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Story Last modified at 9:51 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30, 2011

School bond costs inaccurately represented by letter writers

We are very concerned about grossly inaccurate information contained in the March 23 letter to the editor entitled "Residents oppose any school bond propositions."

The letter writers incorrectly believe that state debt reimbursement means that the total project costs for Propositions 2 and 3 are higher than the $16.9 and $17 million that will be listed on the ballot. The opposite is true. The total project costs are $16.9 million for Proposition 2 and $17 million for Proposition 3. State debt reimbursement of 60 percent to 70 percent actually lowers the bond principal costs expected to be paid with local property taxes to $5.9 and $5.1 million, respectively. A detailed description of the bond projects can be found in Assembly memo #AM 36-2011, which can be found on the school bonds Web page at

The Alaska Constitution places the responsibility for establishing and maintaining education on the State Legislature, and debt reimbursement is the process the Legislature has chosen to provide financial assistance for building and improving educational facilities.

School bonds are the only way to access this state support by leveraging the 60 percent to 70 percent debt reimbursement offered through the State of Alaska. With this support from the state, these bonds provide maximum local benefit with minimum local property tax burden.

These bonds will fund important projects in our community, including improvements for career, technical and vocational courses without having to travel to the King Career Center in Anchorage. We urge your support.

– John Steiner, president, and Crystal Kennedy, vice president, Anchorage School Board

Eagle River residents

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, March 30, 2011.