Dunbar says it is time to sue the state over ‘equity’ funding for Anchorage schools


In a joint meeting between the Anchorage Assembly and the Anchorage School Board on Friday, Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar went for the legal jugular. Now is the time to sue the State of Alaska for funding shortfalls that the school district expects to materialize in the 2024 budget, he said.

Dunbar explained to the group that when he was a law student in Connecticut, (Yale Law School), he and some professors helped high school students sue the State of Connecticut for more funding for schools, and succeeded in bringing in “significantly more funding for education.”

He’d see something similar in the works for Anchorage.

“I don’t think there is the political will in the Legislature to do what needs to be done in terms of equity for our kids,” Dunbar said. “If we’re looking at a fiscal cliff in 2024, litigation should start this year.”

Many parents removed their students from the public schools in Anchorage during and after the Covid pandemic shutdowns, after seeing firsthand the poor education their students receive from the Anchorage School District. There are fewer than 43,000 students in the Anchorage public schools this year, down from 46,734 in 2018-2019 — 3,734 fewer students, or an 8 percent decrease in enrollment.

“Dunbar wants tens of millions of more dollars. From the moment I was elected this has been an issue. And there has been no movement at all,” Dunbar said. He said that the school district should set aside tens of thousands of dollars for such a lawsuit.

“I see it differently,” said Stephanie Taylor, who is running against Dunbar for Anchorage Assembly. “It’s not about the money. Anchorage schools are at the bottom of the barrel nationwide in terms of outcomes, but have some of the highest expenditures per student.”

Listen to Dunbar gear up for a lawsuit at this link:


  1. More money for less students. Same song, same dance. Fund the liberals by funding the school union.

  2. Go ahead and do it. Then Anchorage school system parents and recent graduates should sue APS for non delivery of product.

    Sue the board, and every member (not Donally) individually. Then sue teachers, the union, principals, ect. Sue individual schools who chronically underperform.

    Then sue Dunbar for instigating this whole mess.

    It is not right or appropriate citizens of the rest of Alaska be made to pay for the ineptitude of Anchorage.

    • Masked Avenger, maybe a class action suit for not providing an adequate public education to many children?

  3. How about more money for the rural village schools instead of Anchorage schools? That sounds like a good idea. It must be tough in the small villages around Alaska.

    • The village schools are literally the highest per student funding anywhere in America, usually by a couple orders of magnitude. The rural students are totally being fleeced by the system. Most bush school districts could simply eliminate school altogether, and invest the per-student amount in a conservative investment account and each student would be a millionaire but the time they were 18 but no, they come away with possibly the worst education provided anywhere in a first world country. This is not an exaggeration.

    • They do not even pay a penny for education in the Bush. Zero. Meanwhile, I pay thousands a year for kids I don’t even have here in Anchorage.

  4. Not “our” kids, Forrest, you don’t have kids. Apparently your rad Connecticut education left you incapable of the simple observation that higher spend rates do not yield improved results. But well done with the lawsuits and virtue signaling – Yale must be so proud.

  5. More: if Dunbar really wants to dance, get as many villages and small towns to sue them as well. Money from Pt Wainwright should not to drug to Anchorage. Not anywhere else not in the Muni.

    If Dunbar really wants a war over education funding, give him one

  6. Here we go again! Suing another government entity is just suing ourselves and using our tax dollars to fight over it! I’m tired of my money going this foolish route. Only the lawyers win.

  7. Did this idiot study for the bar exam with Lisa Murkowski?
    Taking his East Coast incubator skills and applying them to the Alaska model does not make for good lawyering. Connecticut and Alaska are not in the same league. And, success in bringing litigation against the state for the purpose of getting more money into the teacher’s union hands does not “equate” to better education for children. Usually, it’s the opposite. This type of litigation is purely about political power, and since Dunbar cannot see past this, he doesn’t qualify for using common sense to match that Yale law degree. Incidentally, Yale Law School prides itself on educating little future communists like Dunbar. A few smart cookies do slip through the cracks, though. Case in point, Joe Miller, Yale Law and West Point grad. He kicked Lisa Murkowski’s hind end in 2010, until Democrats had to bail Lisa out on a write-in. And now you know who supports “Republican” Lisa Murkowski.

      • Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito also went to Yale Law. Joe Miller is in good company.
        On the dark side, Bill and Hillary Clinton met at Yale Law School, and Gary Hart learned how to be a complete idiot at YLS. Yes, some crappy people do emerge at these Ivy League schools, tailor made for little Communists.

        • Sotomayor too. Affirmative Action Justice. Just like Brandon’s upcoming pick. Unqualified, except for the color of their skin.

  8. In Connecticut, thanks to Yale, they sue over the flavor of ice cream. I would be happy to buy you a one way ticket there.

  9. Dunbar has a lot of nerve calling for “equity” in anything. There he is, flexing his white privilege and running against a black woman. If he was really interested in equity, he would step down, and let Stephanie Taylor run unopposed.

    • @CBM:
      No, because White lefties can internalize that their own racist beliefs qualify for a pass. They consider themselves smarter than Blacks, and thus, must deflect any type of racist action as necessary to serve as a teaching device. Deflection and deception is the tool of Dunbar. But Dunbar is also an idiot because he has played-out all of his cards and his game is open for everyone to see. Not a smart guy at all. He is a guy, correct?

  10. The thing about Dunbar, and Liberals as a whole, is that they have never had to produce results in order to get paid. This is old school thinking (pun intended) but in normal times one would prove their merit and worth before asking for a raise. None of these people have ever had to really work for a living and most things are handed to them on a platter, including elections.

  11. Let’s all hope and pray Dunbar is History in another six weeks and we will all be tuned into the voice of Stephanie Taylor…

  12. Mr. Dunbar is an attorney. If he thinks this is such a great idea, he should resign from the Assembly and seek to represent a plaintiff in bringing the litigation. He apparently has a mental picture about how that litigation should be designed. If he was the attorney, he could bring his picture to life. Absent this approach, he will sit back in his chair and throw rocks at everyone involved with little consequence. Which would be typical for him.

  13. He doesn’t have enough work, already? He must be expecting losing east anchorage, he’s setting up work for himself. Most of that litigation money goes straight to the attorneys and very little money would be going to ASD. It will have just enough to buy school supplies. Dunbar’s time would be better spent volunteering and encouraging the youth at the east boys and girls club.

  14. The quote “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Attribution I am not sure of but have heard it may be Einstein – and it seems to apply here. Dunbar does not seem to grasp that all the funds poured into our public school system has really not been effective in improving outcome. Money is pretty clearly not the solution. So why the continual more of the same? Seems a bit insane to me.

  15. The only so-called “equity” issue here is that the ASD cannot teach kids to read by 3rd grade. It appears as if Mr. Dunbar and school board member Margo Bellamy want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on lawyers when it would be much better spent in the Anchorage classrooms. BTW, the audited AFCR report says that ASD spends $19,200 per student. And the district even gets 75% of the funding for the thousands of students it lost between years 2020 and 2021. These are “ghost” students.

  16. I find it interesting and note there was little or no reference to a bang for the bucks here. “Tens of millions of dollars” for what, specifically? Is a higher standard of education for students in the mix? If so, let’s concentrate on the details of that goal. Think it through, chart the detailed plan, prove you can achieve and only then strategize on the funding.

  17. IS equity where people do not have the facilities, capacities and skills to make it in life so want to blame others?

  18. Tear down Dunbar’s Yale University, nothing good comes from that racist institution, literally! They’re still at it today, with their persecution of Asian students. Don’t support these racists or their progeny.

    From The Plain Truth, June 12, 2020.

    Since idiots want to start tearing down statues, let’s start with YALE UNIVERSITY!
    The university has renamed a college to distance itself from a white supremacist – but what about Elihu Yale’s misdeeds?

    This month, the famous Ivy League University founded by Elihu Yale made headlines for deciding to rename one of its colleges. Calhoun College, named after former US Vice President John Calhoun, would be renamed in honour of Grace Murray Hopper, a 1934 alumnus and US Navy rear admiral, for her valuable contributions to computer science.

    The change was not merely cosmetic – Yale University’s President wrote in a letter to the campus community that “John Calhoun’s legacy as a white supremacist and a national leader who passionately supported slavery as a ‘positive good’” was fundamentally at conflict with Yale’s mission and values. But as political commentators pointed out, Calhoun’s history with racial oppression was nothing compared to that of the university’s founding father. This may explain why Elihu Yale is described as both a “merchant and philanthropist” by the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and in politically conscious discourse, vilified as someone who encouraged (if not directly profited) from the practice of shipping slaves to remote parts of the English colonies. One of the most telling clues to Elihu Yale’s fondness for slaves may be found in two oil paintings that used to hang at the Yale University: in each of them, a floridly accoutred Yale is flaunting his good fortune with a small dark-skinned boy, a Tamil it would seem, by their side. What makes the image even more distasteful is that the boy wears a collar like a domesticated wild animal, around his neck.

  19. Interesting.. Fairbanks is getting ready to fire 70 teachers because their school district lost 1000+ students. Anchorage lost over 3000 students but no firing of teachers. Why is this…?

  20. No wonder the school superintendent is retiring. After a complete botched China Flu excuse to hide behind. While Schools to the north and south of Anchorage remained open. She lower the IQ of the already lowest IQ of children in America.
    But wait a mountain of short fall in monies. Dunbar is here to save us. Instead of a independent audit of the Anchorage Industrial School machine. Nope let’s seek out more money. Knowing that school attendance is declining, knowing that at these school attendance levels that are comparable to 1992, except ASD in 2022 has a Million more square feet on the books. After Eagle River begged ASD not to rebuild a middle school lost in the earth quake. Might as well saved your breath. Yep let’s go sue for a broken system.

  21. I am one of those parents who took my kids out of the terrible school system. I assure all Tax Paying Alaskans who are capable of reading: it had nothing to do with money. In fact, taking my children out of the school system had everything to do with sacrifice. I sacrificed my cushy income and took on other entry level jobs to make homeschooling work. I sacrificed my time to ensure our commitment to homeschooling would indeed produce children who were hitting ABOVE state and National academic standards. I don’t have more time and I don’t have more money. What I do have are children who read 3-4 grade levels higher than they would be through any ASD school. I have children who have hands on, kinetic experiments for science because we take the time to connect all the dots when we are learning. I have children who are not only mathletes but they can also make change when paying for a service at the post office. I have children who can tie their shoes, who can tell the time, and who aren’t obsessed with any devices other than the device of their own mind. I have kids who can tell me how history does in fact repeat itself from being great listeners completing our history lessons.
    Dunbar is way off kilter with this newest idea of his. Money – more funding- doesn’t teach kids anything but to look for an excuse to a real problem. The real People responsible for the education of any child in any school district is the parent first. If the schools aren’t doing a good job, the parents should be. If anyone has been equally complacent, it is the parents in this situation. When you have a child, your commitment to that child is to always do your best by them even if it means you must sacrifice to do so. Parents: if the teachers and schools in your district are lacking, it should be your number one job to change the situation so that your child can be successful and benefit from a better education. Lead by example.

    • I have had 4 kids go through our ASD. I work with kids and kid leadership all over Alaska. This is my observation; “Kids don’t fail, Parents fail”! I commend you for your actions!!

  22. More money is not the answer. Alaska spends more money per capita than any other state. But this money all goes to the unions with no noticeable improvement in performance. Teachers need to start performing better – try having students in ASD perform in the top half of the US – before they think about more $$. This is just a move by Dunbar to funnel more $$ to the unions that support him and other lefties.

  23. If all of us followed Mr. Dunbar’s logic when managing our own finances the process would look something like:

    – Handle your budget irresponsibly > Notice that you’re running out of money > Look around to see who has money > Claim that they’re responsible for your own ineptitude > Sue them.

    It’s too simple just to deride this guy as an idiot. The heart of the issue is that too many in Anchorage have been too apathetic for too long. Dump Alaska’s (and Anchorage’s supplemental) welfare programs and there will be fewer constituents likely to elect those without strategic value who’s primary strong suit lies in attempting to tap into someone else’s budget once they’ve compromised their own. Dunbar is reactionary only and for as long as we have reactionary leadership we will also go from emergency to emergency to emergency.

    Anchorage needs a new horse; this one’s lame.

  24. This is where we are…
    Trees by Rush

    There is unrest in the Forest
    There is trouble with the trees
    For the Maples want more sunlight
    And the Oaks ignore their pleas.

    The trouble with the Maples
    (And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
    They say the Oaks are just too lofty
    And they grab up all the light
    But the Oaks can’t help their feelings
    If they like the way they’re made
    And they wonder why the Maples
    Can’t be happy in their shade?

    There is trouble in the Forest
    And the creatures all have fled
    As the Maples scream ‘Oppression!’
    And the Oaks, just shake their heads

    So the Maples formed a Union
    And demanded equal rights
    ‘The Oaks are just too greedy
    We will make them give us light’
    Now there’s no more Oak oppression
    For they passed a noble law
    And the trees are all kept equal
    By hatchet,
    And saw…

  25. Since he began this part of life he has one point only and it is a waste of our city resources! He can’t adjust to the current situation because he neglects CHANGING / a major stronghold in his mind. Mercy mercy.

  26. Buzz words for the core voter groups of his campaign. Equity, Academia, Lawyers, and unions…what a pathetic showman!

  27. This could be a good idea if
    …at the same time Anchorage taxpayers were allowed to sue the teachers’ union and their School Board proxy for the generational damage and abuse they’ve deliberately committed against Anchorage schoolchildren,
    …for transforming what was a decent, fairly cost effective education system into an education industry nationally recognized for overpriced underperformance,
    …and for swindling taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of dollars which taxpayers were led to believe would, with reasonable consistency, produce classically educated, literate, patriotic, employable American citizens.
    Find out what Forrest wants -fo-r his crew, maybe taxpayers should sue for that much and more -from- his crew as damages, property tax rebates for what the bas… (hey!) have done to Anchorage schoolchildren and how much the (expl del) have fleeced Anchorage taxpayers while doing it.
    What do you think, Forrest?

    • Use the R.I.C.O. statute. From the wiki page-“extortion under color of authority, fraudulent schemes and artifices, false pretenses, promises and representations and deprivation of the right of citizens to the honest services of their elected local officials.”

  28. I completely agree with Stephanie Taylor!!!! Someone that is in no way connected with the school district needs to go through their spending habits with a fine toothed comb!!!

  29. Dunbar doesn’t care about students. He cares about paying off his buddies in the teachers’ unions. Obviously money does not equal results. Competition yields results.

    We are DONE, Dunbar!

  30. Hey Dunbar, you know what would be equitable for Alaskan’s? You never running for office again and wasting our time!

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