When it comes to spending money in Alaska, nothing outdoes education – not even COVID could change this. With the pandemic in full swing, the Alaska Legislature still budgeted more state funds for education in FY 2022 than it did for health and social services.

To help illustrate the massive amount of state funds expended on Alaska’s failing education system, the Alaska Policy Forum created a simple visual. It includes four individual blocks, showing the fiscal year 2022 budget: total agency spending, state agency spending, unrestricted general fund (UGF) spending, and spending per capita. The breakdown shows the budget as a whole, including federal funding, without federal funds, and as dollars to be spent per person on each department and agency.

“It’s rather astonishing that even during a pandemic year, Alaska budgeted more state funds to education than health and social services,” said Alaska Policy Forum Policy Manager Quinn Townsend. “This is especially interesting considering Alaska’s K-12 education outcomes are among the worst in the country, and the evidence is clear that more spending does not improve outcomes. APF produces our annual budget blocks visualization to make it quick and easy for residents to gain insight into Alaska’s budget and uncover information like this.”

Based on the latest Performance Evaluation for Alaska’s Schools (PEAKS), two-thirds of public school students are not proficient in math, and 40% are not proficient in English. The report and covers the 2021 school year for grades 3-9.

Below are the four “budget blocks” created by Alaska Policy Forum, a nonprofit conservative think tank in Anchorage. To read more about the budget block, click here.


This graphic does not include federal expenditures.
Unrestricted General Fund (UGF) is money with no statutory restrictions. The legislature has discretion to spend this money however it chooses. This graphic includes only unrestricted general funds without federal expenditures.
This graphic depicts all agency budgeted expenditures per capita, based upon Alaska’s population in 2020.
This graphic depicts budgeted expenses to be paid from the state’s unrestricted general funds, from Other Funds, from federal receipts, and from designated general funds.

Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

Amid pandemic Alaska still spends more on education than health & social services

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 Totten says:

    More money to the teachers union while our kids get dumber!

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    So this article shows throwing more money at schooling is bringing no results. Why do we keep wasting our money on education?

  • Steve P Peterson says:

    What’s that thing about doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different outcome…?
    If parents see the dysfunction, but still keep hoping their kids will turn out well in public schools, it is really THEIR fault. A wise parent would have looked for an alternative long ago. I realize that some have been asleep at the wheel, too busy, or just optimistic that it will all turn out OK, but really, how much more evidence do they need that these schools are just dumb-down, indoctrination centers?

  • ralph says:

    Look at prisons and then look at the buildings our children are brought to for public schooling/indoctrination.
    You want a generations of complicit sheep.. our public school systems pushes them out annually.
    These are the years most precious to their development.. yet they are Wasted by overpaid faculty.

  • Greg in Homer says:

    I would like to see Alaska Watchman do a detailed breakdown of the Alaska education budget. How much of the money spent on education goes to salary’s and facilities in small villages in rural Alaska with relatively few numbers of students? It would be helpful to see a number for “dollars spent per student taught” for schools around Alaska.

  • John J Otness says:

    Because it is a fraud hoax,,, All at the top are involved grifting as it is the season of low moral politicians and Hospitals to grab
    while they can…. The schools have actually been the worst offenders as they have spearheaded the indoctrination of our children..
    May they all burn in Hell for this.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Please take your children out of these schools now, before it’s to late. If not be ready for your children to disrespect you and call the authorities on you. Because you took there phone away. They will hate you, call you name and change there name to IT.
    Because they are seeing and living this woke life
    they are being taught in these schools.

  • jh says:

    More spending is not the solution.
    The problem are the teachers, administrators, and the schools of education who promote critical race “phantom” studies, instead of academics.
    STOP teaching DEI, the other critical race theory that the left is sneaking into the classrooms. (It stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and illusion). It is the teaching of hate, and Marxism and communism. DEI is also called DIE.
    STOP teaching make believe delusional, Alice in wonderland world fantasy phantom studies such as Zombie studies!
    STOP teaching hate! Stop playing the race card and false beliefs.
    STOP abusive teachers who tell students that they should be ashamed of themselves because of their color. This is against the LAW! This is racist and against the Civil Rights Act law, passed in 1964, that protects black people and all people.
    STOP teaching students if they are born a minority, they are born oppressed and a victim. Against the law!
    STOP teaching white students that they should be ashamed that they are born white. Against the law!
    STOP teaching white students that they are born a racist and should feel guilty that you are white.
    Against the law.
    START teaching academics , so students are successful in life.
    START putting cameras in the classroom.
    START teaching Language for Learning (L4L), Reading Mastery (RM), and other proven reading curricula.
    START TEACHING reading comprehension, knowledge, and vocabulary.
    START TEACHING history, civics, science, literature, and the arts. Use a curriculum that guide kids through a logical sequence from one year to the next.
    FIRE THE LUNATIC DELUSIONAL LEFTIST TEACHERS THAT TEACH MARXISM! They do not live in reality and do not belong in a class room.
    We need to ignore the lunatic fringe that exist in our society. The lunatics have been around for one hundred years and will likely be around for another 100 years in the future. They are irrelevant fools.

  • Coach says:

    If we truly want to change the trajectory of our state and country we must get children out of the public schools, advocate for education vouchers, and encourage every parent in your circle of influence to do the same. Every church building that’a sitting empty six days of the week should be a school educating children and every retired person in those churches should be volunteering as teachers. The pandemic is handing the American church the greatest evangelistic opportunity in our country’s history. The mask has removed and more parents are now aware of the marxist indoctrination taking place in the public schools and they want options. Talk to your pastor/elders this week.

  • hj says:

    People getting rich teaching this “Dipstick” POOP