Better schools lead to better jobs for Alaska


We believe in a state that creates opportunities, with good schools that help students achieve and good jobs that people can build a future here. Workers deserve a living wage, so a full-time worker should not raise a child in poverty. But today many people do not see a bright future here. That’s why 20,000 more people have left Alaska under this governor than relocated here. It is a state where the governor does not respect his basic legal commitments to communities, such as the legal obligation to help communities pay off school bond debt. Shifting these state obligations to communities is only an indirect tax of state property.

We want to take Alaska forward again. Children deserve a vibrant education. Parents deserve to know that this condition will create opportunities for their children and grandchildren. We believe in creating opportunities for all, not in leaving the state on autopilot after the iceberg hits the iceberg. We can do much better.

Unlike our two most recent governors, Les Gara has never pushed for education cuts. Gov. Mike Dunleavy made a record-breaking $ 4 billion cut in his first year.

It is irresponsible to leave a state in austerity, interrupted only by wartime oil prices that temporarily save us because innocent people are being killed during a brutal Russian occupation. Once oil prices fall, austerity measures will begin again.

Giving more than $ 1 billion in tax credits to oil companies has made us poor when we need to build a better future. It puts some of the biggest oil companies in the world ahead of the children, opportunities, jobs and future we deserve. According to the last two State Revenue Department reports, “Revenue Sourcebook”, we are giving about $ 1.2 billion – $ 1.3 billion to oil companies on the tax credit they get if they invest in Alaska or get their profits for spend them in Libya. , or for Exxon until recently, Russia.

These tax credits of oil companies, which Les voted to end as lawmakers, have left us struggling with each other over support for schools, jobs or a Permanent Fund dividend. Here are some results.

Parents see no commitment to public education in Alaska. According to a non-partisan Report of the Legislative Research Division of 2021, support for our schools has dropped by more than $ 120 million after inflation since 2014.

This, combined with the completion of a basic retirement plan for police, firefighters, teachers, and others, has led many of our best to leave Alaska for retirement states. We can restore a retirement plan that costs almost the same as the failed 401 (k) plan we offer, which makes Alaska a training ground for workers. This plan allows workers to get dressed after five years of work, after we have trained them, just to see those workers leave. This makes Alaska an expensive training ground for other states.

Les is the only candidate in this race who, when in office, sponsored legislation to restore the pensions of teachers, police, firefighters and public servants.

We need to build renewable energy projects, repair ports, airports and roads, and create well-paying jobs across the state. But Alaska is set on tight construction budgets and projects that receive approximately 75% less state support than in 2014.

The Alaska construction and project budget is used to create jobs for construction workers, engineers, architects, laborers, painters, and thousands more. Those wages were spent on local businesses and created jobs in the private sector.

But by giving more than $ 1 billion in tax subsidies to oil companies, at a time when oil companies are making profits during the war, the current governor has chosen to set aside about 4,000 jobs. This is based on a University of Alaska study that says the $ 400 million reduction in construction budget spending kills approximately 4,000 private and public sector jobs. It is no wonder we have a shortage of manpower. People have taken up their skills and moved to other states.

By destroying the university, which is Alaska’s largest provider of both vocational education and college diplomas, we have lost a generation of workers. More than 50% of University of Alaska students stay here after graduation – less than 50% stay here if they leave for college or job training. We need to do what is needed to support a university that helps build this economy, not a university that sends students to other states.

We both grew up with difficulty, each losing a parent and growing up in an adoptive and adoptive home. Most Alaskans face their own difficulties. But we need to build a state that creates opportunities and that allows you to succeed, whether you were born rich or poor.

Race running for governor. He is a former lawmaker and former Assistant Attorney General in the Exxon Valdez oil spill civilian prosecution and lives in Anchorage. Jessica Cook is a 20-year-old teacher, former vice president of the Alaska Nationwide Teachers Association, and a lifelong Alaskan living in Palmer.

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