It seems as if the NEA-AK and its local affiliates are using members’ dues to sponsor commercials which basically say that vouchers will destroy public education as we know it. Trouble is, most of us don’t know the state of public education in Alaska today. Well here are the facts:
- Did you know that Alaska spends more per capita ($3,260, per the NEA website) on K-12 education than any other state?
- Did you know that Alaska ranks dead last in the U.S. in 4th grade reading (NAEP) for upper and middle income students?
- Did you know that Alaska ranks dead last in the U.S. in 4th grade reading (NAEP) for lower income students?
- Did you know that Alaska upper/middle income 4th grade students are two grade levels behind Massachusetts’ upper/middle income 4th grade students?
- Did you know that Alaska spent more than $1,079,619,305 (only state funds) in fiscal year 2012 for education?
- Did you know that Alaska spending on education increased from $945,000,000 in 2004 to $1,570,000,000 in 2014 (projected)?
- Did you know that Alaska funding (state only) on education has increased by 67% over the last ten years? Inflation over the same period was 27%( BLS, CPI-U).
Now that you know the facts (what you didn’t know), what will you do with them? Do you believe that the State doesn’t fund education adequately? The NEA believes they need more resources (money) to increase student achievement. If the State pours more money into a broken education system, what impact will it have on student achievement? Will Alaska’s 4th graders rise from 50th to 49th in reading?
Do you believe that inflation has outpaced education spending as the NEA states?
So, if the Trans Alaska Pipeline oil flow dwindles to zero, are you as a family of four willing to contribute more than $13,000 to fund a broken education system? It’s time to answer that question.