Update on Passed Legislation

Below is the current status of the education legislation passed this session:

HR 8 – Task Force on Sustainable Education: transmitted to the governor (no action required by governor on simple resolutions),


Education by Fiat - HB 197 assumes that students who can't read to grade level are mentally deficient

On Tuesday, April 2, 2013, Reps. Gabrielle LeDoux, Steve Thompson, Lora Reinbold, and Peggy Wilson introduced HB 197, requiring mandatory retention of third graders not proficient in reading on state assessments.


HB 151: School Grading Systems and School Improvement

On Wednesday, April 3, 2013 the House Education Committee spent two more hours on HB 151, and the more testimony I hear on the bill, the more it sounds like something that is certainly well-intentioned, but which confuses the issue of school grading with school improvement and would be unworkable for Alaska.  Rep. Paul Seaton, Rep. Peggy Wilson, and Rep. Dan Saddler all sounded pretty skeptical of the efficacy of HB 151, and they all made good points in their discussion of the bill.


April 1, 2013 Alaska Legislative Update

Members of the conference committee on the operating budget have now been appointed from both the house and senate, so the 24-hour rule is now in effect.  Conference committee members for both HB 65 and HB 66 are: Reps. Austerman, (chair), Stoltze, and Gara, and Sens. Kelly (chair), Meyer, and Hoffman. 


AASB Article Referenced in the Monday, March 25, 2013 AASB Press Conference

In Monday's press conference, AASB President Sue Hull referenced an article written by Kodiak Island Borough School District Superintendent Stewart McDonald about the situation school districts are currently facing.



The Guild System is Alive and Well in Alaska

During the Wednesday, March 13, 2013 House Education Committee hearing on HB 142, Galena Superintendent Chris Reitan said, regarding classes students take, that their boarding school requires four years each of English, math, science, and social studies.  Beyond that, there are elective requirements.  Most areas students focus on fall in to the elective category. He said it's impossible for a student who wants to get the number of hours required by the state for cosmetology, which is 1,650, to do all those hours and meet the other graduation requirements.  


House Finance DEED Subcommittee Budget Closeout

The House Finance Dept. of Education & Early Development Subcommittee held their budget closeout on Thursday.  The committee room scheduled for the hearing was far too small, with standing room only, and many people were turned away, including at least two legislators – Sen. Dunleavy and Rep.


Parental "Volunteer" Requirements at Alaska Charter Schools

I found the discussion during Monday's House Education Committee hearing about how “charter schools are so much better because of parental involvement, and how can we make other parents more involved – it would just solve much of the problems, and we can’t make it easier for parents to have their children attend charter schools by providing transportation, meals, and charter school facilities, because then the parents wouldn’t be as committed to making the charter schools successful” very difficult to listen to because of my personal experience with a charter school and the “volunteer” time