• How Much Different Are Costs Amongst Alaska School Districts?

      Tuck, Bradford; Berman, Matthew; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2005)
      The big differences among Alaska’s school districts—in remoteness, climate, community amenities, and energy sources—also mean big differences in school operating costs. ISER’s new estimates of the geographic cost differences among Alaska’s 53 districts range from 7 percent to more than 100 percent above costs in Anchorage. The existing differentials are set in state law and have been used since 1998; the legislature will decide whether to adopt any changes. Keep in mind that the differentials are just one factor in a complex formula used to determine aid for individual districts. That formula begins with a base amount per student, for students in all districts, that the legislature sets each year. The proposed differentials are higher than the existing ones, which range from 1 to 70 percent above Anchorage’s costs. This summary is based on a more detailed report, Alaska School District Cost Study Update, by Bradford Tuck, Matthew Berman, and Alexandra Hill.