AASB President Tiffany Jackson’s Testimony to the House Education Committee
Tiffany Jackson, AASB Board President
Testimony provided on April 8, 2019
Good morning Madam Chair and committee members,
My name is Tiffany Jackson. I am the president of the Association of Alaska School Boards, as well as president of the Aleutians East Borough School District’s Board of Education.
Thank you for taking the time to hear from School Boards this morning. We are honored to have this opportunity to speak with the House Education Committee.
I am joined this morning by several of my fellow school board members from across the state, all of whom are eager to share examples of some of the strategies their districts are using to make a difference in student achievement in Alaska.
As local school board members, we are responsible for the governance and allocation of resources within our school districts. Every year, we are required to make difficult choices on how to manage dwindling resources and increased mandates.
All of you, or at least your office, should have received a copy of The Great Work of Alaska’s School Boards in early March. Alaska’s voters were surveyed in January by Zogby Analytics, prior to the Governor’s proposed budget was released, regarding how they feel regarding priorities for public spending, and public education specifically.
Alaskans have shown overwhelming support for public education and ensuring the success of our students. 79.7% of those surveyed supported providing Alaska’s students a well-rounded education, and 72.1 % would support elected officials who increase funding for education.
Our boards take our responsibility seriously and strive to meet these challenges. We keep at the forefront of our minds, “what’s best for kids?”
By working in the best interest of our students, by focusing on what we can do to supporting increased student achievement, School Boards are having a direct impact on Alaska’s future.
Today, my fellow school board members from across the state will provide to you examples of the creative, innovative, and collaborative strategies they are implementing to fulfill our constitutional responsibility to educate each of Alaska’s children.
As I wrap up here and let my fellow school board members and advocates for public education share their work, I want to leave you with one final thought.
There is a basic need, a minimum requirement, to fund and support quality education for all of our students. We cannot do more with less. At some point, and I believe this point is crashing down upon us unless Alaska’s students and public education have support from all of you; at some point, no amount of innovation, collaboration, or creativity will overcome the lack of fundamental support required to do our job effectively.
I sincerely hope as a state we can avoid reaching this point. Alaska residents have spoken out; public education is a priority of the people. Alaska’s students and Alaska’s future depend on your support for public education.
Thank you for your time, and for allowing me to set the stage for this morning. At this point, I’d like to step down and let my fellow school board members share their work.
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