Alaska Senate approves ‘textbook’ consumer protection law affecting UA students

BY: - May 5, 2023

Under legislation newly approved by the Alaska Senate, the University of Alaska will be required to warn students if a class requires expensive textbooks. Senate Bill 13 passed the Senate on a 19-1 vote and now advances to the House for consideration. Sen. Robert Myers, R-North Pole and the bill’s sponsor, punningly called it “a […]

Herb Schroeder is seen in an undated photo. (University of Alaska system photo)

Alaska’s university system says two science education leaders are on administrative leave

BY: - May 5, 2023

One of Alaska’s pioneers in science education is on “non-disciplinary administrative leave” along with one of his deputies as part of “confidential administrative processes,” a University of Alaska Anchorage official said Thursday. The status of Herb Schroeder, the founder and director of the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, is “in accordance with standard operating […]

Alaska pension bill, facing deep scrutiny, won’t advance this year, lawmakers say

BY: - May 3, 2023

As public employees prepared to rally in front of the Alaska Capitol on Tuesday, demanding the reinstatement of a public pension system, leading members of the state Senate said their request was unlikely to be fulfilled this year. Members of the 17-member bipartisan Senate majority said at the start of this year’s legislative session that […]

An indoor basketball court is seen in an undated photo. (Photo by Tom Sibley/Getty Images)

Alaska sports board decides against barring trans girls from girls sports, for now

BY: - May 2, 2023

The board that governs school sports in Alaska decided against adopting a change to its bylaws  that would have prevented transgender girls from participating in girls sports. But the Alaska School Activities Association said its board could still adopt the change in the future if state Department of Education and Early Development rules compel it […]

An indoor basketball court is seen in an undated photo. (Photo by Tom Sibley/Getty Images)

Public testimony on proposed rule shows support for trans girls in Alaska sports

BY: - May 1, 2023

During public testimony before the Alaska School Activities Association board on Monday, some Alaskans staunchly opposed a proposed rule that would prohibit transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports. The testimony was in response to a proposed change in ASAA’s current bylaws, which allow transgender girls to play on a team that aligns with their […]

Afternoon traffic is seen in downtown Fairbanks on March 1. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

New initiative aims to connect more Alaskans with the internet

BY: - April 28, 2023

A new initiative by the Rasmuson Foundation and Alaska’s state government is working to expand broadband internet access across the state over the next decade to the people who need it most.  The initiative, also known as the digital equity plan, began two years ago with Congress passing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The […]

English teacher Trudy Keller, at right, and student teller Briana Dupree are on duty during lunchtime Wednesday at the mini Wells Fargo Bank branch at Bettye Davis East Anchorage High School. The bank site within the school dates back to 1998, when it was set up in a partnership between the school and National Bank of Alaska. Keller, who also teaches a marketing class along with her English and bank duties, said financial literacy is important to students. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Bill to mandate financial education is intended to help address Alaskans’ pocketbook problems

BY: - April 28, 2023

In a nation where most people lack adequate savings for emergencies and retirement, Alaska stands out as being particularly bad at personal finances. Alaska has the highest per-capita credit card debt among all states, measured at over $8,000 in 2019, the lowest rate of completion of the federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known […]

Education funding gets boost as Alaska Senate finalizes its state spending plan

BY: - April 27, 2023

A last-hours lobbying effort behind closed doors by members of the Senate’s bipartisan caucus resulted in more funding for public schools within the draft Alaska state budget under consideration in the state Senate. On Wednesday afternoon, members of the Senate Finance Committee were presented with a $6.2 billion proposal that would pay for state services […]

Girls look at books in a public library. (Getty Images)

In classrooms, Alaska now needs the common sense the Juneau School Board showed in 1993

BY: - April 26, 2023

This is the week the American Library Association brings to our attention the value of libraries “in transforming lives and strengthening our communities.”  At the same time, the fear of one group of parents to accept the reality that humanity is much more diverse than straight and white is resulting in an unprecedented explosion in […]

Revised bill would require Alaska parents to approve students’ classes, textbooks and lessons

BY: - April 26, 2023

Parents of Alaska public school students would be required to OK every lesson taught by their child’s teacher under newly revised legislation approved Wednesday by the House Education Committee. Without permission, the student would be held out of field trips, extracurricular activities, and even basic lessons on algebra, biology and history. The revised bill also […]

An outdoor basketball hoop is seen in Bethel in October 2022. (Photo by Claire Stremple)

Alaska requires change to bar trans girls from girls teams, school sports head says

BY: - April 26, 2023

At the direction of the state’s governor-appointed board of education, the state’s high school sports association is poised to change its bylaws to exclude transgender girls from girls’ sports teams next week. But some state lawmakers and legal observers say the board is overstepping its authority. The change would divide contact sports into divisions based […]

Under the House Republicans' plan, at least 26 million students who are low income would see Title I funding levels for their schools drop, and more than 7 million students with disabilities would be affected by cuts in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said. (Photo provided by the U.S. Department of Education)

Biden administration warns U.S. House GOP debt limit bill would slash education 

BY: - April 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Tuesday said House Republicans’ debt limit proposal would cut vital education programs and harm vulnerable students across the U.S., such as those who are low income or have a disability. “It would be taking us backwards,” Cardona said on a call with reporters. U.S. House Speaker Kevin […]