Education Funding

Alaska Eyes Gold for Scholarships

By The Associated Press — October 13, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

At a time when governors in the recession-ravaged Lower 48 are slashing education budgets, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell is hoping state lawmakers will use $400 million from reserve funds to finance higher education scholarships for high school students.

“I want to set the bar higher for our high school students to promote preparedness,” Mr. Parnell, a Republican, said last week in a statement proposing the Governor’s Performance Scholarship program. Money from the reserve fund would be used to generate earnings for the scholarships.

Under the program, students would have to take four years of math, science, and language arts, as well as three years of social studies. The program would provide A students with 100 percent tuition scholarships, B students with 75 percent tuition, and C-plus students with 50 percent tuition.

The scholarships could be used in the University of Alaska system, certified job-training institutions, and other postsecondary institutions.

Gov. Parnell called the proposal fiscally responsible and sustainable, and said Alaska “will have a greater economy for having invested the earnings from the money.”

Alaska, with an economy buoyed by oil and gas revenue, is in an unusual fiscal position. Its K-12 spending will rise 5 percent, to just over $1 billion, in fiscal 2010. By contrast, dozens of states predict K-12 budget cuts in that time frame, a survey by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers found. (See “Budget Outlook for States: Grim,” June 17, 2009.)

Not that Alaska hasn’t felt a chill. The state’s department of revenue says somewhat fewer residents are putting part of this year’s dividend check from the Alaska Permanent Fund toward college savings than in recent years.

This year’s dividend checks come to $1,305 for each eligible resident—a total of 628,499 people this year. Of those, 8,289 directed money into the University of Alaska College Savings Fund, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner said. That’s down from 8,766 in 2008, say state officials.

A version of this article appeared in the October 14, 2009 edition of Education Week as Alaska Eyes Gold for Scholarships


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Law & Courts Webinar
Future of the First Amendment:Exploring Trends in High School Students’ Views of Free Speech
Learn how educators are navigating student free speech issues and addressing controversial topics like gender and race in the classroom.
Content provided by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding What America Spends on K-12: The Latest Federal Snapshot
About 93 percent of K-12 spending came from state and local sources in 2019-20—but more-recent year totals will reflect federal relief aid.
2 min read
Education Funding Opinion How You Can Avoid Missing Out on COVID Relief Money
We’re losing the race against the clock to spend ESSER funds, but there are solutions.
Erin Covington
3 min read
Illustration of cash dangling from line and hand trying to grasp it.
F.Sheehan/Education Week (Images: Getty)
Education Funding K-12 Infrastructure Is Broken. Here's Biden's Newest Plan to Help Fix It
School districts will, among other things, be able to apply for $500 million in U.S. Department of Energy grants for HVAC improvements.
2 min read
Image of an excavator in front of a school building.
Education Funding Less Funding, Less Representation: What a Historic Undercount of Latinos Means for Schools
Experts point to wide-ranging implications, including how much federal funding schools with large Latino populations will get.
3 min read
Classroom with Latino boy.