Letter: Funding directed away from public schools would be wrong

Should parents be allowed to use their child’s education allotment for either a public or private school? Jess T. Ellis, DDS, in his Saturday Compass piece has requested that we express our opinions regarding this question to our state legislators. Passage of Senate Joint Resolution 9, which Dr. Ellis says is up for a vote this legislative session, would put this question on the 2014 ballot for Alaska voters to decide.

This is not a political issue, it is a citizen rights issue. Would the side with the most campaign money be the winner, much like political elections?

The guarantee of a free public education can only be accomplished with schools that serve all students, no matter their family income, their innate abilities, or their parental attentiveness to the selection of a school. Funding directed away from public education will prove to be disastrous for programs such as those for students with special needs which will remain in public schools. More funds need to be directed to education for retention of experienced teachers and for necessary programs.

All of the schools with wait lists that Dr. Ellis mentions are public schools. If more of these schools are needed, lobbying districts and school boards is a better recourse.

Make your opinions known to your legislators before a vote is taken on SB Resolution 9. 

— Mary Spalding