Ketchikan school board to consider giving tribal leaders input in hiring process

The Ketchikan Indian Community’s headquarters are north of downtown Ketchikan. (KRBD file photo)

The Ketchikan Indian Community wants a larger role in school hiring.

The local federally-recognized tribe would like 20 percent of the seats on district hiring committees. The Ketchikan School Board will consider the KIC’s request at its next meeting on Wednesday evening. The proposed agreement is part of an effort to reduce the number of Alaska Native dropouts. Advocates say adding tribal voices to the hiring process would give Native students positive role models, and encourage them to stay in school and graduate.

In exchange, KIC is offering higher education funding for Native teachers, who would then be eligible for jobs in the school district.

In other business, the school board will consider a revised budget for the remaining fiscal year. Because the district serves more students this year than it previously budgeted for, the state will chip in $610,197 in additional funds.

More than half of the additional funds would go towards shoring up the district’s health insurance fund. The rest would go towards personnel, liability insurance, and equipment upgrades, among other things. 

The board is also scheduled to discuss the process of filling the permanent superintendent position. Beth Lougee has served as the district’s interim superintendent since late 2018.

Wednesday’s school board meeting gets underway at 6 p.m. in Ketchikan’s White Cliff building.

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