Letters to the Editor: Keep education off the chopping block

Keep education off the chopping block

Alaska’s education mission is ‘to provide an excellent education to every student, every day’. An excellent education gives children a knowledge of the world and life around them. As children encounter life experience, the information learned in school is converted into knowledge that helps form opinions about meaningful things, such as jobs and family. This leads to knowledge-based decision-makers, for both sides of the aisle. This part of education is as necessary in Alaska as anywhere.

Alaska’s public-school funding, previously cut by $25 million from 2015 to 2018, left education already desperate for resources. There’s no more fat to trim. When education is underfunded, we lose good teachers and vital programs, achievement gaps grow, communities fail, local economies flounder as children become dependent adults, and most importantly, we have no promise for the future of Alaska. Therefore, the 2019 proposed $20 million cut from Dunleavy — the “Education Governor” — must be appropriated back to education as promised.

This year, my daughter started attending Soldotna Montessori — a charter school that has brought her from the brink of failure to thriving. Because of the outstanding teachers and the robust academic environment, I know that someday she will be a very productive member of the community. It would be catastrophic for her and many others, should something happen to this or similar schools.

As the state considers funding, they should remember that a budget is always a statement of our priorities and a manifestation of our values. The quality of public education is among the very top considerations of people deciding where they want to live and raise a family. As Alaska’s population is shrinking, we need to consider whether our state is sufficiently committed to our schools.

“Education improvement” is a tried and true campaign promise, precisely because it reflects an important civic value, something most of us care deeply about. But the promise of protecting education in Alaska rings hollow, unless those elected on that promise solidly stand behind it.

Please, keep education off the chopping block.

— Angie Clark, Soldotna

More in Opinion

Opinion: A balanced approach is needed for oil tax rates

For the good of Alaska and the future of the state, please vote no on Proposition 1.

Opinion: Alaska and America’s very survival are at stake this election year

There’s only one choice for this Marine and others who treasure our democracy.

Alaskans helped make PFD filing a success

Moving forward, we will continue to strive for improvements that benefit all Alaskans.

Ballot Measure 1 — The Very Fair Share Act

I am betting the oil industry can afford to pay a greater share.

In this Aug. 25, 2017, file photo, provided by NOAA Fisheries, a newborn beluga whale calf sticks its head out of the water in upper Cook Inlet, Alaska. (NOAA Fisheries via AP, File)
Voices of the Peninsula: Cook Inlet’s pollution double standard

If fishermen can’t flush a head in Cook Inlet, why should Hilcorp be allowed to dump toxic waste?

Former Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell
Opinion: Sen. Dan Sullivan: Alaska’s authentic fighter

Dan consistently pushes back against federal overreach and protects our access to federal lands.

Some lawmakers think the Legislature should reconvene in Juneau and appropriate federal COVID-19 relief funds. The governor and others at the Capitol want to get the money out as fast as possible. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire File)
Alaska Voices: Alaskans should be honest with each other

Next year we are projected to receive only half the revenue we need to cover projected spending.

Point of View: ‘Tis the season of the vote

I believe we all want our voices heard.

Most Read