Balances 2015 budget by draining $1.3 billion education fund

The budget bill would use the education savings account to cover the state shortfall for Fiscal Year 2015, which ends in two months.

The budget approved by the Alaska Legislature Monday would drain a $1.3 billion account set aside to provide school districts some measure of financial stability, Alaska Dispatch News writes.

The plan would end the “forward funding” of kindergarten-though-12th grade public education in Alaska, a system under which lawmakers had set aside money more than a year before it would be needed.

But the overall budget bill, passed by both the House and Senate Monday on the way to adjournment more than a week late, does not resolve a $3.2 billion financial impasse for the 2016 fiscal year that starts in July.