Andi Story and Phyllis Carlson have been re-elected to the Juneau Board of Education. And after a two-year break, Destiny Sargeant will return to the board.
Five people ran for three seats on the school board. Story was the top vote getter with 3,740. Carlson received 2,990 votes, and Sargeant had 2,639. Will Muldoon and Michelle Johnston trailed with 2,094 and 1,660 votes, respectively.
Story is beginning her fourth term on the board. She says stable funding for Alaska’s school districts is her priority. Most of that comes from the state, so she will be lobbying the legislature again next year.
“There have been job losses in the state’s five largest school districts so I think we’ll have more support statewide,” she says. “And that’s the key. Really, its parents, the community realizing that flat funding the budget means cuts to programs and services. It was hypothetical when we were doing the budget cuts in April. Now it’s the fall and people are experiencing what that means and in order to get more revenue, we need to be conveying that to the capital.”Sargeant served on the school board for one term, but didn’t run for re-election so she would have more time to spend with her children. Now they’re through high school and she’s says she’s ready for the challenge, and it won’t take long to get up to speed.
“I do think there’s a fine balance between the right programs, the right curriculum. And I know we can still have an excellent school system in spite of the budget. I won’t let budgets get us down,” she says.
School board members will be sworn into office on Oct. 16. The board then will be asking for school site council representatives and community members to volunteer for a committee to begin working on the budget.
- The Juneau Assembly declined to pass a broaden sales tax exemption for seniors. Opposition from businesses prodded elected officials to refer the initiative back to committee.
- Fines for pet owners whose for critters scooped up by animal control officers have gone up. The fees hadn't been adjusted for nearly 17 years.
- Local education officials are applying for state money to replace and repair leaky roofs at several Juneau schools. About $5 million is coming in over the next five years earmarked for school maintenance from sales tax money that voters approved in the Oct. 3 election.
- "They’re calling it GTA, grand theft Anchorage, right now," said Rep. Lora Reinbold, who says she wants to repeal Senate Bill 91. "It’s outrageous, what’s going on in the city that I love.”