JUNEAU - The Alaska state Senate is sending the House a scholarship bill that contrasts with the governor's proposed merit scholarships.
In a 15-5 vote, the Senate on Tuesday passed SB 174.
The bill expands andrenames the existing UA Scholars program for top high school graduates. It also raises thepayout of the needs-based AlaskAdvantage Education Grant program.
Sen. Lesil McGuire, a Republican from Anchorage, says the new bill is laudable, but lacks the transformative effects on K-12 education and culture that the governor's bill intends to effect through rigorous curriculum requirements.
The two bills aren't incompatible, but lawmakers are unlikely to have the appetite to fund both. The House Finance Committee gets the bill next.