Fairbanks School Board meets about FEA contract, LGBTQ History Month

Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 8:53 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - With the 2023-2024 school year in full swing, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board convened for their regular meeting on Tuesday, September 5.

This marks their first meeting since the start of classes and the second since their summer break.

The agenda includes the potential recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day and LGBTQ History Month.

While the recognition of LGBTQ History Month has passed every year since 2018, it has garnered controversy since its introduction. According to School Board Member Brandy Harty, “We can respect all people and talk about controversial issues in a respectful way that doesn’t tear down our community members and further marginalize people. Dissent is what our nation was born on, but we can be better humans and not tear apart the people that we work and recreate and go to school with.”

Meanwhile, the School Board is also scheduled to vote on whether to ratify an agreement between the Fairbanks Education Association and the School District.

This agreement, which has been in the works for more than a year and a half, would be in effect until June 30th of 2026, if ratified.

This year has seen Luke Meinert begin serving as the district’s superintendent, a move which has been a boost to the district, according to Harty. “I have been so impressed with the leadership of Dr. Meinert and what he’s already accomplished with the contract with FEA, and hopefully soon ESSA, getting ratified by their unions. I feel like the tone of this year is just so much better. It’s a lot of hope that we’ve come out of the pandemic and we’re stronger.”

More information about the meeting can be found on the school district’s website.

The school district has also released a survey for the public to fill out.

The survey focuses on the district’s communication performance and how it relates to communicating with the students, their families and the broader community. Some parts of the survey ask families of students to indicate how well they think the district is currently communicating with the public, what they could do to improve that communication, and what they are currently doing that is detrimental to communication.