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State Budget & New Legislation
- March 29: Alaska Legislature approves funding for COVID-19 response, passes capital and operating budgets (Alaska House Majority)
- Pre-Elementary Programs/Funding (HB153)
This bill lays out the criteria for funding early education programs provided by school districts. The bill corresponds to the Pre-Elementary Program Expansion Senate bill (SB6) (see below). Sponsored by Representative Harriet Drummond.
- Pre-Elementary Program Expansion (SB6)
Filed last year, SB6 continues into the new Legislative session with alignment with the Alaska Reads Act. SB6 expands PreElementary programming (PreK) to school districts each year for the next 10 years. Sponsored by Senator Begich.
- Alaska Reads Act (SB151)
In January 2020, Governor Dunleavy together with Alaska lawmakers announced a bipartisan bill that will create a comprehensive statewide K-3 reading policy, with the goal of improving reading outcomes. This bill also expands access to PreK for 4 and 5 year olds. Sponsored by Governor Dunleavy and Senator Begich.
- Education Tax Credit-Employer Child Care Cost (HB188)
Rep. Zach Fields is proposing legislation that would expand the Alaska Education Tax Credit to include contributions employers make towards child care and child care facilities.
- March 27: U.S. Congress Passed COVID-19 Response Stimulus, including Child Care Aid.
What's in the package? Read More
- Proposed Alcohol Tax to Expand Early Childhood Education
The Municipality of Anchorage Assembly voted to send a 5% alcohol tax to the April 7 election ballot. If approved by voters, the estimated taxes raised would fund programs including directed resources to expand early childhood education.
- Juneau Child Care Initiative: Hiring, Educating, and Retaining Teaching Staff (HEARTS)
The City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) Assembly increased funding this year for the highly effective HEARTS education awards for child care teachers. The awards are proven to increase recruitment and retention and increase qualifications. The CBJ Assembly also funded a child care loan start up fund, and approved a plan for child care capacity and quality incentives. The proposal is part of the budget process this year, anticipated to start in July 2021.