Inside the building, the state House had planned to take up Gov. Sean Parnell’s omnibus education package, but debate on the floor was delayed.
Mary Hakala of Great Alaska Schools in Juneau said education funding in the state has not kept up with rising costs.
“Schools across the state are facing deep and devastating cuts,” Hakala said. “It’s impacting our kids, our own children, our neighbors, our schools, the state’s future.”
The group wants the legislature to increase the state’s base student allocation about $650 over the next three school years. That’s more than double the current proposal before lawmakers.
The BSA is the amount school districts across the state receive for each enrolled student. It’s been $5,680 per student for the past four years.
Juneau Douglas High School senior Ruby Steedle says flat funding is starting to take a toll.
“This year our college and career advisor was cut from full to half time. The counseling office almost lost another position, and next year we’re losing 20 teachers across the district,” Steedle said, as the crowd booed the cuts. “That means that we have fewer teachers to reach the same number of students, meaning more students will start slipping through the cracks.”
The governor’s omnibus education bill is expected to be heard on the House floor on Monday.
- While much of the recent focus has been on the opioid crisis, a report found that alcohol use causes more economic damage.
- Eight Arctic nations, six circumpolar indigenous groups, and over 30 representatives from other countries and organizations participate in the intergovernmental forum.
- A tsunami warning drill takes place once a year, and one village in Southeast has not forgotten the importance of being ready when disaster strikes.
- Nome turns into a bit of a carnival when the Iditarod winner mushes into town. For nearly a week, racers continue arriving before the banquet that officially concludes each year’s Iditarod.