With borough elections coming up, the Mat-Su teachers’ union is making political hay over the fact that its recent membership poll revealed that over 91% of Mat-Su teachers, school librarians, counselors, nurses and student support staff have “no confidence” in the decisions of the overwhelmingly conservative school board and current Superintendent of Schools Randy Trani.

Conducted last week by the Mat-Su Education Association, which includes roughly 1,200 educators, the poll generated 1,052 responses. Of these, 979 (or 93%) had “no confidence” in the school board, while another 960 (or 91%) expressed “no confidence” in Dr. Trani.

Why are educators so upset?

Based on the union poll, they are unhappy with the fact that the conservative school board has passed a litany of policies aimed at removing sexualized books from schools and libraries, prohibiting school counselors from talking to kids about their sexual identity without involving parents, and limiting the role of the board’s unelected student advisory representative. The poll also asserted that the school board lacks “transparency.”

The latest union poll appears to be a thinly veiled stunt, timed right during an election to rile up disgruntled liberal educators in order to give Shibe and Zuyus a boost at the polls.

In short, public-school educators flat out oppose the direction of the conservative school board and, by default, the parents and community members who elected them.

The fact that nine out of 10 educators are adamantly opposed to the elected representatives of the decidedly traditional Mat-Su populous should be concerning to area parents.

It suggests that most of these educators are fine with the sexualized books that have circulated through local school libraries, and are fully on board with talking to students about personal sexual matters while keeping parents in the dark.

The recent poll also indicates just how important the current school board elections are. If Mat-Su parents want the board to continue advancing policies that uphold parental rights, empower families and restrict sexualized books and curriculum, then voters need to re-elect conservative incumbents Kathy McCollum and Ole Larson.

Their left-leaning opponents – Dianne Shibe and Sydney Zuyus – are union darlings who refuse to answer questions from conservative media, all while claiming to be champions of “transparency.”

The latest union poll appears to be a thinly veiled stunt, timed right during an election to rile up disgruntled liberal educators in order to give Shibe and Zuyus a boost at the polls.

If voters are going to repel this obvious attempt to whittle away at the school board’s conservative membership, pro-family, pro-parent and pro-liberty residents will need to turn out in force, either through early voting or on election day.

Unless and until the old-guard liberals are replaced with conservative-minded educators, the school board appears to be the only roadblock obstructing the staunchly leftist union from implementing a radical agenda in the local school system.


— Mat-Su voters will vote on school board and borough assembly candidates during the Nov. 7 elections. Early voting is underway. For more information about voting locations, balloting options and registration, click here.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

OPINION: Union poll shows that the vast majority of Mat-Su teachers are cultural leftists

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • DaveMaxwell says:

    I’m confused??? I’m great full!
    I’m confused because the law is broken when educators expose children to pornography! Uphold the law for Gods sake and it won’t matter if the perverse teachers want to groom the children. If they do it , then arrest and jail them!
    Thank you school board. I tire of asking where the he’ll dunleavy and his ag are? Wouldn’t it be great if we could row in the same direction????!

  • Chuck Anziulewicz says:

    Not to paint everyone with the same broad brush, but statistically the better educated a person is, the more liberal they tend to be. It is a result of being exposed to a broad range of ideas, sciences, and arts. Public school teachers go through a lot of effort to get their education degrees and teaching certificates. Statistically they are more likely to be liberal. It goes with the territory. But if it’ll make you feel better, some public school districts are investing in teaching materials from Prager University.

    • HomeschoolersToldYou says:

      This is one of the most ridiculous and unintelligent statements I have ever read. There is only one person here who is revealing how uncultured and bigoted they are, regardless of your travels and exposures to other cultures.

    • Tamra Nygaard says:

      Elitist much, Chuck? Why is it that liberals, when confronted on their warped world view, always assume that their opponents are idiots or uneducated or rubes of some kind? Do you really believe you are that superior to everyone? Please show me evidence of that. Public school teachers go to teachers college, which is acknowledged to enroll those who cannot make it at real universities. They are exposed to loads of leftists claptrap and filled with ideas that the real world finds ludicrous. They are not intellectually curious enough to determine the probable results of their ridiculous ideas. And honestly, most of them are barely able to stay ahead of the kids in their classes.

    • North to Alaska says:

      It’s not “better educated” it’s called better “brainwashed”.

    • James says:

      > Public school teachers go through a lot of effort to get their education degrees and teaching certificates
      LOL, anyone with a STEM degree just spewed coffee all over their keyboard.

      • Mike Alexander says:

        No James it’s a gimme degree.. A few years ago two women in my class, who were failing the nursing program at UAA switched their major to education and the next semester they were on the Dean’s honor roll. Tamara Naygaard nailed it. One other factor teachers never deal with is working in the real world.

    • Douglas says:

      Just a brief look at state-by-state reports on teacher aptitude and current education/training on subjects they teach will show everyone here how bad our public schools operate (shoot just look at the yearly tanking on a national level the reading, writing, and math competencies in students). Bush tried to implement teacher accountability with NCLB Act of 2002 (only 11 states at this time where compliant with Fed Ed standards) and he strengthened it in 2007, but On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a bipartisan bill to replace No Child Left Behind. The new law aims to reduce unnecessary standardized tests, eliminate one-size-fits-all mandates on schools, prepare every child to graduate from high school ready for college and careers, and provide more children access to high-quality state preschool programs. In other words…make school easier to pass kids up to the next grade and push more affirmative action (which actually penalizes the student by accepting them into higher learning institutions they were never properly educated and prepared fro in the first place). In short, Chuck above is poorly versed on this topic at best.

    • Education says:

      Well said and thank you

    • Judy Eledge says:

      Chuck, in actuality one of the lowest scores to get into a college program is the education department. There are many conservative teachers. They are just afraid to speak up.

    • John J Otness says:

      Thats like saying Drs are nutritionalists…. both are indoctrinated not educated.

  • M says:

    Mat Su is officially a new suburb of Anchorage.

    • Concerncitizen says:

      Because like everywhere else communists destroyed their way of living where they are from and move away to an away where living conditions are way better and proceeds to vote the same brand of socialism back into power. And they would wonder why their city is so bad. Oh yeah it’s because of those conservatives in powers that destroyed their beloved city.

  • David Boyle says:

    It’s good to know that the MatSu School Board is just not a mirror image of the teachers’ union, pushing their policies and ideas. The board represents the people, not the teachers’ union. Unfortunately, in the Anchorage School District we have a board that is merely a proxy for the teachers’ union. And MatSu voters look at what that has brought about! So, MatSu voters pay attention, get active, get off your duffs and vote.

    • DaveMaxwell says:

      Mr Boyle, I respect much for what I have heard you say, so in that light I hope you will consider why I am reacting to your commending people to “get off their duffs and vote “comment. Our systems that we have depended on for so long are dead and untrustworthy! My comments referencing systems is applied to all of them! Elections, law enforcement, banks , etc. State and federal!
      Maybe blaming the republic isn’t the best use of our time! I’m not even sure the constitutional representative form of government exist anymore!? Too many examples reinforcing the death of it have been paraded in front of us! Have we even lost our ability to spell accountability! I wouldn’t be surprised because we certainly have lost our ability to enforce it!

  • Jack Roberts says:

    Imagine that, liberal teachers coming out of liberal universities that have liberal professors? It’s been going on for decades and should be no surprise to anyone.

    • Chuck Anziulewicz says:

      Well-educated people are like that.

      • HomeschoolersToldYou says:

        Well educated does not mean intelligent. Seems the opposite in the bubble of campuses where their “intellect” doesn’t even fit reality.

      • Tamra Nygaard says:

        Hm. If that were so, then why am I a conservative? You really are offensive in your own little way.

  • HomeschoolersToldYou says:

    So glad we have the right board members in place. besides, 91%…sssuuuurrreee just like 80 million votes hahahaha…how gullible do they think we are. However, routing out the sexual predators and groomers must be done.

  • Steve Peterson says:

    It is extremely unusual to find a “well educated” college graduate anymore. What one finds instead is a heavily indoctrinated graduate who parrots what they/them have been told to believe. In most cases that is various levels of cultural Marxism wrapped up as “compassionate liberalism”.
    Suburban and rural residents of the state need to realize that leftists are colonizing the west, including Alaska, and this especially holds true for the social professions. They are coming for your children and they make no pretenses anymore. Pull your kids/grandkids/nieces & nephews out of these snake pits.

    • Lucinda says:

      Steve-can you provide ANY evidence to support your claims? For example, have you personally met enough college graduates to support your claim that finding well educated graduates is extremely unusual?

    • James says:

      Try interviewing recent STEM graduates for technical work. No wonder the world is falling apart and nothing works anymore.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Mr. Davidson, I followed the link to the Mat-Su Borough-Elections page and see this huge notice on the page: “. I figured that maybe they were updating the page, but are they? Elections are only 10 days away with early voting going on now. The “notice” made me wonder if the information was up-to-date; it looks like it is up-to-date. Any idea why the notice for the November 2023 Elections: “THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION FOR 2023. PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR MORE INFORMATION?”

  • Jen says:

    Matsu it needs God just as much as the rest of Alaska does. The only foundation that has held the conservative leadership is not strong under American ideology of freedom, law, order, and family traditions. See I tell you unless it’s conservative leadership get serious about God in one’s personal and family life, its leftists rooted among you just been laying low. They must be feeling the confidence they have enough votes to flip the school board and borough.

  • H.Nelson says:

    Yes they are. This goes back to the 80’s. If students showed their leftist “colors” to left leaning teachers, they were taken care of academically. If a student was not of the leftist ideology, teachers would grade harder and more critical because you were not one of them. Suzane LaFrance is a shining example of leftist student groomed and coddled by leftist teachers.

  • Mongo Love Candy says:

    Let’s have a poll on what the citizens think of the “teachers”.

  • DaveMaxwell says:
  • North to Alaska says:

    This is what happens when the left took over the universities and are able to brainwash the next generation. The left has won the war. Meanwhile the right is still fighting for clicks and ratings. Homeschooling is a last ditch effort to save our kids from the left and it will only delay the inevitable.

  • Dan says:

    The Matus teachers are going in the wrong way in my opinion. We need to defund the education and get rid of the NEA

  • Judy says:

    I would believe nothing the union puts out. How many responded to the poll? Bet conservatives did not!

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    When you break the back of your money source, the tax payers, you will also come to an end!

  • jon says:

    Not surprisingly red states education levels are far below that of blue states. Alaska isn’t on the great end of the scale. Do you want to go lower? Then buy into all the hate that the Republicans have for teachers and education.

  • John J Otness says:

    Judge them by their educated fruit……. Alaska educators are near the top of all categories when you flip the stats upside down as
    most liberals do….. These educators some even brag as the one with 50 years on here as they are the success as they have a home and pension and the children they taught know how to fill out a food stamp questionnaire. total success!!!

  • John J Otness says:


  • Django Cottonwood says:

    As a teacher at a MSBSD school:
    The union rep for the school collected the votes by tallying a piece of paper. Before they would tally, the read from a list of bullet points that were all political talking points of the Union.

    This “vote” depended on a Union school rep actually tallying votes in an impartial manner, which I doubt happened.

    I will tell you that about 60% of new teachers to the district opted not to pay dues because they see the Union as a joke. I would personally love to see a vote of no confidence in the local union, but I’m walking with my feet and submitting Janus paperwork.