Education chief makes new pitch on scholarships

Posted: Friday, April 02, 2010

JUNEAU - Lawmakers could pass Gov. Sean Parnell's $400 million merit scholarship plan this year - without all the money. That's the argument being made by state Education Commissioner Larry LeDoux.

He told the Senate Finance Committee that simply passing the bill would authorize agencies to prepare for a fall 2011 scholarship rollout. He said lawmakers also would have until next year to debate the funding issue.

Earlier this week, leading legislators cast doubt on the prospects of Parnell's plan moving forward this session.

Parnell's proposed setting aside $400 million as an endowment for in-state tuition or professional training scholarships. Graduating Alaska high schoolers who complete a rigorous course schedule with a C+ average or higher would be eligible.

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