Equinox Update and Local Election Information
Now one month into the school year, we are heading into sub-12-hour days. And you know what that means: Equinox Marathon, road construction winding down, hunting season, end of the summer tour season and Suicide Prevention month. But here’s a quick update on education vetoes, local election information, and what’s going on in the weeks ahead in Fairbanks.
K-12 Education Update: Ryan Middle School and a Failed Veto
At the Ryan Middle School Re-Dedication on September 14
The new Ryan Middle School building is 67,000 square feet, funded by a $38 million government obligation bond that passed on the 2014 local election ballot and came in $8 million under budget. The most modern school in the school district with extremely energy efficient technology, the building will save the district millions in future heating costs. The building also has a stunning commons area the community can rent for events. The former Ryan Middle School building, built in 1965, has been demolished having been deemed unsafe and unable to withstand a major earthquake.
Meanwhile, due to a technical error in Gov. Walker’s vetoes, school districts across the state will receive $6.35 million in per-student education funding. For Fairbanks, this means our school district will receive $653,031 the Governor meant to cut from classrooms. By comparison, the Anchorage School District will receive more than $1.86 million and the Mat-Su School District will receive more than $821,000 for their students.
I was pleased the Governor did not challenge this veto reversal to save the state in potential litigation costs. However, more than $4.7 million in vetoes for per-student education funding still stand, as were $6 million in vetoes to school transportation funds. These vetoes failed to be overridden in a special session this year and our students and future leaders are forced to serve as a reminder why a comprehensive fiscal plan is needed. We cannot continue to cut education year after year at the risk of driving out quality teachers and damaging our kids’ opportunities.
Local Candidate Forum at the Co-Op Plaza last week
Vote NOW through October 4 for Local Leaders!
Don’t forget, October 4 is the Municipal Election! You can actually vote NOW at the FNSB Building at 100 Pioneer Road, Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm through October 4. You can also vote at Fairbanks City Hall or North Pole City Hall for your local city and FNSB ballots.
Among other events, check out the local candidate forums below to learn about our neighbors stepping up to serve the community. Remember, local and state government impact you at home more directly than any other level: don’t forget to vote!
You can learn more about what and who is on the ballot for School Board, Borough Assembly and Borough Propositions as well as information about polling places, absentee ballots and more through FNSB online here. You can find more information about the City of Fairbanks election for Mayor, City Council and City Propositions online here.
This Week in Fairbanks
ASUAF Lunch on Sept 19 at the Wood Center
Thursday, Sept 22: State of the University
As a Nanook myself, I enjoyed meeting with students through the Associated Students of UAF luncheon on Monday. Students took the time to come chat with me and other legislators to discuss how state spending impacts their education and future, including employment and raising a family.
Next, Interim Chancellor Dana Thomas will make the State of the University Address on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 1:00pm in Davis Concert Hall. Hope to see you there.
Thursday, Sept 22: School Board Candidate Forum
The Global Studies Department at West Valley High School is hosting their 2nd Annual Local Candidates Forum, this time featuring 7 School Board candidates. The student-run format will allow students directly impacted by School Board decisions to ask the questions and moderate the event.
This forum will be held at West Valley High School’s Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Sept 22, from 9:10am to 11:00am.
Friday, Sept 23: Local Candidate Forum
The Visitor Industry Candidate Forum will feature candidates for FNSB Assembly, Fairbanks City Council and Mayor, and North Pole City Council. The travel industry will have the opportunity to field questions to candidates.
This forum will be held from 10:30am to 11:45am on Friday, Sept. 23, at Raven Landing in Fairbanks.
As always, please feel free to drop me a line by e-mail, Facebook, telephone, or even snail mail at the contact info below. Look forward to seeing you around town!
Working Hard for Fairbanks Families,
Representative Scott Kawasaki
Alaska State Representative
City of Fairbanks
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