When the political "experts" said it couldn't be done Senator Dave Donley worked to successfully increase Anchorage's share of state education funding... and reduced Anchorage school class sizes.
Dave Donley 2017-2019 School Board Accomplishments 1.20.20
During his first term on the Anchorage School Board, former Senator Dave Donley worked with fellow Board Members and ASD staff for the following accomplishments.
1. Revised wrongful automatic grade promotion policy (In 2018 only 4 of over 3,000 3rd graders held back.) to a much superior “best interest of the child” standard with mandatory parental involvement.
2. Succeeded in getting all charter, alternative and regular schools to say the pledge of allegiance every day.
3. Succeeded in getting all school district music teachers to follow existing ASD curriculum and teach the National Anthem and the Alaska Flag Song.
4. Attempted to get the School Board to adopt requirement to play the National Anthem and the Alaska Flag Song at least once a month in schools. Failed by one vote. Thank you to Andy Holleman for his support.
5. Succeeded in forcing for the first time an evaluation of the current common core math curriculum versus the traditional Saxon math successfully used in four ASD schools.
6. Protected parental rights and defeated requirements that parents be forced to “opt out” of controversial curriculums and invasive surveys.
7. Protected and expanded at no cost to taxpayers enhanced optional schools including new O’Malley Elementary French immersion school.
8. Successfully amended school bond to included long overdue school safety and security projects to protect our children while in school.
9. Sponsored resolution asking Municipality to place police officer SRO in all middle schools to better protect our children while in school.
10. Successfully advocated for improved efficacy in teacher evaluation process. Increased unsatisfactory evaluations from only 4 of over 3,000 teachers in 2018 to 44 in 2019.
11. Cast deciding vote to restore funding to the Ignite Program in 2020-21 School District Budget.
12. Successfully amended the 2020-21 School District budget to prevent loss of four important school safety officers paid for by a reduction in administrative overhead.
13.Amended the voter approved 2019 School Bonds to include important school safety projects to better protect our children against violent threats.
14. Supported parental choice with charter, alternative, optional, language immersion, Ignite, vocational, Middle College schools, and gifted programs.
15. Supported priotitizing SBBS teachers and programs to give all our students a better chance to succeed.
16. Supported moving to 60 minute elementary lunch and recess time.
Website: www. dave4asd.com / Facebook: Dave Donley School Board
Additionally, as a state senator...
* Dave authored key legislation to make our children safer both in school and in transit to and from school.
* Leader to fight for education funding reform ( 1998 SB 36 ) which increased funding for Anchorage schools by over $9 million and reduced class sizes.
* Leader in successful fight for equal treatment for Anchorage schools regarding transportation funding formula which added an additional $1.5 million and resulted in lowering property taxes.
* Lead the fight for full and early funding of K-12 Education.
* Authored School Bus Safety Act of 1990.
* Co-Sponsored state school construction and repair bonds (1998 SB11 ) that reduced property taxes of average Anchorage home by over $100 per year for the next decade.
* Championed needed road and trail safety improvements for Anchorage schools.
* Authored laws to protect teachers and students from dangerous juveniles.
* Championed needed expansion of juvenile detention facilities.
* Authored law creating new funding source for Alaska's Children's Trust.
* Amended state law to end bureaucratic discrimination against Anchorage school construction needs.
* Sponsored successful infant care education curriculum legislation.
* Legislative leader for funding of new UAA library necessary to maintain accreditation.
* Voted for state funding to help computerize Anchorage schools.
* Supported funding for new West High School Science Wing.
* Supported new high school construction in Eagle River, Chugiak, and South Anchorage.
* As Co-Chair Senate Finance Committee successfully championed increased school funding even when State budget was being reduced.
* AS AN ANCHORAGE SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER DAVE HAS:
Successfully sponsored new common-sense policies including replacing automatic grade promotion with a “what is in the best interest of the student” policy for grade advancement.
Included in this new policy for the first time parents will have a strong say in whether it is in the best interest of their child to repeat a grade. Prior this new policy, in the year 2017 only 4 of over 3,000 third graders where held back to repeat third grade. Other grades had similar shocking numbers. Even when parents felt it was the best thing for their child the District refused to hold back students. It was a policy that reduced accountability, prevented parental decision making, and was not always in the best interest of the student.
Successfully advocated for improved efficacy of the ASD’s teacher evaluation process. In an ironically similar number, in 2017 only 4 of over 3,000 teachers received an unsatisfactory annual evaluation. Last year that number rose to 44 unsatisfactory evaluations.
The ASD still has a long way to go with ensuring an accurate teacher evaluation process but it is making progress.
Successfully sought to amend the 2019 School Bonds, which were approved by voters, to prioritize long overdue school safety projects to harden our schools and protect our children against evil doers.
Restoring Patriotism in Schools
Although Dave’s proposal to have schools play the National Anthem and the Alaska Flag Song once a month failed on a 4-3 vote he was successful in ensuring all ASD schools (with a very few exceptions) will now be saying the Pledge of Allegiance every day and that these patriotic songs are taught in all music classes. Something some music teachers were refusing to do even though they are part of the music curriculum.
Working to Hold Down Spending
Proposed multiple budget amendments to the annual school district budgets to cut administrative overhead, executive salaries, and lower priority expenditures.