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Anchor Point residents bring 'save our schools' message to assembly

  At last night's Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting, many people stood up to speak out against proposed school funding cuts from the state, and asked that the borough provide some relief.

Here is an excerpt Anchor Point residents worried about the loss of the community's Chapman School.

"Hello, my name is Danielle. Thank you for the opportunity to to speak. I lived in anchor point with my husband for the last 10 years he was born and raised there. together. We have two children that go to Chapman school. For the first time ever my husband and I have talked about leaving not just leaving anchor point. But leaving the state. Even if Chapman remains open. The potential for increased class sizes eliminated programs in a barren wasteland. Where after school programs thrived. Has this worried about the quality of our children's education. If education is not funded to the cap, I feel like Alaska will not only lose top rated schools, including Chapman, but will effectively be crippling or killing the small towns and communities across Alaska as families and educators move away."

"Pastor Roy Lovegrove from anchor point. I've been an anchor point for five years and our churches were very happy is right next to the school because we recognize as a church that that school is the heart the town right after I started there, I became engaged with the school partnered with it. In the last few years I became the basketball coach, they talked me into subbing and then that was supposed to be a day week now it's full time and now I'm actually full time at the school and I absolutely love it. Well, we need to understand here is we don't have a civic center. Our church operates archery under there to accommodate the youth in the area who have nothing else to do on a Friday night. We do many programs that we've had sportsman's outreach, we've done fall festivals, you know, we do what we can. With that little town, we have many issues. There are many problems. Our church tries to address it through our food bank and our drug addiction programs. But my theory is if you close that school down, you will kill the city."

"Bea Clytch anchor point. Good evening, I began working for the Kenai pennant liberal school district in 1990. As an elementary teacher at Nicoll. I have a school where I met my husband Steve, who is currently in his 30th year for the Kenai Peninsula School District. Presently, I teach middle school and anchor point at Chapman an amazing school. In addition, I'm in my 29th year coaching high school volleyball and basketball. Nikolai was school. Both Nikolai Boys, boys and girls teams will represent the Kenai Peninsula rural school district at state next week, and we proudly represent you."

"Okay, good evening. My name is Heidi Stokes. I am a teacher at Chapman school. My husband and I have five children, two of which proudly attend Chapman school. We are business owners and anchor point. As you know, these budget proposals are devastating and create uncertain times for all Alaskans. This budget will negatively impact our schools ability to even stay open, let alone meet the needs of our students. Two thirds of my colleagues are at risk of losing their jobs today, not to their due to their non tenure status. Our ability to meet the needs of our students has been compromised should the governor's budget be passed, education will suffer a blow that I feel will take decades to overcome. Skilled and invested teachers are facing the likelihood of job loss or relocation. Communities are faced with the possibility of losing their schools that singularly serve their citizens. Students are faced with increased class sizes and the reduction of programs that have provided them avenues to pursue their interests and talents. I realized that the state level cuts are not your fault. However, we look to you as borough assembly members to help soften this blow. I urge you to fund education to the cap and in doing so, know that you are sending a message that the education of our youth on the peninsula cannot be compromised."

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