Associate Professor of Chemistry at University of Alaska Southeast Lisa Hoferkamp looks at colleague Jill Dumesnil, professor of mathematics, as she talks during a United Academics rally June 22, 2022, in front of the Alaska Capitol.

University of Alaska faculty union hopes to end a year of contract negotiations on Monday

BY: - August 19, 2022

With another federal mediation session scheduled for Monday, the University of Alaska faculty union is hopeful it will come to an agreement with the university administration on a new contract. That’s after a year of negotiations and the union agreeing to the administration’s latest compensation offer, which is significantly below what the union originally asked […]

The Boney Courthouse in downtown Anchorage, across the street from the larger Nesbett Courthouse, holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Supreme Court rules against forward funding for education, confirms limit on legislative power

BY: - August 13, 2022

The Alaska Legislature may not set multi-year budgets for public education and other state agencies unless it provides up-front funding, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled Friday. The decision settles a three-year-old dispute between the Legislature and Gov. Mike Dunleavy. It also represents a limit on legislative power and signals a victory for Dunleavy, who had […]

Anchorage Superintendent Jharrett Bryant (Photo provided by the Anchorage School District)

Anchorage schools are ready to start the climb

BY: - August 6, 2022

Hello, Anchorage! I hope you are enjoying this last stretch of summer break. My name is Dr. Jharrett Bryantt. I am humbled and eager to work alongside you as your new superintendent. I’d like to thank the community for welcoming me to the Anchorage community. You’ve given me great advice on restaurants, challenged me to […]

Activists call on President Biden to not resume student loan payments in February and to cancel student debt near The White House on December 15, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We, The 45 Million)

Democrats in Congress press Biden to extend pause on student loans

BY: - July 29, 2022

WASHINGTON  — More than 100 congressional Democrats are urging the White House to extend the pause on student loan repayment beyond the Aug. 31 deadline. In a Thursday letter to President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, U.S. Senate and House Democrats argue that due to inflation and an ongoing coronavirus pandemic, student […]

Gov. Mike Dunleavy, after signing the bill on state recognition of tribes, holds up the legislation at at July 28 ceremony at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Standing with him are Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky, sponsor of the bill, Sen. Gary Stevens, sponsor of a tribal education bill that Dunleavy also signed at the ceremony, and Sen. Lyman Hoffman. In front of them are works of art from the Alaska Native Heritage Center's collection that represent different regions of the state. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Gov. Dunleavy signs tribal-recognition bill, a ‘first step toward healing’

BY: - July 28, 2022

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Thursday signed legislation that requires the State of Alaska to formally recognize its 229 federally recognized Native tribes. Though the bill does not significantly change the relationship between the state and the sovereign tribal governments within its borders, Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky, D-Bethel, said the measure is an “important first step […]

(Photo by Eyecrave Productions/Getty Images)

State OKs public funds for private education to support, but not replace, Alaska public education

BY: - July 25, 2022

The Alaska Department of Law issued an opinion Monday saying public money can be spent for home-school students to attend one or two classes in a private school, but can’t be used for most of a student’s private school tuition.  The 19-page opinion says that it’s sometimes legal to use public funds for private school […]

An empty classroom at Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé in Juneau, Alaska, on July 20, 2022.

Weeks from restarting, schools across Alaska are struggling to find teachers

BY: - July 21, 2022

Bobby Bolen is trying to fill around 50 teaching positions at the North Slope Borough School District. “This is our focus 24 hours a day right now – to get classrooms staffed for students,” Bolen said. Bolen is the brand-new human resources director at the North Slope Borough School District, which has around 2,000 students […]

Heidi Teshner is acting commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. Screenshot is from the Alaska Board of Education and Early Development virtual meeting on July 13, 2022.

Alaska school board picks deputy Heidi Teshner as acting commissioner

BY: - July 13, 2022

The Alaska Board of Education and Early Development on Wednesday appointed Heidi Teshner acting commissioner for the state’s education department. Teshner, who was most recently deputy commissioner, is filling the department’s top position following Michael Johnson’s resignation June 30. Board chair James Fields said the board wasn’t in any rush to pick a permanent commissioner. […]

Children pick up their school lunches. (Amanda Mills/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Universal free school meal program going away for about half of Alaska’s schools

BY: - July 7, 2022

During the pandemic, public schools were able to provide free meals to all students, regardless of income, due to federal waivers. Starting this fall, that access is going away for about half the schools in Alaska that participate in the federal school meal program.  Families attending these schools will return to pre-pandemic ways of getting […]

Alaskan Chilkat and Ravenstail Weaver Lily Wooshkindein Da.Áat Hope and weaving assistant Nadezdha Hughes work on a full-size ceremonial Chilkat dancing blanket in Hope’s studio in Downtown Juneau on July 5, 2022.

Tracing a lineage of Chilkat weavers in ‘A Life Painted in Yarn’

BY: - July 7, 2022

It’s called Between Worlds. And it features a diving whale. “Peering through the bones of this diving whale pattern is this ancestor with her face and hands pressed against the veil between worlds,” Alaskan Chilkat and Ravenstail Weaver Lily Wooshkindein Da.Áat Hope said. “Because we talk about the Chilkat dancing blanket as the veil that […]

Sally Monserud Hall, seen on June 28, 2022, is on the west quad of the University of Alaska Anchorage campus.

College of Health building renovation aims to increase number of grads, address worker shortage

BY: - June 29, 2022

A renovation to the University of Alaska’s College of Health building is slated to result in almost double the amount of graduates in three programs, slightly easing the current healthcare worker shortage in the state. The University of Alaska Anchorage is in the early planning stages after receiving a $4 million federal grant. The grant, […]

Education department begins early stages of implementing controversial reading intervention bill

BY: - June 24, 2022

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development on Monday kicked off the initial planning stage for implementing a controversial bill intended to assist students in achieving reading proficiency by the end of third grade. A department spokesperson said programs won’t be implemented until the fall of 2023. Grant Robinson, public information office for the […]