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3204 S. Tongass Hwy. Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA

Education for our Younger Generation

The Legislature's most important task each session is passing the State Budget. Within that budget, one of the most important agencies is our Department of Education and Early Development (DEED). We are constitutionally mandated to provide education funding for our younger generation. I am honored to be the Chair of the DEED Finance Subcommittee, which means I lead in the creation of the Education agency budget.

My goal is to create a sustainable and sufficient education budget that keeps qualified teachers in the classroom. As a former teacher and coach, I vow to make decisions that will most positively affect our students and teachers during their day-to-day.

This year, the legislature secured an additional $20 million for K-12 funding, and we are working towards securing an additional $30 million for next year, which I will vote for if re-elected.

That funding is part of HB 287, which also allocates a separate, early appropriation for education. Education funding should not become a political bargaining chip, and this bill protects it from that. It also gives school districts more stability by allowing them to finalize district budgets on time and prevent the need for pink slips.

I was also happy to support another Legislator's resolution regarding education: HJR29 encouraged the reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools Act. The Secure Rural Schools Act provides assistance to schools surrounded by federal lands, such as schools located within the Tongass National Forest. I also supported