There were two Anchorage School Board seats on Tuesday’s municipal election ballot, and former state lawmakers Bettye Davis and Eric Croft won both of them.
Davis beat out incumbent Don Smith for seat A on the School Board. Davis said the Board needs to put children first.
“They’re our greatest resources,” Davis said. “If we educate them early, we keep them from getting in trouble later — that’s why we have high dropouts. So those are the areas that I’m going to be working on.”
“I don’t have a concern about looking for efficiencies in the school district that they might be able to save money,” Davis said. “But I’ll do what I can to make sure we get what we can for our children.”
Davis says she believes her experience in the legislature will assist the board in securing funding for the district. Smith had held seat A since 2010.
Attorney and former legislator Eric Croft beat out two other candidates for Seat B. He says his first priority will be rearranging the school board chambers.
“It sounds funny but, the administration’s back is to the public in the actual meeting room,” Croft said. “And, while it’s a small point, I want to change that. I want to have it so they’re looking at us. I think listening to people is a big message of this night on the assembly races and on this. And then really diving into the budget numbers and figuring out how we focus all that energy on the classroom.”
Davis beat Smith by more than 3,000 votes. She served on the School board during the 80′s and 90′s.
Croft garnered nearly 60 percent of votes in his race.
Another new board member joined the school board this week to replace Gretchen Guess. Kameron Perez-Verdia, who heads an education non-profit was appointed and sworn in Monday.
Board members represent the entire city.
- A bill to break up the FAA and privatize the nation’s air traffic controllers cleared the Transportation Committee in the U.S. House Thursday night.
- "Her focus on education, her focus on examining our city budget at a really deep level, not just a broad stroke policy level, but getting into the line items – I think that’s a really valuable for assembly members to go after the budget work," said Deputy Mayor Jesse Kiehl.
- Rep. Les Gara wants to make sure state budget cuts don’t fall too heavily on working-class and low-income people. Instead, he wants a new business tax.
- The Legislative Council is seeking advice from a finance expert on what to do about the controversial lease on the Anchorage Legislative Information Office.