Governor announces reinstatement of early education funding

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JUNEAU, Alaska Early Tuesday morning, Governor Mike Dunleavy announced he will be keeping early learning funding for fiscal year 2020. That funding includes grants for the Head Start program, Early Childhood, the Parents as Teachers program, and Best Beginnings.

Early Tuesday morning, Governor Mike Dunleavy announced he will be keeping early learning funding for fiscal year 2020. That funding includes grants for the Head Start program, Early Childhood, the Parents as Teachers program, and Best Beginnings. (The Office of the Governor via Facebook)

Much like the Senior Benefits Program, Governor Dunleavy originally vetoed the funding for early learning on June 28th, but announced his intent to reinstate the programs. The legislature added all $8.8 million dollars the Governor cut from early education into House Bill 2001. Also like the Senior Benefits Program, the funding is retroactive, meaning all early learning programs will receive funding for the entire fiscal year, which started July 1st.

When the Governor was asked if he regretted cutting early education funding to begin with, he said it was his vetoes that revealed what Alaskans really want.

"Do I regret the angst that people have gone through; well sure," began the Governor. "You could not get to the point where people are really talking to us about what really matter in Alaska, what folks really value in Alaska if we didn't go through the process of reductions."

Towards the end of the press conference, the Governor said there will be funds in HB 2001 that will get cut. That bill is expected to be signed over the next couple of days.