Governor To Alaska's Kids: "You're On Your Own"
Palin Says Education No Longer Important for State
(Anchorage - March 19, 2009) - "Logic-defying, dumb-founding, short-sighted - and a slap in the face to parents, children and educators across Alaska." That's how the National Education Association of Alaska (NEA-Alaska) is describing Governor Palin's decision to reject more than $160 million of federal stimulus funds for Alaska education.
"Governor Palin has deliberately chosen to ignore the education needs of tens of thousands of children across Alaska. Her attempt to score short term gains will have long-term, dire consequences for our students and educators," said Barb Angaiak, President of NEA-Alaska.
"Her message to our children is callously blunt: 'In the interests of my political agenda, you're on your own.' The governor's decision is unacceptable to the 13,000 members of NEA-Alaska - and it will be unacceptable to parents, students and all who are concerned about education in our state. Programs will be cut and class sizes will increase. And Governor Palin has rejected millions of dollars that would be used to improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable children with disabilities or in need of special education programs."
"The Governor tells us making Alaska an education leader is a priority. Then she says she will reject federal government funding to support our schools and educators," Angaiak said.
"Our question to the governor is very simple: 'What is it, governor? Are you for supporting our children and giving them the best education - or are you simply following a political agenda?' NEA-Alaska rejects the governor's flip-flopping on education."
Angaiak said NEA-Alaska would be mobilizing its membership to contact state legislators and federal representatives to protest the governor's decision.
"Our children need help now. We will urge legislators to accept the full amount in order to improve and enhance education in Alaska. The governor is not doing what is right for Alaska's children. She is prepared to sacrifice the future of our children to her own ambition. We will not let her do that," Angaiak added.[Press release from NEA-Alaska]