Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


By Michael Byer
Superintendent Haines Borough School District 

Education a critical investment


We all understand that schools represent one of our most important investments. It is critical we have well educated, creative, motivated men and women to guide the future. The quality of the education students receive in school depends on having a wide range of classes and programs that meet their needs. It also depends upon committed teachers and support staff to make those classes and programs successful. Last year, our district was one of only 12 districts out of 53 in Alaska that made Adequate Yearly Progress under the No Child Left Behind law. In recent years we have increased our graduation rate from around 70 percent to 90 percent. We’ve expanded our vocational education program. We’ve added programs to help students who are struggling readers. We’re adding advanced classes for those who are ready. In order for us to continue this work, our schools need to be fully supported and fully funded both at the local and state level. Sending this message to our representatives is immediately important. I am not only speaking as a school superintendent who realizes that the costs associated with running a school district are increasing, but also as a parent, grandparent and community member who feels that making sure our children have a great education is one of the best legacies we can leave. We all can help by writing or contacting our representatives to let them know how important it is to fully fund our schools and prevent cuts that will hurt their effectiveness.