I was concerned last week when a couple of Kenai Peninsula Borough employees spoke at the borough assembly meeting against a resolution to supply additional funds to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.
My angst was not simply from their opposition to the funding; I realize people have differing views on the value of education. My worry was that they spoke to the value of education, but then portrayed educational funding as an “us vs. them” situation, in that money for education was money that would not go to borough employees.
Families and businesses choose to locate on the peninsula because of the basic and quality of life services that a well-run borough with first-class employees provide. An excellent school system (do not confuse KPBSD excellence with certain dismal statewide statistics twisted by public education detractors) is a huge draw for families and businesses as well. Borough and school district employees should be advocating for each other and encouraging the borough assembly to take a stand against the draconian, anti-government/anti-tax/privatization-at-all costs mindset of the current governor and his minions. Those who want to see both borough services and school district quality drastically reduced are happy to see their divide and conquer strategy working.
Be assured that those of us who teach and work in the KPBSD choose to live and raise our families on the peninsula because of the quality of life that exists here. We fully understand the contribution of borough services to that equation and value the commitment of the employees who provide them. We will be right there advocating to protect those services as part of a complete fiscal plan to keep the Kenai Peninsula Borough open for business and moving forward, as opposed closing up shop and watching the exodus begin. A rising tide floats all boats.
— Karl Kircher, Kasilof