2019 Juneau Municipal Elections

Most pressing education issues

What do you think are the most pressing issues facing education in Juneau?

What do you think are the most pressing issues facing education in Juneau?

  • School Board

    • Deedie Sorensen

      Candidate for School Board

      I think that one of the most pressing issues for Juneau schoolchildren is safe, predictable classrooms. Juneau has many issues that we confront as a community, including drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, homelessness, food insecurity. And many of the students in our schools are living with some or all of those in their home lives. I think that we do not have a strategy for helping these students and (ensuring) all of our students have stable, productive classroom environments. Another issue that I think is very important is teaching social studies. One of the unintended consequences of all of our high-stakes testing is it has narrowed the opportunity for the curriculum that our children are able to spend time with in their classroom.

    • Martin Stepetin Sr.

      Candidate for School Board

      I think across the Alaska and in Juneau, by far the most pressing issue is funding for education, period. And running for the school board, I don’t have a whole lot of control of that. But that is honestly the No. 1 issue. We’ve been flat-funded since since the late 2000s, and that doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. So that’s going to start affecting us here, and it already is and has been for such a long time. So I believe funding is the No. 1 issue facing our school district.

    • Bonnie Jensen

      Candidate for School Board

      We don’t really know what budget we’re going to receive in the coming years, and I strongly believe that we need to keep extracurricular activities, special education. And so I want to put in my input if someone were to propose that we cut those activities or services.

    • Emil Robert Mackey III

      Candidate for School Board

      The biggest issue that I see is really the threat of education cuts in the future. Dunleavy, I think the tip of the spear was what he did to the university system, and I think he’s coming for K- 12 next. I’d love to be proven wrong, but I do believe that that’s what he’s going to do. When that happens, we’re going to be faced with really tough choices. And I think that’s going to be a huge issue for the next school board, ongoing.

      The second thing I think is we have over $20 million worth of deferred maintenance. Marie Drake (home to Yaakoosge Daakahidi High School and Montessori Borealis School) is in severe need of a remodel, Riverbend (Elementary School) needs a new roof, Mendenhall River (Community School) needs a complete remodel. And we really need to come up with a plan and a way that we can present to the Assembly in order to prioritize these issues, rectify the deferred maintenance and pay for it.

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