March 18, 2005
Alaska PTA President Suellen Appellof held a press conference with other PTA members and Senate Finance Co-Chair Senator Gary Wilken (R-Fairbanks), House Finance Co-Chair Representative Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) and House Special Committee on Education Chair Representative Mark Neuman (R-Mat-Su) to express the Alaska PTA's appreciation for recent education funding increases.
"The Alaska PTA wants to thank everybody in both houses of the legislature for all the work they have done on behalf of Alaska's children. Our 12,000 members appreciate and recognize the hard work and dedication members have shown in Juneau," said Ms. Appellof.
Last fall, the Alaska PTA developed their Legislative Priorities for the upcoming year. Among them was an increase in the base student allocation funding formula bringing the number for FY 2006 to $4,750 per student. Proposals currently pending in the legislature exceed this number.
Senator Gary Wilken said, "Last year the Legislature increased education funding by $82 million dollars. That was the largest one time increase in state history. This year we're increasing the student dollar by at least 7.5%. That should demonstrate to all Alaskans that we are committed to getting as many dollars as possible into the classrooms."
"At the beginning of the 24th Legislature, the majority outlined education as one of our top priorities. Halfway through this session I think we have proven that we are serious about keeping that commitment to Alaska's youth," said Representative Chenault.
The Alaska PTA has over 12,000 members representing 138 Local PTA Units.
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