Coalition for Education Equity Update – 1/18/17

In this update: New website, Facebook, and email contact information; Legislative update; Educator Quality & Quantity; New Member; Spike Jorgensen Scholarship; new discussions and resources on Ed Connector

Coalition for Education Equity has a new home!

Find us at our new website: and on Facebook:

Please add our new email addresses to your contacts list so you don’t miss any of our updates:

The 30th Session of the Alaska State Legislature begins

Our long-time government relations director, Tom Begich, was sworn in yesterday as a newly elected State Senator and while we're sorry to lose his expertise on our team, we are happy to have another ally for public education in the State Senate. To fill this role moving forward, we are pleased to announce that we have contracted with J and H Consulting (Reggie Joule and Christine Hess) to carry on our legislative program this session. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table and are a wonderful addition to our team. You can learn more about Chris and Reggie and see their first session update on our website (update is also attached to this email). Executive Director, Sarah Sledge, will also be in Juneau throughout the session.

Of note: the Senate Majority held their first press conference yesterday (1/17/17) and shared their intention to cut state operating expenses by $750 million over the next three years (5%, or $300 million in cuts this year). K-12 education and University of Alaska are among the four budget items they will be looking at for cuts. When asked if the foundation formula would be looked at, Senator Hoffman indicated that no specifics have been determined yet and would be considered in Senate Finance Committee. We’ll be watching this closely and keeping you aware of any developments.

Educator Quality and Quantity (EQQ)

Our consultants, Barbara Adams and Jerry Covey have been working with Executive Director Sarah Sledge and key partners across the state to determine next steps in fulfillment of the EQQ model: to consider systemic change, based in measurable outcomes, with culturally responsive action to Expand the Alaska grown workforce and to Train and Keep them.

One of the recommendations generated through the original EQQ report and shared statewide was to support districts in developing their own FEA (Future Educator of Alaska) programs, now called Educators Rising, in order to expand recruitment of an Alaska-grown educator workforce. EQQ, initiated and funded by the Coalition for Education Equity, shared the FEA Expansion plan with school boards, superintendents and principals throughout 2016, while also connecting with University of Alaska FEA program staff to ensure alignment. Currently, according to Dr. Steve Atwater, Associate Vice President for K-12 Outreach at UA, the Anchorage School District is the first to start their own program, which will pay teachers to teach courses in education through CTE funding via Perkins. A connection to the national organization, Educators Rising, provides the opportunity for districts and UA programs to collaborate. Lower Kuskokwim and Northwest Arctic Borough school districts have also implemented Education Career Pathways through on-site and distance delivery models and incorporating FEA exploration to generate interest in education careers. We’ll share more in a future update.

Welcome to New Member GCI!

We are pleased to welcome GCI as a new corporate member of Coalition for Education Equity! They will be represented on our board by Dr. Pam Lloyd, Vice President of GCI Education. We are thrilled to have Pam’s voice and education experience on our board and look forward to having her insight and input regarding technology access and connectivity for our schools. Welcome Pam and GCI!

Spike Jorgensen Scholarship – Applications are open

Applications are now open for our 2017 Spike Jorgensen Scholarship. Students from our member school districts are eligible for $1,000 per year for up to four years. Application deadline for new applicants is March 28, 2017. To download the Scholarship poster and application, please visit our Scholarship page. Please share with your school administrators, counselors, and teachers!

What’s new on Ed Connector

This month inside Ed Connector, district administrators are talking about:

·      Marijuana Policies

·      Sample RFPs for External Auditing Services.

Some of the newly added resources include:

·      A report on the impact of using Permanent Fund earnings to help pay for public services, and specifically, how elimination of PFDs would affect poor Alaskans;

·      “Closing the College Gap: A Roadmap to Postsecondary Readiness & Attainment” – a recent report from Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University

See our full update.

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