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One child is as important as 10

Letter to the Editor


The following letter was addressed to Gov. Sean Parnell, Rep. Bryce Edgmon, KTUU and KTVA.

My name is Robert Gusty Sr. and I live in Stony River, located on the Kuskokwim River. Stony River is on an island and is a small village that has no roads and this time of year the only way to travel is by air.

This email is addressed to you all in regards to the subject (We think one child is just as important as 10. Do you?)

I am married and have three kids in school and one more will be in school in three more years. We have a school here in Stony River that is not in use because our Kuspuk does not have enough money to open. Because we do not have 10 kids, but we have a one teacher who is teaching six kids in teachers’ housing that is a little small for six kids and the teacher.

The school district we are in is the Kuspuk School District and I think is one of the best school districts in Alaska. Our kids still have a teacher thanks to our school district. This one teacher took the job that requires a number of people and she did it all.

Our school district had a meeting not to long ago and Stony River was on their agenda because Kuspuk was not going to give us a teacher next year. Even they did not see 10 kids here, our school district kept our school open next year because they care about our kids and if the school closed. (Teacher housing was and is our school.) It would have affected a lot of parents and the most important, our kids.

The only store we have in our village is the student store and is being operated by the six students and because of these kids people have a store here to buy stuff that is needed.

Last year the kids raised enough money to go on a trip to the Lower 48.

This year they raised money to go on another trip but because of our school was on the list for shutdown one of the kids made a suggestion if they gave the school district their money, would it help to keep our teachers house school open. The six students made the village proud of them, the students gave $8,000 and agreed to help pay $1,000 every month for school next year to help pay for bills. The students worked hard for their money and they did an adult decision that made us proud of them.

I have questions for you all:

Why don’t you all work on schools staying open? Even if schools don’t have 10 kids the wrong message is going out to parents and kids. Because of this 10-kid rule you are saying, “Hey, your school is not important because you don’t have 10 kids.” What about your No Child Left Behind act? What do you think you are all doing when you close down a school because of this 10-kid rule?

All over the U.S., because of this 10-child rule kids are being affected and lawmakers are to blame, because no one is doing any thing about it, all our future depends on our children and their children’s children. If our education system can’t teach our kids properly, what’s going to happen in the future? The kids should not have to worry about not having a teacher or school they should have nothing to worry about until they are all of age.

We think one child is as important as 10, do you?

This question is for Rep. Edgmon what is with this HB 177? With trying to reverse low salmon run?

People do support SB 88, and I for one, do not support this in-state gasline and provisions for rural opportunities. Alaska is Alaska because of the way it is and if more roads and bridges and pipelines are put in makes Alaska smaller, and Alaska will not be The Last Frontier no more. And someone who loves Alaska, likes it the way it is.

What about this task force on sustainable education established? Instead of wasting money on this one, asking effectiveness and efficiency of K-12 education in the state, you should give money to schools that are closing so you don’t have to ask that question.

And this HB 199... what do you hope to expect from this one? Arming VPSOs is not the answer they all know being in law enforcement is not safe and if they are given a gun it will only add more problems.

If U.S. lawmakers won’t change the 10-child rule law. Alaska is unique we Alaskans should stand up and help all Alaskan schools and show the lawmakers hey we want a good education system for our kids and start helping all Alaskans for be a better future.

Thank you from a lifelong Alaskan resident,

—Robert Gusty Sr., Stony River


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