affairs committee on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 and Thursday, March 7, 2019, starting at 6:00 PM, about SB24 and SB23, both related to the PFD.
To balance the FY20 state budget, the Governor has proposed the State of Alaska cut $20.9 million in funding to Kenai Peninsula Borough School District schools.
Testify (one minute):
1. In person – at the Capitol, 2nd Floor, Butrovich Room
2. Legislative Information Offices: Anchorage, Eagle River, Wasilla, Fairbanks, Kenai
3. Call in: you may call in starting at 5:30 PM to get in the queue of callers
From Juneau: 586-9085
From Anchorage: 563-9085
From all other locations: 844-856-9085
more info., and link to listen online:
2019_02_18_State Reductions and proposed FF cuts FY20
 2019 March Budget opportunities

KPBSD Graduate Inspirations: The Class of 2018

Discover the diversity in the KPBSD Class of 2018!
he hyperlink at the end of each synopsis will take you to a longer story version about each of these KPBSD high school graduates, who are changing our communities and the world. #AKlearns

Class of 2018
Rachel Davidson, Connections Homeschool
How many students graduate twice in three weeks? Rachel Davidson walked across the stage at Connections Homeschool graduation and received her high school diploma on May 24, 2018. Fifteen days earlier, Rachel walked across the stage at Kenai Peninsula College’s graduation and received her Associate of Arts degree. Rachel started homeschooling during her freshman year and used a very focused, highly personalized approach to achieve this feat. Using Jumpstart, and her educational allotment, Rachel was able to get a head start on her goal of an associate and bachelor degrees in nursing with a specialty in obstetrics. In early 2018, Rachel became a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and is currently working in the health care industry.

Amber Bridgeman, Homer Flex School
Amber took Jumpstart courses during her senior year at the Kachemak Bay Campus. This self-motivation and commitment to her future inspired the students around her, and guided her on the path to post-secondary education in the health sciences.

Alexandrea Moseley, Homer High School
Alexandrea Moseley, or Alex to her teammates, is continuing the Homer High School legacy of female wrestling. She started wrestling on a whim her sophomore year and liked it so much she stuck with it through adversity. Although she did not win many matches the first few years, her persistence and hard work gained traction. She became a student of the sport, went to summer camps and participated in large out-of-state tournaments. The result is a winning record against the boys, a 2017 Alaska State Championship at 126, and a wrestling scholarship to Adrian University in Michigan.

Isaiah Trevino, Kenai Alternative School
Isaiah came to Kenai Alternative looking for a different school environment. The shorter rotation schedule offered him the opportunity to grow and achieve in his classes, and it was not long before he started taking leadership roles within the school community. Isaiah would often speak up at the daily morning meetings to encourage other students to arrive to school on time, and get their grades up. As time grew closer towards graduation, Isaiah developed his post-secondary plans. And in the fall, moved to New Mexico where he works and attends school.

Brittany Gilman, Kenai Central High School
An excellent example of stellar academics, Brittany is musically gifted, a first chair of sopranos in Chamber Choir, earned All-State choir titles, and was the only Alaska student at Nationals her junior year. Performing at Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera house with the Honors Performance Series is the highlight of her high school career. Community is important to her family, she involved herself in four to six plays a year with Kenai Performers, Triumvirate Theatre, and Encore Dance Studios, church activities, and she volunteered. Brittany is studying at New York University, majoring in Music Education. She intends to obtain a K-12 certification in Music Education and become a Choir teacher. She says about her choir teachers, “I love them, I do, everyone is so sweet and they teach good family values and they highlight the importance of education and where it can take you.”

Verina Ukatish, Nanwalek School
When faced with life challenges, Verina takes those head on and most often with a smile. She is an excellent advocate for herself and a role model for her peers. She worked in many youth and community programs, including the Nanwalek Summer Youth Program, the Kenatize Tribe Workforce Intern Program at their Head Start Program, many Project GRAD sponsored activities including Summer College Institute, Career Institute, and Leadership Institute. Active in Kenai Peninsula Native Youth Leadership Program, she served as the Nanwalek KPNYL Student Advisor Assistant and one of their representatives at the Alaska Federation of Natives Conference in 2016. Verina is planning to take a gap year, and then going to school to become a certified nurse’s assistant. She has an entrepreneurial and creative spirit that she hopes to use after graduation by opening a coffee cart in Nanwalek.

Kristin Elisabeth Klaich, Nikolaevsk School
She took a full load of online college classes through the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA) in the fall, then traveled to Peru for six months to live with a missionary family and help with their three children. In the fall of 2019, Kristin will attend a college full time and graduate in Spring of 2022 with her degree in Early Childhood Education. Her best memory of learning at Nikolaevsk isn’t one specific thing, she says, “It’s just how everyone is one big family and how we have and had amazing teachers that really care about us students on an academic and personal level. Also, the opportunity I had to aid for Mrs. Parrett, our elementary teacher, both helping and even teaching a little bit of all the elementary grades. This really changed my prospective on teaching and now I actually want to go into this field!”

Aaron McCollum, Nikiski Middle-High School
Aaron e
nlisted in the Army as a satellite communications specialist, and after his commitment is complete, will enroll in Embry Riddle Aeronautical University to study engineering. He’s a three time state champion in Track and Field (triple jump and anchor to the 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams) Aaron’s triple jump state championship came on the final jump of his high school career, a 41’1” personal record.

Olivia Delgado, Ninilchik School
During her valedictorian speech, Olivia talked about how it is important to move forward and learn from our mistakes, and that people tend to learn more from trying something and failing than not trying at all. She was a quiet leader; she led more by example than by her words. She always had a kind word when she met up with the younger kids in the elementary. Olivia has dreams of becoming a nurse—a field where caring and kindness is important as knowing how to perform your job with excellence. She will be attending Kenai Peninsula College before transitioning to the UAA pre-nursing program.

Suzanne LaBelle, Port Graham School
Suzanne is compassionate and curious, traits that will serve her well in the future. When opportunities come Suzanne’s way, she rarely lets them go by without grabbing on. She participated in numerous extracurricular leadership skills programs including a Chugach School District Voyage to Excellence camp where she rode 300 miles on bike in California. She was also the very first high school cross-country athlete to represent Port Graham School. When she thinks about being the first in her village to do this she states, “I felt really accomplished in being the first cross country athlete in Port Graham. I want other students to put themselves out there and participate in new experiences.” She is attending the University of Alaska Anchorage to pursue a nursing degree, and understands that nursing is one of the most competitive fields to get into, but also one of the most highly needed—especially in Alaska. Someday she hopes to use her degree in pediatrics or another specialization.

Josh Shuler, River City Academy
Josh earned high school credit as a middle schooler, and as a high school student continued the trend earning college credits through JumpStart at Kenai Peninsula College (KPC). He graduated with 16 college credits through KPC and boasts a perfect 4.0 GPA (without the benefit of any AP bumps). Josh tailored his graduation plan to meet his own interests including completing Principles of Engineering and Construction at Soldotna High School. A committed athlete, Josh competed for Soldotna High School in Cross Country Running, Nordic Skiing, and Track and Field. Josh possesses a heart and mind for service to others, and the community benefited from his thousands of hours of volunteer work at Solid Rock Bible Camp. He volunteered through many projects at RCA, including math tutoring, local school carnivals, fund-raisers and dinner theaters. Josh received a scholarship to attend California Baptist University where he is majoring in Civil Engineering.

Heleana Backus, Seward High School
A member of the Seward High School Debate, Drama, and Forensics Team, Student Council, and the National Honor Society, she said, “The most pivotal points in my development as a thinker and human being have happened in the English classroom.” Her passion for literature prompted her to apply for and be elected as the Student Representative on the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s English-Language Arts Curriculum Review Committee. “I push myself towards [my] goals with this constantly in mind: conformity can no longer be taught under the guise of public education. I am actively helping to integrate this idea into the classroom with the ELA curriculum committee, but I want to take that further. I strive to bring the vision that the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has for personalizing education to every school.”

Jode Sparks, Soldotna High School
“Community is not a location—rather, it is the result of a group of people caring about the same thing and caring about each other,” said Jode Sparks. A former United States Senate Page, and Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Student Ambassador, Jode was involved in many activities promoting good things for our community and good things for our state. In the Soldotna Unified Track team, he participated alongside special education students in track and field events. In the Alaska Youth for Environmental Action—a diverse group of high school students from across the state—Jode worked with young people to advocate, and speak up in the political system. This led him to his future studies; he is attending the University of Chicago, pursuing degrees in Public Policy and Environmental Studies.

Desmond Moon, Tebughna School
“I believe we all should lead by a higher standard. I enjoy guitar, video games, hobbies, hanging with friends, and working on building things. In the future, I see myself independent, self-sufficient, employed in construction, and married with a wife and three children.” My advice to younger students: “Stay positive. Do not slack off along the way. Listen to your teachers. Be respectful.”

David Sanarov, Voznesenka School
“I had the fortunate pleasure of attending a Close Up trip to Washington D.C. and New York City with David as one of the students,” said Principal Michael Wojciak. “Being such a kind, polite, and thoughtful student his participation made the trip an even greater experience. He is a student that I will never forget, mostly for his humility and overwhelmingly positive personality. His career will take him in the direction of his family’s commercial fishing business, where he will eventually become a boat owner, permit holder, and captain.”

The mission of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is to empower all learners to positively shape their futures.


KPBSD February Community Budget Meetings

View the Presentation: FY20 Budget Powerpoint: February 2019


2019_02_18_State Reductions and proposed FF cuts FY20

PDF: Proposed State cuts to FY20 education funding and the KPBSD

PDF: Kenai Peninsula legislators

2019 Kenai Peninsula Borough School District state legislators


Posted in KPBSD District Stories by Pegge. 2 Comments

KPBSD School alert: two-hour delay start on Monday, February 18, 2019

2019_02_18_Two Hour Delay

►ALERT: All KPBSD schools will open with a TWO HOUR DELAY START on MONDAY, February 18, 2019, due to weather conditions throughout the Peninsula.

If weather and road conditions warrant a full closure for any schools that announcement will be made about 7:00 AM.

All morning Pre-K class sessions are cancelled during a two-hour delay start.

Parents and guardians, if you decide, based on conditions near you to keep your child at home, absences will be excused.

*A two hour delay means that morning buses run two hours later than normal, school begins two hours later than normal, staff arrives at school two hours later than normal, and Pre-K morning sessions are cancelled. The school day ends at the normal time.

Posted in News Release by Pegge. No Comments

Community Survey: Superintendent of Schools Search

News Release

Public Involvement in Superintendent of Schools Selection

Soldotna, February 15, 2019— The KPBSD Board of Education seeks public input into its process to select a superintendent of schools. The school board has sole responsibility for the selection of candidates, final interviews, and selection of the superintendent, but would like to consider the views and interests of the public to help guide those decisions.

A Community Input Survey is open until March 4, 2019

A brief, anonymous survey invites public comments and the opportunity to rank which attributes and demonstrated skills in a KPBSD superintendent of schools are most valuable. The school board requests everyone interested in schools, including parents, students, KPBSD staff, site councils, PTAs, volunteers, business and community organizations that partner with schools, community groups, and the public to contribute.

QR_code_BJGDLGV Community Interest survey

A link to the community survey and important dates is located on the home page in the “Community Interest” section.

Superintendent of Schools Search
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education seeks an educational leader who has strong communication skills, is committed to high student achievement, and has a proven track record in teaching and administration. The position begins July 1, 2019. The online application period is open until midnight, March 15, 2019. Selection of finalists is March 21, 2019, and candidate interviews will be April 4, 2019, or April 11, 2019 if needed. The public may attend and offer written comments.
Online Community Survey open through March 4, 2019

KPBSD logo 4c no tag SMALL

News Release: Attend a KPBSD Budget Forum

KPBSD responds to an unprecedented budget challenge.
Attend a community forum to get facts.

Soldotna, February 14, 2019—Do you understand how the KPBSD school district budget will affect what KPBSD can offer in schools to educate our youth? With drastic state budget cuts to education proposed by the Governor, attend a budget forum in your community.

2019 February Budget development forums

Learn: KPBSD faces an unprecedented deficit of over $20 million dollars or more if the Governor’s proposed FY20 state budget is passed.


Get Facts: The district is building its FY20 budget, and needs your help. Participate online, or in person, to ask questions about revenue, expenses, funding, and cuts that potentially impact the classroom, teachers and support staff, sports and programs, and class sizes. Become involved so as a community we can make informed decisions that will affect our schools. Parents, staff, students, business partners, community members, and elected officials—it’s time to participate:


Community Budget Forums


  • Wednesday, February 20, 6:00 PM: Soldotna High School Library
    Videoconference from Soldotna High School forum to: Cooper Landing; Homer Flex; Hope School; Moose Pass; Nanwalek; Ninilchik; Port Graham; Sterling Elementary; Susan B. English; Tebughna; and Tustumena schools



Be informed so you can advocate for the 2019-2020 school district budget which will define opportunities and offerings in August, 2019.

“Our annual budget is one of the most important things we do each year, and it’s more important than ever with the potential funding cuts we face,” 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.”


“Over the past several years the district has been able to gather valuable feedback and input through the budget development process,” said Sean Dusek, superindent. “This year will be especially important as we work to become more efficient while maintaining our priority of small class sizes. We look forward to community participation in the process, especially as the State and Borough deal with economic issues that directly impact school funding.”


Action ideas

  1. Attend a community budget forum; KPBSD school site council meeting, school board meeting; Borough Assembly meeting; Alaska legislative opportunities with elected officials
  2. Communicate with your school, friends, neighbors, legislators, and elected officials
  3. View short videos and documents located on the KPBSD Finance Department webpage


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

2019_02_14_State Budget cut 20.5 million


KPBSD Graduate Inspiration: Joel Isaak, Skyview High School #ClassOf2007

Joel Isaak Skyview 2007

Joel Isaak, Skyview High School, Class of 2007, is a practicing artist, currently enrolled in an Indigenous Studies doctorate degree program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Tribal Liaison for the State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Learning. Isaak says,

“I want to keep growing in learning my Dena’ina people’s language. I love spending time with elders learning language and material culture and passing it on to future generations.”

When he reflects on a message to younger students, or his younger self, he offers:


“Find quality people and focus your energy on working with them. Don’t let negativity or people who are trying to bring you down stop you from working hard towards your goals. Never put an age limit on friendship.”


Following his 2007 graduation from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, he was awarded a Bachelors of Fine Arts Sculpture from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Masters of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Alfred University in New York.

A man with exceptional talents and kind insightful eyes, Joel said, “I would spend hours of time in the art studio after school when I was in high school. This was a safe space for me to learn, do homework, and develop my artistic skill. I had fantastic art teachers. I began my undergraduate studies pursuing a chemistry degree. After several car accidents, I was no longer able to do lab work. I had a friend mentor who encouraged me to pursue art. I still have to be careful with the physical repercussions of my injuries but I am able to work prolifically in sculpture.” His art is truly fantastic; view the video featuring Joel: Fins of Fashion: The Alaskan Artist Creating Salmon Skin Stilettos, and visit his website at

Shout-out to special teachers
“Teachers inspired me to follow my career path. I now work in education and I had some amazing teachers in my K-12 and university studies. These teachers became mentors to me and encouraged me to learn and explore a diverse range of studies. I would like to thank several of my teachers from my high school years—they provided safe classroom space for me in school when I was going through a lot. Thank you to David Schmidt and Clark Fair for letting me eat lunch in their classrooms on a regular basis, Teri Zoph-Schoessler, and all of my art teachers at Skyview.”

“I am passionate about developing an educational model that addresses the clashing of European colonialism with indigenous peoples. Fundamental to healing this rift is stemming the loss indigenous languages and treating all people with respect. This need is evidence by the staggering history of abuse of women that needs to stop. I hope that my art and working to educate can help bring awareness and change in a positive direction.”

–Joel Isaak, Skyview High School Class of 2007

Today his home is back on the Kenai Peninsula, he works with DEED, creates meaningful art, and continues to pursue life with purpose and passion.

Do you have a story tip about a KPBSD graduate to profile in our Wednesday Inspiration? Kindly email Pegge Erkeneff, KPBSD communications liaison,

info: Governor Michael J. Dunleavy’s FY20 amended budget

February 13, 2019 Communication to KPBSD staff and Key Communicators:

Today Governor Michael J. Dunleavy released an amended FY20 budget with a significant reduction to education funding. The budget documentation made available to this point does not give us the detail we need to determine the amounts specific to our district.

We are communicating with the Department of Education, and are hearing the cut will come from under-funding K-12 Education Foundation Formula, not reducing the Base Student Allocation (BSA) value as some media is reporting. This is significant to us because of the way the BSA corresponds to the minimum and maximum range the Borough can contribute to K-12 education. In contrast, under-funding the foundation formula and keeping the BSA intact would not reduce the range the Borough can fund to education.

In the next two days, we expect to provide you accurate information for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. It is important to remember that this is the start of a process that will also proceed through the Senate and House. We ask the public to focus on the future they value and want to build in Alaska, and communicate that to family, friends, coworkers, and especially our elected officials in local, state, and national government.

As soon as we have details, we will share accurate facts about the Governor’s FY20 amended budget and the potential reduction in revenue impact to KPBSD’s FY20 budget.

link: The Legislature and KPBSD

8 KPBSD schools MAP 2016

*How-to understand funding

  • PDF and  Video: FY19 KPB Revenue
  • PDF and  Video: FY19 Foundation Formula

The Foundation Formula is the funding mechanism for K-12 education and has many steps in it. Included in the Foundation Formula is the BSA – Base Student Allocation that is a fixed amount every year. A tricky part to understand school funding and a cut is that two ways exist for reductions or increases, and one impacts the local required minimum and maximum allowable amount the Borough can contribute, the other does not.

The legislature can under-fund the Foundation Formula, or change the BSA amount. When only the Foundation Formula is under-funded, it doesn’t affect a borough or municipality contribution to K-12 education. The local (Borough) contribution is tied to the BSA fixed amount to determine the required minimum contribution and maximum allowable contribution to schools, and so if the BSA changes (decrease or increase) it also creates an adjustment percentage to the required minimum contribution and maximum range the Borough can contribute to education funding.

Posted in Key Communicators by Pegge. No Comments