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EDITOR, Daily News:
Rep. Dan Ortiz describes several reasonable revenue-raising options in the “Revenue Options” letter to the editor published Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in the Ketchikan Daily News. The alternative, for the Legislature, is to further slash spending and wreak further damage on the University of Alaska. Slashing education budgets is an extremely short-sighted way to solve fiscal issues. We're in this mess because for too long, essential government services in Alaska have depended on unstable markets for things like fish and oil that we take out of our land and sell someplace else. The only way out of it is to grow our human resources and attract employers who need highly skilled workers. New businesses, bringing new jobs, will be generated by graduates with the confidence and skills nurtured by a college education.
Consider what an engine of economic development the University of Washington has been in that state. A few years ago, a lobbyist for Microsoft said they were not looking for universities to produce specialists, but graduates with a broad liberal arts education and the problem-solving ability that will allow them to learn and adapt in a rapidly changing knowledge economy. All of our citizens deserve the chance to develop their talents as far as their interests and abilities will take them. If we continue to slash higher education, we're eating our seed corn.