Too many of our students graduate without the tools they need to thrive in the real world. They must be empowered with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to tackle the challenges of young adulthood head-on. From securing a job to building healthy relationships, we owe it to our students to prioritize their preparation for life after school.
Years of flat funding have been nothing short of disastrous for the education of our children. It's time for the Alaska Legislature to step up and do what's right for our kids. That means taking swift and decisive action to increase the Base Standard Allocation (BSA) and inflation-proof it. The consequences of inaction are dire: we're talking potential school closures, ballooning classroom sizes, and deep cuts that will cripple our education system. The stakes couldn't be higher, and our elected officials must act.
ASD is richly diverse. We must prioritize culturally responsive teaching, recruit and retain diverse teachers, and root out systemic inequities in our school system. Every student should have an equal opportunity to thrive regardless of race, ethnicity, or background.
I support teachers having the autonomy to teach because it permits them to design and implement effective and engaging strategies catering to students' needs. Data shows that teachers who have autonomy are likely to be innovative, creative, and more responsive to the diverse needs of their students. This can translate to better student outcomes which better prepares students for life after school. Studies have also shown that classroom autonomy is a major factor in determining the level of job satisfaction, which is an important contributing factor in teacher retention.
We wouldn't have an education system without our dedicated educators, and I believe they must be fairly compensated. I support efforts to return to a defined-benefit retirement system because our teachers shouldn't have to worry about their future after dedicating their lives to shaping the next generation.