News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator MacKinnon
For Immediate Release: May 13, 2018
Legislature Votes to Reform School Curriculum
JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature today passed legislation providing students across Alaska access to the best curriculum in the world.
SB 104, sponsored by the Senate Finance Committee and carried by Sen. Anna MacKinnon (R-Eagle River), directs the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) and the state board of education to find and approve the best math and English curriculum internationally.
“Our state constitution guarantees every child in Alaska access to a public education,” said Sen. MacKinnon. “Alaska’s students deserve the best opportunities we can provide them. That’s why this legislation is important: It gives teachers the curriculum they need to improve outcomes for all students.”
That curriculum will be made available to four school districts, through an application process, and will be tested in a three-year pilot program for its appropriateness and effectiveness. After the pilot program concludes, the curriculum will become available to all districts who want to use it. Incentive payments will be available to schools who choose to adopt this curriculum.
This bill also establishes the Curriculum and Best Practices fund and provides $19.5 million in FY2020 in payments to districts that choose to apply to participate in the pilot program or in the curriculum adoptions.
“We worked closely with the Department of Education and utilized the results from the Alaska Education Challenge to incorporate some of their goals into this legislation,” said Sen. MacKinnon. “This bill is the result of over a year’s worth of work and close collaboration with all relevant stakeholders including teachers, parents, state school board members, the department of education, superintendents, and education associations.”
The bill additionally extends the requirement for districts to review their curriculum from 6 years to 10 years.
SB 104 passed the Senate by a vote of 17 to 1 and the House 32 to 8, for a combined vote of 49 to 9. The bill is now on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
For more information, contact Senate Majority Press Secretary Daniel McDonald at (907) 465-4066.
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