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Grassroots group rallies for increased education funding

By KTVA CBS 11 News 3:53 PM March 30, 2014

Great Alaska Schools hosts its second rally at the Loussac Library

ANCHORAGE –

$400. That’s how much additional money hundreds of public school supporters want lawmakers to approve for the Base Student Allocation — money the state spends per student — for the next fiscal year.

On Saturday, Great Alaska Schools, a group of public school supporters, hosted its second rally at the Loussac Library.

The grassroots group is urging lawmakers to help support Alaska’s public schools through a three-year increase to the BSA. Great Alaska Schools is asking for an additional $400 for the 2015 fiscal year and $125 for each of the following two years.

Great Alaska Schools members say a funding increase is needed to allow schools to catch up with inflation and prevent layoffs.

The Anchorage School District is facing a budget shortfall of at least $21 million, and as a result is eliminating 200 jobs, including more than 100 teachers.

Becca Bernard, an ASD parent and Great Alaska Schools co-founder, explained what brought her out Saturday:

“To show people around the community, including the Legislature and the governor, how much support there is in our community for increasing per-pupil funding by $400 for next year, to make sure we don’t have to cut teachers from public schools,” she said.

Gov. Sean Parnell is asking the Legislature to pass what his office is calling a “modest” increase to the BSA of $85 this year and $58 the following two.

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