Cutting Eduction funding is a bad strategy
For a guy who used to be an educator and who ran on a platform of restoring trust in government, Governor Mike Dunleavy just sent the opposite message to Alaskans, namely that education is not his administration’s priority and that government in these hyper-partisan times is highly unpredictable and thus untrustworthy.
In his supplemental budget Dunleavy proposed to deprive Alaskan schools of $20 million that were appropriated to education by a bipartisan decision in the last Legislature. Fiscally speaking, it is mid-year. The school districts have built that money into their budgets. To pull the funds now increases anxiety amongst school employees, administrators, teachers and kids. So, instead of calming the seas and getting out of the economic slump by providing the best education possible for Alaskans, Dunleavy pulls the rug underneath the state’s education system and sets the stage for uncertainty. However, uncertainty and confusion is not a proven strategy to attract or retain teachers from outside. And let’s face it, Alaska does not grow enough teachers to fill the ranks and is now even less poised to do so. The administration apparently does not see education as an investment.
The pitch for trusting government rings hollow as Dunleavy already tries to emulate Trump-style slash-and-burn tactics that undermine rather than build confidence and trust. —D.H.—