House Passes Governor’s Scholarship Bill

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

Friday, the state House unanimously passed and sent to the Senate Governor Parnell’s bill relating to funding the merit-based Performance Scholarship program.   The bill sets up the mechanism for future legislative appropriations or for donations to the fund.

The only debate on the measure was over an amendment that would have expanded the program to include those students who do not graduate from a traditional high school that offers all the requirements for the scholars.

Anchorage Democrat Les Gara offered an amendment providing a way for more time for graduates to meet the scholarship’s standards if the standards could not be met before graduation.

Gara was joined by Big Lake Republican Mark Neuman, who said many school districts have already announced they will not qualify for the program. He also said that unforeseen things can happen even to the talented students and they should be given another opportunity.

The amendment failed, however.  Chickaloon Republican Eric Feige said the bill was not before members to try to take care of all the issues or problems with the scholarship. He said it’s up to the teachers to come up with a way to give students courses that are not offered in their local communities.

Gara’s amendment failed.  The bill is now ready to be considered by the Senate.

Download Audio (MP3)