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Students rally, don black to protest proposed budget cuts

By Lauren Maxwell 8:17 PM January 31, 2014

Many fear that cuts will hit Anchorage classrooms

ANCHORAGE - News that the Anchorage School District may need to cut $23 million from its budget sent students to the streets Friday. About a dozen students turned out on the corner of Northern Lights Boulevard and the Seward Highway waving signs that said “Kids! Not Cuts — Support Public Schools.”

The students want the base student allocation raised, which is the amount of funding the state provides per pupil. The students said they are worried about cuts to the classroom and wanted to take their message to the public.

“Being on the corner shows we aren’t just going to do it behind a screen,” said Bartlett student Brendan Gerdtz. “We are going to show the world and hopefully all Alaskans that we are going to stand up for our funds.”

Gov. Sean Parnell is proposing a small increase in student funding this year. The Anchorage School District said it’s not enough to avoid deep cuts.

Many Anchorage high school students also wore black to school Friday.

The idea was to send a message of the “dark days ahead” if funding for public schools isn’t increased. Other students wore stickers in protest of Gov. Sean Parnell’s proposal to allow school vouchers.

Students said they don’t believe public money should be spent on private schools.

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