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Governor Proposes $90 Million School Funding Increase


November 07, 2005

During a message at the Association of Alaska School Boards meeting in Anchorage Sunday, Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski announced he will ask the Alaska Legislature to increase funding for K-12 schools next year by $90 million.

With this proposal, funding for schools will have risen 33 percent in the Murkowski administration - the biggest funding increase in Alaska's history.

"I think that tells you the significance that this administration holds for education and the job you're doing," Murkowski told the assembled school board members during a taped address. Murkowski is completing a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, Seattle and Washington, D.C. and was unable to attend the meeting.

The proposal would increase per-student funding from $4,919 to $5,347. The funding increase will provide $40 million to pay increased costs of the Public Employees' Retirement and the Teachers' Retirement systems, $30 million in increased fuel and other expenses and $20 million to help districts meet state targets in making adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Governor Murkowski will also ask the Legislature for $5 million to continue a statewide teacher and principal mentoring program that was previously funded by the federal government. The goals are to increase student achievement and retain teachers and principals. Last year, the program helped 330 teachers in 31 districts.

Governor Murkowski also said he would continue to urge legislators to decide on school funding early in the session.

"Early funding spares teachers the anxiety of wondering whether their contracts will be renewed and helps districts better retain valuable staff," Murkowski said.



Source of News:

Office of the Governor


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