Alaska’s largest school districts lost over 600 teachers and staff over the past three years. That’s the conclusion of a report produced by the Legislature’s research department.
The report shows that teacher, career and guidance counselors or other education staff fell as student enrollment increased or remained flat. Teacher assistants, custodians, and other support staff took the biggest hits.
In Anchorage, the number of teachers has dropped by 3 percent since the 2010-2011 school year.
The report was requested by Reps. Les Gara and Harriet Drummond, both Democrats from Anchorage. Their caucus has been pushing for an increase in per student funding, which has been kept at the same level for the past four years. Gara and Drummond say this report shows the negative impact of not keeping classroom funding on pace with inflation.
Governor Sean Parnell and Republican lawmakers have instead given one-time finding increases for energy, school security, and other out of classroom expenses.