JSD nurses plead for higher staffing levels in new budget

As the Juneau School District begins deliberations on its 2013-2014 budget, school nurses are calling for more help. Several of Juneau’s school nurses and supporters addressed the JSD board members during public comment period at the board meeting Tuesday night.

JSD Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich has already met with the administrative team that will help guide the creation of the fiscal year 2014 budget. A final version is expected to go before the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly on March 5.

In the meantime, competition is high for available funds. It is expected that the 2014 budget will be as thin as — or thinner than — the current budget.

School nurses took a hit during tough negotiations that led to the current school budget. Although the school district was able to eliminate $1.2 million of over $6 million in cuts from the 2012 and 2013 budget, it was not able to reinstate two full-time nurse positions.

School nurse Maureen Hall said nurses were not given enough time to adapt to the cuts.

“What has played out this year is a result of that,” Hall said. “It has sent a system into chaos.”

Dzantik’i Heeni and Floyd Dryden middle schools share a nurse, as do Riverbend Elementary and Thunder Mountain High School.

“The school nursing situation has clearly become a nightmare in my mind,” Auke Bay Elementary school nurse LuAnn Powers said. “And I’m only responsible for one school. Without a nurse in every school the kids aren’t being served.”

Powers said she does not like being too far from her school. While staff is aware of emergency procedures, Powers has had to cancel personal and work trips because she was not able to get a substitute.

Powers said she feels the burden to do something to help due to her seniority as a JSD nurse. She said the school district is losing nurses due to the difficulties of the job.

“We’ve lost one of our more wonderful nurses,” Powers said, “Janell Meade.”

Juneau resident Lori Burgan said she supports Juneau’s school nurses.

By cutting nurses, Juneau is not taking care of its kids, Burgan said.

“We want them to be healthy and we want them to be safe and we have this odd system,” Burgan said.

JSD fifth-grade teacher Adam Berkey said he feels that the current school nurse situation could cause “huge regrets” going forward.

“I don’t know if this is a time to gamble,” Berkey said.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

More

Sun, 01/22/2017 - 07:41

This Day in Juneau History: Jan. 22, 1987

On Jan. 22, 1987, Gov. Steve Cowper prepared to discuss the final part of his fiscal plan: budget cuts. The total amount suggested to be cut by his temporary cabinet was $300 million, which tore funding from a variety of different programs. However, although what propositions Cowper accepted were still a mystery, Press Secretary David Ramseur confirmed that the cuts he did accept totaled at about $200 million. Cowper was to give a speech directly to the Alaska Legislature discussing the specifics of his recommended cuts.

Read more
Sun, 01/22/2017 - 07:40

Fire calls for Jan. 22, 2017

This report contains public information available to the Empire from law enforcement and public safety agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent. Anyone with information about a crime can report a tip anonymously to juneaucrimeline.com.

Read more
Sun, 01/22/2017 - 07:40

Man caught with 3 pounds of meth on Southeast Alaska-bound ferry sentenced to 20 months

A 21-year-old man who was caught transporting three pounds of methamphetamine — reportedly the largest seizure in Southeast Alaska in at least 10 years— on the ferry between Bellingham and Ketchikan last May was “a patsy, plan and simple,” his defense attorney argued.

Read more

CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING