HJR 13: Urging adoption of the Alaska recommendations for implementing the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 13 01 Urging adoption of the Alaska recommendations for implementing the No Child Left 02 Behind Act of 2001. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS the Alaska Legislature strongly supports the intent and goals of the No 05 Child Left Behind Act and is committed to implementing state and federal school reform 06 initiatives aimed at ensuring that all children meet state academic standards and benefit from 07 the promise of the No Child Left Behind Act; and 08 WHEREAS specific provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act do not consider the 09 specific needs of Alaska's rural, remote, and small enrollment schools; and 10 WHEREAS Alaska faces unique implementation issues caused by conditions that 11 include but are not limited to the following factors: 12 (1) of Alaska's 53 school districts, the largest five school districts enroll 70 13 percent of Alaska's students; 39 school districts each enroll less than one percent of the 14 student body; 15 (2) Alaska has a large number of very small schools, each with only a handful 16 of teachers; Alaska has 506 schools, and, of these schools, 135 have fewer than 50 students,
01 and 82 enroll 25 or fewer students; 20 percent of Alaska's total schools employ three or fewer 02 teachers; 03 (3) Alaska has a total student population of more than 134,358; of the total 04 student population, about 23.4 percent are Alaska Native students; with the addition of 1,968 05 American Indian students, the total Alaska Native/American Indian student enrollment is 24.8 06 percent of the total student body; Alaska has a tremendously diverse range of culture and 07 language in its communities and schools; in many villages, the Native indigenous language is 08 the primary language used, and paraprofessionals provide cultural and language assistance 09 that allows students greater opportunity to participate in classes; 10 (4) many of Alaska's rural school districts cover tens of thousands of square 11 miles, have few schools, and have no roads; for example, the North Slope Borough School 12 District has an enrollment of fewer than 2,200 students attending 10 schools that are not 13 connected by roads and are spread out over a district covering 88,000 square miles; if the 14 North Slope were an individual state, it would be the 12th largest state in the nation; 15 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully urges prompt 16 approval of the Alaska consolidated state application accountability workbook; and be it 17 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature asks the peer review team 18 of the United States Department of Education to take into account the uniqueness of Alaska 19 and its people; and be it 20 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the peer review 21 team of the United States Department of Education to thoughtfully consider the 22 implementation strategies recommended by the Alaska Department of Education and Early 23 Development in its application relating to (1) highly qualified teachers, (2) highly qualified 24 paraprofessionals, (3) English language assessment and Native language immersion, and (4) 25 choice and supplemental services, so that the children of Alaska may experience the full 26 benefits that the No Child Left Behind Act promises for each and every child in our state; and 27 be it 28 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature is committed to working 29 with Alaska's Congressional Delegation to effect responsible statutory amendments to the No 30 Child Left Behind Act that will enable Alaska to implement the No Child Left Behind Act if 31 the United States Department of Education does not approve the Alaska recommendations.
01 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable George W. Bush, President 02 of the United States; the Honorable Rod Paige, United States Secretary of Education; and to 03 the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the 04 Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.