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Letter: Education figures seem suspicious

Julie Besch’s guest editorial on April 22 states: “Alaska ranks 50th (!) in the U.S. in the percentage of state and local general expenditures spent on public education.” She gives no citation or reference to substantiate this claim and it seems very dubious to me. I am not sure what she terms “general expenditures,” but according to the NEA’s Ranking of States for 2012 the average expenditure per student for school year 2011-12 was $10,843. Alaska ranked third with $17,032 spent per student behind Vermont and New Jersey.

Statistics can be sliced and diced in countless ways to support a position but Ms. Besch should reveal the source of her alarming statement that Alaska is in last place in spending on public education.

— Gerald R. Taft

Anchorage