Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt has been a national radio producer focusing on education for American Public Media since 2017. She has reported from the Arctic to the Antarctic for national and international media, and from Minnesota and Oregon for The Washington Post.

4 statewide measures on ballot, with 2 that would change state Constitution 

By: and - October 31, 2022

In November, Oregonians will vote on four measures affecting health care, criminal sentencing, gun safety and the ability of state lawmakers to stall legislation.  Two of the ballot measures would change the state’s Constitution, adding an amendment to make access to affordable health care a fundamental right and eliminating slavery and indentured servitude as acceptable […]

Oregonians favor environmental protection, candidates who will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, survey finds

By: - October 31, 2022

Most Oregonians would prioritize protecting the environment to spur economic growth, rather than rolling back environmental regulations on companies, according to a new survey.  Most also said they would vote for candidates in the November general election who are committed to reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.  About 1,500 adults participated between Sept. 13 to […]

Oregon natural gas providers raising residential rates up as much as 25% this fall

By: - October 27, 2022

Oregonians relying on natural gas for home heating and cooking will be paying significantly more this winter.  On Nov. 1, NW Natural, the state’s largest natural gas utility, will raise residential rates about 14%, and then another 11% in March, affecting about 600,000 people. Avista will increase gas rates for its 105,000 residential customers by […]

Race to represent Oregon’s new congressional district among state’s tightest, most heated

By: - October 25, 2022

The race to represent Oregon’s newest congressional district has become one of the closest and most embittered in the state.  Democrat Andrea Salinas and Republican Mike Erickson are running to represent Oregon’s 6th Congressional District while embroiled in a legal fight over a campaign commercial that could upend the results of the election. Erickson is […]

‘Nation’s report card’ shows Oregon students falling behind in reading and math

By: - October 25, 2022

Oregon’s fourth- and eighth-graders are falling behind in math and reading, according to the latest results of the National Assessment for Educational Progress.  Often referred to as the nation’s report card, the latest assessment released Monday, which tested fourth- and eighth-graders, confirmed what the Oregon Department of Education’s own assessments showed in September: that students […]

State Republicans bank on winning on education wedge issues: school choice, ‘parents’ rights’

By: - October 21, 2022

One thing that stuck out to Republican candidate Tracy Cramer in talking to voters in Woodburn, Gervais and Salem recently was how upset parents still felt about how K-12 education was handled during the pandemic.  She said they were frustrated with long school closures and concerned about some lessons overheard or seen in online classes. […]

Empty classroom

Student attendance, graduation rates down since pandemic, state analysis finds

By: - October 20, 2022

A new analysis of data from Oregon schools during the 2021-22 school year shows statewide school staffing levels are rebounding from pandemic declines, but on-time graduation rates have dropped and chronic absenteeism remains a problem. On Thursday, the Oregon Department of Education released its “At-A-Glance” profiles from the last school year, which provides the clearest […]

Oregon Chief Justice Martha Walters to retire at year’s end

By: - October 18, 2022

The head of the Oregon Supreme Court announced Wednesday she’ll retire at the end of the year.  Chief Justice Martha Walters, 72, has spent the last 16 years on the state’s highest court, and has been its leader for the last four. Walters is the first woman to serve as chief justice in Oregon. Her […]

Number of human-caused wildfires in Oregon down nearly 20%

By: - October 17, 2022

The 2022 wildfire season in Oregon has been among the mildest in the last decade, with human-caused fires down nearly 20% from the 10-year average, according to state data. Humans are the number one cause of wildfires in Oregon and across the country.  The Oregon Department of Forestry credits the decline to a wetter than […]

State’s first green hydrogen project could be among most expensive attempts to cut emissions

By: - October 12, 2022

A proposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by producing green hydrogen gas and blending it into natural gas for consumers in Eugene could come with record costs.  If approved, about 2,500 customers of NW Natural, the state’s largest natural gas utility, would begin receiving natural gas with 5% hydrogen gas by early 2024.  The company […]

Oregon cattle grazing

Feds give Oregon groups $100 million for sustainable farming, ranching, timber

By: - October 10, 2022

A $100 million infusion of federal money will help ranchers, farmers and loggers switch to practices that emit less greenhouse gases and capture more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Sept. 26 it would send two Portland-based nonprofit conservation groups, Sustainable Northwest and The Climate Trust, $50 million to work […]

Oregon governor signs pact with West Coast leaders to transition region to 100% clean electricity

By: - October 6, 2022

Three West Coast governors and a Canadian premier signed a pact to make the region the first on the continent to transition to 100% clean electricity and a low-carbon economy. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown joined California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and British Columbia Premier John Horgan in San Francisco on Thursday morning […]