Alaska’s Education Opportunity Act
“The brightness of Alaska’s future depends on the success of our children. That strength hinges on whether we are able to provide educational opportunity for all students and ensure they are well prepared.”
-Governor Sean Parnell
Governor Parnell has outlined a package of education innovation, funding, and new opportunities for Alaska’s children. If the Legislature passes and funds the governor’s proposal, Alaska’s students will be better prepared for life and work.
Governor Parnell’s Education Opportunity Act will:
Increase access to charter schools.
The legislation would require equitable funding for public school students in charter schools. The Governor’s bill would also remove barriers for new charter schools by requiring school boards to approve or deny charter applications in writing, and provide parents denied a charter school an appeal avenue to the commissioner of Education and Early Development.
Inspire more students through vocational and career training.
The legislation would improve career and technical programs by expanding dual-credit options for high school graduation and certification in a career field. The bill requires job training programs receiving TVEP funding to establish and maintain partnerships with Alaska schools for dual-credit in high school and toward certification.
More access to residential schools.
We will guarantee more access to residential schools by requiring the Department of Education and Early Development to provide an annual application period. The legislation also would increase the student room-and-board stipends from the State in district-operated residential schools to better reflect true costs.
Increase the base student allocation for each of the next three years.
Additional Reforms in Governor Parnell's Legislation
- Repeal the Alaska High School Graduation Qualifying Exam and replace it with the student’s choice of the SAT, ACT, or WorkKeys assessments, which measure readiness for postsecondary education. The State would pay for a student to take the first test.
- Allow high school students the opportunity to test out of a class for credit, to include math, language arts, science, social studies, and native world languages. Credits earned would apply to graduation and the Alaska Performance Scholarship.
- Allow tax credits for contributions to scholarships for high school students enrolled in college-credit courses, and for contributions to housing at residential schools serving students statewide.