We have received the end-of-session report from our government relations consultants. The report provides a detailed look at revenue, funding, and specific education legislation we were following or actively working on for passage. We worked with many other education organizations and activists to secure advance and increased funding for education. I am particularly proud of our years of committed work to sustain funding and expand pre-elementary programs statewide, and our continued and successful advocacy for school construction and major maintenance.
We are very pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Spike Jorgensen Scholarship. Congratulations to Mitchell Luke from St. Mary’s City School District, and Kaylen Jones from Lower Kuskokwim School District! Each will receive $1000 toward their post-secondary education during the 2017-2018 academic year, renewable for up to a total of four years.
The Spike Jorgensen Scholarship 2018 application has been extended to April 6! Please share information about the Spike Jorgensen Scholarship with your school administrators, counselors, teachers, and students. Two winners are selected from member districts for a $1,000 award. Awards can be renewed for up to four years. The current year application can be found on our website at: www.ceequity.org/scholarship. For more information, email email@example.com.
Coalition for Education Equity Executive Director, Sarah Sledge, provided testimony yesterday for House Bill 212's first hearing in the House Education Committee. Coalition for Education Equity worked last year to get this bill introduced, which would allow the REAA/Small Schools construction fund to also be used for major maintenance. Read the full text of Sarah's testimony here:
There is strong potential for adding dollars to the pre-elementary grant amounts to cover bringing in the current Moore pre-K sites. This has a real possibility of getting introduced and passed (in the House). Also, we are working with Barbara Adams and Jerry Covey on a model to better understand teacher workforce concerns, reduce employee turnover, and increase employee satisfaction and performance.
We are seeking to maintain the $2 million for pre-K that Governor Walker put in his budget and increase that amount to $3.2 million in order to continue funding for Moore pre-K sites. We’ve also asked that our Senators support incentivizing district collaboration around administrative and education services, rather than dictating consolidation – there seems to be some openness to this idea.
In my update last week, I announced that it is time to elect new officers for our Board. Our Executive Board is made up of the following offices: President, Vice-President, SecretaryTreasurer, and Member-At-Large (2 positions).
Last night, the conference committee on the operating budget cut the $50 BSA increase for FY17 ($12.9 million). This cut has come as a surprise to most, as both the House and Senate had included the amount in their respective operating budgets.
I'm back in Anchorage after a busy and productive week in Juneau. I was introduced and able to meet with several members of the majority and minority, as well as Lieutenant Governor Mallott, Interim Education Commissioner Dr. Susan McCauley
Coalition for Education Equity Government Relations Director, Tom Begich, heads down to Juneau this week to fight for our legislative priorities
Yesterday, Governor Walker released his fiscal plan and proposed FY17 budgets. There is some good news for our membership. Please see below for an update from Government Relations Director Tom Begich.