Anchorage superintendent contract is extended, after school board tries sneak approval tactic

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By DAVID BOYLE

The Anchorage School Board on Tuesday approved a one-year contract extension of Superintendent Jarrett Bryantt. The item was initially put on the “consent agenda,” so that it would automatically be swept through in a batch approval with a dozen other routine items, and a separate vote would not be required. 

A consent agenda is a meeting tool used to streamline meetings by collecting routine, non-controversial items into a group, and all are passed with a single vote. Anything that is non-routine goes on the regular agenda.

Board President Margo Bellamy sets the agenda and would have had to know that she buried the controversial superintendent’s contract extension in a place on the agenda where the public would not be provided the opportunity to comment.

Board member Dave Donley asked that the item be pulled from the consent agenda and place on the regular agenda so members would at least have to vote on the contract extension.

Bryantt’s current contract doesn’t expire until June 30, 2025 — a year and a half from now. Why was the board in such a hurry to extend his contract?

When hired in 2022, Bryantt did not meet the minimum qualifications to be a superintendent. He had only two years of classroom teaching. In Alaska, three years are required by Alaska Administrative Code 4 AAC 12.345.

To get around meeting the minimum requirements, the Department of Education & Early Development issued Dr. Bryantt a Limited Type B certificate. This Limited certificate is only valid for two years. Bryantt must complete the Alaska studies and multicultural education if he wants his Limited Type B certificate extended.

Why didn’t the school board note this in the discussion of his contract extension?  There was no public discussion at all on his contract extension and whether Bryantt had met the state requirements. 

The board was forced to vote on the matter separately.

Voting “yes” were Bellamy, Andy Holleman, Dora Wilson, Kelly Lessens, Pat Higgins and Carl Jacobs.

Donley was the lone “no” vote.

The contract extension has a couple of notable errors. The contract extension memo states “The Superintendent shall be employed through June 30, 2026, subject to earlier termination of this agreement as set forth in Section 13 and any other provisions of the Employment Agreement”.

However, Section 13 covers indemnification, not termination. Section 12 addresses termination as noted in the contract extension.

Another error in the current contract is paragraph 8, “Mutual Obligation to Communicate”, states, “The Superintendent is also responsible for timely informing the Board or individual Board Members of any concerns she may have about Superintendent/Board relations or Board Member conduct.” Note the pronoun “she.” It may be a cut-and-paste from the contract of the previous superintendent, Deena Bishop.

One of the board’s five stated values is accountability to the public: “The board believes the district should be open, transparent, and accountable to the public, ensuring a high-quality education while remaining fiscally responsible. Our budget, policies, guidelines, curriculum, and district performance data will be easily accessible (unless protected by law) and understandable. Parents will always have access to what their child is learning and how they are progressing. The district will promote strong community partnerships and public involvement.”

If the board is not proficient in transparency in hiring a superintendent, perhaps it will be proficient in student achievement at some point in the future.

Only 42% of Anchorage School District students are able to read proficiently at grade level, the second-lowest district in the nation. The district has a goal of reaching 80% proficiency in reading by 2026, according to goals set in 2020, but recent test scores show little progress toward that goal.

Bryantt, who made $250,000 a year at the time of his hiring, was brought into a district that spends over $19,000 per year per student, according to the ASD’s audited report at the time of his hire in 2022. His contract is now $280,000 plus an $8,400 auto allowance.

22 COMMENTS

  1. The school board, the assembly, the local media, the teachers unions all fawn over this guy. I don’t get it. Other than forcing a woke agenda on students and parents, this guy has done nothing. If this were business, he’d have been fired a year into his first contract.

    • I believe you answered your own question.
      The unions love this incompetent, inexperienced wokester for indoctrinating our children.
      He is ANTI education, wholly pro indoctrination, that is why he and the dastardly school board (Donley is THE exception) are so happy wih themselves.
      Self serving anti parent, anti education school board and superintendent…..

  2. “Board President Margo Bellamy sets the agenda and would have had to know that she buried the controversial superintendent’s contract extension…”
    So Slick Willie Margo got caught doing a really bad thing. Except Mr. Donley, David Boyle and I are the only people who support that position.
    Margo will just keep her iron fisted control of the Board and her chickee-doodles will follow along.
    Thanks, Mr. Donley, for exposing Margo and her under the table action.
    Mr. Donley is the only voice of reason on the Anchorage School Board.

    • Where is the lawyer Kendall shouldn’t he be taking something to court and suing some one.
      They don’t even hide it assembly and the school district board doesn’t give a crap about people just about them and the money.
      I think we had to give them another hundred million 200 million and tax everybody that doesn’t vote.

  3. He got a 12% raise when the rest of the world is getting 3% raises? This must be because he exceeded his goals set forth last year. I don’t think the superintendent of public schools is immune from transparency on matters. I think he said he had aggressive goals to get the proficiencies up to a much higher standard and it seems it has not changed. Do we even know what the plans were to accomplish just that one goal? If so, what is the progress. It seems that it is no progress so there shoudl be no raise. Don’t you think?

    • Thinking! Thats wht the majority on the school board forgot to do, with the exception of Dave Donley, of course.

      Thinking is optional for Margo and her fascist minions.

  4. Our Superintendent gets 8400 dollars a year for a car, on top of a 12 percent raise? At about 700 dollars a month, those are payments on a mighty fine new car. Our District has basically bought him a new car when he got hired. And with the extra 30K he gets this year on top of the quarter million, I am sure he can relate to all those teachers struggling with teaching and bills. I mean, when you’ve just turned into your 30s, you got the world by the tail, don’t cha know!?
    And really now, how are those two requisite Alaska classes going for Jarrett? It would be good to have an update. When a teacher is hired conditionally that he/she take those classes, no grace is given. They need to be done, or you’re terminated.
    He has our school world by the tail.

  5. I don’t know what it will take to jar a careless voting block to the reality of our elected officials. I thought maybe the fact that their policy is to deceive parents about a confused child deciding they want to be another gender. That has not been the case; we have become so condition to the “more money” mantra that most voters don’t think through other options.

    • Again, thinking appears optional except this rare few of us…
      How so we get the vote out and get these monsters away from our kids n grandkids?

    • When it affects them personally.
      That’s why part of me says tax us a lot and give all the PFD to the state who will give it to the unions.
      Unless it effects their pocket book they don’t care.

  6. They operate exactly like the assembly, by majority power, and make their own rules. Jarrett does as he is told and will be retained unless he grows up and becomes develops his own style. He will never be replaced with anyone who has a local stake in our education system. We don’t have local people who are “smart “ enough to fill the position evidently.

  7. It is not possible to know what they teach our kids. I asked, repeatedly, about the curriculum for Social Studies in Middle School. The District could not even tell me what textbook they use. At that point, I pulled my kid into home school. If they continue to lie about transparency…

  8. Alternatively, you can state that “only” 58% of Anchorage School District students are NOT able to read proficiently at grade level, the second-lowest district in the nation. Give the former texan a raise on top of his generous salary, he earned it according to the School Board majority.

    Question: has the superintendent-in-training completed the required Alaska studies and multicultural education to have his Limited Type B certificate extended? If not now, when?

  9. Increases in education wouldn’t bother me so much if the money actually went to teachers/classrooms. Only the top of the heap get raises/bonuses and they constantly put more and more demands on teachers and “outcomes”. This idiot isn’t worth the money he’s being paid. The school board, with the exception of Dave Donley, are idiots or corrupt—or both. I’m so glad my daughter is not in school; I’m glad she home schools her kids and that we are in the Valley where our school board is a little more (not by much) in tune with reality.

  10. So the questions here are clear.
    Is Mr. Bryantt now meeting the requirements for an extension of his limited type B certificate, which will by the looks of it expire this June?
    Is this contract extension an attempt by the board at an end-run around the department of education, to force them to give him another 2 years of of time to meet the requirements??

  11. This is interesting. I’m a UAA Alumni & UAF graduate this May & have taken 2 Alaska Studies courses along with prospective teachers at UAF. I’ve also taken Transcultural Health care at another University. I’m lucky if I can get a job working as a teaching assistant in Daycare making $17.50 an hr. I also personally know teachers that have many more years teaching experience then he does. I guess we’re teaching our kids it comes down to good looks & charm.

  12. The biggest problem is that they know that the superintendent and themselves are highly objectionable or else they wouldn’t have done such a thing.

    It is precisely that kind of behavior that our open meetings are meant to prevent.

    They blame the mayor for the school closures which is nothing but sleazy and shallow politics. They think remote learning works. They are terrible and only Must Read Alaska is reporting it, which is just preaching to the choir.

    Home schooling is not the answer. Home schooling is only going to teach your kids to be frustrated with the world we let happen.

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