Sean Murphy: Eaglexit's focus on education - Must Read Alaska
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Sean Murphy: Eaglexit’s focus on education

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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. 

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  • What is the plan for purchasing the school buildings? How much will that cost? Have you surveyed the teachers to find out how many are willing to leave ASD to come to work for a fledgling new ERSD? I have a few friends that work for ASD, none have seemed enthusiastic about jumping over to a new SD.

    I am open to EaglExit due to the way Anchorage is swinging so far to the left, and because of the utter contempt the Assembly 9 have for Eagle River/Chugiak. And I appreciate your willingness to submit articles to MRA, but would love more details. The EaglExit web page doesn’t have the details I seek.

    • The way I see it, local taxes already paid for the buildings, facilities, and equipment in question so they should be transferred to us upon separation, no need for remuneration, just continued maintenance.

    • That is some misinformation on the purchase of schools. I would love to talk more if you will reach out to me at Sean . [email protected]

  • has anyone compared the ratio of commercial property value to residential property value in Eagle River compared to Anchorage? It might show that Eagle River residents would carry a higher portion of property taxes if independent due to the huge amount of commercial property in Anchorage.

  • Lifelong Anchorage resident with kids in ASD & answered “no” to all the above… which is taxation without representation. Eaglexit passing would be a great opportunity to support schools that support academic integrity and where the “Three Rs” are *not* racism, rage, and reassignment.

  • Great article. Gotta hand it to you folks at Eagle River. Any chance you can convince Michael Tavoliero to run against Don Young in 2022?

  • Thank you for serving in this important role to try and free Eagle River/Chugiak from the wasteful and spend-happy grip of the Anchorage Assembly and the glaringly poor education of ASD. We have some good schools and teachers in ER/Chugiak but they need better leadership and curriculum with a more conservative school board!

  • I’m rooting for you. Local control is always better. Anchorage stands to loose a lucrative tax base that pays for special interest silliness. I expect them to pull all the usual race based tricks their ilk is known for.

  • Nice to see a fresh face running the Eagle Exit movement.
    Thank you for highlighting the elephant in the room…ASD.
    As a young man I watched Chugiak Eagle River’s attempt for self determination in the mid ‘70’s fail.
    It has left a lasting impression on me.
    Chugiak Eagle River has always been out of step with Anchorage, always. All one has to do is review the voting record of the Anchorage Municipal Assembly.
    I will be attending the Chugiak Eagle River self determination movement meetings in the future.

  • I’m not sure but isn’t school curriculum mandated by the state?
    So if Eagle River wants state money they will have to abide by state guidelines same as anchorage
    Please correct me if I’m wrong

  • Do any teachers have an opinion to give on this?

  • The solution to all problems with public education is described in one word. Vouchers.

  • What can Sean Murphy offer Eaglexiters to assure them the Anchorage School District virus hasn’t fatally infected the Eaglexit movement with the installing of a retired ASD “educator” and administrator as Eaglexit Chair?
    .
    Can Sean Murphy explain, without the blarney, exactly how Eaglexit’s education system will differ from Anchorage’s education industry?
    .
    For example, will Eaglexiters be forced to pay alimony to Anchorage’s education industry for the privilege of calling themselves something different? Will Eaglexit education simply be a matter of slapping bureaucratic whitewash over the same old rotting crap so the the union-management-schoolboard team who are Anchorage’s education industry don’t get mad and strike?
    .
    Suppose the union-management-schoolboard team who are Anchorage’s education industry do get mad and strike, sue Eaglexiters, start an anti-Eaglexit initiative… what’s the contingency plan? Fire ’em? Lock ’em out? Hire replacements?
    .
    And, Sean, what about Anchorage’s easily corruptible mail-in vote scheme, how do you plan to monitor election integrity when the Eaglexit vote comes up; what assures Anchorage’s easily corruptible mail-in vote scheme won’t continue in Nova Eaglexita after the divorce finalizes?

  • Eaglexit, while an interesting idea, is never going to happen. The residents of Eagle River would go broke trying to get it off the ground. The problems:
    – Schools: If Eagle River separated from the MOA they would own no schools and if anyone thinks the MOA is just going to give away millions of dollars worth of MOA taxpayer property they better think again.
    – Roads: All of the roads in Eagle River, that are not state roads, are owned by the MOA. Do you think they are going to just hand them over? Even if they do, better plan to buy all new road maintenance equipment, equipment maintenance facilities and hire people to operate them.
    – Parks: All those municipal parks, MOA property.
    The list goes on and on.

  • I quote from the article: “Eaglexit wants to give the control of education of our children back to parents and educators.” The last two words of that statement actually make it quite scary.

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