Author

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. She previously worked in Iceland and Qatar and was a Fulbright scholar in Spain where she earned a master's degree in digital media. She's been a kayaking guide in Alaska, farmed on four continents and worked the night shift at several bakeries to support her reporting along the way.

Oregon joins states offering free and reduced college tuition for Native Americans this year

By: - August 25, 2022

Members of Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes can attend the state’s public universities and community colleges practically free this school year, and members of federally recognized tribes from around the country will be eligible for in-state tuition at the school’s two largest universities.  In May, the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission rolled out a grant […]

Oregon groups get $11 million boost from feds to protect threatened species, support reforestation

By: - August 24, 2022

Oregon’s threatened fish, sage grouse and forests recovering from wildfires are among the beneficiaries of millions in federal dollars from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The agency announced Aug. 18 that four groups working on conservation projects across the state would receive $11 million to complete projects that will improve water quality, fish migration, grouse […]

Oregonians in dozens of counties, cities will vote on psilocybin bans in November

By: - August 23, 2022

Oregonians in 57 cities and 26 of the state’s 36 counties will vote in November on banning or postponing psilocybin treatment centers and the production of psilocybin products in their areas. Psilocybin was first approved by state voters in 2020 with almost 56% of the vote supporting Measure 109. The vote made Oregon the first […]

Schools hope to overcome staff shortages with millions in wage, bonus incentives

By: - August 23, 2022

Districts plan on spending millions of dollars in state and federal funds to pay teachers higher salaries and offer hiring and retention bonuses to fully staff schools by Sept. 1. Nearly all of Oregon’s 219 school districts and education service districts have applied for a portion of $100 million allocated by the state Legislature this […]

Beleaguered Oregon water pollution committee gains new leadership amid scrutiny

By: - August 18, 2022

For 25 years, a volunteer committee of crop and livestock farmers, state and university scientists, local elected officials and business leaders has met to solve an intractable problem of nitrate pollution in the drinking water of hundreds of residents in Morrow and Umatilla counties.  And for 25 years, the problem has grown worse.  Since Morrow […]

Insurance rates will not rise due to new Oregon wildfire risk map, state regulators say

By: - August 15, 2022

Concerns that a new map showing wildfire risks across Oregon will lead to property insurance hikes are unfounded, state financial regulators said Friday.  Insurers have not filed the paperwork to raise rates for high-risk properties and have told officials at the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, which regulates property insurance, they do not […]

Health care professionals call for federal help addressing Oregon’s youth mental health crisis

By: - August 12, 2022

Oregon’s mental health professionals for young people are frustrated. At a roundtable discussion on Thursday, medical providers and representatives from a tribal health agency and Portland Public Schools expressed frustration that public and private health insurance plans have left many youth untreated.  They called for an expansion of the mental health care workforce in schools, […]

Feds give Oregon cities, environmentalists $1.8 million to tackle toxic waste in Columbia River

By: - August 11, 2022

The federal government is giving $1.8 million to Oregon to tackle toxic waste that is sickening fish in the Columbia River.  The grant was announced Wednesday by Environmental Protection Agency officials as well as state, local and tribal leaders in Portland along the banks of the river. The money will go to environmentalists, researchers and […]

Oregon schools lean heavily on emergency teachers, including untrained ones

By: - August 10, 2022

Struggling with staffing shortages exacerbated by the pandemic, Oregon schools leaned heavily last year on teachers who received emergency licenses from the state.  During the 2021-22 school year, districts employed 438 emergency licensed teachers, up from 181 the year prior and a low of 134 five years ago, according to data from the Teacher Standards […]

U.S. Senate bill seen as big win for Oregon

By: - August 9, 2022

Clean energy developers, farmers, ranchers, forest and home owners in Oregon are slated to get hundreds of millions of dollars in grants, tax credits and incentives from legislation that passed the U.S. Senate this weekend.  The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, an umbrella name for a climate and energy package that includes provisions for health […]

Oregon schools need billions to close funding gap, education commission says

By: - August 8, 2022

To meet state education goals, Oregon schools are going to need more money from the Legislature, a new analysis finds. Every two years, the Education Quality Commission estimates the funding required to operate “a system of highly-effective schools” in the state and recommends a budget to the governor and the Legislature.  For the 2023-25 biennium, […]

State on track to meet 2035 greenhouse gas reduction targets, forecast finds

By: - August 6, 2022

At least 14 of Oregon’s climate change policies are on track to meet the state’s goals, according to a new analysis by environmental consultants. The analysis indicates the state is likely to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions to 45% below 1990 levels by 2035, a goal established by Gov. Kate Brown’s 2020 executive order on […]