ISER Publication - How much does Alaska spend on K-12 education?
Education funding in Alaska, as in most states, is one of the largest allocations in the state operating budget. In 2017, Alaska’s K-12 per-pupil spending was $17,838, which is 46% higher than the national average. However, a lot of things in Alaska are expensive relative to national averages: healthcare, food, and energy, to name just a few. In this paper we adjusted Alaska’s data from the US Census Bureau 2017 Annual Survey of School System Finances to state and national cost indices, and find that Alaska’s per-pupil expenditures are on par with national averages. As many drivers of Alaska’s education costs extend beyond education policy, we caution against cuts that leave districts with few choices but to diminish the teacher workforce by eliminating positions or hiring lower quality teachers with less competitive salaries.