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Senate Finance Subcommittee Continues Cost Investigation

Committee to Meet in Anchorage on September 10th & 11th to discuss current spending and future plans

ANCHORAGE-Next week, the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Education and Early Development is continuing its series of meetings to explore the total cost of K-12 education including the Base-Student Allocation (BSA), transportation costs, school construction and the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS).   The Subcommittee will meet at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office on September 10 and 11, 8:30-5:00 in Room 220.

The September 10th meeting will continue the committee’s data gathering on costs.   Presenters that day will include representatives from Regional Education Attendance Areas (REAA), urban school districts, the Special Education Service Agency (SESA), the Department of Education and Early Development (DEED), Best Beginnings, Parents as Teachers, and the Alaska Youth Military Academy about the cost of doing business. 

In the afternoon, DEED Commissioner Mike Hanley will discuss new department initiatives and projected costs.  He will be followed by Council of Alaska School Administrators Executive Director Bruce Johnson with comments on new standards.  Steve Atwater, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent, will then provide comments on new teacher evaluations.  Later in the afternoon, committee members will discuss the “Cost of Accepting or Not Accepting Federal Dollars”, led by Commissioner Hanley and Division of Administrative Services Director Mark Lewis.  The day will conclude with a presentation from Legislative Finance Director David Teal with a preliminary model for calculating future costs and then public testimony.

On September 11th, the focus of the meeting will turn to the future – where the Alaska K-12 system heading, what do Alaskans want from the system and what changes may be needed. 

The five members of the committee include the committee’s chair, Senator Mike Dunleavy (R-Mat-Su Valley), and Senators Kelly, Anna Fairclough (R-East Anchorage/Eagle River), Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak) and Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage).

WHO: Senate Finance Subcommittee for the Department of Education and Early Development

WHAT: Meeting to explore the total cost and future of K-12 Education

WHEN: September 10 & 11 from 8:30am to 5pm

WHERE: Anchorage Legislative Information Office, 716 W. 4th Avenue, Suite 220

Those who can’t attend in person, can watch online at alaskalegislature.tv or go to any Legislative Information Office statewide to be teleconferenced in.

 For more information, please contact Sheila Peterson in Senator Dunleavy’s office at (907) 465-5078.

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