The bill would amend the Child Sexual Abuse Awareness and Prevention Act of 1965 and define standards sexual abuse awareness and prevention programs must meet to qualify for funding.
The bill requires the program’s curriculum “be based upon an assessment of objective data” in order to improve student safety and health, and to strengthen parent and community engagement. The program must also consider input from teachers, principals, school leaders and parents.
Programs funded by the grant would be required to undergo a periodic third-party evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the program. Schools would be required to use the results of the evaluation to improve their program.
The final clause in the bill prohibits the federal government from mandating, directing or controlling the programs developed by local schools.
The Alaska Legislature passed a version of Erin’s Law — the Alaska Safe Children’s Act — last month during a special session. The bill was first introduced during the 2014 session by Rep. Geran Tarr of Anchorage. The bill died in committee, but was reintroduced in 2015 by Republicans and Democrats from the House and Senate.
U.S. Senate Bill 1665 was released just as Congress was breaking for the Fourth of July. Spokespersons for Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young all said the lawmakers were looking forward to reviewing the bill.
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, are sponsoring the bill.
- Cold, gray winter may be settling on Juneau, but kids at Riverbend and Glacier Valley elementary schools are still talking about the rainbow of fruits and vegetables they helped grow this summer.
- Hilcorp Energy Company began exploring for natural gas and oil this fall in an Anchor Point neighborhood where many own their mineral rights. Some residents near the drill site have struggled to get information from the company.
- Watch the 2018 Alaska Folk Festival guest artist perform a song from their Canadian Folk Music Award-winning album, "Sweet Old Religion."
- Gov. Mike Dunleavy hosted an open house at the governor’s mansion Tuesday. The event was an opportunity for Juneauites to meet the governor and first lady in their home, as well as sample a few cookies.