Senators Joe Paskvan, Dennis Egan, and Gary Stevens during the closeout hearing of the Senate Finance DEED Subcommittee, March 20, 2012
This blog contains highlights from the Alaska Education Update. The update is issued daily during session and contains detailed summaries of education issues under consideration by the Alaska State Legislature. If there is a hearing on a Monday, a report will, with few exceptions, be released by Tuesday morning. There is also a weekly edition of the update. During interim, reports are issued only when there has been action. Interim action may include hearings, bill signings, the release of the Governor's proposed budget for the next fiscal year, and other items that may be of interest to the education community.

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Friday, December 31, 2010

A Guide to Special Education Advocacy

I came across A Guide to Special Education Advocacy, by Matthew Cohen by chance on the new books shelf at the Mendenhall Valley Library here in Juneau. It has detailed up-to-date information on the 2004 reauthorization of IDEA and the IDEA 2006 regulations. This book should be very helpful to any parent trying to advocate for their child, as well as classroom and special education teachers and administrators because of the detailed information on federal regulations regarding IDEA and Section 504, with specific CFR citations.

The book also contains a comparison of Section 504 plans versus IDEA 2004.  It dispels the idea that Section 504 is only applicable to students with health issues, and explains when one is preferable to the other. "Each law has advantages for children with disabilities depending on the circumstances of the child, the school, and the particular issue. At the most general level, IDEA is more likely to be of use to children who require a greater intensity of specialized instructional services and/or related services, who have more complex needs, and/or when there is a greater need for specificity in planning for the child, protecting the child’s procedural rights, or holding the school accountable regarding issues of implementation. By contrast, Section 504 is typically of greater utility if the child’s needs are less complex, if the child has a disability that does not qualify him or her for special education, or when the child needs only accommodations, as opposed to special education" (p. 236).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

27th Alaska State Legislature, House & Senate Leadership, Chairmen, Finance Committee Members

House Leadership
Speaker: Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski
Majority Leader: Alan Austerman, R-Kodiak
Majority Whip: Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell
Bush Caucus: Reggie Joule, D-Kotzebue
Minority Leader: Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau
Minority Whip: Berta Gardner, D-Anchorage
Minority Floor Leader: Max Gruenberg, D-Anchorage

House Standing Committees
Community & Regional Affairs: Cathy Muñoz, R-Juneau
Education: Alan Dick, R-Stony River
Finance Co-Chairmen: Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak/Mat-Su (Capital Budget) & Bill Thomas, R-Haines (Operating Budget); Other Members: Anna Fairclough, R-Eagle River (Vice-Chair); Reggie Joule, D-Kotzebue; Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham; Mark Neuman, R-Mat-Su Valley; Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole; Mia Costello, R-Anchorage; Mike Doogan, D-Anchorage; Les Gara, D-Anchorage; David Guttenberg, D-Fairbanks
Health & Social Services: Wes Keller, R-Wasilla
Judiciary: Carl Gatto, R-Palmer
Labor & Commerce: Kurt Olson, R-Soldotna
Resources Co-Chairmen: Paul Seaton, R-Homer & Eric Feige, R-Chickaloon
Rules: Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage
State Affairs: Bob Lynn, R-Anchorage
Transportation: Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell

House Special & Joint Committees
Administrative Regulation Review: Kurt Olson, R-Soldotna
Economic Development, Trade, & Tourism: Bob Herron, D-Bethel
Energy Co-Chairmen: Neal Foster, D-Nome & Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage
Fisheries: Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks
Joint Armed Services House Co-Chairman: Dan Saddler, R-Anchorage
Legislative Budget & Audit Committee: Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage
Legislative Council Vice-Chairman: Bob Herren, D-Bethel
Military & Veterans' Affairs Co-Chairmen: Dan Sadler, R-Anchorage & Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks

Senate Leadership
President: Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak
Majority Leader: Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage
Minority Leader: Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla

Senate Standing Committees
Community & Regional Affairs: Donny Olson, D-Nome
Education Co-Chairmen: Joe Thomas, D-Fairbanks & Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage
Finance Co-Chairmen: Bert Stedman, R-Sitka (Capital Budget) & Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel (Operating Budget) (Other Finance Committee members are Donny Olson, D-Nome; Joe Thomas, D-Fairbanks; Johnny Ellis, D-Anchorage; Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorge; & Dennis Egan, D-Juneau)
Health & Social Services: Bettye Davis, D-Anchorage
Judiciary: Hollis French, D-Anchorage
Labor & Commerce: Dennis Egan, D-Juneau
Resources Co-Chairmen: Joe Paskvan, D-Fairbanks & Tom Wagoner, R-Kenai
Rules: Johnny Ellis, D-Anchorage
State Affairs: Bill Wielechowski
Transportation: Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon

Senate Special & Joint Committees
Joint Armed Services: Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage
Legislative Council: Linda Menard, R-Wasilla
World Trade: Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak