The dance group from Anaktuvuk Pass performs Saturday at Kivgiq in Utqiaġvik. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz)

After four years, joy in Utqiaġvik at the messenger feast’s return

BY: - February 6, 2023

It had been four years since the last maġlak at Kivgiq. When his time finally came Saturday, Jimmy Oyagak couldn’t wait.  As an Iñupiaq dance group from the North Slope village of Wainwright drummed, he stood on the floor in the high school gymnasium here before a crowd of hundreds, shaking a whaling harpoon and […]

Participants in a pro-education rally hold signs in front of the Alaska State Capitol on Monday night, Jan. 23, 2023. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska senators say $1,000 increase to per student funding is “beginning of a conversation”

BY: - February 1, 2023

The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday introduced a bill proposing a $1,000 increase to the amount Alaska’s state government pays schools per student. This proposed base student allocation increase comes as dozens of people have testified and hundreds rallied at the Capitol in recent weeks for better public education funding.  The amount per student is […]

The image shows students working to clean up plastic

School program for ‘Ocean Guardians’ seeks to expand in Alaska

BY: - January 30, 2023

Alaska’s coastlines are home to iconic Alaska wildlife, but they’re also besieged by litter and pollution. There’s an effort underway to combat this by teaching students about marine conservation. Scientists and teachers say it’s having success and would like to see it expand.  In the Ocean Guardian School Program, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration partners […]

Elizabeth Sunnyboy is seen during a break Wednesday at the Alaska Public Health Association's annual summit. Sunnyboy, an elder and traditional healer with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, endured some family separation sevn decades ago, when tuberculosis death rates in Alaska were some of the highest ever measured. Her father was abruptly flown from their home in St. Mary's to a sanitarium in Sitka, and she never saw him alive after that. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska health officials and providers work on strategies for responding to tuberculosis surge

BY: - January 30, 2023

More than 70 years ago, when Elizabeth Sunnyboy was a young girl living in the lower Yukon River village of St. Mary’s, two men knocked on the family door, told her father there was a plane waiting for him and whisked him away without explanation.  “We didn’t know why the plane was waiting for him. […]

Ahead of education-funding bill, supporters of Alaska public schools pitch their case

BY: - January 27, 2023

In a series of hearings at the Capitol, teachers, administrators and concerned parents are making the case for a major increase in Alaska’s per-student funding and for other legislation that they say will help the state’s public schools. The hearings come as the Senate Education Committee prepares to introduce legislation on the topic. The bills […]

The U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Lynne Terry/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Teachers would get $60K minimum salary under bill in Congress making grants to states

BY: - January 26, 2023

WASHINGTON – A panel of policymakers and educators, including author Dave Eggers and former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, gathered at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to promote the American Teacher Act.  The bill, if passed, would authorize the federal government to create four-year grants for states to enact and enforce minimum school teacher […]

(Photo by Eyecrave Productions/Getty Images)

Lawsuit says Alaska statute allowing public funding to go to private schools is unconstitutional

BY: - January 25, 2023

The question is resurfacing, but this time in a lawsuit: Can families enrolled in a state-funded correspondence program use their allotment to pay for private school classes? Last June, the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development didn’t know the answer so they asked the state’s attorney general’s office, which offered a response that drew […]

Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, is seen in the chambers of the Alaska Senate on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023. Hughes is one of three Republican senators outside the Senate's 17-person supermajority. At right is Sen. Loki Tobin, D-Anchorage. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Seventeen of 20 Alaska senators are in the majority. What about the other three?

BY: - January 19, 2023

Sen. Shelley Hughes thought she’d be on the Senate Education Committee. She said Senate President Gary Stevens had asked her to be on it and she agreed. “He has a real heart for the kids and education as I do also, so he was really happy when I agreed, and he called me probably a […]

Alaska Legislature convenes with deadlock reigning in the House and the Senate jumping ahead

BY: and - January 17, 2023

A closely divided Alaska House of Representatives stalled on Tuesday, the first day of the 33rd state Legislature and adjourned for the day without choosing a speaker of the House.  The 20-member Senate is controlled by a 17-person bipartisan supermajority, and legislators were sworn in Tuesday without incident except the unexplained absence of Sen. Mike […]

The Department of Education announced on Tuesday it is extending the pandemic-era pause on federal student loan repayments until June 30. (Photo by jayk7/Getty Images)

New federal student loan repayment plan aimed at low-income borrowers

BY: - January 10, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would overhaul a federal student loan income-driven repayment plan, and, if implemented, could help millions of low-income borrowers. However, it’s unclear how the agency would be able to finance the program. Many student debt relief advocates also criticized the proposal for leaving out […]

The University of Alaska Southeast campus in Juneau as seen on May 25, 2022

Panel picks five nominees for new chancellor of University of Alaska Southeast

BY: - January 9, 2023

A search committee has picked the chairman of Sealaska Corp. and four education officials as finalists to serve as the chancellor of the University of Alaska Southeast, one of three main branches of the University of Alaska System. On Monday, the university announced the shortlist of candidates for the job that will open when current […]

(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Alaska follows other states, bans social media app TikTok from state-owned electronics

BY: - January 6, 2023

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Friday issued a memo banning the use of the China-based social media platform TikTok on state-issued devices, citing cybersecurity concerns. “Simply put, TikTok poses a clear risk to any network or user it touches,” the memo said in part. The decision follows similar action by almost 20 states and the […]