As the Weekly Standard pointed out, there is an evil smear going about, which I was able to get retracted at Washington Monthly.
The Weekly Standard pointed to this article over at edweek by Sean Cavanagh which also disproved the notion.
But I have even more information. The original smear is based on funding documents for "Special Schools". What they failed to note, besides for the movement of the Alaska Challenge Academy funding to a separate category, is that Alaska special education funding is also covered under the Department of Education and Early Development Student and School Achievement.
Gov. Sarah Palin and state lawmakers have gone ahead with an overhaul of Alaska’s school funding system that supporters predict will provide much-needed financial help to rural schools and those serving students with disabilities.
The plan, enacted in the recently concluded session of the legislature, is based on recommendations issued by a legislative task force last year. It will phase in a greater flow of money to districts outside of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, over the next five years.
Advocates for rural and remote schools have lobbied for years for more funding, in particular noting the higher fuel, transportation, and other costs associated with providing education in communities scattered across the vast state.
A second part of the measure raises spending for students with special needs to $73,840 in fiscal 2011, from the current $26,900 per student in fiscal 2008, according to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.
The Department of Early Development Student and School Achievement is responsible for special education for Alaska schools, gifted education, and the Special Education State Personnel Development Grant which provides money to train and recruit special education teachers. These are all state funded mandates per the budget document.
In 2007, the State contributed $5,429,000 in General Funds Receipts to the department.
In the 2009 Governors budget, this was increased to $6,253,800
This was an increase of $824,000 which is a 15% increase in state funding.
How much do you want to bet this was increased before the Governor even found out about her son Trig?