REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT KAWASAKI

(907) 465-3466 | State Capitol Building, Room 430 | WEBSITE
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Sponsor    Statement

House Bill 52: Alaska Voluntary Pre-Elementary Education Act

Alaska remains one of the only states that does not provide pre-kindergarten education to its children on a statewide basis. HB 52 seeks to add Alaska to the ranks of the majority of states that have recognized the need to properly invest in our children’s future.

Children who benefit from early education earn higher incomes as adults, enter the job market in much larger numbers, are more likely to obtain a college education, remain off of public assistance and stay out of prison. A report published by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 53 percent of prison inmates are either illiterate or have a very low literacy level. Children who enroll in early education programs have a much higher literacy rate than those who do not.

Alaska has a responsibility to provide the best education possible for its children. Currently, outside of a few school district classrooms, the state only provides early education through the Head Start program, which is only available to low-income children and which is chronically underfunded. Due to lack of funding, the Alaska Head Start Association estimates that more than 50 percent of children who qualify cannot receive Head Start education. Providing additional opportunities is a crucial stepping stone to improving the future of young Alaskans.

Extensive research shows that a child’s intellectual development is especially important before age 6. A study by the National Institute for Early Education in 2004 found that children who attended state-funded pre-Kindergarten programs showed improvements in vocabulary 31 percent greater than other children, and 44 percent greater in math. Young children who receive high quality early education do better academically, show behavioral improvements in school, and are more likely to stay in school, graduate, and go on to complete post-secondary education.

There is also a significant economic impact of providing early education. Multiple studies have shown that funds invested in early education pay substantial dividends in the long run. Every dollar invested in high-quality pre-K programs save taxpayers up to $7 long-term. Pre-K saves money by reducing the need for remedial and special education, welfare programs, and criminal justice services. An ongoing study of 40 year-old adults in Michigan who participated in the 1962 Perry Preschool project found that adults with pre-K were more likely to be employed and earned 33 percent higher average incomes than their peers who did not have state-funded early education.

Additionally, a study prepared for the SEED program at the University of Alaska Southeast state that 87 percent of Alaska residents think it is important for state government to provide financial support for early education and childcare. It’s time to start thinking long-term and ensuring a prosperous future for all of Alaska’s children.


 
[signed]
REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT KAWASAKI

SPONSOR STATEMENTS from Alaska House Majority Coalition

House Bill 1: Election Registration and Voting

From the office of Representative Tuck


House Bill 2: Employment Preference for Veterans

From the office of Representative Tuck


House Bill 3: National Guard Leave/Reemployment Rights

From the office of Representative Tuck


House Bill 7: Ballot Selfies

From the office of Representative Kreiss-Tomkins


House Bill 8: Protection Orders from Other Jurisdictions

From the office of Representative Edgmon


House Bill 11: RIP for Public Employees/Teachers

From the office of Representative Kawasaki


House Bill 13: No State/Municipal Funds: Federal Immigration Registry

From the office of Representative Josephson


House Bill 14: Legislative Approval for Bristol Bay Sulfide Mine

From the office of Representative Josephson


House Bill 20: Solemnize Marriage: Elected Officials

From the office of Representative Claman


House Bill 23: Survivors’ Medical Benefits – Background

From the office of Representative Josephson


House Bill 26: Nursing Mothers in Workplace

From the office of Representative Tarr


House Bill 29: Ban Sale of Genetically Modified Fish

From the office of Representative Tarr


House Bill 30: Paid Sick Leave

From the office of Representative Tarr


House Bill 31: Sexual Assault Examination Kits

From the office of Representative Tarr


House Bill 32: GMO Labeling

From the office of Representative Tarr


House Bill 37: PERS Credit for Injured Peace Officers and Firefighters

From the office of Representative Josephson


House Bill 38: Benefits for Workplace Death and Permanent Impairment

From the office of Representative Josephson


House Bill 40: Trapping Near Public Trails

From the office of Representative Josephson


House Bill 43: The Right to Try: New Drugs for the Terminally Ill

From the office of Representative Grenn


House Bill 44: Legislative Ethics: Voting & Conflicts

From the office of Representative Grenn


House Bill 47: PERS Contributions By Municipalities

From the office of Representative Foster


House Bill 49: Extend Board of Direct-Entry Midwives

From the office of Representative Kito III


House Bill 52: Alaska Voluntary Pre-Elementary Education Act

From the office of Representative Kawasaki


House Bill 54: Voluntary Termination of Life

From the office of Representative Drummond


House Bill 78: Indigenous Peoples Day

From the office of Representative Westlake


House Bill 80: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing

From the office of Representative Wool


House Bill 81: More Energy Efficient Buildings Act

From the office of Representative Kreiss-Tomkins


House Bill 82: Off-Highway Driver's Licenses

From the office of Representative Kreiss-Tomkins


House Bill 84: Municipal Property Tax Exemption

From the office of Representative Kreiss-Tomkins


House Bill 85: Petersburg Lands Bill

From the office of Representative Kreiss-Tomkins


House Bill 87: Conflict of Interest: Board of Fisheries/Game

From the office of Representative Stutes


House Bill 88: Board of Fisheries Membership

From the office of Representative Stutes


House Bill 89: Licensing Radiologic Technicians

From the office of Representative Tuck


House Bill 99: Oil & Gas Tax Credit Disclosures

From the office of Representative Josephson


House Bill 102: Limited Teacher Certificates

From the office of Representative Kreiss-Tomkins


House Bill 103: Optometry & Optometrists

From the office of Representative Spohnholz


House Bill 105: Gordon Haber Denali Wolf Special Management Area

From the office of Representative Josephson


House Bill 108: Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets

From the office of Representative Claman


House Bill 111: Oil and Gas Production Tax; Payments; Credits

From the office of Representative Tarr


House Bill 115: State Revenue Restructure Act

From the office of Representative Seaton


House Bill 123: Disclosure of Health Care Costs

From the office of Representative Spohnholz


House Bill 126: Organized Militia: Workers Compensation

From the office of Representative Tuck


House Bill 127: Criminal Conviction Overturned: Receive Past PFD

From the office of Representative Kawasaki


House Bill 128: Shellfish Enhancement Projects; Hatcheries

From the office of Representative Ortiz


House Bill 131: Relocation Assistance for Federal Projects/Programs

From the office of Representative Wool


House Bill 132: Transportation Network Companies

From the office of Representative Wool


House Bill 133: Fair Share for Alaska Oil Act

From the office of Representative Gara


House Bill 134: Board of Game Composition

From the office of Representative Josephson


House Bill 141: AK Workforce Investment Board; Funds

From the office of Representative Fansler


House Bill 151: Children Deserve a Loving Home Act

From the office of Representative Gara


House Bill 166: Museum Construction Grant Program

From the office of Representative Parish


House Bill 167: Repeal of Performance Reviews

From the office of Representative LeDoux


House Bill 172: Cultivation of Industrial Hemp

From the office of Representative Drummond


House Bill 173: Climate Change Response Commission

From the office of Representative Josephson


House Bill 177: Aquatic Invasive Species

From the office of Representative Tarr


House Bill 181: Legislature Per Diem and Travel Allowance

From the office of Representative Kreiss-Tomkins


House Bill 184: Prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation

From the office of Representative Josephson


House Bill 188: Regional Fisheries Trusts

From the office of Representative Kreiss-Tomkins


House Bill 199: Fish / Wildife Habitat Protection; Permits

From the office of Representative Stutes


House Bill 200: Top Two Non-Partisan Primary Election

From the office of Representative LeDoux


House Bill 201: Municipal Regulation of Trapping

From the office of Representative Josephson


House Bill 203: Remote Recreational Cabin Site Staking Sales

From the office of Representative Kawasaki


House Bill 204: Overtaking / Passing DOT Vehicles

From the office of Representative Kawasaki


House Bill 213: Public School Trust Fund

From the office of Representative Parish


House Bill 217: Raw Milk Sales; Food Exempt From Regulations

From the office of Representative Tarr


House Bill 218: State Veterinarian; Animals; Products

From the office of Representative Tarr


House Bill 234: Extend Alaska Health Care Commission

From the office of Representative Guttenberg


House Bill 236: Extend Senior Benefits Payment Program

From the office of Representative Kawasaki


House Concurrent Resolution 1: Legislative Ethics: Voting & Conflicts

From the office of Representative Grenn


House Concurrent Resolution 2: Respond to Adverse Childhood Experiences

From the office of Representative Tarr


House Concurrent Resolution 3: APRIL 2017: Child Abuse Prevention Month

From the office of Representative Tarr


House Joint Resolution 5: Endorsing ANWR Leasing; Related Issues

From the office of Representative Westlake


House Joint Resolution 12: Opposing Genetically Engineered Salmon

From the office of Representative Tarr


House Joint Resolution 21: Feds Respect State Reg of Marijuana

From the office of Representative Guttenberg