[lg policy] Juneau School District and educators reach deal

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Fri Jun 14 11:32:34 EDT 2019

Juneau School District and educators reach deal

3-year contract also OK’d for administrative staff

   - By Ben Hohenstatt <https://www.juneauempire.com/author/ben-hohenstatt/>
   - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 10:52am
   - NEWS <https://www.juneauempire.com/news/>EDUCATION
   <https://www.juneauempire.com/tag/education/>LOCAL NEWS






Juneau School District can step away from the negotiating table for the
next three years.

During Tuesday night’s school board meeting, a pair of three-year
agreements with both Juneau Education Association and Juneau School
Administrative Association were given their final readings and unanimously

The JEA agreement calls for a raise of 1 percent in fiscal year 2020, .5
percent in ‘21, and .5 percent in ‘22. The agreement also adds a teacher
workday to the calendar beginning in FY21, and an additional student day in

“This is a major piece to the backbone to our working relationship with a
very important group of our employees, so I appreciate all the efforts of
JEA as well as our management team during this process,” Superintendent
Bridget Weiss said.

The JEA agreement took more than 76 hours of negotiations, said Darryl
Smith, director of human resources, but he and incoming JEA President Kelly
Stewart said it was a constructive process.

Stewart, Weiss and Smith each said they were glad to reach a multi-year
agreement and that it was reached before the previous one lapsed in July.

[It’s negotiating time for Juneau School District

“We were excited to not have to start the new year in the process, and we
can focus on the kids,” Stewart said.

The JSAA agreement calls for a raise of 1 percent in fiscal year 2020, .5
percent in ‘21, and .5 percent in ‘22. The agreement also provides an
increase to the district paid portion of health insurance of $25 per month
in fiscal year 2020, $20 in ‘21, and $20 in ‘22.

“While it is a smaller group — just over 20 employees — it is a critical
group,” Weiss said. “Again, a collaborative process resulting in a
three-year agreement.”

While the agreements received final readings, an indigenous language
revitalization policy was given its first reading.

The policy states the school board’s support for Tlingit language
revitalization efforts and willingness to work with community members to
further the effort. If it gets its final reading in August, it won’t mean
any immediate changes in classrooms, Weiss said, but instead signifies the
district’s support of revitalization.

Lingít, the Tlingit language, was among the languages declared endangered
in 2018. The Endangered Languages Project
<http://www.endangeredlanguages.com/lang/tli> estimates there are about 200
fluent speakers of Lingít worldwide. The Alaska Native Language Center
<https://www.uaf.edu/anlc/languages/stats/>similarly puts that figure at
175 speakers.

[New summit gathers many of the world’s fluent Alaska Native language

Weiss said the policy is the result of efforts by the district’s Tlingit
Language Revitalization Task Force subcommittee consisting of Weiss, Short,
board member Kevin Allen, Joe Nelson and Haifa Sadighi.

“The voice through this policy is a strong voice coming from us the
educational agency that is often attributed and connected to the loss of
the language,” Weiss said.

She said the policy is unique, and it will be shared by the Association of
Alaska School Boards around the state as an example of something other
schools could implement.

Allen, who is Tlingit, said he was glad to be part of the process that
shaped the policy.

“I feel extremely humbled to be part of the process to make this policy,”
Allen said. “I just wanted to touch on my extreme approval of seeing this

The school board also OK’d accepting the donation of two yellow cedar logs
to Floyd Dryden Middle School for use in the science, technology,
engineering and math program — most likely for making bentwood boxes.
Bentwood boxes are a traditional Northwest Coast item that make use of
steam to bend wood. The logs were donated by Ryan and Kris Dorsey, who are
teachers in the Juneau School District. They were accepted unanimously.

“This is really helpful for engaging students we really need to engage,”


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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