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Supporters suspend push for ballot measure on education ‘bill of rights’

  • Author: James Brooks
  • Updated: December 7, 2019
  • Published December 7, 2019

Supporters of a proposed “education bill of rights” have announced they will stop gathering signatures to put their idea on the 2020 election ballot.

In a written statement, the group backing the measure said the ballot initiative process “is not feasible at this time” for “an issue as large and complex as the Alaska Students’ Education Bill of Rights.”

Alaskans for Excellent Public Education, the registered group behind the initiative, said it received a large amount of support but was unable to include the suggestions of supporters and the current initiative did not include “many organizations whose contributions would have created a more comprehensive and successful initiative.”

“As a result, AEPE will be stepping back from the initiative process effective immediately," the statement said.

As approved by Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer and the Alaska Division of Elections, the measure sought to put goals for the state’s public education system into state law.

The measure mostly does not require specific actions, and an analysis by the Alaska Department of Law indicated that the measure would be more aspirational than determinative.

According to campaign finance reports, the group collected $255,716.72 in campaign contributions, mostly from the Alaska chapter of the National Education Association.