Gov. Parnell's Budget Funds Scholarship, School Construction
December 8, 2011, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell announced today that his Fiscal Year 2013 budget will provide $8 million in continued support for the Alaska Performance Scholarship, which challenges students to take more rigorous high school courses, and then rewards them with funding to attend Alaska’s universities and postsecondary training programs. Nearly one-third of Alaska’s 2011 high school graduates earned Alaska Performance Scholarships.
The Alaska Performance Scholarship is designed to incentivize students and parents to proactively seek a more challenging high school learning experience, to better prepare them for the competitive global economy. Additionally, the scholarships encourage school boards and districts to align their course work and graduation requirements to support increased academic rigor at all grade levels.
The budget will also forward fund and fully fund the K-12 public education funding formula and pupil transportation program based on the current statutory framework as follows:
- Full funding of K-12 education at $1.1 billion;
- Forward funding of K-12 education for FY 2014 at $1.1 billion;
- Pupil transportation at $62.2 million.
Governor Parnell’s FY 2013 budget also contains $61 million for two school construction projects in Emmonak and Koliganek. Earlier this fall, the administration successfully resolved the long-standing Kasayulie litigation with a pledge to support funding of the five highest priority rural school construction projects over the coming years.
“For many years, our rural communities have had legitimate grievances in the area of education,” Governor Parnell said. “I visited rural schools and saw first-hand the overcrowding and unsafe conditions that will be addressed through this settlement. My absolute commitment is that we will continue to work overtime to help provide solutions for the unique challenges facing our rural school districts.”
The governor’s budget also includes $23.9 million for 14 major maintenance projects in school districts across the state.