State May End School Bond Reimbursement

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

School districts across Alaska may see their state reimbursement for new projects and construction drop for the next five years. The Senate Finance Committee advanced legislation Monday to put a hold on the state’s assistance in voter-approved bonds between January 1st, 2015 and 2020. On Wednesday, the senate voted 17 to 4 in favor of the bill.

Katie Oliver is the president of the Kodiak school board. She says that bonds made before this period will not be affected. This includes bonds for construction and maintenance made in the Kodiak school district.

“The new high school project was approved by the voters several years ago,” says Oliver. “I think 2010. that project and the reimbursment of that project which is at the 70% rate is not in jeopardy or would not be impacted by senate bill 64.”

Oliver adds that after the five year period, state reimbursement will most likely drop.

“If the state chooses to reinstate the reimbursement program in 2020, the reimbursement rates will be reduced,” Oliver says. “So, new school construction will go from a reimbursement rate of 70% to 50% and maintenance projects will go from 60% to 40%, but that will only impact new bonds, not existing bonds.”

The bill will continue from the Senate to the House for further review.

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