FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2014
“Phony” Education Bill Will Lead to Three More Years of Cuts
Funding is half of what schools need, pushes responsibility to local taxpayers, too much to private schools
JUNEAU – Today, Democratic legislators decried the newly released education bill for not preventing more teacher cuts, sending public money to private schools, and shifting the funding responsibility from the state to local taxpayers.
“Our schools have waited all year for this? It guarantees three more years of cuts,” said Senate Democratic Leader Hollis French (D-Anchorage). “Schools and parents got less than half of what they need to prevent more cuts in the classroom, and it opens more loopholes to let public school money go to private schools. In the education session, the Legislature should’ve come up with real help for our schools.”
House and Senate democratic legislators, schools, teachers, parents, students, and business and community leaders have all called for an increase of per-student funding, called the Base Student Allocation or BSA, of $400 next year and $125 the following two years for a total of $650 over three years. The Republican-led conference committee bill proposes only a $250 increase in the BSA over three years.
“They’re selling this bill as a compromise, but it’s still a phony education bill,” said House Democratic Leader Chris Tuck. “They’re forcing more cuts on schools and asking local taxpayers to pick up some of the slack.”