Fairbanks School Board president apologizes to Interior legislators for rumor-mongering

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Brandy Harty, the president of the Fairbanks North Star School District who shared a rumor during a public meeting earlier this month in which she accused lawmakers of taking bribes, has issued a formal apology to Interior lawmakers.

The apology came after Republican lawmakers sent a letter to the school board asking for an apology from Harty and suggesting that Harty step down as school board president after on March 19 she had said on the record that she heard a rumor that Republican state lawmakers had exchanged their votes for campaign contributions of $70,000.

That would be a federal crime, had it occurred. What happened was that several Republican lawmakers sided with Gov. Mike Dunleavy in his override of a massive education spending bill that was a blank check to school districts, without asking for any accountability in return. The governor had been clear that he wanted teacher retention bonuses and increased authorization for charter schools, but that was stripped out of the bill before it passed, and he decided to put his foot down.

In her letter, Harty said she is a passionate advocate for public education and that she misspoke.

“As the President of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board and a passionate advocate for public education, I acknowledge and apologize for my recent statement made during my President’s report at the Tuesday, March 19 school board regular meeting,” Harty wrote.

Harty appears to believe that the governor, who spent decades as a school teacher, superintendent, and school board member, doesn’t share the same passion for education.

“In my disappointment regarding the impact of the failed veto override of SB 140, I unintentionally misspoke. For that, I apologize to Rep. Frank Tomaszewski, Rep. Will Stapp, Rep. Mike Prax, Rep. Mike Cronk, and Sen. Robert Myers. This is my second year on the school board and my first term serving as an elected official. I know I am going to make mistakes, and I have no issue owning up to them when they happen,” she wrote.

“I remain resolute in my commitment to the well-being and success of our Fairbanks schools. Access to quality education is a constitutional obligation of the state, and I will continue to advocate tirelessly to ensure that our schools receive the resources they need to thrive. As a teacher, mother of two elementary-aged children, and a military wife, my only agenda is for Fairbanks to have the best education system we possibly can,” Harty wrote.

The Fairbanks North Star School Board has scheduled a special meeting for 5:30 pm March 28, with online access information available at this link.

The agenda item is: “Board member relations and conduct. This meeting may include a possible executive session with legal counsel to discuss attorney/client communications or matters which may tend to prejudice the reputation and character of a person, provided that person may request a public discussion.”

Find the Zoom online meeting link here.

23 COMMENTS

    • It’s an expensive lesson for Ms. Harty. The teachers unions are behind her in full force, but she faces potential civil lawsuits which she may pay for personally in her capacity as board president. The teachers unions will use her as their puppet for their greedy needs and then throw her away like used toilet paper. Beware of your supposed friends, Ms Harty.

  1. Meanwhile, while this board member was having her temper tantrum, the students at one of the better schools- Ben Eielson on Eielson AFB can’t do math. About 60% are not math proficient. They can’t read very well either. About 40 percent don’t read at grade level. This lack of competence should be a clarion call for reform. The terrible performance of Alaska’s kids is not limited to just the rural schools. Despite spending the most per capita in the USA on kids, over $18,000 per kid, per year, we are at the bottom- ranking about 49 out of 50. Clearly throwing money at education is not the only solution- vast reforms are needed, to include making the school year at least a month longer, banning cell phone use during school, ensuring the kids are competent with the fundamentals- math, reading, science- before other subjects are taught.

    • Thanks for letting the cat out of the bag Brandy.
      We were falsely misled thinking ASD’s the Bellamy Bryyantt team of misfits was the only circus.
      Now we realize it takes more to condition students to enter “UAF” than basic reading writing math skills

  2. Counsel for the School Board may want to go over the law of defamation with the Board. Although the US Supreme Court adopted a foolishly wide-open approach to libel and slander many years ago, several members of the Supreme Court have suggested that it should be re-examined. Although Board Member Harty has grown up in an environment where no one is ever held responsible for anything they might say, the world may be changing. I know that such a change may be exceptionally tough for the “any-means-necessary” crowd on the Left (and, btw, Donald Trump) but it may be time.

  3. If she calls it unintentionally mispoke then she definitely does NOT intend to step down intentionally.

    Wake up Fairbanks voters and INTENTIONALLY vote misinformed Brandy out to pasture and let her find a soft heart with the herd.
    Not sure what school district she is a product of but they certainly need reform.

  4. The other and potentially more important question is, where is the rest of the board? The lack of action on their part makes it seem that they are okay with this behavior.

    In a sane world the members of the board should have called an emergency meeting and discussed a motion of “no confidence” after this spectacle and voted to remove her as president. She in essence in speaking for the entire board, besmirched them all.

    Mrs. Harty did not “misspeak”. This was a deliberated act to take revenge on these legislators, because they defied HER wishes. She is clearly not ready for a role in any democratic setting, where debate and compromise are the call of the day and getting all you want never happens.

    I hope the residents of Fairbanks or the legislators pursue this further and not let it end with this “apology”.

  5. She’s a real sad contributor to education in Fairbanks schools. Another half-wit liberal who thinks that throwing more public money into education provides sound educational outcomes for the students. What is her educational background?

  6. Let’s reverse this: assume for argument the accused said she took bribe. Any chance she’s good with a “ my bad?”

  7. Pathetic. “I unintentionally misspoke…” No, madam Harty, you intentionally – maliciously – accused several legislators of a crime, without having evidence for your accusation. This pretty much defines an act of slander.

    As a citizen of the State of Alaska, as a grandparent of a schoolchild, and as a municipal property taxpayer, my agenda is that a school board president be an honorable person. Resignation is the best way out of your quandary. Resign now, for the children.

  8. When apologizing you are not used to finished with a BuT… “I know I am going to make mistakes, and I have no issue owning up to them when they happen,’ she wrote.”
    She just cancelled out her apology as is using two negatives makes a positive statement. She cancelled herself out, so her “apology” isn’t an apology after all, madam SCHOOL board president. She of all people her being passionate about school should know this.

  9. Isn’t she just the prototypical modern educator? She’s got the look and the overly emotional personality type. Sharp appearance too. You take one look and you just know that you’re getting the top 1% to lead the education establishment. What is it about children and education that attracts these loser personalities? Easy to see the results – our kids are failing and people like this woman are to blame but for some reason the solution is to just throw more money at it. Get some better quality educators who care about kids as much as they care about their wage, benefit and retirement packages.

  10. – heretofore known as –

    “Disgraced” Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board, and more particularly,

    “Disgraced” Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board President Brandy Harty.

  11. Board president dismissed her behavior as that she needed a learning curve. Her apology did not seem genuine and the problems with the funding bill went right over her head. She was trying to please those who were pressuring the rest of the legislators to have a showdown with Governor Dunleavy. Dunleavy’s issues with the bill were legitimate and the legislators who supported him on the veto are to be commended for remaining true to the citizens of Alaska. They demonstrated a trust the others lack. They were genuine. The good legislators were Allard, Baker, Carpenter, Coulombe, Cronk, Eastman, C. Johnson, D. Johnson, Hughes, McCabe, McKay, Prax, Saddler, Myers, Shower, Shaw, Tilton, Tomaszewski, Vance, and Wilson. The legislators who supported the Governor’s veto and were publicly slandered by the Fairbanks School Board president were interior legislators: Cronk, Myers, and Tomaszewski. She gave Prax “a pass.” She is a product of public schools in Fairbanks, attended West Valley High School where former representative Grier Hopkins attended. The school is located next to UAF and could well be the one of the most leftist high schools in the state. Brandy Harty is over her head and needs to completely resign

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