Legislature should vote to override governor’s education funding veto

This past session (2023), the Alaska Legislature approved a one-time funding boost to K-12 public schools for $175 million. The last time the state added money to K-12 schools was in 2017.

In June, Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed half the money that was to go to the schools — $87.4 million.

The Governor’s 2024-25 budget currently has no money directed toward public education and has a billion-dollar deficit.

Why an override of the Governor’s education funding veto makes sense:

1. The money is available now.

2. School districts need this money now.

3. The legislative branch implemented the Alaska Reads Act in 2023 and many schools need a smaller teacher-student ratio to implement this program.

4. A shortage of paraprofessionals and special education teachers for students who need more individualized attention is occurring. Currently in the state, there are 36 openings for K-12 special education teachers. (https://www.alaskateacher.org/jobs/)

5. Schools provide food programs, availability of medaical attention, counseling for various issues, continuing education pursuits, ability to assess child abuse and more. How a school functions has a huge impact on the health of its community.

6. Alaskans have been persistent/consistent with testimony in favor of funding education appropriately. Alaskans seem to be looking for more candidates who can find compromises.

7. School staff/students/communities would be overjoyed to get any support.

8. A vote to override the veto would show that all sides are willing to listen to each other. This could lead to more open discussions on the various ideas each party has in how to fund education.

9. With all the hardships in this world, can’t we be more helpful to one another? We need more love and understanding, rather than policies that restrict growth. Adding more money to education this month speaks to our commitment to support this message.

Let your representatives know that you are in favor of a vote to override the governor’s education veto!

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