Anchorage student enrollment: 42,826


The number of students enrolled in Anchorage School District has not fully recovered from what it was before the Covid pandemic and subsequent school closures and the district’s pandemic policies.

For the 2018-2019 school year, there were 46,734 students enrolled, according to the Alaska Department of Education.

Last year’s official number was 41,902.

Now, according to the October count, there are 42,826, an increase of just 924 students from last year, but a decrease of 3,908 from before the pandemic.

That is a 2% recovery in enrollment in the public schools year over year, an important measure because State Base Student Allocation funding is calculated on enrollment. It’s more than an 8 percent decrease from the year before the pandemic hit and schools across the country began enacting various measures, including closing schools, moving to distance learning, masking, and ending school bus service.

The student count period for this year ended Oct. 22.

For FY2020, the district received an historically high amount from the Legislature, over $331 million. In FY2021, that dropped to nearly $322 million.

State foundation formula payments for the first nine months of the fiscal year are calculated based on the prior fiscal year’s official enrollment number. The remaining three months — April, May, and June — are re-calculated and trued up based on the finalized foundation counts for that school year, so that as the year ends, districts will have been paid what they are due based on the reconciled “average daily membership” count.

However, there is a “hold harmless” provision that says if the drop from the prior year is more than 5%, the funding formula will be based on the prior year’s count. The hold harmless provision has a three-year formula explained here.

Anchorage school enrollment peaked at 50,024 students in the 2003-2004 school year. Since then, ASD has added more than a million square feet of new schools. In simple terms, in 18 years Anchorage has lost nearly 8,000 kids — but added space for 6,000 more.

This year’s official number is much lower than it was projected to be by the district. See story below from September:


  1. What an obscene waste of public money for poor results. All non-core programs should be suspended until test scores rise to at least the top national 25%. Reading, Writing, Math focus, plus Science and History minor focus. Period. Until the school system proves itself competent. Or else contract the whole thing out to low bidder for probable better than current results.

    • Offering any measure of common sense, logic and.or reason (such as you have done here) seems to consistently fall on deaf ears in this town. There’s a growing cancer in Anchorage, and it seems hell bent on destroying the community. Until the cancer is cut out and removed, no meaningful progress will likely be gained.

  2. I think the reason there is such a deficit is because when online learning happened last year, they found out what the schools were teaching and decided to take matters I to their own hands and homeschool again.

  3. What are we playing per student now? $20k a year? We could get a much better price and education by paying for private school. And no CRT or masking to be forced on the kids.

    Where’s my tax rebate for ASD having to teach fewer kids?

  4. A sure sign that most parents just don’t get it or they just don’t care about their child’s future and therefore there own future and the future of mankind.

  5. The freedom loving people will be abandoning socialist Anchorage and moving east and north. I hope Eagle River exits the socialist city

  6. The declining enrollment shows itself that private schools either need to increase their employment of teachers or that there are more private schools built here to decease and eliminate the waitlists

  7. So we’ve lost 8,000 kids from the public schools.
    How many administrators did we lose in the same timeframe? Let me guess: zero.

  8. A lot of parents have discovered the value of home or alternative schooling for their kids and realized after the first year they can pull it off.

  9. Actual enrollment in brick and mortar schools in ASD is under 41,000 because of almost 2,000 ASD enrolled in homeschool charter schools. That’s the lowest in-person enrollment since the 1989-90 school year. Since that year ASD had added 41 acres of new school floorspace

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