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House Creates Sustainable Education Task Force


HR 8 establishes interim taskforce to look at public education delivery

Sunday, April 14, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska House of Representatives today passed House Resolution 8, by Representative Lynn Gattis, which creates the Task Force on Sustainable Education, whose purpose is to examine the efficiency and effectiveness of public education delivery in the state, outcomes and funding of public education.

“As a former school board member, I am familiar with the challenges our schools are facing. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work with this taskforce,” Gattis, R-Wasilla, said. “We hear time and again that parents expect changes in our schools and that we need to deal with how we fund them. This taskforce will look at education funding; how we do it, what has worked, what hasn’t, what are some alternatives, and then make real-world recommendations.

Goals of the taskforce include determining the adequacy and appropriate use of current and future public funding; finding alternative methods of funding; comparison of educational and administrative expenses within school districts; determine whether the allocation of administrative and instructional personnel affects the ability of the districts to provide effective instructional services; finding the effects of pension and health care expenses on total education costs; measures of accountability; and, evaluating the availability of courses that meet the new Alaska standards in each district.

The taskforce is composed of the chairs of the House Education Committee and the House Finance Sub-Committee of Education and Early Development, a co-chair of the House Energy Committee, and five community members including educators, business persons and community members representing the state’s Alaska native communities.

The taskforce will submit a report to the Legislature by January 2014.

HR 8 passed the House on a vote of 35-1.

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