Nearly 30 teachers sat down in the Dimond Center Mall to grade homework late Friday afternoon. It was an event aimed at raising awareness about the hard work teachers put in to educate Alaska’s youth.
Teachers called the sit down event a "grading mob.”
“It's not just about grading. Many counselors are going home and working on schedules and planning how to talk to a student the next day, it's not just a 9 to 5 job,” said East High School Effective Skills teacher Maureen VanWagner.
The teachers at the event spoke with mall shoppers about the reasons why they say the Alaska budget needs to allow more funding for schools. Currently some positions, like teachers and school counselors could be cut.
“I do stand with my counselors because they are such an important part. If I didn't have them I wouldn't be able to effectively do my job,” said VanWagner.
“Every ear we take a hit and I don't mean just teachers the education profession itself takes a financial hit every year," said 6th Grade Teacher Jessica Cook.
Starting next weekend the school board will begin sending its members down to Juneau to lobby for the education budget.
“I'm a fiscal conservative, I'm not a bleeding heart democrat or something,” said Anchorage School Board member Don Smith.
Smith said the issue of education funding requires bipartisan attention.
“What they're doing is forcing us every year to cut a couple hundred people and were reaching a point where it's going to dramatically affect our ability to educate the children of Anchorage,” said Smith.
That's why on top of sending a message to the legislature, teachers today want the community to rally to action and let law makers know education needs more funding.
“Education effects every single member of this community and if we don't have an educated society the futures going to look really, really bleak,” said Cook.
The event today was not officially organized by the teachers union but most of the teachers attending are part of the Anchorage Education Association.
Contact Mallory Peebles