Governor Murkowski’s current budget proposal of an additional $90 million in education funding for fiscal year 2007 translates into debilitating educational shortfalls for districts across the state. Students will suffer from all degrees of cuts; teaching positions will be eliminated, Pupil Teacher Ratios (PTR) will increase, specialists and counselors who help keep kids in school will be cut and art rich programs will suffer.
Our teachers, specialists, counselors, and special programs must be fully funded. To weigh one program against another, to determine what to cut and what to save when the whole gestalt is vitally important to the education of the child is incomprehensible in a state as resource rich as ours.
Children deserve adults in the legislature who will advocate for their basic rights which include comprehensive high quality education. Increasing the Foundation BSA by at least $55 million beyond the $90 million that Murkowski has proposed, is a discussion we must return to.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” Legislators, please show the children of Alaska by your actions, by your votes that you believe that they are indeed the greatest resource that our resource rich state has, and that they are deserving of the richest education we can afford to give them.
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