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Senator Meyer to Vice-Chair Alaska Scholarship Task Force

Wednesday, May 12, 2010, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Parnell signed Senate Bill 221 Monday, officially creating the Joint Legislative Higher Education Scholarship Funding Task Force.  Senator Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, co-chair of the Senate Education committee, will be vice-chair of the Task Force.

In his comments at the bill signing, Senator Meyer noted that the scholarship offered Alaska the opportunity to take a "new approach to educational reform in the state: raising achievement by raising expectations."

The Scholarship Funding Task Force is expected to build on the work of the last session and, over the interim, formulate recommendations to the next Legislature on the creation of a complete package of merit- and needs-based, academic and vocational training scholarships for Alaska's youth.

"By encouraging students to take harder courses in high school, we help them to be better prepared for college, for careers - for life," said Senator Meyer. 

The 15 member task force is composed of five members each from the State Senate, House of Representatives and Administration.  In addition to Vice-Chair Meyer, the Senate members include Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, Senate Education Co-Chairman Joe Thomas, D-Fairbanks, Senate Majority Leader Johnny Ellis. D-Anchorage and Senate Finance Co-Chairman Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel. Senator Linda Menard, R-Wasilla, has been appointed as an alternate member to the task force.

"A comprehensive scholarship program is a complex and challenging piece of legislation to pass in one session," said Senate President Gary Stevens, who also serves on the Education Committee. "I am pleased to appoint Senator Meyer to the task force. His hard work as co-chair of the Education Committee was vital this session, and I look forward to working with him on this again."

"As co-chair of the Senate Education Committee, we began a discussion of these complex issues," said Senator Meyer, "so I'm looking forward to continuing this discussion, with the time and focus the interim allows, as vice-chair to the Scholarship Funding Task Force here in the coming months."

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