Boost basic student allocation
In the face of Alaska's financial crisis, school districts across the state graciously accepted many years of flat funding without asking for an increase. Now Alaska's school districts are in crisis, with inflation severely limiting the purchase power of even the basic needs of our students and teachers.
It's a fact that the cost of doing business has increased for all school districts, and that not all districts benefit from funding outside the Base Student Allocation. School boards work diligently to continue to protect the classroom. We wrestle with the dilemma of even deeper cuts in all areas including cuts in the classroom. Legislators, please end the chaos, low morale, and the loss of our ability to adequately educate our children.
Increasing the Base Student Allocation, or BSA, by $100 helps districts hold the current status and helps stem the past inflation costs. If flat funding or budget cuts are necessary, please work to identify ways that this can be done without detriment to our children and the future of our state.
Yes, there are schools and students that are struggling in our state as they are in all states. This is not unexpected considering the many challenges involved in providing an equitable, quality education for all students to becoming happy productive adults in our changing society.
Please remember that the responsibility of providing this quality education falls upon us all, not just the district, schools or teachers alone.
We all benefit as a state from providing quality and equitable education.
— Charlene Arneson,
President, Chugach School District
Whose life is it anyway?
This is in response to Dr. Anderson's piece on the right to die. (ADN, April 13)
Patients' lives are their own and therefore they have the right to make their own decisions about medical care.
While Dr. Anderson is correct that predicting death is not an absolute, it's the best we in the medical field can do and is a piece of information that patients can use to formulate their decision. Competent patients have the right to decline life-saving therapies.
As in her two examples, these patients decided to pursue additional therapy and had wonderful outcomes.
But it was their choice to do so. Others may not share their point of view for a variety of legitimate reasons. Their decisions are personal and should be respected. Everyone should be entitled to end-of-life choices on their terms. Physicians should respect that and help relieve needless pain and suffering.
Does this system need checks and balances? For sure.
But each person's life is their own and society and physicians need to honor and respect that.
— Steven B. Tucker, MD
Some thoughts on bears, trails
Rick Sinnott's "Bike trails for bears" piece (April 1 — No, it wasn't an April Fool's joke) was probably more revealing than he'd anticipated. The opinion piece brought to mind seven thoughts:
1. Bears fear man. If so, why are there more bear attacks?
2. Comparing stinging insects to bears is fallacious — probably 100 times more people are exposed to stinging insects than to bears.
3. Why do bears "need to be" in town?
4. How many of these bears visit because the Alaska Department of Fish and Game stocked streams with salmon?
5. Do you have a more recent plan than 2009?
6. How long has ADF&G been stocking streams with salmon?
7. If "bears won't stop using Bicentennial Park. They need the fish" … Rick's revealing the reason for the bears' being on the trail … and it has nothing to do with garbage. Hmmm.
— Larry Kaniut
Lawmakers are afraid of NRA
I'm responding to the news article of April 13 on gun control. It makes me bristle when I read that our Alaska government says they can not support a bill on commonsense gun laws because the NRA opposes it and they risk losing their seat because of not standing up to the NRA. Who does our government represent, us or the NRA?
Time to get it right when we vote.
— S. Winfree
State budget cuts hurt students
Dear fellow Alaskans, I hope you are as angry as I am with the Alaska Legislature after seeing the National Assessment of Education Progress in Alaska. It is responsible for cutting programs and teachers in our schools.
If your child is not reading well or slipping in math, he is unlikely to ever catch up.
Remember this when you vote in November.
— Shirley Fraser