Schools ignoring Pledge of Allegiance may be topic at work session prior to Monday’s Anchorage School Board meeting


The lone conservative on the Anchorage School Board, former State Sen. Dave Donley, has done site visits to two schools and found that, in defiance of School District policy, the Pledge of Allegiance is no longer being recited at the start of the school day.

Donley hopes to bring up this matter to light during the work session that precedes the Monday meeting of the Anchorage School Board. The work session may be attended by the public, and is held at the ASD Education Center, Boardroom, 5530 E. Northern Lights Blvd.

The work session starts at 4 pm, with the regular board meeting beginning at 6 pm. The regular board meeting will begin with an executive session, to which the public is not invited.

The school board is limiting the number of people who may attend the meetings due to Covid-19 mitigation protocols, but the meeting may be watched online at

During the regular meeting that begins after the executive session, a capital bond that will be presented to voters next year will be reviewed. In the six-year plan the board will consider is construction for new schools to replace two aging elementary schools.

The board is looking at a two-year bond propositions for April 2022, April 2024, and April 2026. Two-year bonds enable better planning, the superintendent noted, which leads to increased efficiencies and reduced costs to the district given that contractors will have greater certainty of fund availability. 

East High School Academic Area Safety Improvements project is scheduled in year one, the design of which was previously funded in the April 2018 ballot proposition.  

Years two through six include replacement of two elementary schools, including tearing down and replacing Inlet View Elementary, and renovations for two secondary schools. Allocations are also included for deferred maintenance and security projects to address current backlog and growing facility sustainment.

The total cost of projects over the six-year period included in the proposed plan is about $278.3 million. Superintendent Deena Bishop Administration anticipates retiring nearly $236 million over this period for a projected net debt increase of $42.5 million.


  1. Really, is the Pledge of Allegiance the worst of our problems right now?

    And in regards to the proposed bonds for tearing down and building two new schools, how is it that buildings could be built in Medieval and Renaissance Europe many hundreds of years ago that are still in use today, and many currently inhabited houses in the USA are well over 100 years old and still going strong, yet we cannot build a school that lasts even 40 years? Something is wrong with this picture.

  2. “The board is looking at a two-year bond propositions for April 2022, April 2024, and April 2026. Two-year bonds enable better planning, the superintendent noted, which leads to increased efficiencies and reduced costs to the district given that contractors will have greater certainty of fund availability.” – Given that construction materials have risen to an all-time high since 2008, and there is a cargo backlog projected well into 2022, this sounds like a preposterous statement by the Superintendent. There will be no contractor “certainty” under any future conditions.

    From The Association of General Contractors noted that:
    Steel prices rose by 67%
    Brass and copper costs increased by 49%
    The price of aluminum jumped 20.5%
    Plastic construction materials—PVC piping, moisture barriers, vinyl siding, paints, adhesives—even went up more than 12%.
    What to Expect: Cost Increases

    The Associated General Contractors of America notes nearly a 20% rise in overall construction materials over the past year. While this number may stop you in your tracks, not all materials will see huge fluctuations in price at the same time. This unpredictability simply calls for a bit more time shopping around, waiting for the right material to come back in stock, or speaking with local contractors for advice about the current market.

    For example, prices may change quickly, even in the short time between receiving a quote from a contractor and accepting the offer. If a contractor needs to source a notoriously tricky material right now—like wood for new construction—the process may look slightly different than it did in the past.

    “The most significant unexpected change was the sharp increase in the price of lumber,” explains licensed general contractor and remodeling expert Bob Tschudi. “To stay on budget for the client and stay profitable, we check prices right before giving an estimate—and have shortened the time allowed for acceptance from 30 days to 15 days.”

    According to the NAHB, building a single-family home from scratch is about $36,000 higher this year simply due to the rise in lumber prices. Some contractors will include escalation clauses in contracts that protect builders in case materials increase above a certain rate during the process.
    What to Expect: Length of Backorders

    With the ever-changing nature of the pandemic and its effects on the economy, backorders will vary from weeks to months, depending on the material.

    The CEO of Florida Home Builders, Rusty Payton, noted that it now takes an average of 15 to 18 months to build a home from the ground up. Pre-pandemic, it took just about eight.

    Items that include a range of materials—such as appliances with wires, steel, and plastic all in one—may encounter the bottleneck effect. In other words, your dishwasher would be built and ready to ship if it weren’t for the holdup of essential parts across the country or even across the world.

    Tschudi details another example: “For a short period, there were no electrical boxes for switch and outlet rough-ins. And when trying to replace a door handle on a refrigerator that was manufactured outside of the U.S., we were told that the part would not be available for 6 to 9 months or longer.”

    These are figures for the home construction business. Can you imagine the effects on commercial construction contracts?

  3. Woo-hoo. Another meaningless issue to divide Alaskans and Americans. It will, no doubt, succeed in distracting citizens from real issues like lopsided taxation and economic and racial injustice and divide them against each other. Congratulations, Vlad Putin and your minions like Ms. Downing, you win! You destroyed the village in order to save it!

    • Sooooo, everything thing is going just fine. Other than, of course, the rich not paying enough taxes and white man is bad.

      Who is the one doing the distracting from the real issue here???

    • First it’s the pledge, what’s next? Sadly it’ll be to push the liberal progressive agenda into young children’s minds instead of reading , writing and arithmetic.

    • You and your kind loved Putie before he outlawed gay parades. He was your commie hero. What gives?

      If racial injustice is so prevalent in America, why does the 3rd world do anything to come here. Stop you fantasy stories…please!

      America – where everyone wants in and no one wants out.

      Get married to Greta T. and you both can sign kumbaya all day long…..lololololoo

    • Lopsided taxation, as in 2020 almost 60% of Americans did NOT pay ANY income tax at the end of the day….while the top 20% paid 78% of federal income tax per CNBC

      Economic justice like the basic universal income government “largess” that some erroneously think the PFD is, yet show me the Alaskan who can make it on $1100/year….?

      Your “real issues” are dividing Americans, put them in a box and group them not by their individual accomplishment, but by your artificial level of perceived victim hood and your demand that they stay in that box.

      The Pledge unites us as a people, teaching it to our children shows respect to the nation that has given so many freedom and liberty to follow their dreams and talents.

  4. Other than Donley who is a shining beacon of hope, when you wonder why Alaska schools rank so poorly go no further than those six faces.
    They are the champions of failure and mediocrity.

  5. This city electing Higgins again after his dismal job previously. The Higgins grifters nursing the government tit.

    • How evil can people be to want religion in anything? Damn them and their evil ways to allow religion to destroy our morality. Cast out these evil people for mentioning God and goodness. We are much better off thinking each and every one of us are our own center of the universe and to hell with anyone believing in something greater than themselves.

      I feel sorry for you.

      • No matter who is the God in any religion, all religions have moral teachings.

        The Marxist want to replace morals with madness.

        • Aunt Dot: I wish you folks on the conservative side were more precise in your language. I wonder how confident you are in your understanding of Marxism? And technically Marxists do not want to replace morals with madness. They may have viewpoints you think are mad, but that’s not the same thing.

      • Sue: presumably T is non religious . It’s sensible to not want to swear a pledge to something you don’t believe in, right?

    • Sooooooo, how do you like your paychecks? With or without the words “In God We Trust”?

      Seriously, if you’re going to draw a line in the sand at least have the guts to stand behind it.

  6. Unfortunately, too many people associate better results with a new facility. I would like to see the statistics. I would wager Anchorage has above-average facilities but we know the results are at the bottom. If that is the case why spend the money except that it fools the voters and parents.

  7. Heck, our assembly can’t or won’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance without omissions so this should not be a surprise. Let’s give them some more money. We are number one in the nation for that, at least.

  8. Dang, too bad! all the kids of the Anchorage School district, can’t be the Children of the Corn, movie.
    They all go zombie like, say the pledge, and then sit down, waiting on teachers.
    Was that a little harsh???

    • What’s harsh NC, is that you think patriotism and good behavior are cult-like and/or brainless behaviors.

      • Pledging allegiance to a flag has nothing to do with patriotism and yes you are cult like in trump over country. Otherwise you suck on all aspects

    • Can I assume you are self-educated? If so you did a fine job. My evidence? Your correct use of punctuation, capitalization, phrasing, pace… you know how to write. Well done.
      What? You’re not self-taught? You learned these qualities in school? These can’t be the same schools you’re railing against, can they? I mean, you call the schooling experience horrible.
      I’m sensing cognitive dissonance here. Sea kelp. Oh wait… homonyms. Seek help.

      • AV, why, I otter ….
        Anyway, your post is just a bunch of bull … kelp.
        Maybe you should just clam up?
        Sorry, I know I’m just being crabby. With all this rain, I just haven’t had the chance to get outside and exercise my mussels. I just hate being tide up indoors. It’s a beach.

  9. So… not teaching our future leaders to verbalize a pledge of allegiance to our flag and to these United States is not relevant? I think its dang relevant, how do you suppose we got this far in the foul ditch with mandates and socialistic style leaders as we are today? Incrementally, that’s how; the water heating up in the pan and the ignorant and sleepy frog(s) too hot now to jump to save his life. The little foxes have spoiled the vines for decades and we were too busy to notice. The pledge may not be the most important issue; I think of corruption in the voting process, our do-nothing governor, his advisors and the majority of the legislature as the most obvious. Doing NOTHING is beyond terrible when they have the authority to stand against nonsensical and tyrannical mandates and the advance of the global agenda. Now, ask me how I really feel and sign me Fed-up in Palmer! Fed up with current state leaders from the valley we used to be proud of before they moved to insulated Juneau.

  10. Even if the God reference were removed, I’d still not recite it. America is not indivisible; we are not one nation; and liberty and justice are not shared equally.

    • Indivisible in the effort to preserve freedom is not necessarily a unity in ideology. A team can look divided off the field in ideology, but when mission focused they come together to accomplish the task. That is the indivisible that is being referenced.
      We are one nation as any other nation that exist. Your self centered attitude and lack of being a productive, constructive member of society doesn’t change that.
      The justice system is as good as the people running it. This country has one of the best justice systems ever created, but our liberty has created a society of uneducated, lazy, ignorant, narcissistic, gluttonous, self gratifying people who fail to hold their leaders accountable so they can excuse their own sinful behavior by pointing their fingers at public figures as a justification to their own actions.

      • Geez Galt, all I did was express some personal observations. Not sure how you concluded that I am self-centered and not productive or constructive. I’m an atheist so I’m not a sinner; maybe that is upsetting. I do try to hold public officials accountable as I presume you do too, but find it frustrating and unproductive. I’m a patriot in my defensible way.

        • Sin is a transgression of Devine law. Atheists deny the existence of Divinity. Evan, you are a walking contradiction and patriotism as defined by you, from most of your comments, doesn’t have a foundation rooted in freedom.

    • So Evan, what in your opinion makes a patriotic American? Or a nation you could support and pledge allegiance to? Who is entitled to liberty and justice in that perfect nation you seem to want?

  11. AFH.: a patriot promotes community health and advancement through daily personal actions. A patriot obeys laws and gives more than takes. For example, delivering Meals on Wheels or donating to the food bank.

    • Evan, patriotism is love of one’s country; the passion which moves a person to serve his country, either in defending it from invasion or in protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institutions. Serving homeless and down-trodden has nothing to do with patriotism. Charitable actions are noble but not patriotic.

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