Administration OK with need element in merit scholarships

Posted: Monday, March 01, 2010

JUNEAU - Alaska Education Commissioner Larry LeDoux says putting financial need before student performance is not an acceptable change to the governor's proposed merit scholarship program.

However, LeDoux told the Senate Education Committee on Friday that a House amendment that addresses unmet financial need for students who qualify on merit first is worthwhile.

Gov. Sean Parnell's proposal aims to take investment earnings of $400 million set aside to award scholarships for in-state tuition or professional training. Graduating Alaska high schoolers earning at least a C+ average and completing a rigorous course schedule would be eligible.

Some lawmakers have said the program should include aid based on need.

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