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Public Testimony on
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This week the House Finance Committee has been reviewing the subcommittee recommendations to the Governor’s Amended Budget Allocation for FY22. You can review the Subcommittee Closeout Reports on the Legislative Finance Division Website.
· 1:30PM-3:30PM Thursday, April 8: Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg, Delta Junction, Dillingham, Glenallen, Valdez, Wrangell, Homer, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Seward
· 1:30PM-3:30PM Friday, April 9: Fairbanks, Kenai, Mat-Su, Anchorage, Bethel, Cordova, Kotzebue, Nome, Utqiagvik
· 10:00AM-2:00PM Saturday, April 10: Off Nets (Please note the time change.)
Public testimony will have a 2 minute time limit. Please call 30 minutes prior to the end of allotted time or testimony will close early. For more information on testifying telephonically, click here. You can also submit written testimony to firstname.lastname@example.org. After public testimony, House Finance will make amendments to the budget before heading to the House Floor for a floor vote in mid-April.
Increasing Availability of Pre-school in
As a member of the House Finance Budget Subcommittee on the Department of Education & Early Development (DEED), I was thrilled to support the expansion of Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) grants in our proposed FY22 budget. This followed an inspiring report from the Kodiak Island Borough School District (KIBSD) demonstrating substantial student growth in literacy preparedness. Kodiak’s five-year olds were pretty on par with state average outcomes in the kindergarten Developmental Profile during the last five years. In this video link at about 09:11 AM until 09:15 AM, Kim Saunders, KIBSD’s Assistant Director of Special Services, shows how much progress kids that got Head Start and DEED grant-funded Pre-K made in social-emotional skills (increased up to 21%) and in literacy skills (up to 28%) over KIBSD kids that didn’t get any grant-funded Pre-K at all. Her presentation is available here and she is referring to slides six and seven on Student Outcomes.
Our budget amendment applies $5 million in lapsed funds from residential programs that didn’t take place in FY21 because of the COVID pandemic and applies these funds to provide two years of Pre-K grants to serve our youngest learners. We want to assure that more of Alaska’s kids are ready to learn to read and take full advantage of the substantial investment we make in them when they enter kindergarten.
As always, please call or email with any thoughts, ideas, or concerns.