Education Bills Passed by the 33rd Legislature

Citing education as a top priority, the Senate and House introduced a record number of education bills during the 33rd Legislature. Throughout the 2023 and 2024 sessions, the AASB Advocacy team tracked the progress of over 40 education-related bills, many of which aligned with AASB’s legislative priorities:

  • Funding: Sufficient and Sustainable Public Education Funding
  • Educators: Retention and Recruitment of Teachers, Administrators and Staff
  • Students: Student Wellness and School Safety

In an effort to pass legislation before this year’s session ended, legislators combined bills that addressed similar topics, a practice known as “bill stuffing.” This strategy created a flurry of activity in the final days, and made it challenging to determine which legislation had actually passed.

When the 33rd Legislature adjourned on May 15th, 2024, ten key education bills had successfully passed, most of them in the final days of the session. These bills will now be sent to Governor Dunleavy, who has three options: he can sign them into law, veto them, or take no action and allow them to become law automatically.

Here are summaries of the ten education bills that were passed, and what they include.

SCS CSHB 26(FIN) –  Council for Alaska Native Languages
  • Renames the Council
  • Increases the number of Council members
  • Adds additional official Alaska Native languages
SCS CSHB 148(FIN) AM S  – Alaska Performance Scholarships; Eligibility
  • Adds Head Start Program Performance Standards
  • Adds CTE Courses to scholarship eligibility requirements
  • Alaska Native languages added to foreign languages
  • Increases scholarship award levels
  • Increases student eligibility time limits
  • Removes sunset provision for tax credits donations to educational organizations (Amended Senate from SB 120)
  • Increases allowable amounts for tax credits (Amended in Senate from SB 120)
  • Adds postsecondary CTE schools eligible for grants through Alaska Workforce Investment Board (Amended in Senate from SB 120)
HB 193 – Internet for Schools
  • Increases internet speed for schools from 25Mbps to 100Mbps
  • Qualifies schools for grants through Alaska School Broadband Assistance (BAG) Grants
SCS CSHB 202(FIN) AM S(EFD ADD S) – Schools: Overdose Drugs, Correspondence Programs
  • Opioid Overdose Drugs provided for schools
  • Correspondence Programs & Allotments (Amended in Senate from HB 400)
  • Opioid Program reports to Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (Amended in Senate from floor amendment)
SCS HB 230(EDU)AM S(EFD ADD S) – Teachers: Out-of-State Experience, Retired
  • Increases the amount of Out-of-State experience allowed for placement on the salary schedule
  • Increases the number of days for long term retired substitutes to 165 days
  • Provides for National Board Certification incentive payments (Amended in Senate from SB 215)
CSHJR 18(STA) – Social Security Benefit Reduction Repeal
  • Urges Congress to repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset of the Social Security Act.
SB 13 – University; Textbooks/Materials Cost
  • Requires University to provide in their online course schedule required course material and costs for materials.
CSSSB 75(FIN) – Audio & Speech-Language Interstate Compact
  • Allows Alaska to issue a state license to an Audio-Speech Pathologist from another state in Interstate Compact with comparable requirements as Alaska.
CCS HB 268(Corrected) – Appropriations: Operating Budget; Capital; Supplemental; Amending
  • K-12 education – $147.7 million for a one-time, outside the BSA payment of $680 per student;
  • Pupil Transportation – increase of $7.3 million;
  • Alaska READS Act support – $5.2 million;
  • Maintenance of Equity – $11.8 million;
  • Head Start – $5.2 million;
  • Funding for one additional trip home for Mt. Edgecumbe Students (Sen. Stedman added that this would allow tthese students to spend Christmas with their families).
HCS CSSB 187(FIN) AM H – Appropriations: Capital; Reappropriations; Supplemental; Funds; Amending
  • $62,761,729 for the Major Maintenance Grant Fund, enough to fund through project 26 on the School Major Maintenance List 
  • $26,978,028 – REAA and Small Municipal School District School Fund
  • $260,000 – Klatt Elementary School wall seismic improvements: design; ASD
  • $50,000 – Mears Middle School supplies and equipment; ASD
  • $50,000 – Klatt Elementary School supplies and equipment; ASD
  • $50,000 – Oceanview Elementary School supplies and equipment; ASD
  • $310,837 – Safe Pedestrian Crossing to Service High School and Trailside Elementary School, Anchorage 
  • $2,806,000 – Mt. Edgecumbe High School  deferred maintenance: main girls dorm roof replacement and dorm window replacement
  • $3,986,471 – Newtok K-12 School relocation/replacement
  • $5,363,528 – Minto K-12 School renovation/addition
  • $21,614,500 – Nelson Island School replacement; Phase 1
  • $227,425 – Healy area and school pedestrian path (TAP Award, 2023)
  • $150,000 – Dimond Alumni Special Projects Inc., install scoreboard at Bartlett High School
  • $600,000 – Anchorage: Abbot Road Safe Routes to Schools improvements
  • $50,000 – Anchorage: Airport Heights Elementary School walkway connector
  • $500,000 – Anchorage: Bettye Davis East Anchorage High School, stadium safety upgrades and drainage mitigation
  • $400,000 – Anchorage: safe pedestrian crossings for O’Malley Elementary School
  • $200,000 – Sitka High School shop dust collector
  • $302,498 – Tsuk Taih School water tank roof and water tank replacement, Yukon Flats School District