Settlement Announced in Kasayulie Litigation
October 4, 2011, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell, Education and Early Development Commissioner Mike Hanley and Charles Wohlforth, executive director of Citizens for the Educational Advancement of Alaska's Children (CEAAC), announced the settlement of the long-standing Kasayulie litigation. The litigation, which began over 14 years ago, related to funding for school construction in rural Alaska and the disparity between rural and urban school districts in obtaining reimbursement of construction costs.
Under the settlement terms, Governor Parnell has committed to seek legislative approval to fund the five highest priority school construction projects located in rural Alaska over the next four years. The Legislature in 2010 approved a funding mechanism to provide future equity in funding for construction between urban and rural districts, which the settlement recognizes.
"This settlement enables my administration and the Legislature to advance educational opportunities of rural Alaska students," Governor Parnell said. "Education remains my administration's priority, and these new schools will provide rural students and teachers the facilities to pursue and achieve their educational goals. The future of our state depends on the educational successes of our students."
Wohlforth, director of CEAAC, an organization comprised mainly of rural schools and individuals concerned about struggling schools and at-risk students, said, "As advocates for education, we appreciate the concern and understanding demonstrated by Governor Parnell and Commissioner Hanley in reaching this historic settlement. The governor has shown foresight and courage by addressing these struggling schools in rural Alaska. We all want what is best for Alaska's students, and it is gratifying that we were able to work together for a successful outcome that will make a positive impact on many children's lives."
"This settlement is good for education, good for students and good for Alaska," said Commissioner Mike Hanley. "I appreciate the efforts that Mr. Wohlforth and CEAAC's board put into resolving this matter. School districts, teachers, parents and students in rural Alaska can know by this settlement that the state supports them and we will continue to work hard so all students in Alaska experience a high-quality education."
Posted: October 4, 2011