Letter: Rectifying Paul Jenkins

Here are some clarifications on misleading and inaccurate information from Paul Jenkins’ commentary on Sunday (“SJR 9 would let us start fixing broken educational system,” Feb. 9).

Alaska teachers do not pay or receive Social Security. Additionally, teachers only receive a small percentage of Social Security earned from other employment.

Neither teachers nor the teachers’ union created the pension deficit. This was incurred due to mismanagement by an agency hired by the state of Alaska.

The voucher system will siphon money from the public school system. Based on the present number of students attending private institutions, it is estimated that $100 million will be extracted from the current state contributions.

The bulk of education funding does go to salaries and pensions. Education is a service-based organization. Teachers provide the service and receive compensation. There are many choices of public charters and schools within schools. So “school choice” should always be prefaced with “private or religious.”

As an education professional, I and my colleagues encourage moms and dads to become involved in education. Students who have the continued support of parents, teachers and their community will achieve success.

— Andrea Lang, Anchorage