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On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that states cannot prohibit tuition grants or scholarships to private religious schools if they award the same grants to secular private schools. The court’s ruling dealt with a state scholarship program in Montana which banned the use of taxpayer funds at religious or sectarian schools. The high court noted that states have the right to decide whether to fund private schools, but if they do, they...

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Alaska’s practice of letting boys compete as girls in high school sports could jeopardize its federal education funding. The U.S. Department of Education said the practice of Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and several Connecticut public schools, which allow males who identify as females to compete in girl’s athletics, disadvantages females and denies them equal opportunities. The Education Department issued a letter of impending enforcement noting that the Connecticut athletic conference as well as several area...

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In the wake of COVID-19, it appears the number of homeschool students may double in the Mat-Su Borough, which is home to the state’s second largest school district. Speaking to the Mat-Su School Board on May 20, Superintendent Monica Goyette said a recent survey by the district indicated that the number of parents who want to home educate next year will rise from 2% to 4%. The survey polled 4,939 parents around the Mat-Su Borough....

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After three hours of call-in public testimony, including name-calling, half-truths and some thoughtful insights, the Mat-Su Borough School Board gaveled out of its May 6 meeting at 10 p.m. National interest in the meeting arose based on a false report that the school board had “banned” five modern American classics from an elective high school English class at its April 22 meeting. In reality the board merely pulled the titles from the class’ “recommended” reading...

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The following statement was issued by the Mat-Su School Board on May 6 to address controversy and misunderstanding surrounding its decision to remove five books from a “recommended” reading list in a high school English elective class. The school board convenes again tonight (May 6) and is slated to address this matter during its public meeting. BOARD STATEMENT Prior to April 22, 2020 there existed no adopted High School English Electives course curriculum. A proposed...

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Alaska’s second largest school district is about to announce the top finalists in its search for a new superintendent who will oversee 46 schools and the education of 19,000 students. The Mat-Su School Board hopes to announce their leading two or three candidates later this week. “Because they are in charge of overall operations for the district, they are pivotal,” School Board President Thomas Bergey said on May 5. “Who they place under them directly...

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There’s nothing like national media coverage over a local controversy to liven up a school board meeting in Alaska. In the wake of the Mat-Su Borough School Board’s April 22 decision to pull five controversial books from the list of recommended reading in an elective high school English class, board president Thomas Bergey expects robust and passionate public comment at the May 6 meeting. “I’m hoping for a lot of public testimony – the good,...

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The Mat-Su School Board made national news a few days ago for its decision to remove 5 modern American classics from the list of required reading in an elective English class offered within the school district. All five are relatively famous titles like “The Great Gatsby,” “Catch 22,” and “Invisible Man,” among others. The mainstream media, literally frothing at the mouth, cast the school board decision as a modern-day book-burning by a bunch of redneck...

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Much has been said about Alaskan student test scores lately. We now hold the honor of being dead last in literacy rates. That’s right, Alaska holds the red lantern of literacy as measured in the 4th and 8th grade. It’s time to have an honest conversation about education. Many people I know are teachers, whose pay and benefits have not kept up with the rest of the country and whose class sizes are 50% larger...

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Battle hardened educational bureaucrats finally pushed aside Fairbanks parents and concerned community members to force through a curriculum that weaves leftist ideology, multiculturalism and the LGBTQ agenda into area classrooms. In the end, the deck was always stacked against the conservative leaning Alaska town. A clear majority of Fairbanks School Board members partnered with left-leaning district leadership and a small army of insider curriculum writers. This trio zealously locked arms to further dismantle traditional education...