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


UAA Center for Alaska Education Policy Research

Diane Hirshberg of the UAA Center for Education Policy Research gave a presentation to the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, February 20.  She provided two documents to the committee:



1979 Supreme Court Decision in Sheldon Jackson College vs. State of Alaska

In close to half a dozen legislative hearings so far this year, legislators have questioned whether Alaska Performance Scholarship awards for students attending private postsecondary institutions are constitutional under Article IIV of the Alaska Constitution.  The Alaska Supreme Court identified four items in the 1979 Sheldon Jackson College vs. State of Alaska case:


Dunleavy Says Major Education Legislation is in the Works

Senators Mike Dunleavy & John Coghill, and Press Secretary Carolyn Kuckertz during Tuesday's Senate Majority press conference

Senators Mike Dunleavy, John Coghill, and Anna Fairclough answered questions Tuesday, February 12, 2013 during a Senate Majority press conference.  In regard to the issue raised by Dr. Herb Schroeder in his presentation Monday to the House and Senate Education Committees, that credit for ANSEP courses was not always being given to students by the school districts in which they were enrolled, Sen. Fairclough said she met with Anchorage School District Superintendent Jim Browder over the interim, and she is working on legislation addressing dual enrollment and allowing high school students to earn college credits.  She said there could be a large cost to the legislation, but they will be looking at the transferability of credits.  She said that legislation might not be introduced until next year.

In response to the same question, Sen. Dunleavy said...


Dept. of Education & Early Development Annual Report, 2013

Attached is the Dept. of Education & Early Development's annual report for 2013, which State Board Chair Jim Merriner presented to the House and Senate Education Committees on Friday, February 8, 2013.



State of Alaska will probably show municipal PERS/TRS liabilities as a state liability

Probably the most noteworthy tidbit to come out of the Senate Finance Committee hearing from Tuesday, Jauary 29, was OMB Director Karen Rehfeld’s statement in response to a question from Sen. Hoffman.  Sen. Hoffman asked if there is any plan by the administration to address the issue raised by the new GASB (Governmental Accounting Standards Board) rule requiring local governments to declare PERS and TRS liabilities on their balance sheets.  Ms. Rehfeld said...


Highlights from the First Week of Session

The Alaska Education Update for the first week of session includes: 

From Tuesday, January 15, 2013:

A report on the house and senate floor sessions, and the house majority and minority press conferences

From Wednesday, January 16, 2013:

A detailed report of the Senate Education hearing on the new teacher evaluation regulations: Commissioner Hanley stated during the hearing that they will eventually need more funding to implement the regulations, but at this point they have grant funding to get the process started.