The neo cons are doing it to us here too. This is the union's message but I think it presents the students, parents, teachers side pretty well. At the moment we have a projected $800 million surplus, but they will not give us what we need, because "We wouldn't want you to get use to it." This is with primary classrooms being staffed at 26:1 in our district. And I guarantee you it will get worse. Add to this the destruction of our retirement and insurance and it becomes obvious, to me at least that we are traveling down the road to vouchers and privitization.
Take the money away from schools so that classrooms are so crowded that only the brightest with the most home support will thrive. Then add in years of stagnant teacher salaries that no longer make us competitive with the lower 48. Add to that a system with retirement tied to the stock market and no insurance until 65, and why would anyone want to teach in Alaska when they could do better anywhere else? Not to mention the rigors of village life, but that wouldn't be a bother because they would bring boarding schools back even though they have been ruled unconstitutional by the state supreme court. We are fighting hard but sometimes it seems hopeless.