Alaska Education Funding: Spend More, Get Less

Alaska spends loads of money and some want to spend even more on K12 education. Why? What will be the return on that investment? Is there any accountability for student achievement and spending buckets of money on K12?

Here’s another great chart showing Alaska as a statistical outlier in K-12 spending, in constant dollars.  No other state comes close to Alaska in K-12 spending increases during this period.  Even with this spending growth our improvement in reading scores was half as fast as California and Arizona, even though those states saw a constant dollar decline in K-12 spending.

NAEP Reading 8th grade AK spends most

Despite our modest growth in NAEP reading scores, between 2003 and 2015, Alaska was still 50th (dead last) in low-income 4th grade reading; 49th in upper/middle income 4th grade reading; 48th in low-income 8th grade reading and 42nd in upper/middle-income 8th grade reading in 2015.

In 2013 and 2015 the average Alaskan 4th grader scored lower than low-income Hispanic 4th graders in Florida!

Alaska’s K12 education model is seriously broken.  Do any elected officials have the political will to fix it–for the kids?