Gov. Mike Dunleavy is highlighting the many choices Alaskans have when it comes to educating children, whether that be private or public schools, charter programs, religious options or state or privately funded homeschooling.

In observance of National School Choice Week (Jan. 22-28), the governor issued a proclamation in support of these educational options across the state.

“We must exercise creativity in providing a multitude of excellent educational options for parents to choose from due to our state’s unique geographical challenges,” Dunleavy said, “because offering educational variety creates ways to diversify and enhance the vibrancy of our communities.”

In addition to traditional standard public schools, thousands of Alaska children are now educated in more than 30 public charter schools and 30 publicly funded home-school programs like IDEA or Raven Correspondence. Alaska also has about 60 private or religious schools according to Private School Review, which compiles lists of private schools across the nation. Thousands of other Alaskan children are educated through independent home-schooling, which is not publicly funded.

Over the past two years, many families were forced to homeschool due to school closures in the wake of COVID. In many cases, however, parents have chosen to continue home or private schooling as a permanent option.

The rise in alternative education comes at a time when Alaska’s public schools are continuing to perform poorly in national surveys and tests.

Dunleavy noted that educational alternatives are needed to “ensure that students are provided with the education they deserve and the support they need to stay on track in their educational careers.”

He added that there needs to be continued public awareness about the options open to students.

Nationally, School Choice Week is celebrated each year to raise awareness and encourage support for family access to educational choices. The National School Choice Week (NSCW) website notes that the annual celebration includes “tens of thousands of independent events” aimed at raising public awareness of options available to parents as they seek the best educational route for their children. Started in 2011, NSCW is now “the world’s largest annual celebration of opportunity in education,” the website notes.

“When we launched National School Choice Week in 2011, we endeavored to build an effort that spotlighted all types of schools equally, without criticizing or favoring any one option, said NSCW President Andrew Campanella. “We count thousands of traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online schools, and homeschool groups among our participants. We also pledged to be non-political, non-partisan, and relentlessly positive in our work to promote effective education options for children.”

Campanella said school choice is more personal than political.

“School choice is not about a government entity, or an organization, or an expert declaring that one type of school works best for all kids,” he said. “Instead, school choice means letting millions of moms and dads make millions of individual decisions, for their individual children, about the schools and learning environments that best meet their children’s needs.”

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Governor highlights school choice options for Alaska students

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Neil DeWitt says:

    This is a great article. Now anyway to get Anchorage school district and the school board along with the Anchorage assembly to read it? Maybe someone could read it to them all. In the past I’ve read or heard how parents get shut down or ask to leave because they are speaking up on tge way education is being given/done and they don’t agree. I always thought the child belonged to the parent. It’s tge parents job to ensure said child gets a good education. Anchorage school district thinks the child is their’s and pushes WOKE, LGBTQ+, and other crap on our kids and look where it has gotten us! We’re on the bottom of the list. It’s time instead of POLITICS running our schools tge parents are allowed to get involved again. The school district is either to political or not smart enough to see they are going in the wrong direction. Look at Anchorage streets and the balloon in homeless. It’s all because of failed policies by the liberal run assembly. ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Wow this is rare! Dunleavy being Desantis like!
    Now show us some more by revealing why you and your administration are still promoting the death culture along with its shot? The sooner the better Mike, this subject is not going away and you are being hung by your resistance to respond and your stupidity!

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    I would be leary of having my children attending any federally-funded school these days. With the LGBTQ+++ movement trying to make progress here in Alaska, you might be giving your unspoken consent to your child(ren) being indoctrinated with the LGBTQ+++ propaganda if you send them to public schools. Schools need to be willing to allow parent volunteers in classrooms all day or have cameras with audio in the classrooms.

  • Mayo says:

    This is the first step toward the government paying for faith-based schools. Predominantly Christian. Then what? Christian invasion of things secular? A Christian Nationalist movement? A theocracy just like Iran? NO THANKS!

    • Karl C says:

      Well well well didn’t we just go 0-100 immediately. But you’re ok with government funding for marxist indoctrination, right? What’s wrong with parents choosing where their children go to school? We all pay for the school system regardless…

      • Mayo says:

        Public schools are best cuz they teach science, which is how he world works. Faith-based schools teach the supernatural, which is fun, but not real.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Mayo, you apparently do not know ANYTHING about the variety of schools available and what their curriculum entail!