Governor Sean Parnell today signed two pieces of legislation aimed at improving education in rural Alaska.
Senate Bill 47, sponsored by Senator John Coghill, eliminates the sunset provision for providing stipends for residential education facilities. The bill also expands the stipend program to include residential schools started after 2005 and magnet schools. The legislation reflects Governor Parnell's and the Legislature's commitment to offering students and parents more educational choices and opportunities than may be available in their hometown.
"Our residential schools provide an excellent education for hundreds of Alaskans," Governor Parnell said. "A new generation of Alaskan leaders is going to emerge from these schools, and we should be very proud of them."
Senate Bill 62, sponsored by Senator Donny Olson, corrects a funding formula inequity that had left some rural school districts without state aid for school construction. SB 62 amends Alaska statute allowing school construction projects in small districts to qualify for funding, if the district lacks the bonding capacity and therefore cannot work within the State's existing debt reimbursement program.
Governor Parnell signed the legislation at the Northwest Magnet School in Kotzebue.