Strong Public Schools and Opportunity for All
The strength of our economy begins with strong education for all Alaskans. Every child in Alaska deserves a first-rate education that helps them realize their God-given potential, seize opportunity, and be able to stay here in Alaska if they want and raise their kids as Alaskans. I am a mother of four kids from the Alaska public school system. As a statewide leader on education issues, I know first-hand how important it is to ensure policies support the success of every Alaska child. As your representative, I will fight for policies that bring the culture of education needed for our economy to thrive into the future.
Pre-K: As of last year, 69% of Alaska’s children were not ready for learning when they entered kindergarten. We must improve access to pre-K education, including programs such as Head Start. Alaska has less support for pre-K education than in any other state in our nation. That must change.
K-12: Quality teachers are the keys to success in getting our students ready for a good job or higher learning. We must raise our own teachers in Alaska, provide an excellent university experience, and keep them motivated to stay in these positions. With confidence in our high quality teachers, we then need to lessen governmental requirements on their time, so teachers can practice their trade as they know how.
Vocational Education: We must ensure that the 70% of students who currently plan to go directly into the workforce after high school have easy access to apprenticeships and extended voc-ed opportunities that ensure higher pay and steady careers.
University: For those students that go to college, we must bolster our universities in a way that suits our vision for our future economy. As the state experiencing the greatest impacts of climate change, my vision for our university system is to become the top learning institution for Arctic research studies and renewable energy in the world. Our small businesses are bustling in Alaska and we must maintain that steady stream of solid economic fuel with strong and innovative programs at our universities. I also support incentivizing students to pursue higher learning in the state by ensuring no economic barriers to higher learning, including tuition costs that impede many students from attending. Where there is a unique need to fill workplace vacancies (teaching and healthcare) we must incentivize our best and brightest by expanding tuition-free opportunities through partnerships with institutions who will save tenfold by hiring new local graduates who will stay in Alaska.