Trio of New Bills Focused on Improving K-12 Education
JUNEAU – A trio of bills introduced in the Alaska State Senate today would improve educational outcomes for students by establishing innovation grants, improving broadband capacity, and providing districts with a three year reprieve from curriculum review.
“In Alaska we have high-achieving students, great districts, and great teachers, but we also have many students falling behind,” said Sen. Anna MacKinnon (R-Eagle River), co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “These measures prioritize academic outcomes for our K-12 students.”
Senate Bill 103 improves access to innovative education delivery methods for students and renames The Higher Education Fund to “The Alaska Innovation Education Grant Fund.”
The measure would also phase out the Alaska Performance Scholarship and the Alaska Education Grant over the next four years and redirect funding to benefit all students.
“Virtual education is one of the ways we can transform education in Alaska,” said Sen. Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer), chair of the Education Committee. “We’re giving districts the tools they need to deal with the new fiscal reality, with a focus on getting resources directly into the classroom.”
A third piece of legislation, Senate Bill 104, would provide school districts with a three year reprieve from having to review curriculum, saving schools time and money. The bill also directs the Department of Education and Early Development to review other regions and adopt best practices.
“This measure gives school districts time to adopt best practices that support students and teachers in Alaska,” said Sen. MacKinnon. “Alaska’s students deserve access to a 21st century education, one that will enable them to compete both nationally and internationally.”