Despite widespread school closures, declining enrollment and many more students learning from home, or private schools, education spending in Alaska actually increased in 2020, according to a new report from the U.S. Census.

Alaska spent more money in 2020 on food services, general administration, instruction, pupil support, school administration and “other/non-specified” support than pre-COVID 2019. There were very slight decreases for expenditures on instructional staff support, operations and maintenance, pupil transportation and “other” spending.

Alaska wasn’t alone in its rising education costs. The Census report found that all but five of 36 reporting areas, spanning 35 states and the District of Columbia, increased their education spending in 2020.

Across the nation greater costs in instruction and teacher salaries were offset by notable decreases in money used on student transportation and food services. Alaska was just one of eight states that actually spent more on food services during the pandemic year.

The survey provides a look into 10-year trends, which shows steady increases in both revenue and expenditures across most public school systems in the nation.

The Census Bureau’s final report for all 50 states comes out in May, but it won’t include the full impact of billions of dollars in federal CARES Act or the American Rescue Plan. That money will show up in the next fiscal year cycle.

Click here to read the report.

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Despite COVID closures, Alaska education spending grows

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Michael S Totten says:

    Oh ya let’s send more money to the teachers union so they can continue to indoctrinate your kids with more marxism.. That’s a GREAT idea. Jesus,, my confidence in alaska legislatures and voters is GONE!

  • Sharon Alice Turner says:

    Just now? Your confidence in Alaska Legislature’s upholding their Oaths, the phony lying, fingers crossed promises to WE the measly working, tax paying and many times God/Jesus believing persons? The very same who pay not only these slimy, slippery swamp critters exorbitant amount for the privilege of them, sitting on their buttocks, screwing us over every session and many overtime sessions. Give these little ‘generals, and Banana Republic tyrant types a centimeter of power — and this is what WE get. Folks, you and I own it all, every drop of water, brick ight bulb, in all pubic buildings, roads, police, Fire, and SCHOOLS! Let us take is back, all of it; by votes , Major tax reforms. As is a Real TAX cap! Codified. grandma. PS how well does your kid read, spell and speak ‘real English?’