This school year is just about over for students here in Bethel. Other schools in the Y/K delta have already closed for the summer. Sophie Evan takes a look at what the teacher turnover rate is region wide.
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The Y/K delta has about six school districts out of fifty (50) statewide. Y/K delta village schools employ teachers and support staff locally and are an integral part of village life. The Lower Kuskokwim School District Superintendent Gary Baldwin is head of the largest rural school district in the state and nation.
“we’re looking at about thirteen percent among our certified staff which is about average for us,” says Baldwin, “it’s much lower than most of the rural districts in Alaska a lot of them are in the twenty to thirty percent range.”
The thirteen percent translates to about forty certified teachers, which is about the same as last year’s rate.
In the Kashunamiut School District, which is a single site school in Chevak, Superintendent Larry Parker says they’re losing only four out of twenty two teachers.
It’s a completely different story in the Kuspuk School District. It has nine schools in six village to include; Stony River, Sleetmute, Crooked Creek, Chuathbaluk, Aniak and the Kalskag’s.
Superintendent Brad Allen says, “our enrollment is going down, our funding is going down, so we’re seeing a fairly significant decrease in our student population, as a result we have to cut down on staffing both certified and classified, so we will have five less teachers next year from this year.”
Allen added that the students in Stony River run and operate a small grocery store to help keep their school open.
The other Y/K delta school districts did not respond with their teacher turnover rates in time for this story.