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JUNEAU – With about three weeks remaining in the 2019 fiscal year, the Dunleavy administration this week distributed a one-time $20 million grant appropriated last year by the Alaska Legislature to K-12 schools.
Earlier this year, the Dunleavy administration asked lawmakers to withhold the grant from schools, but found little support in the Legislature for the proposal.
“This is a good first step,” said Senator Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, chairman of the Senate Education Committee. “I sincerely appreciate the governor’s decision to distribute these funds. It’s my hope that we reach quick resolution on the bulk of K-12 education funding for next year, sparing parents, educators and students from further uncertainty.”
The Legislature last year fully funded Alaska’s K-12 schools for two years and provided districts with a $20 million grant for fiscal year 2019 and another $30 million grant for fiscal year 2020.
Both the Senate and House voted last month to allow the Joint Legislative Council Committee to file a lawsuit against the Dunleavy administration if it withholds funds appropriated to Alaska’s K-12 schools for fiscal year 2020.
“If the state doesn’t transfer funds to public schools in July, we will ask the court to issue an injunction and allow state funding for schools to continue while the issue is being litigated,” Sen. Stevens added.