Alaska Governor Sued for Not Providing $20 Million to Schools

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Anchorage, Alaska

An Alaska nonprofit education group is suing Gov. Mike Dunleavy and the state education commissioner for not paying the $20 million to public K-12 schools that lawmakers agreed to last year.

Coalition for Education Equity filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Anchorage Superior Court, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The group claims the executive branch violated the Alaska Constitution by withholding a one-time payout of $20 million that the Alaska Legislature appropriated for public schools.

The group is asking the court to order the Republican governor and Education Commissioner Michael Johnson to release the $20 million to schools immediately.

Dunleavy earlier this year proposed canceling the $20 million payout. Matt Shuckerow, a Dunleavy spokesman, said if the Legislature chooses not to cancel it the $20 million will be distributed.

The $20 million is on top of the $1.2 billion in state money allocated to the schools under the state funding formula for the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2019.

The governor has until June 30 to distribute the money, according to David Teal, director of the nonpartisan Legislative Finance Division.

The Coalition for Education Equity, based in Anchorage, is a statewide, member-based nonprofit formerly known as the Citizens for the Educational Advancement of Alaska's Children.

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