Parental wrath ahead

Posted: Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Our Republican legislators have not been listening to the impassioned pleas of parents and children from across the state. The bill to close Alyeska Central School would eliminate accredited school services to over 3,000 summer school students and over 1,000 regular students as of July 1. If this school were a brick and mortar institution, there would be marching in the street! However, Alyeska is a correspondence school, and so the affected families are scattered across Alaska from Ketchikan to Barrow.

Many Alaskans have called or traveled to Juneau to give logical, eloquent, and sometimes tearful testimony to the committee members. Several disturbing facts are now obvious to all who have listened:

1) The bill does not save Alaska money (only closing summer school does). In fact, it could cost the state more and force children to leave their homes for state boarding schools.

2) The schools to which the children are expected to change are not accredited and they do not offer teaching services. (The "diplomas" from other statewide correspondence schools could not even get a child into the military let alone competitive universities).

3) Juneau loses 45 jobs.

There you have it. Our "education governor" who promised economic growth by creating more jobs and vowed full support to education is proposing to trade in our children's future while handing money to big oil (the allotment to Arctic Power for four months is more than the illusory savings of closing this 60-year-old institution of learning).

Well, I don't see it. The parents, teachers, counselors, and students don't see it. The Democrats on the committees don't see it. And if the Republicans would wake up from sleepwalking this bill through their committees, they would realize that there is no wrath like that of parents whose children have lost their futures!

John French


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