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Americans for Prosperity – Alaska Urges Governor to Veto SB 140 and Put Alaska Students First

Mar 11, 2024 by AFP

JUNEAU, AK – Americans for Prosperity – Alaska (AFP-AK) urges Governor Dunleavy to veto SB 140, which aimlessly funnels additional money to Alaska’s education system without essential reforms. Before Alaska increases year-over-year school district funding, it must pass proven policies that put students first and improve education outcomes.

AFP-AK State Director Bethany Marcum issued the following statement regarding SB 140:  

“To improve Alaska’s dismal education outcomes, funding should be used to directly support students instead of simply increasing generalized school district funding. This should be about our children, not buildings and bureaucracies. 

“As an example, Alaska should codify an open-enrollment policy that allows students to choose and attend the public school that serves their specific needs, whether that be their residentially assigned school or a different public school in the state.   

“Public schools were designed to be free and public. Alaska should honor that principle and ensure that public schools across the state are truly free and public for all Alaska students.    

“We do appreciate the legislature addressing correspondence program funding to level the financial playing field for families who choose correspondence programs for their children, but more meaningful reforms are necessary to get Alaska’s education system back on track. Simply adding money to an antiquated, one-size-fits-all system is not the solution Alaska’s students need. It is time to fund students, not systems. 

“Governor Dunleavy should give the legislature another opportunity to actually address the issues facing Alaska’s education system.”  

BACKGROUND:

Alaska leads the nation in per-pupil funding, but lags dramatically in student performance. Alaska’s per-pupil expenditure – over $22,000 per student – is the sixth highest in the nation. Despite this large investment in Alaska’s education system, Alaskan students rank 49th in the nation.

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