David Boyle: Who pays for students and agitators to testify against public school choice?

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By DAVID BOYLE

Do you ever wonder who paid for the many students, young children, and adults to trek to Juneau and agitate against public school choice?  

Who paid for the education industry to trek to Juneau to beg for more money for a less-than-mediocre K-12 education system?

What would you say if you were told that you, the taxpayer, actually paid for their travel, meals, and lodging?

Indirectly, through federal taxes, you did pay for those who filled the entrances to the House chambers to influence and intimidate legislators during the vote to override Governor Dunleavy’s veto of SB 140.  The bill would have increased K12 funding with no accountability for results.

Let’s follow the money.  In this case, it was the Alaska Children’s Trust that funded the travel of the Great Alaska Schools’ lobbying effort to intimidate legislators into overriding the governor’s veto. 

The Alaska Children’s Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is limited by the IRS in funding lobbying efforts. It usually does good work by providing grants to organizations that protect children, educate parents, and help prevent child abuse. 

One of the founders of the Great Alaska Schools organization is the current Rep. Alyse Galvin.  She has lobbied for more and more K-12 spending for many years.

Here is the Facebook post from Great Alaska Schools organization stating that the ACT funded their travel to the legislature for lobbying:

Here are the grant criteria from its website:

Eligibility. Applications are accepted from qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, tribes, local or state governments, schools, or Regional Educational Attendance Areas in the state of Alaska. Organizations that have received past awards and are in good standing are eligible to apply.  Applicants with open Alaska Children Trust grants must be current on all grant reporting. Applications from organizations with outstanding grant reports will not be accepted.

Non-Eligible: Individuals, for-profit, 501(c)(4) or (c)(6) organizations, non-Alaska based organizations, and federal government agencies are not eligible for competitive grants. 

Applications for religious indoctrination or other religious activities, endowment building, deficit financing, fundraising, lobbying, electioneering and activities of political nature will not be considered.”

One can clearly see that the ACT violated its grant eligibility criteria in 3 instances:

  1. – The Great Alaska Schools organization is not an eligible organization.
  2. – The Great Alaska Schools is an independent expenditure organization. GAS only filed one report with APOC for 2014.
  3. – Great Alaska Schools used the ACT grant to lobby legislators.

Maybe the ACT was pressured by one of its board members, Margo Bellamy, to pay for the lobbying activity.  Bellamy, president of the Anchorage School Board, is the ACT vice chair. 

So, where does the ACT get its funding?

Much of it comes from the federal government, otherwise known as you the taxpayer, through grants. 

Here is the grant data from the ACT federal tax return for 2022 that shows it received government grants totaling $418,449:

It is not possible to break down how much of the government grants came from the State of Alaska.

But in FY 2019 one can see from the DHSS website how the ACT received $250,000 of federal money: 

And in FY 2022 the ACT received $200,000 of federal funds; the State chipped in another $50,000.

Even the Municipality of Anchorage, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, and Georgetown University contribute to the ACT. Some of these donations probably go to better the lives of Alaskans. But remember, money is fungible and can be spent on lobbying Alaska Legislators too.

In other words, you, the taxpayer funded the lobbying efforts by the Great Alaska Schools to pressure and intimidate legislators to overturn the governor’s veto of AB 140, a bill that sent loads of money to the K-12 schools with no accountability for increasing student achievement.

Always follow the money.  That will lead you to the truth.

Here is link to the Alaska Children’s Trust website. 

Here is a link to the Alaska Children’s Trust 2022 federal tax return.

Here is a link to State of Alaska DHSS website.

David Boyle is Must Read Alaska’s education writer.

29 COMMENTS

    • Follow the money and find Margo in one more of her illegal schemes. No conscience.

      Sadly, I have no confidence in the average voter doing anything about Margo and her coalition of gangsters running (and ruining) education in Anchorage.

      Tell your friends and share this article. Get the word out.

  1. In the end, the students who participate pay. These are the ones who’s parents would rather they engage in politics at an early age and get thoroughly brainwashed. The smart kids who have smart parents, remain in class and learn the basics.

  2. I wondered about that. Thank you for sharing this information David. What a slap in the face…again, to the taxpayers.

  3. Kids need to be in school, not out protesting with liberal Democrat grifters, this is exactly how our kids are indoctrinated into the liberal/progressive mindset. Parents need to put a stop to it.

  4. It is so funny how much school children and their parents frighten lawmakers to the point where they locked their office doors so they would not have to encounter their constituents.

  5. Usually, the cliche, “follow the money” is instructive, but in this case, it’s a red herring.

    The point to consider is that these students learned a great lesson in representative government. Being there, gathering together to discuss strategy and message, trying to make themselves heard, being exposed to the process of the government and it’s limitations, and experiencing the reactions of the representatives – this is all great education. It would be equally great education if the students were Christians demanding that the bible was taught in public school. Same value.

    • Maybe the students should also have learned about using their PFDs to fund their transportation to lobby for more and more money for a mediocre K12 system. The article points to the actual funding that is paid for by the State of AK and the federal taxpayer. It is not a red herring. Wouldn’t these same students also be able to learn “a great lesson in representative government” by watching the legislature on KTOO/AKLegTV and also calling in to testify just like we adults can? Why should students have more privileges than Alaska voters? This is about Equity–the students should have the same capabilities as registered voters.

    • Propaganda being spewed to attempt to justify brainwashing, exploiting, manipulating, and using the students/children to get pay raises, benefits, bonuses and pensions the teachers want, especially without wanting to be responsible for increasing performance standards, proficiencies, etc. All at taxpayer expense and reducing the PFD for all Alaskans just to cover the money the school districts selfishly want without regard for other Alaskans needs. PFD funds needed by all Alaskans to make ends meet.

    • Paola, you know the most consistent and pervasive characteristics of you radical leftist extremists that has struck me and baffled me the most since I first became aware of them as a teenager? It is your raging and blinkered arrogance, and your willful inability and/or unwillingness to both EVER consider that those who believe other than you may do so in good faith and with good reason, and to NEVER question your own contradictory, irrational and wrongheaded beliefs. You are zealots convinced of your own righteousness, when in fact you are almost consistently wrong as well as supportive of evil.

        • Paola, your inane, irrational and maliciously untrue comments here are utterly worthless and add nothing to any conversation — indeed, they routinely subtract from the conversation. Give it up already, as trying to use logic, reason or truth is completely beyond your radical leftist extremist mentality.

          Paola, I always have to wonder when confronted by leftist extremist zealots like you: are you truly as clueless as you appear?

  6. I must have been “over the target” because the NOT SO Great Alaska Schools has banned me from its Facebook page! They cannot stand up to scrutiny.

  7. This is clearly a form of child abuse. These children did not make an informed, independent decision to participate. They were coached by people entrusted to educate them and paid for by a powerful political organization. The only education they might receive is if they someday realize that they were used, but opportunities for this are in abundance.

      • I don’t believe that I mentioned my political preference. This is a very bipartisan issue. And how much evidence do you require, sir?

        • Trig. I did make an assumption about your party affiliation, but typically, exaggerated claims like “child abuse” denote republican.

          Thanks for the polite question. “These children did not make an informed, independent decision to participate. “ I’d like evidence that these students were not informed and did not make independent decisions. Could be fun. You could interview some of the students and the adult leaders. Maybe learn the thrust of their concerns. You could become informed and an independent thinker.

  8. Good find in “Following the Money”. Time to totally analyze the 501-c3 set up and how overall funds are being funded and distributed.
    The pattern they use is the same pattern used by George Soros’s organizations. Where we, the taxpayers through his tax breaks and allowable right offs; is able to destroy almost any entity he wants through the giving of money to bad causes which have the intent of tearing this country down. In otherwards, we (the taxpayer) are paying for the misuse of government funds against our own Country.

  9. David has keen and astute insight into the current problems of the Alaska Education “system”.

    Thank you David

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