Point of View: The challenges of education in Alaska

In one word, the state of Education in Alaska is “pathetic.” Finger pointing, arguing and blaming everything except the structure of the current system will accomplish nothing. The constant cry of a bureaucracy saying “not enough money,”“more Money” and “you don’t understand” gets us nowhere while the school children of Alaska are paying the price and are among the poorest educated in the nation.

The children of Alaska deserve a better education and a future, not an administrative bureaucracy living off the larges of bloated school funding while the actual classroom teachers and their students are left to make due with paltry administrative handouts.

Facts and results are the important thing, not the rhetoric of failed administrators and lobbyists closing the eyes of government officials.

Here are a few facts:

• Alaska spends over $18,000 per student per year

• 54% goes to teachers and students — the LOWEST percentage in the nation

• 46% goes to administrative overhead — the HIGHEST percentage in the nation

The numbers tell a sad tale. While Alaska school officials tell us they need more money for education, they fail to disclose that a properly managed administrative system would have those funds, pay for the needed teacher wage scales and better the education of our students, all without additional funding.

For example: Nationally there are 295 students per administrator. In Alaska that number is 205. Simple math: We have 50% more administrators per student than the national average. There is an old saying: “follow the money.” Well, the trail leads to bloated administrative costs.

The simple solution is to enhance the direct education of our children by reducing administrative expenses and invest those dollars in teachers and students.

Result? Better educated students being taught by fairly compensated teachers at a reduced cost per student.

The highest percent of education investment budgets across U.S. states in students/teachers is approximately 70%.

Bringing Alaska to 60-65% would make a major change in the ability to serve our students.

• Will we have better paid teachers? YES

• Will more education dollars be directly invested in student education? YES

• Will our student education standards increase? YES

• Will our students have a better future because of a better education? YES

• Will the current administration make the changes? NO

• Will a new Alaska state administration make the changes?

With Charlie Pierce as your governor, the answer is YES. Team Pierce with Charlie Pierce for Governor and Edie Grunwald for Lt. Governor is committed to putting “Alaskans First.” Our children are Alaskans and the quality of their education will be put first.

Support Team Pierce, Charlie Pierce for Governor-Edie Grunwald for Lt. Governor and our children, Alaska’s children, will no longer be last, they will be part of “Alaskans First”.

Charlie Pierce is a candidate for governor, state of Alaska. For more information, visit www.charlie2022.com.