HB 352 - an Act regarding Resource Development Curriculum
Before House Education (via teleconference)
Testimony provided by Marleanna Hall
April 2, 2012
My name is Marleanna Hall, I am a projects coordinator at the Resource Development Council. Good morning Chairman Dick and Members of the House Education Committee. In brief, RDC is a statewide business association with members in forestry, oil and gas, mining, tourism, fishing, all 12 Native regional corporations, and many others. Our mission is to grow Alaska through responsible resource development.
First, thank you to Representative Dick for introducing HB 352 – an Act regarding Resource Development Curriculum in Alaska’s schools.
RDC recognizes Section 8.1 of the Alaska State Constitution, [reading, “It is the policy of the State to encourage the settlement of its land and the development of its resources by making them available for maximum use consistent with the public interest.”]
RDC supports programs educating students on Alaska’s natural resources, and specifically on the responsible development of our resources. It is a policy of RDC to support programs, including Alaska Resource Education, to educate students and the general public on responsible resource development activities in Alaska.
You've already heard about ARE this morning, so I will not repeat details about their mission to educate students about Alaska's natural resources.
[The State of Alaska partners with Alaska Resource Education, formerly AMEREF, an education non-profit whose mission is to educate students about Alaska's natural resources. ARE offers educators across the state Resource Education Kits containing nearly $300 worth of materials to help provide students and teachers with balanced information about Alaska’s rich heritage of mineral, energy, and forest resources. These non-biased kits have been accepted by all 53 school districts, and are available at no cost to teachers. In addition, a free training is offered, when available, so that teachers are able to correctly utilize the materials in the kits.]
I would like to note, it is somewhat appalling that incorporating resource development in the curriculum isn’t mandated while conservation education is. Alaska’s education curriculum should include educating our students on activities related to and the responsible development of our natural resources. Future generations of Alaskans should have access to a firm foundation of our constitutional principals that guide our state, including multiple-use of resources and land along side conservation education. Thank you again Representative Dick for recognizing this shortcoming in Alaska’s curriculum, and for proposing HB 352, which will help provide more balance in educational curriculum in our public schools. In addition to my comments today, RDC will submit a formal letter of support. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
[ ] bracketed portions of testimony omitted to reduce redundancy of testimony
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