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.
- Manufacturers that operate in foreign trade zones may be able to evade President Donald Trump’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, trade experts say. But there are a lot of unanswered questions about how the tariffs — which were justified on rarely-used national security grounds — will be applied in zones.
- Four Dall sheep from the Talkeetna Mountains and two Kenai Peninsula mountain goats became the state's first wild sheep and goats to test positive for a pathogen known as Movi that has led to deadly outbreaks among bighorn sheep in the Lower 48 and is triggering calls for restrictions on domestic livestock here.
- President Donald Trump says "there will always be change, and I think you want to see change." Already he's had more Cabinet turnover in 420 days than 14 of his predecessors had in their first two years.
- The cleanup at the old Byford junkyard is on hold, pending further environmental testing from the state. The state still plans on hauling 20,000 cubic yards of lead contaminated soil from the junkyard to a rock-pit, a quarter of a mile from Pat’s Creek.