More Republicans sign on to school voucher amendment

More Republicans in the state Senate are signing on to sponsor a proposed constitutional amendment to allow public money go to private schools including religious schools.

Gov. Sean Parnell said Wednesday in his State-of-the-State speech that he backed the constitutional amendment to allow school vouchers and three more senators signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation.

In the Senate, prime sponsor Mike Dunleavy of Wasilla already had four co-sponsors: Fred Dyson, Pete Kelly, John Coghill and Cathy Giessel. On Friday, two days after the governor announced his support, Sens. Lesil McGuire, Anna Fairclough and Charlie Huggins, the Senate president, all signed onto the voucher legislation. All are Republicans.

There's a companion measure in the House but the Senate version, Senate Joint Resolution 9, is the one expected to move through the Legislature.

The measure is not being heard by the Senate Education Committee -- the chairman, Sen. Gary Stevens, a moderate Republican, is a likely opponent. Huggins last year took it out of the Education Committee and instead assigned it to the Judiciary and Finance committees. The proposal cleared the Judiciary Committee last year. Two members recommended it pass and two, including McGuire, gave no recommendation.