Has been updated: 15 few minutes ago release date: 26 few minutes ago
As the new Secretary of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED), I am honored to serve the people of Alaska, especially our youth, as well as our educators and key state employees at DEED. My unwavering commitment to public education stems from its transformative power to form intelligent problem solvers, responsible citizens, and hardworking individuals.
Since my appointment, I have given numerous interviews and answered many questions. Some people have asked about my changed views on Base Student Allocation (also known as BSA) after the education budget announcement. I have always advocated investing in public schools, and while many argue for a simple increase in BSA, I support a strategic investment approach.
The existing BSA formula uses multipliers to allocate funding to education priorities. For example, the special needs factor directs additional funding to gifted education, special education, English language learners, and career and technical education. However, funding through the BSA does not guarantee that funds will go directly into classrooms to support better academic outcomes.
I believe that with strategic funding to support teachers and quality instruction, we can improve student learning. This approach is also supported by an Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) analysis published by Dana DeFeo on January 9th. In summary, this recommendation is to “shift your focus from how much you spend to what you buy.” It's our dollar. Additionally, Pix-Odden's recently released report titled “Alaska's Evidence-Based Approach to Basic Student Assignment'' identifies specific school improvement strategies that lead to improved student outcomes. Masu.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy is taking steps in this direction by prioritizing teacher recruitment and retention through House Bill 106. This study examines how additional payments to teachers affect recruitment and retention. Payments range from $5,000 to $15,000 per year depending on geographic area and needs. This approach is based on a comprehensive survey and statewide survey of teacher retention and recruitment completed in August 2023. It is important to note that this effort focuses on the key individuals closest to students: the classroom teacher.
My stance as chairperson is clear. Investments in education should be directed to areas that produce the best outcomes and prepare students for successful futures. This requires supporting the foundations of learning with specific financial investments, such as funding enforcement of the Alaska Reading Act and funding initiatives that connect students to their career interests and the state's workforce needs. there is.
It's also important to address broader challenges that impact school districts, such as energy and health care costs. We need to take a prudent approach to funding to ensure that investments in education have the best outcomes for students, parents and teachers. It is imperative that we focus our time and money on preparing students for success after high school.
Alaska can invest in education. You can focus on student learning outcomes and attract and hire the best teachers. As Commissioner, I choose to look to the future, engage with education stakeholders, and advocate for the education funding that will lead to the student outcomes that Alaskans want.
Edited by Deena M. Bishop, Ph.D. I am the Secretary of the Department of Education and Early Development. She previously served as superintendent of the Anchorage School District.
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