The purpose of my meetings is to share that what we are doing as a district is good, and that if we are to maintain our positive results, then we will need the state to commit to forward funding as a way to meet the rising cost of running a quality school district. This is easier said than done. While it is easy to share our improving test scores and other metrics of performance, it is now more and more difficult to convince legislators of the value of education. There is a general sentiment (by some) that more investment in our students will not result in favorable returns. As we all know, when you value something you are willing to pay for it. It appears however, that many have reached a point where their appreciation for what is going on in our schools has stalled.
While it is relatively easy for the state to add money to meet rising operational costs such as transportation, it is increasingly difficult for our lawmakers to add money that will go to our classrooms. There is a lot of talk of the need for schools to better prepare our students for the changing world. The way to do this is for a district to hire the right people and have a continuous improvement system that ensures that each student receives quality instruction. A coordinated, systematic, and collective effort is necessary. In short, a long term effort is needed for sustained improvement. This can best be accomplished by a long term commitment of financial support. Alaska’s students deserve this.