How do we pay for public schools?

SchoolCentsLogoSq-REVWEBDo you ever feel lost in the ongoing conversation about how to appropriately finance our public education system?  What does BSA mean? What is the foundation formula? How does a concerned parent get enough background to know whether his or her child is getting the best education public money can buy?

In this week’s Hometown Alaska, we aim to offer School Budgeting 101, a foundational look at how schools are financed. We’ve tapped Steve Atwater, now serving as the associate vice president for K-12 outreach  for the University of Alaska, but also a former school superintendent for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and the Lake and Peninsula School District.

Steve will be with us from Fairbanks by phone. He’ll be joined by Luke Fulp, assistant superintendent for business and operations with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. He also has experience at rural schools, including Chevak School in the Kashunamiut School District.

Learn the basics of school finance so that news stories make sense to you, so that you feel equipped to ask your principal or legislator useful questions and ultimately cast well-informed votes.

Join us with your questions.

Download Audio

HOST: Kathleen McCoy


  • Steve Atwater, University of Alaska K-12 outreach
  • Luke Fulp, business officer, Mat-Su School District
  • Kathleen Plunkett, ASD school board member



  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752  (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)

HOST: Kathleen McCoy

LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 2:00 – 3:00 pm (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 9:00 – 10:00 pm (Alaska time)

SUBSCRIBE: Get Hometown, Alaska updates automatically — via email, RSS or podcasts