Alaska House fails to agree on how to fund education bill

JUNEAU — A bid to provide early funding assurances to Alaska schools has hit a snag.

The House approved a school funding bill Wednesday but didn’t agree on how to provide the funding.

The bill, from House Finance Committee co-chair Paul Seaton, called for using funds from savings, including the constitutional budget reserve. Tapping that fund requires support from three-quarters of the chamber, a threshold that wasn’t reached.

Some minority Republicans expressed concern with using the reserve fund early in the session. But majority members said addressing the issue early is important to school districts and would keep school funding from getting caught in end-of-session politics.

The Senate now gets the bill, and if it approves a fund draw, the House could get another crack at mustering support for a draw.