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.
- It would cost a lot more to pay the full amount under the formula – $840 million.
- the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said about 22 contaminated sites still need to be cleaned up in the Ketchikan-Gateway Borough.
- The company’s owner, Kunniak Hopson, moved to Chugiak 11 years ago from Utqiaġvik, which she calls Barrow. When she was growing up, her family always put McCormick’s Salt ‘n Spice on maktak, which is frozen whale blubber and skin. But McCormick’s stopped making it and she had to find an alternative.
- A set of massive whale bones rests on the bottom of the Newport, Oregon, bay. Scientists from Oregon State University put them there with a plan for a future display on shore. But they’re having trouble finding the money to retrieve the rare blue whale skeleton from beneath the waves.