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Issue Explainer

Funding for Public Education

The Base Student Allocation (BSA), has been flat-funded since 2017 while fixed costs like health insurance and utility costs have skyrocketed.
A photo from the Raise the BSA rally focused on a woman in the crowd of marching members. She is wearing a grey coat, red hat, and red scarf with a smile as she looks to the horizon with a hopeful look in her eyes.  A sign that says "Raise the BSA" is in one of her gloved hands.
Published: March 2024

Alaska public schools are in crisis. School districts across the state are cutting programs, closing schools, and eliminating education jobs from their budgets due to a lack of state funding. The Base Student Allocation (BSA), has been flat-funded since 2017 while fixed costs like health insurance and utility costs have skyrocketed. As a result, educators are being forced to do more with less, handle increased workloads, and spend less time ensuring every student has the opportunity to learn.

NEA-Alaska is leading the charge to increase the BSA. In January 2023, NEA-Alaska members voted to make raising the BSA one of our two top legislative priorities. Our Legislative Action Teams, Board of Directors, and leadership are frequently in Juneau, meeting with legislators, providing testimony, and telling their stories of how flat funding is impacting our students.

Right now, we need all supporters of public education to take a stand and email their elected leaders and tell them to pass a meaningful increase to the BSA. 


The Facts:

  • Public education has been flat-funded since 2017. During that time inflation has risen 18%.
  • Schools are being closed, learning opportunities are being stripped from students, and educators can’t make ends meet.
  • Our public schools are in crisis mode. The Alaska State Legislature must pass a BSA increase this year.
  • From 2011 to 2022, the Base Student Allocation has increased by less than 5%, while Alaska’s urban consumer price index has risen by 24.6%.
  • A January 30, 2023 memo from the Legislative Finance Division calculated that the BSA would need to increase by $1,348 to match the buying power of peak year 2015.
  • There are 2,100 fewer educators in Alaska classrooms today than 10 years ago.
    • As of 2/21/2023, There are over 1250 open positions across the State of Alaska.
    • There are 1,000 fewer certificated classroom teachers in Alaska than in 2010-2011.

Use Your Educator Voice.

We are THE voice for educators in Alaska. See what membership can mean for you!
Jesse Bjorkman, educator and legislator, speaks at a rally about raising the BSA funding.

Your Voice Matters!

Contact your elected officials at any level on any issue. Use this link to find their contact information, including email, phone number, and even their Facebook or Twitter.

Reach. Teach. Inspire.

NEA-Alaska advocates for an excellent public education for each child in Alaska and advances the interests of public school employees.