I found KTUU News' recent series "Not Making the Grade," which addresses the challenges facing rural Alaska schools, to be quite insightful. However, prior to each online segment was an ad opposing the Pebble Project, and I was struck by the irony. Here's a series about the educational and economic struggles facing rural communities, which was preceded by an ad opposing a project that could create sustainable economic opportunities for rural Alaska.
Southwest Alaska is facing declining population and school closures, a result of job scarcity, low earnings and some of the costliest living expenses in the nation. Pebble is not a cure all, and important questions about the project remain. But it's clear the opportunities that Pebble represents could be a significant step toward addressing some of the challenges facing these communities.
In the report, teachers and administrators say that balancing culture and the modern world is key to providing students with a successful future. We must find a way for traditions and development to coexist - the sustainability of these communities may depend on it.
Phil St. George
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