Concern Over Dunleavy Budget

This is the new version of the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

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Concern Over Dunleavy Budget

Postby deller » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:24 am

This is the year my family is moving to Alaska! Finally, after a couple of years of getting things in order, we are ready to continue our teaching careers in Alaska. Now with this new proposed budget from Governor Dunleavy, I am scared to death for the future of education in Alaska. I am going to be attending the Anchorage job fair but I wanted to ask some of you veterans of ATP your thoughts about this and what you think might happen? Please share your thoughts of what you feel will happen with this proposed budget. Thank you!
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Re: Concern Over Dunleavy Budget

Postby Johncn » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:48 pm

Hello,

Welcome to the ATP Forum. Yes, I can understand your concerns, as there are significant cuts. However, Alaska school districts are not going to put a freeze on hiring teachers. Over 50 jobs have been posted in the last five days for rural Alaska districts alone. Districts that sign teachers to contracts will have to honor those contracts, whether those happen at a job fair, or otherwise. Remember that "education" is a property right, not an optional offering. School will need to open. Students will show up. There will be classes offered that start the first day of school staffed by certified teachers. Yes, there will be some adjustments, and there may be fewer teachers hired by some district in some subject areas, but I would not get discouraged. The show must go on :D

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Re: Concern Over Dunleavy Budget

Postby hamiltonsar » Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:48 am

I also just accepted a job and will be moving there this summer. I'm concerned about the ferry system. Surely, it will have to continue for those especially in the SE islands!? I was planning on relying on it for groceries and other essentials.
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Re: Concern Over Dunleavy Budget

Postby Johncn » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:48 am

Hamiltonsar,

I have read about the impending budget crisis, and a proposal to stop service in the fall, pending a study to privatize the system. However, 28 of the 35 ports served by the ferry system do not have road connections, and many do not even have an airstrip. As a long-time observer of Alaskan politics, I personally have trouble believing that service will simply stop to those communities without significant repercussions for the administration. I COULD be wrong, but I think what we are seeing may be just the beginning of a conversation on how to reduce costs of the ferry services in Southeast Alaska over the long haul, not a hard and fast end to an essential transportation and logistics piece of life there.

But, let's say that does happen, and the last ferry comes in October. The schools open, and if the districts need to form a coop to charter essential supplies on barges, or do combined orders with / for staff, or make some other workaround possible, I am sure they will make the necessary adjustments. My wife and I worked at a school in the western Aleutians for several years that only had one barge a year, in August. It was a challenge logistically for all concerned, both from a school administration standpoint, and for personal planning and shopping with kids in the house to feed, diaper and so on. And, we worked for a district that had a school on an extremely remote island served only by helicopter. That community lost its connection for a year or so, and the district chartered crab boats out of Nome to move staff and supplies. As always, in both situations, school districts and staff can and do make remote logistics work in a pinch. ;-)

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Re: Concern Over Dunleavy Budget

Postby BermudaKristi » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:30 am

The last ferry reservations as of right now are September 1st, they are not booking beyond that. I think if your desire is to work in a village school then there will be plenty of jobs in those districts and small communities. But, if you want to work on the road system (Anchorage, Kenai,etc) or even a larger off road district I would advise waiting before making such a big move if you are anything BUT special education. There are always jobs in special ed, even in big 5. Districts are pink slipping and others waiting to renew non-tenured contracts (my district being one of them)- so I would err on the side of caution.
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