"The increase of $118.00 per student as provided in House Bill 26 will assist our local school districts to meet, and hopefully exceed, the public's expectations and demands."
- Rep. Stevens
An Act relating to the base student allocation used in the formula for state funding of public education; and providing for an effective date.
The State of Alaska's Public Education Funding Formula is based on a specific dollar amount per student. The base student allocation was established in FY02 as $4010 per student. House Bill 26 increases this allocation by $118.00, increasing the per student dollar to $4,128.
Although the State's contribution to the 53 school districts has recently increased through the Foundation Formula and contributions to the Learning Opportunity Grants, the effect of annual inflation has negated this growth, and indeed the purchasing power of the student dollar has been diminished. School districts all over the state are budget trimming to cope with inflationary factors and new mandates under the Federal "No Child Left Behind Act". Often, cost saving measures are coming through the reduction and elimination of courses and student activities.
Public education is faced with the unenviable position of assuming greater responsibility with a reduction in the purchasing power of the student dollar. Alaska cannot continue to ask its 53 school district to meet all these additional responsibilities with a dwindling budget, therefore, additional funding is a necessity. The increase of $118.00 per student as provided in House Bill 26 will assist our local school districts to meet, and hopefully exceed, the public's expectations and demands.