House Bill Would Create New Oversight for Education

Apr 9, 2014

A bill up for review Wednesday at the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare would create a new position for a secretary of education in the governor's office.

The job would include overseeing and coordinating all of the state's education initiatives, from early learning to higher education.

"There needs to be a single place where all of this information flows," said new Senior House Deputy Majority Leader Lisa Tomasso, the bill's sponsor. "We have a secretary of commerce, we have a secretary of health and human services, and this would be the third leg of that stool."

Tomasso acknowledges that the cost of creating a new, high-level position in the governor's administration may be a hard sell in the current budget cycle, but says she hopes this is the start of a conversation.

Two years ago, lawmakers consolidated the boards of education and higher education into a single board, arguing that there was a need for better coordination between higher education and K-12 leadership.