ND Legislature: Proposal would overhaul the education systemBismarck, ND (WDAY TV) - A proposal that would change North Dakota's education system will be debated at the state Capitol this week.
By: Teri Finneman, WDAY
This hearing room is expected to be packed on Wednesday for a hearing on a proposal that would overhaul the state's education system and North Dakota education officials are going to be coming out against it.
The proposal calls for creating a state Department of Education, starting in 2015, which would oversee and administer all public education in the state. This would put early childhood, elementary, high school and higher education under one umbrella.
Legislators want to see the matter put to a public vote on the 2012 ballot. If approved, this would mean the end of the state Board of Higher Education as it is now and end the public election of the superintendent of public instruction.
The governor would appoint the proposed department's director and an 11-member educational council. Supporters say the state is working from an old model for how it funds education, runs education and what it expects for educational results. Opponents say it gives too much power to the governor and goes too far.
Now, whether the Legislature approves the proposal remains to be seen. It may very well be turned into a study. Regardless, it's a conversation that some legislators say the state needs to have.