BISMARCK - The Senate Education Committee heard testimony for two bills related to military education on Wednesday.
House Bill 1309 originally called for the state to enter into a compact with other states regarding issues like varying graduation requirements that face children in military families as they move from state to state. Testimony in the previous House Education Committee hearing indicated that schools in North Dakota are already working with military families to resolve concerns. The bill was amended to become a study and passed to the Senate.
Bev Nielson of the North Dakota School Boards Association said one of the concerning things about the original bill was that the compact would supersede state laws or school districts. She said there would be time to enter the compact later if the study showed it to be a good thing.
"We need to learn more about it because it is so new," said Warren Larson of the North Dakota Council of
No one spoke in opposition to the amended bill during the Senate hearing. It was given a unanimous "do-pass" recommendation.
The committee also heard testimony for House Bill 1138. According to Capt. Michelle Hagel who spoke for the bill, basic college fees can add up to more than $600 per semester. Those fees are excluded by law from the tuition the National Guard can cover.
Hagel said the National Guard aims to pay for 100 percent of tuition, including fees for North Dakota National Guard members working toward undergraduate degrees in the state. Federal money for fees is available for many Guard members but doesn't cover fees for members of the Air National Guard.
The National Guard would seek federal money before using state money to cover the fees. Hagel said the bill doesn't request more money but would give the National Guard the flexibility to use money already available for tuition to cover fees as well.
House Bill 1138 also received a unanimous "do-pass" recommendation.