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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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What a Day!

Wow, what a long day!  I don't know where to even start.  Chairman Dick said at the beginning of the House Education Committee hearing that this session education funding will be a huge issue.  They will also discuss intervention, state standards, the school maintenance priority process, distance delivery, the manner in which districts and students are assessed, and the 70/30 split for instruction/administrative costs. 

The House Education Committee heard and held HB 145.  A committee substitute was moved, but not adopted, and the committee also has amendments that weren't moved or adopted.  During discussion on whether private schools would serve special education students there was a lot of debate.  I foresee long discussions every time HB 145 is heard, if history is any indication of the future. 

The Senate Education Committee heard and moved SB 137 - Suicide Awareness & Prevention.  There was only support for the bill, and very little cost.  The legislation has had positive effect in other states, and it is hoped it will have positive effect in Alaska as well. 

During the House Majority Press Conference I asked Rep. Herron about HB 256 - Repeal State Intervention in Schools, and he said he co-sponsored the bill because he believes the only tool the state has been using in intervention is a hammer, and he wants them to use other tools.  Other than that, there was no discussion of education issues during the press conference.