from the Lower Yukon School District
The Future is Unknown, but with Wise and Thoughtful Leadership Full of Great Promise.
The sustainability, reliability and adequacy of Alaska’s funding for public education are of highest concern to the Lower Yukon School District. LYSD urges the Legislature to develop a state fiscal plan. This fiscal plan should provide a long-term approach to funding the costs of public education and other services upon which Alaska’s students and their families depend.
The plan should be strategic, sustainable and realistic, providing a framework for balancing budgets while adequately funding public education.
URGING ADEQUATE, EQUITABLE, AND PREDICTABLE FUNDING OF PUBLIC EDUCATION
LYSD urges the State of Alaska to provide adequate, equitable, and predictable funding of public education. LYSD believes that adequate funding should include the following:
• State funding of the TRS-PERS retirement liability; An increase to the Base Student Allocation to account for both inflation and adequate pre-K through 12th grade education;
• Recognition of the need to keep pupil-teacher ratios to a level in line with research-based
• Career and technical education.
CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION
LYSD supports the funding of Career and Technical (Vocational) Education through the foundation formula in AS 14.17.420 and continuation of funding for Alaska Construction Academies and regional training centers with increased and equitable access to rural communities.
Rationale. Vocational, career tech, and trades offerings help engage students and provide an effective alternate platform for academic education. These courses along with the necessary equipment help middle and high school students learn about and focus on potential career paths to prepare them for post-secondary education and careers in our state.
LYSD in a partnership with St. Mary’s School District is in the process of seeking federal funding to develop a regional career and technical education center. We request support from the Alaska State Legislature.
OUR CHILDREN DESERVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE INCLUDED IN ALASKA’S WORKFORCE.
NATIVE LANGUAGE PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT
LYSD supports state funding for staff training, program development and materials preparation to promote Native language instruction for those districts that desire Native language programs. LYSD also urges Congress to clarify the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to bring it into compliance with the Native American Languages Act and to support opportunities for American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander students to retain and use Native American languages, including adequate funding for programs that can support Native language instruction.
OUR LANGUAGE IS VITAL TO WHO WE ARE AS ALASKA’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.
ALTERNATIVE PATHWAYS TO CERTIFY HIGHLY QUALIFIED & EFFECTIVE TEACHERS
LYSD encourages the Department of Education & Early Development to develop alternative pathways for certifying teachers as highly qualified, with a particular focus on the need for teachers (a) to be highly qualified and effective in multiple subject areas (b) to qualify vocational/career technology teachers to provide core academic credit; and (c) to recognize an indigenous teacher certification track that will use Native/indigenous knowledge systems and pedagogy as a base for training teachers able to more effectively teach Native students. The alternative pathways should be created with participation from both urban and rural districts.
ALASKA NATIVE TEACHER HIRE & RETENTION
Studies have shown that Native teachers have had a very positive effect on Native students. The hiring and retention of qualified Alaska Native teachers has long been supported by educational and Native organizations. LYSD strongly urges school districts to recruit qualified Native teachers and administrators. Colleges and universities within the state are encouraged to more actively recruit Native students and to develop Indigenous certification programs designed to build on the strengths of indigenous pedagogies.
Local school districts, with the help of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, are encouraged to provide leadership in developing programs to encourage Native students to choose education as a field of study, and to make every effort to foster the hiring and retention of Native teacher aides and teachers.
OUR SCHOOLS NEED LOCAL TEACHERS.
Because of the global economy of which our youth are a part, LYSD urges the state and federal governments to strongly encourage state leadership by virtue of student rights to equitable educational opportunity to ensure all classrooms are provided affordable, adequate and equitable broadband access (lowlatency terrestrial broadband Internet access) to the national and international information infrastructure.
OUR STUDENTS DESERVE EQUITABLE ACCESS TO BROADBAND AND TECHNOLOGY.
EQUITY IN EDUCATION
LYSD believes all children must have access to an educational program that meets their individual physical, academic, social and emotional needs. LYSD believes the allocation of educational resources must provide equity for every student regardless of their economic status, geographic location or the economies of scale.
Should per student funding at every school be exactly the same? That’s a question of equality. But should students who come from less get more in order to ensure that they can catch up? That’s a question of equity.” The Education Trust