Sen. Stevens Optimistic Over Governor’s Education Bill


Jay Barrett/KMXT
Governor Sean Parnell spoke at length about education during his state of the state address last week. As chair of the Senate Education Committee, Kodiak Senator Gary Stevens will deal directly with some or all of the governor’s education agenda.
In the days after the Governor’s address, there was confusion over what sounded like a quid-pro-quo that in exchange for increased per-student funding for public schools the legislature would allow funding for private and religious schools. Stevens said he was confused by that too, but said Parnell has cleared that issue up.
Speaking of allowing public funds to pay for religious and private schools, a bill introduced last year by Sen. John Coghill was not scheduled for a hearing in Senate Education. Stevens says it’s currently languishing elsewhere.
Another item in Parnell’s omnibus education bill would do away with the current high school exit exam. That’s an item that Stevens had already introduced.
Stevens points out that even if the exit exam is done away with in this year’s legislature, the change won’t be seen by high school students until next year.

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