In the governor's "warning" to the legislators on May 17, it was stated the budget will be short $161 million if we do not institute a sales tax. The alternative is a list of proposed cuts that add up to more than $188 million. Even my 8-year-old is better at math than that.
The mantra of this administration has been to improve the economy of Alaska "for our children and our children's children." Part of that is the concern that there is a "brain drain" where students leave Alaska for college and often the rest of their lives. With this as a priority, it makes sense to cut the funding to school districts and the university system?
The icing on the cake is cutting funding for student transportation. The end result is likely to be fees charged for students to ride the school bus, but I'm sure we can turn a blind eye to the kids wandering around town when their parents can't afford the fees for the bus. Maybe they can hitch a ride in an oil executive's limo!
While they're at it, why not require kids to put half their lunch money in a bucket when they arrive at school? We can just call it a lunchroom "user fee."
I am all for a strong economy and responsible development, but it is so wrong to say it is for our kids when they won't be educated enough to apply for the jobs that will be created. Education is the first step to a strong economy and healthy communities. To think otherwise will be our downfall.
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