Dear Neighbors,

As a father, former school board member, and State Representative, I have always judged public policy by its impacts on families and the future. I am convinced the State of Alaska must do more to support public education, especially early learning. That’s why I accepted the challenge last year of sponsoring the Alaska Reads Act

As I recently wrote in a commentary published in the Anchorage Daily News, the overarching goals of the Alaska Reads Act are to expand access to high-quality pre-kindergarten across the State of Alaska and support all children being able to read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade. This would be done by building upon Alaska’s already successful pre-K grant program and establishing a new evidence-based reading program to support Alaska’s lowest-performing schools. 

I introduced the Alaska Reads Act 10 months ago but in reality; I and others have been working on a reading and pre-K bill for many years. While the most recent work on the bill in the House Education Committee has been lengthy, it’s also been productive. The committee adopted several thoughtful amendments, including adding language to the bill affirming the right of students to learn to read in multiple languages. The committee also adopted an amendment increasing the number of struggling schools that can get direct help to implement a reading program for children in kindergarten through 3rd grade. And finally, the House Education Committee added language directing the State of Alaska to appropriate additional funding for each struggling reader in kindergarten through 3rd grade. This direct support to school districts will allow them to pay for the resources and materials needed to ensure children are reading at grade level by third grade. 

While it sometimes looks messy, I have great faith in the committee process to make well-intentioned legislation better. That faith was instilled in me by the late Representative Max Gruenberg whom I served with for the first seven years of my time in the Alaska House of Representatives. Max taught me the importance of working through the legislative process to make good laws and meaningful public policy. 

Despite the delays and criticisms, I appreciate the work the House Education Committee has put into the Alaska Reads Act to make the bill better. By working together, we can improve educational opportunities and outcomes for Alaska’s most precious resources, our children.

I’m here for you. I welcome your input and ideas. Call my office at (907) 465-2095 or send me an email to [email protected].

Warm regards,
The First 30 Days in Photos
Rep. Tuck speaking during the AFL-CIO Legislative Conference on February 1.
Rep. Tuck with representatives from plumbers and pipefitters unions across Alaska.
Rep. Tuck talking with fellow lawmakers during the February 14 House floor session.
Rep. Tuck with Miss America Emma Broyles from Anchorage.
Rep. Tuck addressing his colleagues on the House floor on February 4.
Rep. Tuck and Sen. Scott Kawasaki during a meeting with Paul Grossi and Harry Crawford with Iron Workers Local #751.
Rep. Tuck with former State Representative Mike Davis.
Rep. Tuck with Charlene Arneson, School Board President for the Chugach School District.
My name is Roselie Carroll, and I am a legislative intern in Rep. Chris Tuck's office. I’m a student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks studying tribal management. I was originally scheduled to graduate this spring, but I pushed back my graduation so that I could take advantage of this opportunity to learn how the laws and policies of the State of Alaska are shaped by the Alaska State Legislature. 

It's been an exciting and busy 30 days in Juneau. I’m learning how bills and resolutions are written and how they are changed through the legislative process. I’m also working to understand how the annual budget is developed, which will be very helpful when I graduate and start working for a tribe or non-profit organization.  

Thanks to Rep. Tuck, I was able to help pass House Resolution 10 on February 9. HR 10 proclaims March as Brain Injury Awareness Month in Alaska. I was thankful for the opportunity to work on this resolution because one of my family members has experienced brain injuries and I think it's important that we try and raise awareness about the ways to prevent and treat these injuries. 

I’m looking forward to the next 60 days as I learn how government works from my little corner cubicle right outside of the House floor. There is so much knowledge here in Juneau. It’s inspiring to see so many people working so hard on behalf of the people of Alaska.