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September 18, 2021

No Gov’t Handouts for Private Schools

Today in Juneau, hundreds of  concerned parents, students and community members assembled on the steps of the Capitol building to support an increase in school funding (by raising the Base Student Allocation) and to oppose government handouts to private and religious schools. “We just cannot divert public money to private schools. It’s simply a bad idea,” said Dave Noon, a parent of a public elementary school student and a history professor. “As you look through history, there is no roster of heroes who opposed public education.” “Constitutional Conservatives” who usually advocate for the Constitution as an unassailable, and unchanging document,…

Parnell’s War on Education

Our governor gave his State of the Colony speech this week. In it, he tied “school reform” (by which he apparently means amending the Alaska Constitution to allow spending public money on private and religious schools) to raising the state’s contribution to each student’s education. I guess taking hostages is now Standard Operating Procedure for Republican elected officials. And even if those of us who like our constitution just the way it is were to acquiesce, Gov. Sean Parnell’s proposed “increase” in education funding wouldn’t come close to replacing what schools have lost to inflation in just the last three…

Government Funding for Mat-Su Madrassa?

That’s what the Christian Conservatives are pushing for this legislative session, even if they’re too obtuse to know it. Chalk up another one to the Constitutionalists of Convenience – you know, conservatives who squawk and flap about libruls and leftists who want to “shred the Constitution,” and then turn around and fire up the shredding machine for the very document they purport to love. The fair-weather founding father fans now have their sights on one of the hallmarks of the Alaska Constitution – public education. The Alaska Constitution specifically prohibits using public money to fund religious schools. It’s quite clear….

Giessel’s Education Spin (VIDEO)

  Making History As the Anchorage Daily News points out in last Sunday’s profile of a certain state senate race, a successful independent candidacy around these parts takes one back to an Alaskan icon like Jay Hammond. Running unaffiliated, without the trappings of political party infrastructure, certainly means you start out as an underdog. But it doesn’t mean you have to remain one. Combine a candidate’s work ethic—hitting thousands of doors throughout the district over the course of a year—with the fact that the majority of the district’s voters are themselves independent, and the next thing you know the race…

School Choice Bill Moves Ahead – Giddyup!

~And they would’ve got away with it too… if it weren’t for that pesky Constitution! The question is “school choice.” That’s what they call it, anyway. Anchorage is fortunate in that there is already a great network of 27 charter schools available for those who want a public school alternative. And America is fortunate that for our kids, attending school is a privilege to which everyone is entitled. Yes, education is an “entitlement program,” (oh, the horror) and we ought to be proud of that. It’s one of those instances when “American exceptionalism” really means something. Republicans in the Alaska…