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Alaska approves public funding for private education to support independent schools.

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The Alaska Department of Justice said on Monday that homeschooling students could use public funds to attend one or two classes in a private school, but not for most of their private school tuition. announced.

In the opinion on page 19, using public funds for private school lessons may be legal through state programs that students pay to attend correspondence or homeschooling.

“But I think it’s when you start entering the unconstitutional territory that you seem to be sending your child to a private school and getting a state subsidy,” said the deputy prosecutor. Said President Collimils.

There was an opinion that public funds could be used for individual materials and services from private schools as long as they support public distance learning. However, Mills said in a media briefing Monday afternoon that “it is very likely that it is unconstitutional to spend public money, especially to pay most or all of the full-time tuition fees for private schools.” rice field.

In opinion, “using quotas for one or two classes to support public school programs is likely to be constitutional, but public to pay most or all of private school tuition. It is illegal to use school quotas. “

School districts in Alaska can set up state-funded public correspondence schools for families who choose to homeschool their children. Communication programs can provide what is called an assignment program. The program reimburses students for their educational needs, including books, classes, school supplies, technology support, tutoring, music, and activity lessons.

Alaska law allows families to purchase non-denominational services and materials from public, private, or religious groups and provides correspondence student assignments, but the Alaska Constitution states: I am. Private educational institution. “

to keep balance

Mills said the core analysis of the opinion provides guidance on “balancing.”

“The act of balancing is intended to really replace certain expenditures of public funding with public education, or to encourage private education over public education with the support of public funding. It’s about deciding what you’re doing, “she said.

For example, “Private tutoring, public or private university courses, extracurricular lessons or sports, certain materials that meet the requirements of an assignment program, etc., all, if any, may have incidental benefits to a private school. It’s very likely that it’s constitutional, “Mills said.

In contrast, in opinion, “using student quotas to pay tuition for students educated full-time in private institutions is very unlikely to survive a constitutional scrutiny. Probably. “

Mills said the facts of each student’s situation are important in determining whether assignments are being used properly. For example, the answers to the following questions: What are the specific classes you are paid for? How do they meet the statutory requirements? How is your study plan set up? What do public school teachers say about how this meets the requirements of public education?

Mills added: A district that is trying to provide access to a private school. “

Judicial disqualification of the Attorney General

In mid-May, Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor’s wife, Jodi Taylor, announced her plans to seek a refund of up to $ 8,000 from public funds for her two children attending Anchorage Private School on the Alaska Policy Forum website. Published on the site. Published on several Alaska news sites and blogs. On May 21, Attorney General Taylor withdrew from all issues related to correspondence school assignments and delegated the review to Mills.

The editorial raised questions to the Ministry of Justice, but Mr Mills said the Ministry of Justice has assisted the Ministry of Education’s Early Development in interpreting how to implement communication allocation programs since its enactment in 2014.

“What happened in the last few years, and earlier this summer, could be helpful to have the opinion of a formal Attorney General who can provide guidance to both the (education) department and the school district. It was revealed that there was, Mills said.

To help conclude his opinion, Mills looked at the minutes of the Alaska Constitutional Assembly to see what the constitutional framework was saying.

“At the heart of it, I really believe that Framer was interested in replacing public education with private education. That was their concern,” Mills said. “It is different from using some private school resources to support or complement public education.”

“At the heart of it, I really believe that Framer was interested in replacing public education with private education. That was their concern.”

– Alaska Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Cori Mills

Mills said it was an opinion that the Ministry of Education, early faculties, and school districts with correspondence school programs would refer to when implementing the program.

In response to the Ministry of Justice’s opinion, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Education and the Early Ministry said, “We are considering the opinion from the Ministry of Justice, working with the district to ensure legal compliance, and permitting communications. Only used to refund things. ” cost. “

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