Emotional and often heated debates over how to fund government-run schools are now underway in the Alaska Legislature. While left-leaning lawmakers consistently assert that Alaska’s dismal student academic achievement is related to lack of funding, there is amble evidence to suggest that more money is not the golden goose that most left-leaning politicians and educators claim it to be.

The Alaska Policy Forum, a nonpartisan think tank in Anchorage, has written extensively about Alaska’s educational landscape, noting that despite high expenditures on public schooling, students consistently rank near the bottom of academic achievement in nationwide scoring.

A new information chart by APF (see below) breaks down the state’s historical educational expenditures, while factoring in inflation and student outcomes. These 10 facts suggest that simply sending more money to school districts is an expensive and failed strategy.


10 basic facts to consider as Alaska lawmakers debate how to fund government schools

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.


  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Government schools need to be shut down. No more funding.

    • DaveMaxwell says:

      Agreed defunding is demanded!

    • Clark says:

      Why are you against the Alaska Constitution?
      Article 7 of the State Constitution.
      “The legislature shall by general law establish and maintain a system of public schools open to all children of the State, and may provide for other public educational institutions. Schools and institutions so established shall be free from sectarian control. No money shall be paid from public funds for the direct benefit of any religious or other private educational institution.”

      So are you suggesting there be no public education AT ALL and that everyone should just fend for themselves? Do you really think that would improve education statistics? Parents whos kids are failing already have the choice to tutor their kids, get them extra lessons, cut them off their games till homework is done etc…they have been choosing not to for decades. Closing schools would only serve to make our population even stupider. Particularly it would hurt poor families, Natives and other minority groups.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        A public school does not have to be a government-ran school. Shut down all government schools!

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Shut down this worthless government as well!

  • Chilly says:

    The funding for K12 education should follow the child allowing them to seek other schools rather than government ran schools. So many parents have pulled their children out of the government schools and are home schooling, we need to allow the children’t funding to go with them and support competition of schools.