Senators Joe Paskvan, Dennis Egan, and Gary Stevens during the closeout hearing of the Senate Finance DEED Subcommittee, March 20, 2012
This blog contains highlights from the Alaska Education Update. The update is issued daily during session and contains detailed summaries of education issues under consideration by the Alaska State Legislature. If there is a hearing on a Monday, a report will, with few exceptions, be released by Tuesday morning. There is also a weekly edition of the update. During interim, reports are issued only when there has been action. Interim action may include hearings, bill signings, the release of the Governor's proposed budget for the next fiscal year, and other items that may be of interest to the education community.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

HB 256: Serious Proposition or Conversation Opener?

The first prefiled bills for the second session of the 27th Alaska State Legislature were released today (full list of prefiled bills: ).  There are half a dozen bills that are probably of interest to the education community; a review of those is in today's Alaska Education Update.   

One bill that will perhaps raise some eyebrows is HB 256 - Repeal State Intervention in Schools.  Judge Gleason wrote in the 2007 Moore decision that, "In addition to delegating the operation of schools to the local school districts, the Legislature has delegated supervision on education to the executive branch, through the creation of the State Board of Education and the Department of Education and Early Development." 

If the ability of the department to intervene in schools is removed, what oversight will the state and the legislature have of schools?  Or does the sponsor intend there to be only local oversight of schools?  What effect might this have on federal funding requirements, and would it put federal education funding in jeopardy?  Would the state make up those lost funds to districts? 

I'm not sure yet if the sponsor intends HB 256 to be a serious proposition, or a conversation starter for reviewing intervention, but we will find out shortly.  Session begins on Tuesday, January 17, and those are some of the questions that will be raised.