Archive for the ‘Issues’ Category

In Education, is it Size or Performance that Matters?

There has been much discussion recently about education funding for some of the smaller schools in Alaska.  Most of this discussion has focused on whether or not small rural schools are viable and worth the cost.  We believe the discussion should be reframed so that the question is, “Which schools...
November 18th, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

Six Ways Alaska Can Improve Student Outcomes Without More Funding

by Bob Griffin There  has been a lot of banter and finger pointing over the last few days over the very disappointing state AMP test scores that were recently released by the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development.  Here are the statewide results for All Grades in English Language Arts...
November 11th, 2015 | Education, Recent News | Read More

Audio: The Failed Experiment of Pension Bonding

In 2008, the Alaska Legislature passed House Bill 13, which authorized the selling of bonds (debt) for investment to fill the $10 billion pension gap in PERS/TRS. But Steve Malanga from the Manhattan Institute says pension bonding is an idea that has been attempted in other states with some terrible...
November 4th, 2015 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More

Direct Primary Care: The Hidden Nugget in the Affordable Care Act

Anyone remember Marcus Welby, MD? Think about your most recent visit to your health care provider. Does visiting your doctor seem more like a factory production line than the type of relationship that Dr. Welby had with his patients? Well, Dr. Welby is making a comeback. And this time he also has an...
October 30th, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

Education Dollars to Fund Elections! Say it Ain’t so

We think this is so important that we copied it from another blog, 147 Degrees West.  Should Alaska’s education funds go to pay for elections?  Absolutely not.  This blog has been edited for brevity.   At the end of this article there is an email to which you can provide your comments to the...
October 26th, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

Governor Walker Using Public School Students to Promote Political Agenda

When Governor Walker issued a press release on October 15th that stated “Governor Walker applauds effort to bring budget challenge to the classroom”, we had to ask what was the motivation for this.  Is this a purely educational effort or is it a political ploy to spread the gospel of the...
October 19th, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

Alaska Media–Messaging or Reporting?

Dan Fagan recently wrote a candid article on the philosophy of the Alaska Dispatch News and its impact on public policy.  We may not agree with all his comments but it does shine a light on the “what” is happening in Alaska and the “why” it is being done.  We congratulate Mr....
October 11th, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

Should Public School Funds be Used for Education?

by David Nees Sometimes the simplest question has the most revealing answer. The State School Board met in Sitka from Sept 16-19. It had the usual tour of Mt. Edgecumbe School, the only one it operates as a Board.  Then it got down to the usual regulatory business. The Board had a number of big interest...
September 27th, 2015 | Education, Policy | Read More

Permanent Fund Dividend of $2072! Careful How You Spend it, the Government is Watching

Governor Walker just announced that this year’s PFD will be $2,072.  It’s another Christmas in October which really stimulates the economy.  But don’t spend it all right away because you may want some to help pay for Medicaid expansion.  You may also want to stash some away for the...
September 21st, 2015 | Economics | Read More

Breaking News-Arctic Getting Warmer, November 1922!

Check this out.  A news article from 1922 about global warming in Alaska.  Click on the picture to enlarge it to be readable.              
August 31st, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

The Legal Issues on Expanding Medicaid in Alaska

In a Forbes article dated August 4, 2015, Josh Archambault and Jonathan Ingram discuss the legal box that Governor Walker is in regarding his efforts to expand Medicaid without going through the legislative process.  The governor is required to get the legislature’s OK before Alaska takes any...
August 4th, 2015 | Medicare/Medicaid, Recent News | Read More

Alaska’s Current Medicaid Program Fraught With Waste and May Take Your PFD to Fix it

It’s just money so why should we worry?  In case you haven’t seen it, the sworn affidavit of Margaret Brodie, program director of Medicaid in Alaska’s DHSS, has astounding facts regarding the broken current Medicaid system.  For those who believe this is a partisan problem, most of...
July 30th, 2015 | Health Care, Medicare/Medicaid | Read More

Alaska Seniors Squeezed to the Back of the Bus by Medicaid

The University of Alaska’s Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) completed a study titled “Improving Health Care Access for Older Alaskans” in June 2010.  This study was authored by Mark A. Foster and Rosyland Frazier.  The report addresses the current status of access...
July 10th, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

Did You Do This on July 4th?

In Alaska, we prize our summers and especially our weekends due to the long dark winters.  Many of us recreate in Alaska’s vast wilderness.  Others work in their gardens, play with their kids, and just get outdoors to enjoy the weather.  Did anyone discuss the merits of Obamacare during the...
July 7th, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

Republican Legislative Leaders Explain Use of Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve Account

  May 28, 2015 Dear Alaskan: As you are aware, Alaska is facing tough financial times. The price of oil has dropped nearly fifty percent from this time last year – posing a dramatic decrease in revenue and creating the largest deficit we have seen in our young state’s history. Some may call...
May 29th, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

Memorial Day-We Shall Never Forget

“Out of Mind” by Paul Beston, City Journal The separation between civilians and the military makes Memorial Day somber in unintended ways. May 22, 2015           Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images Earlier this month, six Marines died in a helicopter crash in Nepal,...
May 24th, 2015 | Recent News | Read More