Skip to Content

**Dunleavy’s Veto Upheld, Halting Massive Education Spending Bill Override**

In order for legislators to surpass the governor’s veto, they required 40 votes, a threshold that was not met. Following almost two hours of discussions on the floor, 39 lawmakers favored overriding the veto, while 20 sided with the governor. One legislator was absent during the vote.

By maintaining the governor’s veto, proponents of educational reform have sent a clear message that substantial funding boosts for Alaska’s struggling public schools will only be approved if school districts are held accountable for their financial allocations.

Initially, Dunleavy rejected Senate Bill 140 citing its lack of significant reforms. The proposed bill aimed to boost education expenditure by $175 million but omitted reforms endorsed by the governor.

The legislation sought to increase funding by $680 per student through the Base Student Allocation (BSA) formula, marking a significant budget augmentation for a system that has consistently failed to show improved student outcomes despite increased funding.

Notably, Alaska already allocates $22,000 per student annually, ranking sixth highest in the nation, yet its students rank 49th in basic academic performance.

Among the provisions Dunleavy sought in the bill was the establishment of charter schools by the state, rather than solely through local school district control. He also pushed for funds to be directly linked to teacher salaries to prevent diversion towards unnecessary administrative projects, contributing to an already bloated bureaucracy.

Dunleavy emphasized the necessity of reforms, especially in light of successful charter school models, stating that the bill’s passage without essential reforms was unwarranted. He pointed out opportunities in the current session to address issues like improving broadband speeds in Alaska’s schools and enhancing charter school offerings and chartering methods.

The governor affirmed his commitment to collaborating with lawmakers to prioritize the needs of Alaskan families over the demands of special interest groups.

With a decline in student enrollments and a surge in families opting for homeschooling, education advocates, union leaders, and entrenched bureaucrats have fervently sought additional state funding despite the diminishing student population.

Americans for Prosperity, a nonpartisan conservative think tank, has endorsed Dunleavy’s veto, urging lawmakers to reconsider an outdated, uniform educational system that fails to meet the diverse needs of Alaska’s students.