A board at the University of Alaska Anchorage Student Union, seen on Wednesday, holds hotices of employmnet opportunities. Industries throughout Alaska are coping with a decrease in the state's population of working-age adults. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska’s economy is recovering, but it is hampered by negative demographic trends

BY: - November 17, 2022

Alaska’s economy shows signs of prosperity. But it’s also facing an emerging crisis.  A veteran economist described these contradictory forces  in a presentation Wednesday at an industry conference in Anchorage. “We have the strangest and weirdest economy that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been following the economy for a long, long time,” Neal Fried of […]

A student texts on a cellphone in this stock photo. (Photo by Ariel Skelley/Getty Images)

Six GOP-led states win national injunction against Biden student debt relief plan

BY: - November 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Monday issued a nationwide injunction indefinitely blocking the Biden administration’s student debt relief program in response to a challenge by six GOP-led states. The unanimous ruling by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis came after the six states — Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and […]

A child's bike is parked on Wedesday at Abbott Loop Elementary School in Anchorage. (Photo by Yereth Rosen)

Anchorage schools will close on Election Day in response to elections officials’ request

BY: - November 3, 2022

Anchorage schools will be closed on Election Day, with students working from home because of a request from the Alaska Division of Elections, officials from both agencies said this week. Gail Fenumiai, director of the elections division, said the request was not related to security concerns. Elections officials in other states have received violent threats […]

The University of Alaska Anchorage sign, seen on May 29, stands at the eastern edge of campus. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

University of Alaska administration and faculty union reach tentative contract agreement

BY: - November 1, 2022

The University of Alaska’s administration and its faculty union reached a tentative agreement on a new contract Monday, ending 14 months of negotiations. The sometimes contentious process resulted in both parties filing unfair labor practice complaints, which are still ongoing. Faculty union president Abel Bult-Ito said he’s “relieved” negotiations are over, “but I don’t think […]

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

Alaska Supreme Court takes another look at security of university investment fund

BY: - November 1, 2022

The Alaska Supreme Court is taking a second look at a September decision on a new state law intended to protect the state Higher Education Investment Fund from being automatically drained under a provision of the Alaska Constitution. On Oct. 7, the Alaska Department of Law asked the court for a rehearing, effectively a do-over, […]

Demonstrators protest in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building as two cases challenging affirmative action were being argued inside, Oct. 31, 2022. (Photo by Ariana Figueroa/States Newsroom)

U.S. Supreme Court justices cast doubt on affirmative action in college admissions

BY: - October 31, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority on Monday questioned the legality of race-conscious policies in college admissions, as the justices weighed two cases that could upend the admissions process many colleges use to try to boost diversity on campus.  At issue are two cases that challenge the lawfulness of affirmative action at Harvard […]

The four candidates for Alaska governor are seen in this composite image. From left to right are Republican incumbent Gov. Mike Dunleavy, independent former Gov. Bill Walker, Democratic candidate Les Gara, and Republican candidate Charlie Pierce. (Photo composite)

Here’s where Alaska’s governor candidates stand on the state’s growing child care problem

BY: - October 29, 2022

The cost of preschool child care is a growing problem in Alaska, one of 33 states where the annual cost of day care exceeds the cost of college tuition. Here, the University of Alaska Fairbanks charges $9,870 per year; the latest available estimates of child care costs predate the COVID-19 pandemic and range between $10,000 […]

An empty hallway at Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé in Juneau, Alaska, on July 20, 2022. (Photo by Lisa Phu/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska students stay steady in reading but decline in math since pre-pandemic, says national assessment

BY: - October 24, 2022

Math scores were down this year for students in Alaska from pre-pandemic 2019, according to results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress released Monday. The change in math scores mirrored a trend seen across the country.  Reading scores, on the other hand, for Alaska students stayed about the same. The national average score declines […]

Former ‘Into the Wild’ bus now considered an ‘American treasure’

BY: - October 21, 2022

The National Park Service and the Institute of Museum and Library Services has donated $500,000 to the University of Alaska Museum of the North to help preserve the former Fairbanks transit bus that served as the setting for the book and film “Into the Wild.” The grant was announced Wednesday by the University of Alaska […]

Student loan borrowers stage a rally Aug. 25, 2022, in front of the White House to celebrate President Biden canceling student debt and to begin the fight to cancel any remaining debt. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We the 45m)

Biden student debt forgiveness plan on temporary hold after appeals court ruling

BY: and - October 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Friday temporarily blocked the Biden administration from carrying out its student loan forgiveness plan, until the court makes a determination on a request for an injunction brought by six Republican-led states, according to multiple media reports. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is giving the Biden administration […]

The front of Abbott Loop Elementary School in Anchorage is seen on Wednesday. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Confronting rising bills and flat state funding, Alaska schools say they are at a fiscal cliff

BY: and - October 21, 2022

This week, the Anchorage School District announced that it is considering the closure of six elementary schools amid a projected $68 million budget shortfall. Anchorage isn’t the only district facing a major fiscal problem. At the end of the last school year, Fairbanks closed three schools. In Juneau, the school board is considering whether to […]

A student texts on a cellphone in this stock photo. (Photo by Ariel Skelley/Getty Images)

The student debt relief application is live: Here’s what you need to know

BY: - October 17, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Monday that student loan borrowers can begin to apply for debt relief through a new online application. Biden said the application is easy and fast. It will allow every borrower with an income of $125,000 or less ($250,000 for married couples) to have up to $10,000 in debt forgiven, […]