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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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Update on the Operating Budget and BSA Legislation

Rep. Bill Thomas, co-chairman of the House Finance Committee, said the operating and mental health budgets, HB 108 and HB 109, will be on the House Calendar by Wednesday, March 9, and will probably be transmitted to the Senate by Friday. The committee will be considering committee amendments on Tuesday, March 8.

The Senate Education Committee will be considering two bills that increase the base student allocation on Monday, March 7 – SB 73 and SB 84. Sen. Davis may withdraw her bill (SB 73) in favor of SB 84, sponsored by the Senate Education Committee.

SB 84 was introduced on Friday, February 4, and increases the base student allocation and adds a separate vocational education component to the BSA. The BSA is increased to $5,790 for FY 12, to $5,905 for FY 13, and to $6,025 for FY 14. Under SB 84, vocational education remains part of the 20 percent block grant funding for special needs, but an additional 2.5 percent is added for high school vocation education instruction. The additional funding cannot be spent on administrative expenses or instruction in general literacy, mathematics, and job readiness skills.

SB 84 – Vocational Education Funding/Base Student Allocation http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=SB%20%2084&session=27

SB 73 – Education Funding: Basic/Special Needs/Transportation http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=SB%20%2073&session=27

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