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Governor Proposes $208 Million Increase in K-12 Education Funding


November 06, 2004

Anchorage, Alaska - Governor Frank H. Murkowski will ask the Legislature for a $208 million increase in K-12 education funding over the next two years, he announced Friday to the Association of Alaska School Boards at their annual meeting in Anchorage.

gif Alaska funding

The governor's proposal would fund education for the next two years and include increases to help absorb the rising costs of retirement systems, as well as other day-to-day increases such as insurance and fuel. Murkowski will ask the Legislature for early funding of the proposal.

"Our schools and our students deserve a predictable level of state funding so that good teachers are rewarded with a 'thank you' at the end of the year instead of a pink slip," said the governor. "Early, stable funding will let our school districts focus on teaching rather than on money."

School districts have seen dramatic increases in retirement system costs, personnel costs due to new labor contracts, fuel expenses, insurance expenses, and other day-to-day costs. Many districts have been forced to reduce staff, trim programs, and increase class size to compensate for the budget increases.

If approved by the Legislature, this two-year funding plan would also shelter education from end of session budget fights and give schools more certainty in budget planning.

mp3Listen.... Students deserve a predictable level of state funding so that good teachers are rewarded with a 'thank you' at the end of the year instead of a pink slip... (MP3)

mp3Listen... Legislation will be introduced to increase the per student amount....(MP3)

mp3Listen... 208 million dollar increase over last year's funding...(MP3)

The initiative would increase the student base allocation to $4,869 in fiscal 2006, which begins July 1, 2005, and increase the per student amount to $5,174 in fiscal 2007. The per student allocation within the foundation formula is currently set at $4,576.

"Education is one of my top priorities and I've put my money where my mouth is. This school funding proposal would mean my administration has delivered on a 29 percent increase in per student education spending during our first four years in office," Murkowski said.

The increase includes $38 million in fiscal 2006 and $39 million in fiscal 2007 to cover increased retirement system costs for school districts. It also includes an estimated $24 million in increased funding for fiscal 2006 and $25 million the following fiscal year to cover increases in day-to-day costs such as insurance, fuel, and other fixed costs.

"We know what our schools need right now to educate our children tomorrow. Let's give it to them now, let's not make them wait," Murkowski said.

The Senate Majority reacted positively to Governor Frank Murkowski's plan to increase funding to classrooms across Alaska and strengthen the retirement plans for the educators dedicated to teaching our children.

Senate President Ben Stevens (R- Anchorage) and Majority Leader Gary Stevens (R - Kodiak) both say education will be a top priority in the upcoming session.

"Providing the extra dollars to local school districts early means teachers and administrators can focus on providing a better education to our kids, instead of worrying about how many teachers will get pink slips next spring," says President Stevens.

Majority Leader Gary Stevens adds, "We are glad to see the Governor taking the initiative on early K-12 funding, just as we did last session, the Senate Majority plans to make education a cornerstone of the 24th Legislature."

The Legislative session begins in Juneau on January 10th.


Governor Murkowski's K-12 Funding Package


  • Predictability in future funding.
    • Approve two years of funding (Fiscal Year 2006 and 2007) instead of only one year so school districts will know on how much state funding they can rely
  • State pays PERS and TRS increases.
    • The state will cover the increased retirement system costs for school districts, estimated to increase $38 million next year and another $39 million the year after.
  • More state funds to cover other increased costs.
    • Additional funding to cover increased costs of day-to-day delivery of education. Using a three year average for Anchorage CPI, this would provide an estimated $24 million in increased funding next year and another $25 million increase the following year.
  • Increase state's "student base allocation."
    • Increase the per student education funding formula by $293 (to $4,869) next year and by another $305 (to $5,174) the following year.
  • The bottom line: $208 million more for K-12 schools
    • The state's support per student will have increased 29% during the first four years of this Administration. This translates into a $208 million increase in state support for education.


Department of Education & Early Development:

pdf A Brief Summary of Funding for Alaska's Schools

Sources of News, Graphics & MP3 files:

Office of the Governor
Web Site

Alaska Republicans
Web Site



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