Published Online: May 11, 2010
Published in Print: May 12, 2010, as Alaska Ramps Up Education Funding

Capitol Recap

Alaska Ramps Up Education Funding

| Alaska | Funding for K-12 education in Alaska won an increase in this year’s legislative session, which wrapped up April 19.

The legislature allocated $1.14 billion for K-12 education for fiscal 2011, up from $1.03 billion in 2010, out of a total general state fund of $5.14 billion.

Gov. Sean Parnell
Republican
Senate:
10 Democrats
10 Republicans
House:
18 Democrats
22 Republicans
Enrollment:
129,228

Legislators in the state also passed a bill that will award merit scholarships to students who complete a more rigorous curriculum than outlined by graduation requirements. Depending on their grade-point-average, students who complete the rigorous course of study can earn anywhere from $2,378 to $4,755 per year toward tuition at an in-state college, university, or career and technical school program.

The Alaska Merit Scholarship program will begin with the high school class of 2011, and a task force will be established to identify long-term sustainable funding for the program.

The bill is currently awaiting signature from Gov. Sean Parnell, a Republican who took over the office after former Gov. Sarah Palin resigned on July 26, 2009. He is expected to sign it into law.

Vol. 29, Issue 31, Page 28

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