Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, Alaska

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Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District
Palmer, Alaska
Matsu seal.png
District Profile
Superintendent:Dr. Deena M. Paramo
Graduation rate:85%
Number of schools:45
Budget: $219.3 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Susan Pougher
Board members:7
Term length:3
Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District is a school district in Alaska that serves the area surrounding Palmer. It is the seconded-largest school district in Alaska, serving 17,500 students in 45 schools with an operating budget of $219.3 million.[1]

About the district


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The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District is located approximately 35 miles north of Anchorage in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in an area commonly known as the “Valley.” The district spans approximately 25,000 square miles, an area larger than the entire state of West Virginia. According to the 2010 Census it is home to approximately 88,995 residents.[2]


Matanuska-Susitna Borough underperformed in comparison to the rest of Alaska in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 21.2% of Matanuska-Susitna Borough residents aged 25 years and older had attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 27.5% for Alaska as a whole.The median household income for Matanuska-Susitna Borough was $70,728 compared to $69,014 for the state of Alaska. The percentage of people below poverty level for Matanuska-Susitna Borough was 9.9% while it is 9.5% for the state of Alaska.[2]

2010 Census Data for Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska[2]
Race Matanuska-Susitna Borough State of Alaska
White 84.8% 67.5%
Black or African American 1.2% 3.7%
American Indian and Alaska Native 5.8% 14.8%
Asian 1.4% 5.7%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.3% 1.2%
Two or more race 6.4% 7.1%
Hispanic or Latino 4.1% 6.1%

Party Affiliation, 2013[3]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Independence Party 473 3.5
Republican Party 4,479 33.8
Democratic Party 1,166 8.8
Libertarian Party 121 1.0
Constitution Party 9 0.06
Veterans Party 15 0.11
Green Party 43 0.32
Nonpartisan 2,428 18.2
Undeclared 4,563 34.3

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[4]


The current Superintendent for Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District is Dr. Deena M. Paramo, who has held this position since July 14, 2011. Prior to serving as a teacher and administrator for the "Mat-Su" District, she was a teacher for the Copper River School District in Alaska.

School board

The Matanuska-Sustina school board is composed of seven members serving three-year terms.[5]

Matanuska Borough School District
Deborah Retherford Seat A 2015
Sarah Welton Seat B 2015
Susan Pougher Seat C 2016
Ole Larson Seat D 2014
Tiffany Scott Seat E 2014
Donna Dearman Seat F 2016
Ray Michaelson Seat G 2016

School board elections

See also: Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District Elections (2013)

Members of the school board are elected to three-year terms on a staggered basis. Each election is held on the first Tuesday in October. Two seats are up for election in October 2014, two seats are up for election in October 2015 and three seats are up for election in October 2016.[6]


Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District publishes its annual budget on its website.[7]

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2012-2013 $215,546,092 77.3% $0 0% $60,262,675 21.6% $0 0% $2,999,179 1.1% $278,807,947
2013-2014 $216,302,404 78% $0 0% $60,357,452 21.8% $0 0% $706,723 0.3% $277,366,579
Averages: $215,924,248 78% $0 0% $60,310,063.5 22% $0 0% $1,852,951 1% $278,087,263

Teacher salaries

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District employs over 2,200 employees. Over half of those employees are teachers.[8]

The school board enters into negotiated agreements with unions representing district employees.[9] The negotiated agreement with the Classified Employees Association provides for a salary schedule from $10.80 to $39.71.[10]

The negotiated agreement with the Mat-Su Education Association provided salary increases of 4% in FY11 and FY13 3.75% in FY10 for the district's teachers.[11] The teacher salary schedule for FY13 ranged from $45,079 to $82,665.[12]

The board's negotiated agreement with the Mid-level Management Association provides for a 2.5% salary increase over the three years for which the agreement is in effect, FY2012 through FY2014, with the FY2013 salary schedule ranging from $37,721 to $82,052.[13]

The Mat-Su Principal's Association negotiated agreement with the school board provides for a 2% pay increase each year.[14] The salary schedule for principals in FY2011 ranges from $72,045 to $120,641.[14]

Salary Schedule

The salary schedule for all negotiated agreements with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District can be found on the district website.[15]

Schools in Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District

District schools

Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District operates 45 schools listed below in alphabetical order:[16]

Matanuska-Susitna Borough Schools
Name Grades
Academy Charter School K-8
American Charter School 2-12
Beryozova School K-12
Big Lake Elementary School K-5
Birchtree Alternative School K-8
Burchell High Alternative School 9-12
Butte Elementary School K-5
Career & Tech High School 9-12
Colony Middle School 6-8
Colony High School 9-12
Cottonwood Creek Elementary School K-5
Finger Lake Elementary K-5
Fronteras Spanish Charter School K-5
Glacier View School K-5
Goose Bay Elementary K-2
Houston High School 9-12
Houston Middle School 6-8
Iditarod Elementary K-5
Knik Elementary 4-5
Larson Elementary K-5
Machetanz Elementary K-5
Mat-Su Central School K-12
Mat-Su Day School K-12
Mat-Su Secondary 6-12
Meadow Lakes Elementary K-5
Midnight Sun Charter K-8
Palmer High School 9-12
Palmer Middle School 6-8
Pioneer Peak Elementary K-5
Shaw Elementary K-5
Sherrod Elementary 4-5
Snowshoe Elementary K-5
Su Valley Jr/Sr. High School 6-12
Sutton Elementary K-5
Swanson Elementary K-2
Talkeetna Elementary K-6
Tanaina Elementary K-5
Teeland Middle School 6-8
Trapper Creek Elementary K-6
Twindly Bridge Charter K-12
Valley Pathways School 9-12
Wasilla High School 9-12
Wasilla Middle School 6-8
Willow Elementary K-6

Academic Performance

Mantanuska-Susitna Borough School District has a graduation rate of 73.5%. The 2012-2013 Standards Based Assessments (SBA) are available from the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development and are listed in the charts below.[17]

Standards Based Assessments

Standard Based Assessments results, 2012-2013
Subject Percent Tested (%) Advanced (%) Proficient (%) Below Proficient (%) Fair Below Proficient (%)
Reading 98.48 41.02 45.78 10.25 2.96
Writing 98.40 21.42 59.73 16.68 2.17
Mathematics 98.07 35.92 40.28 14.57 9.23
Science 95.58 28.65 34.95 25.54 13.19


Failing school

The Mat-Su Central School serving grades K-12 failed to meet adequate yearly progress for the 2011-12 school year.[18]

Website evaluation

Taxes Y
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Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Contracts P
Audits Y
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Public Records Y
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Academics Y
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Background Checks Y
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Transparency grading process

Last reviewed: October 2012

The good

  • Tax revenues are available[19] and tax rates are published in CAFR.
  • The current budget is published and previous budgets are available for the last three years[20]
  • The calendar of Board meetings and meeting agendas and minutes and are available and archived at least three years[21]
  • Names of Board officials, individual email address, individual phone numbers, and a physical address are available[22]
  • Names of administrative officials, individual email address, individual phone numbers, and a physical address are available[23]
  • Bids are posted[24]
  • The current audit is published and previous audits are available for the last three years[25]
  • A public records contact is available and public records policies are available in a central location[26]
  • Background check policy is available.[27]
  • Academic reports are available for standard testing and graduation rates are posted[28]

The bad

  • Although the website offers an excellent budget review document, the budget itself does not have explanatory supplemental text.
  • Awarded contracts information is unavailable, and a search returns only contract policies.

Contact information

Matsu seal.png
Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District
501 N Gulkana St.
Palmer, AK 99645

External links

See also


  1. Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, "Home," accessed February 5, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 United States Census Bureau, "Quickfacts: Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska" accessed August 5, 2013
  3. State of Alaska Division of Elections, "Voter Registration Statistics," accessed February 4, 2014
  4. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  5. Matanuska-Sustina Borough School District, "School Board," accessed February 5, 2014
  6. Matanuska-Suisitna Borough, "Office of the Borough Clerk: Election Information," accessed August 5, 2013
  7. Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, "FY 2013-2014 Adopted Budget Document," accessed November 26, 2013
  8. Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, "About Us: Our District" Accessed August 5, 2013
  9. District Forms
  10. CEA Salary Schedule for FY13
  11. MSEA Negotiated Agreement
  12. MSEA Negotiated Agreement
  13. MLMA Negotiated Agreement
  14. 14.0 14.1 MSPA Negotiated Agreement
  15. Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, "Negotiation Agreements & Salary Information" Accessed August 5, 2013
  16. Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, "About us: Our District," accessed August 5, 2013
  17. Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, "Report Card to the Public," accessed February 5, 2014
  18. Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, "2011-2012 Adequate Yearly Progress" Accessed August 5, 2013
  19. Tax revenues
  20. Current and archived budget
  21. Current and archived meetings
  22. Board officials
  23. Administrative officials
  24. Current bids
  25. Audit
  26. Public Information
  27. check Background policy
  28. Academic reports