The 26th Alaska State Legislature, 2009 - 2010||
Sponsor Statement: House Bill 360
Youth Academy: Student Records
“Relating to the provision of information regarding a student by a school district to the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs, Alaska Challenge Youth Academy.”
Posted: February 22, 2010 : v26-LS1482\E
Bill Version: SCS CSHB 360(EDC)
Status: Chapter 108 SLA 10 : 2010-06-25
A high school diploma is an essential first step for the youth of Alaska to become productive members in our communities. Children who drop out or are expelled from school are unlikely to return to the classroom on their own. It is essential that these at-risk children are presented with every opportunity to enroll in a program that will help them finish their high school diploma or complete their General Education Diploma (GED).
House Bill 360 requires school districts to provide the names, addresses, and dates of attendance of students who have dropped out of high school to the Director of the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy. The school districts would be required to provide this information biannually: January 15th and July 15th. These deadlines will allow ample opportunity for the Academy staff to reach out to potential students.
The Alaska Challenge Youth Academy is a great option for young people to finish their high school career. The Academy offers a 22-week program designed to help youth achieve their high school goals, but also teaches them life coping skills, job skills, leadership/followership, health and hygiene, physical fitness, and community service. Students can attend the Challenge program to catch up in their academic studies and upon completion return to a local high school for graduation.
According to the Center for Labor Market studies, the earning potential for an individual without a high school diploma is a mere $11,031 annually. Conversely, a student with a high school diploma or equivalent is $23,059 annually.
With the passage of House Bill 360 these young people will be given the chance to achieve success at an early age. Our youth are our future and they should be presented with every opportunity available to achieve their high school education. I believe this is one step in affording them this prospect.
I appreciate the committee's consideration of this legislation.