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Larger view of district behind vote

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, December 26, 2003

There he goes again. As Clay Good's favorite Juneau target, I am pleased to correct his latest misstatement in the Empire. After voting against the teacher contract last week I issued a lengthy statement outlining my objections to the contract. This was clearly reported the following day in the Empire and other media.

During my 12 years on the School Board I have both voted for and against teacher contracts. The same has been true for superintendent contracts. My rationale is whether the contract is financially sound and if I am willing to live with the inevitable consequences.

I do believe it is "fiscally and programmatically irresponsible" to offer teachers more than a 7 percent increase for 2003-04. This $1.3 million budget increase coupled with added retirement costs will lead over the next 18 months to a reduction of between 25 and 50 teachers, administrators and support staff, which will inevitably result in larger class sizes and fewer course offerings.

After attacking me for disrespecting teachers by not agreeing to a significant increase in their compensation, he goes off on a diatribe against the new valley high school, apparently because this project will take money away from teachers. The School Board, Assembly and voters have decided a new high school is critical. I personally look forward to groundbreaking next year.

Mr. Good, every decision made in the district does not revolve around the core issue of whether or not funds are available to increase your salary. There is a larger picture, like perhaps what is best for our 5,300 students.

Alan Schorr

Juneau



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