Alaska Costing-Out 2003

State Funding Context

From NCES statistics (most current available):

Pre-K to 12 Students, 2001-02: 134,358
Annual Public School Expenditures, 2000-01: $1.2 billion
% Eligible for Free/Reduced Lunch, 2001-02: 25.2%
% in limited-English-proficiency programs, 2001-02: 15.2%

Study Title: “Alaska School District Cost Study”
Date Completed: January 2003
Special Features of this Study: The purpose of this study was to develop an improved methodology for measuring differences in the cost of certain school resources across geographic locations within Alaska. This study was NOT what is typically referred to as a “costing-out study,” which calculates the total cost (except facilities) of providing an adequate education to all public school children in a particular state.Because many school districts in Alaska are in remote areas with extreme climates the state applies geographic adjustments for (1) personnel services, (2) energy services, (3) travel, and (4) supplies, materials, and small capital equipment in its state aid calculations. The stated goal of these adjustments is to equalize the purchasing power of educational dollars across school districts.Remote districts with extreme climates have difficulty attracting, housing, and retaining qualified teachers; energy costs are extraordinary; air travel is required to get from one part of a district to another for administration, maintenance, professional development, itinerant teaching, etc.; and, shipping cost is the primary factor affecting the adjustments needed for supplies, materials, and small capital equipment.
Prepared for: Legislative Budget & Audit Committee
Prepared by: American Institutes for Research


Prepared by Molly A. Hunter, September 3, 2004