The senate has advanced the constitutional amendment setting up one state agency for education. Senator Charlie Shields’ proposal combines the Department of Higher Educaiton with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. It sets up a new six-member board to repalce the two boards that oversee the agencies today.

Shields had to jettison many of the provisions of his original proposal. But he’s kept the basics–a strong governing body over all of educaiton, from pre-school through post-graduate work.

The senate is expected to send the bill to the House early next week.

The senate has sent the House a companion amendment. It eliminates the two departments. Both need to make it to the November ballot beacuse one eliminates two department and the second creates one new department to take their places.