House Finance voted to keep forward-funding of public education, but it voted to cut all school bond debt reimbursement.
“I’m likely to support this bill, but I want it clear that I do it with sadness because I think there’s been a lack of resolve since 2015 to have a comprehensive fiscal plan,” Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) said.
House Finance undid most of Dunleavy's structural changes to the budget, making it more transparent, according to Legislative Finance.
Teachers came prepared to talk about budget uncertainty and teacher retention. But Sen. Chris Birch wanted to talk about unions.
Senators' concerns range from the constitutionality of the education cuts to the resulting increase in local taxes. The administration's claims that the budget doesn't raise taxes are "not a fact," they say.
UAA's School of Education lost accreditation for its largest programs. UA President Jim Johnsen called it "a fundamental failure." A long-term fix has not been identified.
Senate Democrats say Gov. Dunleavy is breaking a promise with his proposed $23 million cut to education, but his OMB director is "the one with the hatchet."
Proposed $23 million cuts to education have surprised legislators and school districts alike. Additional cuts to VPSOs undermine Gov. Dunleavy's public safety message.
Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy was tough on crime, heavy on populist rhetoric, and skipped education altogether in his first State of the State address.