Schools need plan for long-term funding

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2005

It's almost spring, and it's that time again. It's time to wage war with the legislators in an effort to get adequate school funding for the children of Alaska.

Once again, as a parent and citizen, I implore Republicans and Democrats alike to set aside party lines and work together to do what's right for the kids in our state. It's time to come up with a responsible, long-term, inflation-proofed plan to fund education in Alaska.

Is oil the future of our state? Tourism? Fishing? No, the future of our state is our children. In 20 years when most of us are looking toward retirement, wouldn't it be nice to know that the people managing our resources, running our government and caring for our state had been the recipients of a first-rate education?

Many of our legislators were elected or re-elected on the promises of improving our public education system and gaining additional funding for our schools. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. In a state with as much wealth as Alaska, it is shameful to provide anything less than the best education for our young citizens, yet this is what we are doing. The proposed increase in funding set forth by Gov. Frank Murkowski is not enough. The base allocation per student needs to increase to more than $5,100 per student. This has been proposed, and can be done, with bi-partisanship in the state Capitol.

Senators and representatives need to do what's right for Alaska's kids.

Janet McNary


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