ACSA says Governor Dunleavy’s “flat funding of education equates to another cut fo public schools”

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – Governor Dunleavy announced the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year, revealing an absence of additional funding for public education through the Base Student Allocation (BSA). The Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA) released a statement alongside the Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB) viewing it as “discouraging to realize that the Governor recognizes the impact of inflation on the entire state and yet does not acknowledge the same effects on the operation of Alaska’s Public Education system”.

The decision not to allocate additional funds comes at a time when schools are grappling with unprecedented challenges, including the ongoing effects of the global pandemic, national educator shortage, the impact of high inflation, and the urgent need for resources to support Alaska’s students and educators alike.   

Like the Governor, AASB and ACSA have said they are proud of the achievements of Alaska’s public charter schools. Both groups went on to say, “However, the success and support of our innovative public charter schools depend upon a healthy, and appropriately funded school district supporting all public school options.”

Here is more from the release by the AASB and ACSA:

Public education is the cornerstone of our society, shaping our children’s future and ensuring our communities’ prosperity. The lack of increased funding continues to jeopardize the ability of schools to provide a well-rounded and equitable education for all students. It undermines the tireless work of educators who are already stretched incredibly thin, striving to meet the diverse needs of their students with limited resources. Most importantly, it jeopardizes our ability to provide opportunities for positive student outcomes. 

The ramifications of this budget proposal extend far beyond the classroom, affecting the long-term prospects of our state. A continuous and intentional investment in an excellent education for every student every day is an investment in Alaska’s future workforce, economic stability, and the societal well-being of our state and its people. Families and businesses look for this when considering moving to a state. Without sustained, adequate funding, we risk compromising the very foundation upon which our communities thrive.

Our organizations urge the state legislature to disregard the Governor’s FY25 budget recommendations, and instead prioritize the needs of our students, communities and schools. We call for reevaluating the Governor’s budget to ensure that education receives the attention and investment it desperately requires.