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Alaska Beat

Vote canceled on Alaska school choice constitutional amendment

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published April 3, 2012

It appears that a push to amend the state constitution for the so-called "school choice" movement may not get a vote before the House of Representatives.

House Joint Resolution 16 was plucked from the calendar just before a scheduled vote, according to the Juneau Empire, because sponsors didn't think enough lawmakers supported it.

Currently, the Alaska Constitution prohibits state money's use toward private schooling. HJR 16 would have required a "supermajority" of House lawmakers to amend the constitution. If passed, that could have cleared the way for House Bill 145, which would essentially provide parents with state money to send their kids to private or religious schools.

The bill had become a political hot potato in Alaska during a year when lawmakers grappled with school funding and other education-related issues.

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