2023 Legislative Priorities

  • Legislative priorities are set and approved by the school board to guide advocacy efforts for the school district.

    #1 Improve Education Funding

    Education funding currently lags significantly behind the increasing costs school districts across Alaska have faced for several years. The ability of school districts to provide a quality education is in jeopardy as we face significant staffing and program cuts. How much education is funded and how education is funded could be improved in the following areas to benefit students throughout Alaska:

    • Base Student Allocation: Increase the BSA to $6,800
      • Talking point: In the last 7 years, the BSA has increased 0.5% while FNSBSD costs have increased approximately 13% in the same period of time.
      • Talking point: $6,800 represents a 14.1% increase to the BSA, reflecting increased costs districts are facing.

    • Deferred Maintenance: Fund more than one improvement capital project across the biggest five school districts per year.
      • Talking point: Districts with the largest number of students in the state get the lowest number of approved capital improvement projects. Fairbanks essentially receives a capital improvement project once every five years.
      • Talking point: FNSBSD currently has $300 million in deferred maintenance.

    • Funding Calendar: Adjust how and when students are counted so school districts have a more reliable way to predict and budget for funding.
      • Talking point: One option would be to move from the 20-day count in October to an average of the student ADM from the previous year.

    #2 Staff Recruitment and Retention

    School districts need a better benefits system with shared risk between employer and employee. The State of Alaska needs to be a competitive education employer compared to other states, attract employees, and offer security in their retirement.

    • Talking point: A strong retirement package helps recruit and retain teachers. The current system does not incentivize teachers to come work in Alaska, or to continue working in Alaska.
    • Talking point: There is a teacher shortage across the United States that is expected to continue. It’s more important than ever for Alaska school districts to be competitive employers.

Support Your School District

  • Actions you can take to support public education funding include:

    Share a public opinion message with all legislators: https://www.akleg.gov/poms

    Email the governor and legislators: gov.alllegislators@alaska.gov

    Contact your area’s elected representatives: akleg.gov
    Scroll to the bottom of the homepage and use the Who Represents Me? tool.

Last Modified on March 3, 2023