Rep. Rasmussen's surprise: Blank check education funding for 2023 - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, May 13, 2021
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Rep. Rasmussen’s surprise: Blank check education funding for 2023

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A blank-check, forward-funding amendment in the education budget was the hot topic of debate in the House of Representatives during the Thursday floor session.

The measure, HB 169, passed the House, with 14 of the more conservative members voting against it, mainly because of the forward-funding ambush they didn’t have a chance to consider in committee.

The amendment with the forward-funding for education that had been passed in the House the day prior was offered by Rep. Sara Rasmussen. It bypassed review by the Finance Committee, had no public input, and no actual amount was given about how much the State would pay forward for the 2023 school year. The amendment says the state will pay whatever the Base Student Allocation says must be paid.

Enrollment in Alaska schools is down dramatically. One out of every five Alaska students is now studying through correspondence, not even attending local schools. The Legislature has not surveyed school districts to find out how much money they have in reserve for their dramatically reduced student count.

The cost of education in Alaska is about $1.2 billion a year of state funds.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Let me get this straight: the legislature gives schools a blank check with no accountability, but ASD just approved teaching kids that white people are genetically racists which is guaranteed to mostly empty the schools of kids?!!

  • Owned by the unions. Students are down, classrooms can be closed, but they must keep the funds flowing into democrat political coffers to keep the likes of Dunbar and Rivera in office. Disgusting..

  • I am certainly glad I have no kids in the Anchorage school system anymore and all my grand kids are going to school else where as well….the public school system is out of control except for the home school programs. the lucky kids are all going to private schools run by several of the churches.

  • We may have to defund the public schools that have become indoctrination centers for the Radical Left to teach kids Critical Race Theory! Time for parents to either clean house at the School Board, or vote with their feet and pull their kids out of the schools! We’d be better off with a voucher system giving parents the option to spend those education dollars where they think it’s best, be it at a private, faith based, or home school.

  • If they’re handing out that kind of cash to fund schools, combined with said Budget Reserves, we should expect to have our property taxes reduced accordingly, right? Gone should be the days when we pay 1/2 of our property tax assessment to pay for education in Anchorage. I could be wrong but, doesn’t the state constitution call for the state to fully fund education? Maybe Sara was oxygen deprived during her recent beer-infused, nocturnal leg wrestling activities and woke up feeling overtly benevolent.

  • I can’t believe she wants an open check for education before the budget should be first. I guess she wants to take care of the unions 1st.

  • The kids rank 51st in the US. The worst in the world. They make gifted curriculum materials available to legislators children zippidy for the children of the land. And the district is indecent enough to be proud of it. Corrupt.

  • What the H is wrong with these women in Juneau, they seem to be incompetent or insane. Is there something in the water in Juneau?

  • Throwing good money out of a moving car’s window. How many Anchorage millionaires will take 500,000 only to throw it out the car window scattering all those bills (ones, fives, tens, twenties, fifties, hundreds) down the road?

    If we want Alaskan parents recognizing the public schools aren’t that great, then we have to start having the hard conversations, telling your family, friends, and neighbors the school reality. It’s not what the rose-colored glasses reveal. Alaska public schools are mess, and your child will be no more educated than a 7th grader at 18 years old.

    Rasmussen’s district needs new representation.

  • #Defund the Teachers!

  • The agenda is obvious.

  • Stop blaming Juneau for the idiocy, people! These are YOUR people from YOUR districts!

  • Get your kids out of these schools.

  • Weren’t there other Republican’s who voted to approve this? Who are they and why aren’t they listed on this article?

  • Defund S. Rasmussen, turned RINO.

  • This is why, until we end teacher’s unions, we will continue to pay too much for too little education. It is interesting that charter schools, who do not have teacher’s unions, tend to have much better scores and also more likely to attend college. This is why parents will pay for an education when they could get their kids free public education. There needs to be a reckoning with the union. If teachers actually care about education they should not be worried about getting fired for being incompetent.

  • Sara is simply doing Zack Fields bidding. A little beer and leg wrestling seems to be the ticket with Sara. With regard to ASD, only a fool would allow his enemies to educate his children.

  • Why throw more money at the issue? It won’t grow more synapses. That’s is what the kids are lacking.

  • One too many hot tub parties…
    Just do us a favor lady and run as a D next time.

  • Rep Rasmussen seems to be very concerned with her reelection rather than the State’s fiscal crisis. Surprise, Surprise! BTW, the State’s K12 funding is closer to $1,600,000,000.

    And we pay teachers NOT to teach, bus drivers NOT to transport students, security folks NOT to provide security, custodians NOT to clean schools, maintenance people NOT to maintain schools, and highly paid administrators/superintendent NOT to do anything.

  • Most people outside of education and maybe medicine don’t know what it actually takes so that a kid can learn. It takes a well developed brain, with learning challenges and life experiences to get there. Playing video games or taking a honda ride don’t get it.

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