Brett Gilland, teacher, West Anchorage High School, testified in support of HB 143. When he began this school year, he walked into his Algebra II classrooms and discovered that he had 38 students in each class. He was a little overwhelmed. In his Algebra I class he discovered 36 students. The Algebra I students are the ones who most need one-on-one attention. They need another math teacher. His department was told another math teacher was not in the budget.
The big news today is the senate passed SB 84 - Vocational Education & Basic Funding/Tax Credits (http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=SB%20%2084&session=27). The Finance Committee substitute includes a one-year increase to the BSA of $110 for FY 12 and a vocational funding factor of 1 percent. The Finance Committee removed BSA increases for FY 13 and FY 14.
On Monday, April 4 the Senate Education Committee heard a presentation on University of Alaska teacher training programs from Deborah Lo, dean, School of Education at UAS, Mary Snyder, dean, School of Education at UAA, and Eric Madsen, dean, School of Education at UAF.
On Tuesday, March 29 the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee heard SB 100 - PERS Termination Costs (http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=SB%20100&session=27). Michael Lamb of the Fairbanks North Star Borough testified that if a PERS employer reduces their employee count by altering or suspending a program or service, then PERS can send that employer three bills:
Solo exhibition by Jay Crondahl, Franklin Street Gallery, Baranof Hotel, Juneau, Reception: Friday, April 1, 4:30-7:00 p.m.
Lifelong Alaskan Jay Crondahl will show recent work covering an array of eclectic styles, from free-form and geometric abstracts to stylized and realistic landscapes. Crondahl has exhibited in many group shows in Juneau but this will be only his second solo exhibition.
The Senate Finance chairmen have emphasized several times lately that they anticipate a healthy capital budget this year. Among the items they suggested may be considerd for increased funding are deferred maintenance and DEED items and energy projects in both urban and rural Alaska to decrease the cost of energy and increase dependability.
The Senate Finance Committee heard SB 76, the FY 11 Supplmental Budget on Friday, March 18. Chairman Hoffman said the spring 2011 revenue forecast is due soon, and they anticipate more than sufficient funds as a result of higher oil prices, and so will be able to put more money into savings. The fiscal summary shows a surplus in excess of $2 billion, if oil continues at the current rate. Even if prices drop, there should still be a substantial surplus.
Chairman Egan, and Sens. Stevens, Davis, and Paskvan were all present for the budget closeout on Tuesday, March 15. The subcommittee accepted the governor’s budget for the most part. This is good news for people concerned about reductions made in the house. If this budget passes the senate, then it sets the ceiling for the conference committee. The conference committee will settle on numbers somewhere between what the house passes and what the senate passes. They cannot exceed the highest amount passed.