Bills to improve K-12 education funding pass House Education Committee

JUNEAU – Two bills that would reverse six years of flat education funding passed from the House Education Committee today. HB272 and 273, sponsored by Representative Andi Story (D-Juneau), would increase the per-pupil amount school districts receive from the state, referred to as the Base Student Allocation (BSA), in FY23 and FY24 and adjust the BSA for inflation from FY25 onward.

 

“During hearings in House Education, we heard from districts across the state speaking about how increases to fixed costs they have no control over, like fuel, property insurance, and goods continue to take revenue from services critical to our children,” said Representative Andi Story. “When state support remains flat, districts are making painful cuts to classroom aides, teachers, student activities, career technical courses, and bus transportation routes to balance the budget.”

 

HB 272 would increase the BSA in FY23 and again in FY24. This allows for districts to address their operational costs and plan with some certainty to meet student needs. Currently, many districts’ budgets are due to their municipalities before they know their revenue. This would also eliminate the need to “pink slip” valuable staff. 

 

HB 273 would add inflation proofing to the BSA formula beginning in FY25 for all years going forward. This would be based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Alaska, ensuring that education’s growth is directly tied to Alaska’s growth.

 

Both bills now head to the House Finance Committee. 

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