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Schools start on two-hour delay after tentative agreement reached

Teachers will not strike and students headed to school two hours late today after a tentative contract agreement was reached between Kenai Peninsula School District administration and the two employee associations early Tuesday morning.

Parents and students woke up to a change of plans when the district announced a two-hour delay would replace the previously announced school closure. All student absences on Tuesday, though, would be excused.

The school district released the following:

At 1:37 AM, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD), the Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA) and the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA) reached a Tentative Agreement, for a three year contract for the time period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021.

*All 42 KPBSD schools will open with a two-hour delay start on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. Student absences will be excused—simply call the school. Buses will run two hours later than usual in the morning. Sports and after-school activities will take place on a normal Tuesday schedule.

“After months of hard work and strained emotions the bargaining teams came together tonight in the spirit of compromise,” said Superintendent John O’Brien. “Together we can all now focus on our core mission: educating the children of the Kenai. I look forward to working together with our staff and this community to advocate for public education on behalf of our students. Together we will continue to innovate and lead our state with the high quality of education we provide to our students.”

“Working together, we were able to find a creative solution with the District that will keep kids in class and educators working,” said Anne McCabe, President of KPESA. “This process has drawn on for nearly two years and I’m pleased that we’ve reached a tentative agreement that values our educators and the students they work with every day.”

“This tentative agreement represents a big step forward for everyone working to improve the lives of Kenai Peninsula students,” said David Brighton, KPEA President. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done, and I’m pleased that we are able to find a compromise with the District.”

“I am extremely pleased that both negotiating teams have reached an agreement and the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District can get back to doing what it does best: educating our students through the many quality programs and activities it has put in place and preparing them for their future,” said Penny Vadla, Board of Education President. “We, as a board, are looking forward to a bright future.”

Details will be posted on the KPBSD Collective Bargaining webpage and the KPEA-KPESA.org later in the day on Tuesday.