Far-ranging education bill fails in House

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A wide-ranging education bill emphasizing local and parental control failed after a vote in the Alaska House on Wednesday.

House Bill 156 was introduced by Rep. Wes Keller, a Republican from Wasilla. The latest version would have suspended statewide standardized testing for two years, allowed
parents to opt their kids out of any lesson, and put decisions about sexual
education in the hands of local school boards.

This version had already failed in the House. The conference committee took
it up Tuesday and returned an identical version to the House floor, with
the bill’s sponsor Keller expressing confidence that it would get
enough votes to clear the House.

The House, on Wednesday, failed to concur on the measure by a vote of 20 yes to 19 no – it needed 21 yes votes to pass.

The voting mostly fell along caucus lines, with a few exceptions.
All four rural Democrats voted against the bill.