JUNEAU -

The House Finance Committee proposed several changes Tuesday to Gov. Sean Parnell’s omnibus education bill.

The 11-member committee proposed several changed to the reform bill, introduced earlier this legislative session.

Changes include another increase to the Base Student Allocation -- the annual amount paid by the state to school districts for every student they educate, generated using a funding formula which affects public schools throughout Alaska.

As modified, effective July 1 the BSA would increase from $5,680 to $5,865, $185 more than the current figure. Parnell’s bill had the BSA increasing to $5,765.

An extra $58 will be added in 2015 and 2016, a figure initially proposed by the governor.

Part of that BSA allocation will be paid for with money already in the budget for education.

"It became apparent to us that we're going to continue to fund that extra 25 million dollars per year, we may as well put it into the BSA,” said Rep. Alan Austerman (R-Kodiak).

Austerman, who co-chairs House Finance, says school districts would be allowed to use that extra money for teacher salaries since it is in the BSA.

"We're really hoping it was an April Fool’s joke -- it's really not a solution to the crisis faced by our school districts,” said Alison Arians.  

Arians is in Juneau with several parents who want to see more attention paid to public school funding. She claims the finance committee is just shifting money, not adding it to the BSA.

“We're really just looking at an 85 dollar increase in new money,” Arians said. “So an 85 dollar increase to the BSA statewide, really doesn't keep a lot of our teachers.”

Some in the education community are calling for a $400 BSA increase over the next three years. Austerman says he doesn’t want to commit additional increases since it could drain state savings accounts.

"It eats up something like four billion dollars in the next 10 years; that's 28 percent of our savings we have right now," Austerman said.

The state will also be shifting $1.4 billion into the Teacher Retirement System (TRS), money that will be drawn from state savings as well.

Discussion on the governor’s education bill continued Tuesday evening.  It could get a full vote on the House floor later this week.