• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 10s

Teachers face insecurity in wake of Anchorage School Board budget cuts

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: John Thain - 8:43 PM May 5, 2015
ANCHORAGE –

Today, several Anchorage teachers are asking, “Will I have a job?”

Bryan Bearss is a literacy coach. For the past year, he’s helped third graders at Abbott Loop Elementary get a better grip on reading and writing. But now, he’s learning that loving your job doesn’t mean that job is always going to be there.

“Just the idea that it’s one less support for the kids that need it, that’s the hard part,” said Bearss.

The Anchorage School Board decided to scale back its budget and, as a result, 70 district positions will be cut.

Lawmakers in Juneau are still trying to finalize the state budget, though most of them have taken a break until May 12. That’s left Anchorage school officials making budget decisions without knowing what’s going to happen with state funding.

It’s been a frustrating process that’s left a wave of insecurity. Literacy coaches, like Bearss, in the Anchorage School District are among the positions that have been eliminated from next year’s budget.

Bearss is tenured, so he says he’s not out of a job but will have to find a new spot to fill within the district.

“We saw some great results with the kids,” Bearss said. “And it’s hard to tell what’s going to happen with that.”

That insecurity is a big problem, says Andy Holleman, president of the Anchorage Education Association.

“This whole thing is just sort of a poison pill,” said Holleman.

People are looking for answers and wondering what’s next for them, but Holleman says there’s still too much uncertainty in Juneau to say.

“People are calling and trying to figure out where things are at. I don’t think it’s going to be as severe as people might think from looking at the budget, but it’s not settled yet and that’s unsettling,” said Holleman.

While funding for jobs like Bearss’ have been zeroed out, he’s hopeful the influence of a good teacher can never be erased.

“I can worry all I want. It’s not going to fix anything,” Bearss said. “I know I’m going to be a teacher. That’s all that matters to me right now. I’ll be teaching and I’ll be helping kids in some format.”

It’s possible that lawmakers in Juneau could reinstate some education funding. If so, the Anchorage School Board says bringing back literacy coaches is a top priority, but Bearss says he’s not counting on it.

Latest Stories

  • Lifestyle

    First cruise ship of summer docks in Anchorage for Memorial Day weekend

    by Daniella Rivera on May 30, 22:52

    It’s officially tourist season as the first cruise ship of the year has docked at the Port of Anchorage for Memorial Day, bringing hundreds of passengers to the city. The average tourist spends about $941 dollars in Alaska during their stay. With oil prices still painfully low, every dollar they put into the local economy […]

  • News

    Troopers: 19-year-old shot at Fairbanks party, shooter at large

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 30, 20:01

    A Fairbanks woman is in an Anchorage hospital after she was shot at a party early Sunday morning. The shooting occurred around 3 a.m. at a large party on Drake Street in Fairbanks, according to an Alaska State Trooper dispatch. When troopers arrived at the scene, they found a 19-year-old woman who’d been shot. The […]

  • News

    Anchorage park strip ceremony honors Alaska’s fallen

    by Bonney Bowman on May 30, 19:12

    Memorial Day is a chance to honor those who gave their lives serving our country, from those who died in the war for our nation’s freedom to those ensuring that freedom exists for others around the globe. The Municipality of Anchorage hosted the annual remembrance ceremony Monday, honoring the service of those who made the ultimate […]

  • News

    Hundreds attend Memorial Day services at national cemetery on JBER

    by Lauren Maxwell on May 30, 18:33

    Beautiful weather drew big crowds to a Memorial Day service at the Fort Richardson National Cemetery on Monday. Each of the more than 5,000 graves sported a small American flag put there by volunteers. Some of the graves also had flowers, including one belonging to William Davis. Davis’ daughter Tiffany Call laid flowers at his grave. […]

  • Lifestyle

    New treatment gives hope for those with opioid addiction

    by Anna Werner / CBS News on May 30, 18:10

    Addiction to opioids — including painkillers and heroin – takes nearly 29,000 American lives each year. But a new treatment for addicts — using implants — should be available by the end of next month. Thirty-nine year-old Chris Borgeone got hooked on pain killers after breaking his hip in 2003. “I woke up every day and my […]

  • Lifestyle

    Expert tips on how to choose the right sunscreen

    by Mary Elizabeth Dallas / Healthday on May 30, 15:42

    As folks start baring more skin at the beach, pool or barbecue this Memorial Day weekend, that means it’s time to start covering up with sunscreen. Exposure to UVA and UVB rays is always harmful, an expert from Penn State Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center pointed out. The damage from these UV rays may be obvious right […]

  • News

    Rain cancels Memorial Day parade, but veterans march anyway

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 30, 15:23

      Rain in Pepperell, Massachusetts wasn’t going to keep a group of veterans from honoring fallen soldiers on Memorial Day. In a Facebook post Sunday, the Pepperell Police Department canceled the annual Memorial Day parade, citing “heavy rain and possible lightning” in the area, CBS News reported . A group of veterans showed up anyway […]

  • News

    Big Lake man dies in single-car crash east of Palmer

    by Associated Press on May 30, 13:28

    A Big Lake man is dead after a single-car crash west of Palmer. Alaska State Trooper say 50-year-old William Wallace died Monday morning in a crash off North Stringfield Road. Troopers took a call on the crash just before 5:30 a.m. Investigators say Wallace’s vehicle rolled multiple times and went airborne. He was not wearing […]