2024 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 Base Student Allocation to $7,373
      • Talking point: In the last 7 years, the BSA has increased 0.5% while FNSBSD costs have increased approximately 16% in the same period of time.

    • Alaska Reads Act Support:  Provide funding to school districts to support the requirements of the Alaska Reads Act.
      • Talking point: Increased staffing levels are needed to provide valuable interventions for students as required by the Reads Act.

      • Talking point: Outside of the school day interventions are required for students not showing proficiency in reading. This severely underfunded mandate is difficult to provide with shrinking budgets.

      • Talking point: Continued staff development and training as required by the Alaska Reads Act, and support to implement the required Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) process, which includes multiple opportunities for assessing student learning data, providing specialized interventions, and communicating with families.

    • 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, including $18.9 million at Tanana Middle School, $12.0 million at Arctic Light Elementary, and $10.7 million at Ticasuk Brown Elementary.

    • Transportation: Increase its transportation funding by at least $270 per pupil to $1,172 per pupil for FY25.

    #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 educators. The current system does not incentivize teachers to come work in Alaska, or to continue working in Alaska.

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 February 1, 2024