Austerman Discusses Education and Oil Taxes

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baseallocationchart.jpgMaggie Wall/KMXT

Kodiak Representative Alan Austerman was home to meet with constituents and to discuss school funding during a recent break in the legislature’s schedule. He told reporters in Juneau last week that residents are concerned about school funding in light of decreasing state revenues. TAPSis the Trans Alaskan Pipeline System, which has an ever-decreasing flow of oil, which translates into decreased revenues for the state.

Austerman referred to Senate Bill 192, which is the Senate’s majority’s provision for changing the way Alaska taxes oil and gas. Kodiak’s Senator Gary Stevens is senate president and leads the bipartisan senate majority. Stevens took a lot of flack last year because he refused to go along with legislation to cut oil taxes without proof that those cuts would translate into more production and more jobs.

Given uncertain state revenues, Kodiak residents are also concerned about the Base Student Allocation, or BSA, which is a key part of the formula the state uses to determine funding for schools.

Austerman says he also had some interesting conversations with former Kodiak High School students who discussed their take on the education system.

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