Sponsor Statement for SB 36

I introduced Senate Bill 36, "An Act relating to the public school foundation program." to make a number of changes to the public school foundation system. The funding system for education in Alaska has not been changed since 1987.

Senate Bill 36 makes fundamental changes in the way education is funded in Alaska.

• More total money is made available for K-12 education.

• The disparity in funding between the richest and the poorest school districts is reduced.

• The local tax burden for education is made more equitable.

• Additional funding is given to school districts based on the number of students.

• Additional funding for single site schools is included in the formula.

• Categorical funding for gifted and talented and bilingual students is changed to reduce the incentives to abuse the current system.