Senators Joe Paskvan, Dennis Egan, and Gary Stevens during the closeout hearing of the Senate Finance DEED Subcommittee, March 20, 2012
This blog contains highlights from the Alaska Education Update. The update is issued daily during session and contains detailed summaries of education issues under consideration by the Alaska State Legislature. If there is a hearing on a Monday, a report will, with few exceptions, be released by Tuesday morning. There is also a weekly edition of the update. During interim, reports are issued only when there has been action. Interim action may include hearings, bill signings, the release of the Governor's proposed budget for the next fiscal year, and other items that may be of interest to the education community.

To subscribe to full reports, contact Shana Crondahl at (907) 500-7069 or To subscribe to blog posts, submit your email:

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Website Up & Running, Head On Over!

Hey, head on over to the new website - there's actual content, news, and photos now!

The latest post is on major education legislation that Sen. Mike Dunleavy says is in the works:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

We are in the process of moving

We are in the process of moving on over to

We will have a public page that will be a continuation of this blog, and also a schedule of education-related legislative hearings, photos, twitter feed, and other fun stuff.

Join us!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Update on HB 104; Education Funding Study

HB 104 - Alaska Performance Scholarship: the bill is ready to be transmitted to the governor, and the speaker's office is just waiting for Governor Parnell to request the bill.  Staff in the governor's office said he will probably request the bill sometime in the next month.
When the House Majority announced their education funding proposal in a press conference on April 13, they announced that there would be a task force or a working group of the House Finance Committee that would study school funding over the interim, including what the amount should be and how it should be funded.  House legislative staff are just beginning to look at the issue, and are in the preliminary stages of determining how the issue should be investigated.  Pete Ecklund, staff to Rep. Bill Thomas, is the point person for the project.  He can be reached at 465-3732 or 

Friday, June 8, 2012

AKLN continues, despite lack of direct funding from the Alaska State Legislature

AKLN, the Alaska Learning Network has been reorganized and will continue to offer classes to Alaska students, despite lack of direct funding from the Alaska State Legislature.  AKLN is no longer offering generic courses from K-12, but is now offering 21 Alaskan-based courses from 12 sponsoring school districts. 

The cost is $175 for a semester-long course, and $325 for a year-long course, and most course fees will go to the sponsoring school district.  There is room for 20 students in each course, and space is available first come, first served.  All courses meet course requirements for the Alaska Performance Scholarship.  Students from any one of the 54 school districts in the state can enroll in courses, but must be signed up by the principal of their school or the principal's designee

The 21 courses being offered are.....

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Go on now, just throw your hat in the ring...

The statewide primary election deadline is coming up tomorrow, Friday, June 1 at 5:00 p.m.  Here's a list of everyone registered so far: 
Don't like how education funding played out last session?  Sign up to run, and make education part of the campaign discussion.  Information on candidate qualifications and filing here:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Governor Parnell Budget Vetoes: Capital Budget, Operating Budget, Education Funding

Governor Parnell signed the FY 13 budgets Monday, May 14, including SB 182 and the General Obligation Bond bill, and held a press conference to review his vetoes.  Education items vetoed were all related to early learning:
·    $1.2 million from HB 284 (operating budget) for Pre—K grants
·    $2,860,000 from SB 182 (education funding) for Parents as Teachers
·    $973,000 from SB 160 (capital budget) for the Pilot Pre-K Program expansion

Link to budget documents and details on the press conference.....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Legislative Update

Governor Parnell announced Tuesday that he will sign SB 182, the education funding package passed at the end of session.  Link to bill:
Here is a link to all legislation passed this session: 
Here is a link to legislation awaiting action: .  There are five bills that have been transmitted to the governor and are awaiting his signature/veto/and or/time lapse required to become law (none are education-related).  There are 38 house bills and 19 house resolutions awaiting transmittal to the governor, and 23 senate bills and 16 senate resolutions awaiting transmittal to the govenernor - all in all, 96 pieces of legislation awaiting transmittal to the governor. 
Before passed legislation can be transmitted to the governor, Legislative Legal Services has to .....

Monday, April 16, 2012

Capital Budget & Explanation of Education Funding in SB 182

Here is a link to the capital budget:  This is the House Finance version: HCS CSSB 160(FIN).  It was amended on the floor of the house with the addition of $25 million for revenue sharing, but that version is not available on line yet.  Once you pull up the bill, you can do "find" search within it to quickly find specific projects.
Here is SB 182, the education funding package: 
The fiscal notes for the bill have details on how much funding each district will get for the individual provisions of the bill:
Fiscal Note #3: shows how much increased state contribution for education a municipality will get for going to a flat mill rate of 2.65 for required local contribution.  This provision has the most widely varying effect on districts - for those municipalities already funding to the cap, there will be no benefit to the school, although there will be a benefit to the municipality.  For those already at the low end of the local contribution mill rate, there won't be as much benefit, and for REAA's there will be no impact.  For municipalities not funding to the cap, there would then be more money available at the municipality's discretion, should they decide to increase educuation funding.  For instance.....

Friday, April 6, 2012

HB 284 - Conference Committee Appointed, House & Senate

The conference committee for HB 284 - Operating Budget has been appointed in both the house and the senate:
House: Rep. Thomas is the house chair, with Reps. Stoltze and Gara as the other house members

Senate: Sen. Hoffman is the senate chair, with Senators Stedman and Thomas as the other senate members

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Senate Action on FY 13 Operating Budget

This next week or so will be pivotal to what ultimately ends up in HB 284, the FY 13 operating budget.  The house has passed one version of HB 284, and the senate is now finishing their deliberations on the bill (the Senate Finance DEED Subcommittee will be doing their closeout this week).  After the senate passes their version, the house and senate will meet in conference committee to choose which portions of each bill will ultimately be voted on in the conference committee substitute. 
The main point of the conference committee process to remember is:
1.  If an item was not in either the version passed by the house or the version passed by the senate, it cannot be considered in conference committee;
So at this point, if there is something you are concerned about in the version of HB 284 passed by the house, then you should contact your senator's office to discuss your concern with them.  If you would like to read up in more detail on the conference committee process, it is outlined in Rule 42 of the Uniform Rules: