Parnell balks at increased formula funding for Alaska schools

Associated PressJanuary 20, 2012 

JUNEAU -- Gov. Sean Parnell says he's open to discussing ways to help school districts meet fixed costs but he says he has problems with increases in formula programs, including raising the base student allocation. Parnell says in difficult economic times, domestically and abroad, Alaska must remain as liquid as it can financially.

He says his current budget proposal balances at about $96-per-barrel oil. He says if prices fall below that, the state would pull from savings.

He says over four academic years, education spending rose by about $183 million, while costs rose and the number of students remained about the same.

A major teachers union, House Democrats and some senators are calling for an increase in school funding.

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