Costs rise. Our children shouldn’t have to make up the difference.
JUNEAU – Today Representative Pete Petersen announced he will introduce legislation to protect Alaska schools from the rising costs of inflation. For the next budget year, Petersen’s proposal would increase the base student allocation $158.00, the exact amount required to offset inflation. For the following two years, the proposal calls for inflation-proofing based on the actual level of inflation leading up to those years.
“Inflation happens. We can’t help that,” said Rep. Petersen. “Alaska’s students should not have to pay the costs of inflation with missed learning opportunities.”
In addition to the funding increases, Petersen’s bill requires the Department of Education and Early Development conduct a study on the true cost changes for education and recommend to the Legislature a base student allocation for fiscal year 2015.
“We can and should discuss innovative ways to get Alaskan students a better education, but until those changes are in place, we need to make sure Alaskan students get at least the same quality of education year to year,” said Rep. Petersen.
“We need to at least keep up with the rising costs of inflation,” said Rep. Chris Tuck. “Otherwise our schools will fall behind.”
Eroding school budgets often lead to teacher lay-offs, growing class sizes and dropping achievement, especially in younger students.
“Losing teachers isn’t the way to go when we’re trying to give children real educational opportunities,” said Rep. Les Gara.