- Associated Press - Friday, April 8, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A state-sponsored scholarship program will remain intact for high-performing Alaska students.

Senate Finance Committee co-chair Anna MacKinnon said Friday that the committee would not move a bill that would end state-sanctioned student scholarship and financial aid programs after hearing compelling testimony from the executive director of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, Diane Barrans.

Barrans had told the committee more than 12,300 students qualified for the scholarship during the last four years. She said qualifying students needed fewer remedial courses and earned college credits faster than other students.

The commission in January released a report that included the same details.

Senate Finance co-chair Pete Kelly couldn’t say what might happen with another committee bill calling for higher local contributions toward a teachers’ pension system. Kelly suggested using money from the scholarship and aid programs to help with local costs initially.

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