NEWS: Administration Confirms: Much Larger BSA Increase Needed to Fill Education Shortfalls

Rep. Les Gara

Governor’s proposal three to six times too small to prevent teacher cuts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2014

JUNEAU – A new analysis of Parnell administration data confirms Alaska’s school districts need between three and six times the amount of the governor is proposing to increase per-student classroom funding in order to fill budget gaps for next school year. Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) released the analysis today as the House Finance Committee considers the governor’s omnibus education bill and other education measures.

“Parents, teachers, and business leaders all know our schools need a stronger commitment from the state, and they’ve joined Democrats in calling for more classroom funding through the BSA—the money schools can count on year after year,” said Gara. “Now the administration’s own numbers confirm the public is right, Alaska’s schools need a much, much larger BSA increase to prevent a fourth year in a row of teacher and staff cuts.”

The analysis of six of Alaska’s largest school districts shows those districts would need between roughly $245 to $464 more per-student in the Base Student Allocation next year to offset budget shortfalls. The governor’s proposal adds $85 next year.

Gara’s analysis used figures confirmed as accurate this week by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development Finance Division which show the financial impact of specific BSA increases on each school district in the state. Gara used expected budget shortfalls from the Anchorage, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Juneau Borough, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Kodiak Island Borough, and Matanuska-Susitna Borough school districts as published in a March 5, 2014 Legislative Research Services report.

See the analysis: http://akhouse.org/docs/032014_BSA-needed_Avoid-Staff-Cuts.pdf

Read the Legislative Research Services report: http://akhouse.org/gara/030514_Projected-School-District-Budget-Deficits.pdf

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