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Speaker Annouces ED. Task Force Appointments

Chenault names House picks for SB 221 task forces on scholarship program & higher education and career readiness

Thursday, June 24, 2010, Kenai, Alaska – House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, today announced his appointees to a pair of legislative task forces created by the enactment of Senate Bill 221, which created the Alaska Merit Scholarship program. SB 221 calls for one task force to look at scholarship funding and the other to look at the state’s higher education offerings and career readiness opportunities.

“These legislators have shown that higher education is a priority to them,” Speaker Chenault said. “We have submitted some picks that have a wealth of experience from the budget and committee aspects, have diverse backgrounds, and represent different areas of the state. I believe they’ll be able to bore down into the funding question and bring forward solid recommendations in their report to the next legislature.”

State House members named to the Joint Legislative Higher Education Scholarship Funding Task Force are:

Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer – Chair, House Special Committee on Education (will serve as Vice-Chair)

Rep. Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell – member, House Special Committee on Education and Finance Subcommittee on the Dept. of Education and Early Development’s budget

Rep. Wes Keller, R-Wasilla – Co-Chair, House Health & Social Services Committee

Rep. Anna Fairclough, R-Eagle River – member, House Finance Committee, and Chair of the Subcommittees on DE&ED and the University budgets

Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage

The JLHESFT will meet over the interim and submit a report of its findings and proposed legislative changes to the governor, Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, DE&ED, and the legislature by December. The task force is made up of five members from the House, Senate and executive branch.

State House members named to the Advisory Task Force on Higher Education and Career Readiness are:

Speaker Chenault

Rep. Seaton

The ATFHECR will delve into a host of issues, including compiling state and local research on improving student retention, reducing drop-outs, increasing college and vocational or technical program graduation rates, new data delivery, and others. The group will submit an assessment and recommendations to the legislature by April 2011. The 20-member task force is made up of two house and senate members, plus a broad cross-section of Alaskans with experience in the field.

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