Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - At one point during his State of the State Address, Governor Dunleavy said Alaska needs to fix its schools but offered no detail on how that gets done.
Juneau Senator Jesse Kiehl was asked for his insight while a guest on Action Line. He said the five-year moratorium for state funding of new school construction and repairs ends with the start of the next fiscal year July 1. He said it will come back, but the state won't shoulder 70 percent of the cost any longer. It said it will be a 50-50 split unless there's a new pause, although there's no bill introduced at this point.
"Now, the problem is the Governor took the state's share of that and line-item vetoed a great big giant chunk of it, just shoving costs on to the local governments. So we've got to work something out and if this Governor thinks 50-50 is okay, if he's not introducing any changes, fine, we've got to fund the state's share." Senator Kiehl points out that education is the state's obligation under the constitution. "It's up to the state to live up to that and pay the darn bill."
Senator Kiehl said that if the Governor doesn't feel bringing back the program is a good idea, then he should propose another solution.