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.
In 2018 and 2019, the legislature secured an additional $20 and $30 million respectively for K-12 funding. I will continue to vote for adequate funding.
When the Legislature passed HB 287 in 2018, it made education funding a separate, early appropriation. 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 am also on record supporting 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.