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Our state Legislature has cut education funding for years. When you adjust for inflation, education funding has resulted in a loss of more than 35 percent in student funding since 1986. Even with SB36, passed in 1998, there was only an increase for one year in some districts in Southeast. Petersburg actually lost funding.
Local school districts struggling with decreased state funding have been forced to rely on local government for much-needed support. These funding cuts have reduced or eliminated vocational programs, advanced placement courses, sports and extracurricular activities.
We need to increase education funding. Investing in our children is investing in our future. Alaska students must be able to compete in the workplace and in post-secondary education. The University of Alaska has suffered cuts and underfunding for years. It's time to turn this around -- we can't afford not to invest in education.
I am committed to education, and Alaska's future. If elected in November to Alaska's State Senate, I promise to work tirelessly on behalf of Alaska's children and students of all ages.