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ALASKA FAMILIES
WANT
EDUCATION REFORM

When Asked, Alaskans Answered

“Alaskans support an increase in school funding, as do I, but they also want and expect more. When polled, it was found that Alaskans want more public-school choice, they want teachers to be well compensated and supported, and they want to know that their children are learning and will be prepared for success as adults.” Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy 

Alaska Education Poll Results – Conducted March 20-24
Results from a statewide public opinion poll on education in Alaska reveal strong support for increasing education funding, yet as a general approach to improving education outcomes, Alaskans believe that “change and reforms to the education system” are more important than “increasing education funding” by a margin of 1.7-to-1. While 77% of Alaskans surveyed support increasing BSA funding, 57% said that changes and reforms to the education system are the most important factors in improving education outcome, compared to 33% who said that increasing education funding is the most important factor for improving education outcomes.

Governor Dunleavy Proposed Solutions

Charter School Expansion
A recent Harvard study found that Alaska’s public charter schools are number one in the nation but among the worse supported charter schools. Thousands of Alaskan families are trying to get into charter schools but are limited by capacity and slow growth. Alaska is 1 of only 5 states where Charter Schools must start with local school boards. Parents starting a new charter school is the ultimate “local control.”

Teacher Retention Incentives
The classroom is where the student learns to read, to learn math and science, and to forge a positive relationship with their teacher. That’s why I introduced House Bill 106 last year, and I’m calling on the members of the Legislature to approve legislation to provide incentive payments to classroom teachers.

Increasing Education Funding
We need an increase to education funding but funding alone will not improve Alaska’s educational outcomes. Our public schools need more legislation around education reform.

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“If the significant shifts over the past decade in how Alaskan families are choosing to educate their children were not already a worthy indicator, this survey confirms that Alaskans want to reform public education in Alaska so it works better for their children. School funding is essential, and like most of the survey respondents, I support increasing education funding. However, the BSA is not a silver bullet. Anyone who thinks that merely increasing the BSA will fix Alaska’s education system deceives themselves. Alaskans want an adequately funded education system that does not maintain the status quo, they want children able to read, write and perform arithmetic at their grade level. The responsibility we bear as policy makers is to craft education policy that produces the results Alaskans want to see – not to write blank checks to school districts.”

GOVERNOR Mike DUNLEAVY
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