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.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Senate Majority Press Conference

Sens. Johnny Ellis, Gary Stevens, & Kevin Meyer during the Senate Majority press conference on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 (photo courtesy of Sen. Bipartisan Working Group)

There are now two bills in the Alaska State Senate increasing the base student allocation (SB 73 http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?session=27&bill=SB73 and SB 84 http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?session=27&bill=SB84).

During the Senate Majority Press Conference Sen. Joe Thomas cautioned school districts not to budget for an increase in the BSA at this point, because it is too early to predict whether one of the bills might pass. He and Sen. Meyer are hopeful that other legislators will at least look at the issue and consider increased funding for districts.

Sen. Kevin Meyer reiterated that school districts need to be extremely cautious in their budgeting. He said he and Sen. Thomas introduced SB 84 simply to get the topic on the table for discussion. SB 84 focuses on career-tech education, and the BSA increase isn’t quite as high as that in SB 73. He said the interest and enthusiasm in more funding for education just isn’t there this year, so it will be an uphill battle to increase education funding.

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