House eliminates state funds for community schools

Posted: Sunday, May 11, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) State support for community schools programs would go away under a bill passed by the House.

Gov. Frank Murkowski proposed the bill as a cost-saving measure. The state is currently spending $500,000 a year on grants to local school districts for the after-school and weekend programs.

Advocates for the programs say the money is well-spent because it is used to leverage thousands of hours of largely volunteer instruction for children and adults.

But administration officials say the law setting up the state grant program was only intended to help communities get their programs started. They say the state has done that.

The House voted 23-8 Friday for the bill eliminating support for the program.

Voting against it were Reps. Sharon Cissna, D-Anchorage; Harry Crawford, D-Anchorage; Les Gara, D-Anchorage; Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage; Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau; Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon; Pete Kott, R-Eagle River; and Beverly Masek, R-Willow.

The bill still must be approved by the Senate.

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