Teachers, not buildings

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, June 16, 2004

After months of discussion, wrangling and an election, the School Board and the Assembly still don't get it. A new building will not solve the fundamental problems facing Juneau's educational system. Real solutions to our systemic problems have little to do with planning, designing and building a new facility regardless of its size, shape or location.

Unfortunately, securing public funds to help defray the costs of construction has become a magnificent obsession and obscured the fact that buildings do not educate children, teachers do. The ratio of students to teachers in the classroom (not crowded hallways) is a more realistic indicator of whether or not kids are getting the specialized attention they need and their parents expect. Yet the Assembly and School Board have wasted time, money and energy for the past two years on building a new edifice rather than investing in more classroom staff including qualified teachers. They have failed to grasp the basic notion that the more adults there are in the classroom, the more kids learn.

Unless and until the Assembly and School Board drastically reorder their priorities, not one additional dollar should be authorized by taxpayers for education in the Juneau school district

Greg Capito


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