I became the chair of Eaglexit on Nov. 2. With this new responsibility, I am eager to begin focusing our efforts on an answer to the question as to our collective resolve when it comes to our own local government and the education of our children in Assembly District 2.
After witnessing the “Gender Queer” book debacle, the ever growing dissatifaction with the Anchorage School District, and the ever growing cost of public schools in Anchorage, it is time to move the focus for Eaglexit from the mechanics of separation to one of civics.
This is a community discussion about the rights and duties of citizenship, the need for citizens to stand against dysfunctional local government, and demand our own local government and school district.
As a long-time educator in this community, I have found the best way to engage students is to ask questions. So I would like to ask you, the citizens of Assembly District 2, the following:
- Are you content with the way your taxes are spent on education?
- Do you feel like you have an authentic voice in the political process of your school district?
- Are you confident in our schools and the leadership in Anchorage School District making the decisions?
- Does the school district represent your values?
Eaglexit is for everyone wanting a change in the destiny of our community. I know we can all agree that the future of our communities will be determined by how engaged and informed people become.
Eaglexit has suggested a blueprint to achieve separation and has determined that we do have the legal right to separate our interests from Anchorage and self-govern. If you believe as I do that we would prosper under self-governance, then we must pursue the creation of our own local governing body and school district to preserve and prosper our way of life and secure the future of our children.
Eagle River has over 1.8 million square feet of school space, 384 acres of property, 594 classrooms, and in Eagle River a student capacity of 11,601. Our current enrollment during covid is estimated at under 8,200 students.
Northern Economics did a revenue analysis in 2020 that showed school revenue for Assembly District 2 at over $103 million. These numbers all reflect great possibilities for our new school district.
The State of Alaska funds retirements for public employees so those accounts will follow the contributors. Title 14 gives local government’s guidance in the establishment of a system of public schools. When Eaglexit is approved to detach and we become a municipality, educational staff requirements can remain the same for those who choose to participate as our school district is established.
This will give parents and educators the opportunity to work with a district that is smaller, more efficient, and independent of Anchorage’s control. The Anchorage School District has grown too large and disconnected with the communities it serves. The communities within District 2 are now mature and ready to manage our own municipal and education entities. Eaglexit wants to give the control of education of our children back to parents and educators.
A community under local control will reflect the view of it’s constituents who give the government its power. Eaglexit wants our community to be in the preferred position to create an independent school system and a local government that will produces better outcomes at a lower costs.
Will you stand with me in this important civics discussion?
We meet every Tuesday in Eagle River at 7 pm at 16805 Farm Ave. I invite you to join us.
I firmly believe we cannot soar to our potential as a community if we are anchored to the Anchorage Assembly and the Anchorage School District.
I hope to visit with you in the near future.
Sean Murphy and his wife Robin came to Alaska with the Army. He moved to Eagle River from Anchorage in 1999 with his family. He is a retired Anchorage School District educator and administrator. He is active with his community council. He is the new chair of Eaglexit.