JUNEAU -- The House Finance Committee has advanced a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow public money to be used for private schools.
HJR16 is a companion to a bill that would allow state-sponsored scholarships for students to attend private schools. Both measures are from Rep. Wes Keller.
The Alaska Constitution states that public money can't be appropriated except for a public purpose. HJR16 would add that nothing in that section would prevent payment of public funds "for the direct educational benefit of students as provided by law."
Rep. Mike Doogan, a no vote, said problems in the public education system shouldn't be the reason for lawmakers to contemplate the system's "dismantling."
Rep. Bill Thomas, a yes vote, said it's wrong to stifle the voice of the people on this issue.