Legislature(2005 - 2006)

2005-01-18 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

2005-01-18                     House Journal                      Page 0091
HB 73                                                                                             
HOUSE BILL NO. 73 by the House Rules Committee by request of                                        
the Governor, entitled:                                                                             
     "An Act increasing the base student allocation for state financing                             
     of public schools; and providing for an effective date."                                       
was read the first time and referred to the House Special Committee on                              
Education and the Health, Education & Social Services and Finance                                   

2005-01-18                     House Journal                      Page 0092
The following fiscal note(s) apply:                                                                 
1.  Fiscal, Dept. of Education & Early Development                                                  
2.  Fiscal, Dept. of Education & Early Development                                                  
The Governor's transmittal letter dated January 12, 2005, follows:                                  
"Dear Speaker Harris:                                                                               
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am                          
transmitting a bill that would raise the base student allocation for                                
students attending public school grade levels kindergarten through 12                               
(K-12) over the next two years.  This bill is an important component of                             
my effort to forward-finance K-12 public education at a level that                                  
meets the increased costs our school districts have seen in recent years.                           
Under the bill, the base student allocation would increase to $4,880 for                            
fiscal year 2006, and to $5,190 for fiscal year 2007 and subsequent                                 
years.  Currently, the base student allocation is set at $4,576.  My                                
proposal will result in a $62 million increase for school districts in FY                           
06 and a $64 million increase in FY 07.                                                             
In FY 06, school districts will face an estimated $39 million increase                              
in Public Employees' Retirement System and Teachers' Retirement                                     
System with an additional $40 million increase in FY 07.  Combined                                  
with inflation, the escalating price of keeping our promise to retired                              
teachers and school employees has unintentionally placed our public                                 
school system in a budget crisis.  School districts are forced to                                   
eliminate essential programs and staff making it increasingly more                                  
difficult to provide the highest quality of education possible for our                              
children.  The funding blueprint I am presenting in this bill will cover                            
those burdensome cost increases over the next two years, allowing our                               
school administrators to proactively manage their budgets so teachers                               
can focus on improving student achievement.                                                         
I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure, so very                                    
important to the future of Alaska's public schools and our children.                                
                                Sincerely yours,                                                    
                                Frank H. Murkowski