In my parents’ generation, nothing seemed more important than their children having a better chance than they had. So, they worked their butts off to make sure they could offer us the chance at an education that would lead to a better life. My mom and dad spent their entire lives in an apartment over their grocery store. They did this so that their children would be able to live in nice houses with lawns in the suburbs after they finished college and got the great jobs their education promised.
I think most, if not all, parents today still would do whatever was necessary to start their children on the right path towards success. Except for Governor Dunleavy. Either his kids are already out of school, so he doesn’t care, or he simply doesn’t care – period.
I say this because his recent veto of over $87 million in one-time school funding makes no sense, assuming he wants Alaskans to not only succeed but stay here in the state to work their success. What makes this even more frustrating is that it was one of the ways the current Legislature has shown that it can work across the aisle to better Alaskans’ lives. After the past decade or so, who knew that was even possible. But it is. They did it. They agreed on this one-time money as a bipartisan boost to school funding. The fact that this was one time funding was discouraging. But the fact that it represented our politicians actually looking out for our best interest was amazing.
Getting a good education starts when you are young. If you don’t learn good habits in grade school, you’ll definitely have trouble suddenly developing them in high school and you won’t stand a chance in college. That’s simply the way it is. I guess you could get lots of study help if your parents are willing to pay for the extra tutoring. But they are already paying for education through their taxes. Why should they have to pay extra for what you should learn in school.
If your school doesn’t have enough money to provide you with a quality education, all the trying in the world won’t help. You will be on the back end of the stick and always trying to catch up.
A crappy elementary and high school pretty much wipe out your chance at greater success in the future. Add to that a university system that is gasping for air and close to collapse and you have the state of education in Alaska today. And our governor thought the way to handle this crisis of education was to cut funding even further. I hate to say this, but he’s even making the BIA look good when it comes to education. That is not easy to do.
There’s a part of me that hopes that our legislators will come back to override the veto in a continued bipartisan vote. That’s the same part of me that hopes that someday Magnum PI will show up at my house and whisk me away in his red convertible. Both hopes probably have the same chance of coming true.
So, I think the man owes us an explanation. Why did he cut this funding? What made him look at the billion-dollar state budget and decide that $87 million needed to come out of the school budget or… what? The state’s economy would crash? As our schools edge along the line of failure due to lack of any kind of reasonable funding, what explanation does he have to the children receiving this crappy education?
And before you start sending hate mail, know that I am not blaming the teachers. They can only do so much when they aren’t handed much to begin with. And we can only expect them to pay so much of their salary for school supplies before it becomes a losing game for them.
You owe us an expanation, Governor Dunleavy. And it had better be a damn good explanation because ignorance is never the answer. It just seems to be the answer you like.