After reading the governor’s budget proposal, I am disappointed and saddened. To make drastic cuts funding the education system in Alaska is not a wise choice. The future of the state depends on our children becoming productive citizens who value knowledge, skills, discipline and hard work. These are the things that ensure a strong Alaska, and we all need to make a commitment to that future.
Without teaching these values, and by downgrading the importance of education, we are cutting off the lifeline to a sustainable economy and the productive growth of the state. The impact will be felt. Many committed educators will move to other states that value the importance of education and our children. The lack of good teachers will create a classroom atmosphere of irrelevance and ambivalence. The importance of teaching children pride in themselves and their unique capability to be self-sufficient and to become productive members of society will be damaged.
I realize that the state needs to balance its budget. When making a decision to do so, it’s imperative to keep long-term consequences in mind. I believe that as citizens that care, we can all contribute without hurting one group, especially the most vulnerable. Most states have a sales tax, which provides for these most needed services. Excellence comes with a cost.
No decision is easy and there will always be people that disagree, but hurting the children, which is the very future of this state, seems to be misdirected.
Please, let’s convince the elected officials to consider other options before agreeing to these drastic and counterproductive cuts.
— Sheryl Cannastra
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