Sean Parnell in 2014 Governor's State of the State speeches


On Education: Digital Teaching Initiative: video conference remote schools

What more can we do to prepare these children for life after high school? First, we must recognize our students need 21st century classrooms to compete in a 21st century economy. Our Alaska Digital Teaching Initiative will give our young people access to high-quality teachers and instruction.

Today, eight districts use video conferencing to reach our more remote schools. Course instruction is delivered in real time, so students can take courses not otherwise available to them.

The Alaska Digital Teaching Initiative will empower our teachers to reach beyond their own classrooms and districts. Digital teaching can bring together students from Tanana and Ruby with Fairbanks students. Not only will students have access to a more diverse array of classes, they will have access to a more diverse array of insights.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Alaska legislature Jan 22, 2014

On Education: Put school choice to the people for a Constitutional vote

Alaska's Constitution says no money shall be paid from public funds for the direct benefit of any religious or other private educational institution. The question of school choice is not about religious schools; it is about whether parents should have the freedom to say what school best meets their child's education needs with their child's share of public money--their money. Wealthier Alaskans can always send their kids to private or religious schools, but others cannot.

The US Supreme Court has affirmed a parent's right to make these choices under what they call the "private choice test:" The education spending must have a valid secular purpose; the aid must go to parents and not the schools; the education program must be neutral with respect to religion; and there must be adequate non-religious options.

[We should put this issue to] the people for a vote. On this question--whether parents ought to have a greater say in their child's education--it is time legislators let Alaskans decide.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Alaska legislature Jan 22, 2014

On Local Issues: Great Alaska Comeback: summer visitor volume increasing

Our current economic policies navigated us safely through the Great Recession. With these policies in hand, the "Great Alaska Comeback" is underway:The Great Alaska Comeback is beginning, and we will make sure it continues for us and for future generations.
Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Alaska legislature Jan 22, 2014

On Social Security: Make Retirement Trust Fund sustainable by adding $3B

Washington has not made Social Security sustainable, but in Alaska we can reform our pension system so it is fully funded. Fellow Alaskans, the time is now to tackle our $12 billion pension deficit. Alaska's escalating annual pension payments squeeze dollars from every other program and State service--education, public safety, natural resources--and that vise will soon tighten. Without action, our $630 million annual payment will balloon to more than $1 billion.

To keep Alaska strong, I propose we transfer $3 billion of our $16 billion in budget reserves into the Retirement Trust Fund. Next year, this shift will allow us to reduce our annual payment to $500 million, instead of more than $750 million--that's a savings of more than 50% in the first year. Our plan will dramatically drop future operating budgets and put us on a more sustainable financial path.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Alaska legislature Jan 22, 2014

The above quotations are from 2014 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts from 2014 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts by Sean Parnell.
Click here for other excerpts by other Governors.
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Apr 20, 2014