Alaska’s various correspondence school programs help families meet the unique educational needs of their children in a variety of ways. In January 2023, however, a lawsuit was filed challenging the correspondence program policy of allowing families to spend some of the money on private educational options. Concerned parents, with help from the public-interest law firm, Institute for Justice, (IJ), have intervened to defend this program in court.

On April 13, the Alaska Policy Forum is hosting a free public webinar with and IJ attorneys Kirby West and David Hodges for a presentation and Q&A about the pending case against Alaska’s correspondence programs.

Currently, Alaska families with students enrolled in an approved state correspondence program can use their child’s annual allotment to homeschool and/or pay for private instruction, including non-religious classes or services provided by private schools. These allotments are roughly between $2,000 and $4,000 annually, depending on the program.

Many parents choose this route as a way to avoid struggling public schools, and to ensure their children receive a quality education.

The National Education Association-funded lawsuit aims to bar families from using their allotments for non-religious educational services or expenses at private or religious schools.

Given that many Alaskans are worried about this legal threat, the main purpose of the April 13 webinar is to let families ask questions of the attorneys. The webinar begins at 7 p.m. Click here to guarantee a spot in the upcoming conversation.

About the guest speakers


Kirby West is an attorney at the Institute for Justice. Before joining IJ in 2018, Kirby was a litigation associate at Baker Botts LLP. She clerked for Judge Dennis Shedd of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Kirby earned her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 2015. While at Harvard, she served as the Articles Editor for the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. Between her first and second years of law school, Kirby clerked at IJ’s Texas office.


David Hodges is an attorney on IJ’s Educational Choice Team. David defends educational choice programs in court and heads IJ’s efforts to enact educational choice laws. He was also a member of the IJ team that successfully argued the landmark educational choice case Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue before the United States Supreme Court. Prior to joining IJ, David cofounded the Governor’s STEM Scholars, an educational nonprofit program, and worked for Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer. Following law school, he worked at the law firm Winston & Strawn.

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Attorneys to field questions on lawsuit against Alaska’s homeschool allotment program

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.


  • Friend of Humanity says:

    NEA absolutely needs to be broken up and made obsolete. This is a taste of what it will be like if the People go along with the central bank digital currency program that O’biden is pushing. You will only be able to spend money on what the government approves.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      The majority of the plaintiffs sound like they are Alaskan Natives and one that is Alaskan Native or married to an Alaskan Native. How interesting that NEA and other groups are really pulling the Alaskan Natives into this evil whirlpool. The Alaskan Natives let themselves be brainwashed into thinking that they are the victims. They do not understand that this whole life from, at least, 1920 onward has been about an evil little group taking over the world and the evil little group just needs minions to do their dirty work. I pray that the Alaskan Natives from around Alaska see what is happening here and speak out against this lawsuit and other happenings around the state.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    This is strictly for a laugh! ‘Homeschoolers are “socially awkward”…oh really…

  • BackcountryBoy says:

    I can’t say I’m surprised that the NEA would do this, nor am I upset. It seems quite unfair that government-funded “homeschoolers” get thousands of dollars per kid for private educational opportunities that government-funded public schoolers don’t. I know many public school families that despise government-funded “homeschool” families because of this very thing! This is one of the reasons that our family independently homeschools – so that no one can tell us what to teach, what tests to take, or how to use our money. Signing up for a correspondence “homeschool” program is ultimately taking money from someone else through taxation, all while having government-set controls on how you use that money. That never ends well. The best path forward for all concerned Christian or conservative parents is to remove and separate their children from public education entirely and place their children in private schools of their choosing (and paying) OR independently homeschool them completely free from the government’s watchful eye.

    • Lobo says:

      The problems were amplified back in the early 50s when the schools eagerly accepted federal dollars (taxpayer dollars).., and then the federal government declared that it had total authority over the operations of the schools, since they accepted federal “taxpayer dollars”.. If one is homeschooling, they should get the benefits that would have alternatively gone to the public schools to finance “their” children’s education.. That is what the taxpayer dollars are supposed to be financing anyway.. their educational costs… So, the government isn’t actually financing ..(funding).. homeschoolers.. We, the taxpayers are funding the public schools,.. even if we never had a child to begin with.. But, I do agree. Christians, and/or conservatives….Get your children out the public ..(indoctrination center)..schools.

    • Kristin McBride says:

      Yes, because only families who are wealthy or can afford to have a parent stay home to educate their children should be allowed the privilege of having their children avoid the indoctrination and brain washing happening in the public schools.

    • Kristin Truett says:

      Yes, only parents who are wealthy enough to either pay thousands of dollars out of pocket in tuition or have one parent stay home to educate their children deserve to have their children avoid the indoctrination and brainwashing that takes place in the public schools.

  • J says:

    If the parents and programs weren’t loosely interpreting “dual enrollment” to include correspondence schools offsetting the cost of full-time private & religious school enrollment, the law suit wouldn’t exist. What better way for the “school choice” proponents to push their agenda. When one entity controls all the options, there is no choice just an illusion of choice.

  • yeahright says:

    No parent should be forced to send their kids into the toilet of the public school system. Why should ONLY the kids of wealthy entertainers, politicians, and CEOs get to have a quality, privately administered education? Let parents use the money we’ve long wasted on the failing public school system at a private school of their choosing instead. There’s your Democracy.

  • Ruth Ewig says:

    The NEA and Librarians, and other unions (AFL-CIO) are the unelected thugs running the country. They are the “Trojan Horse” for Marxist (anti-god) curriculum full of lies and treachery that hides under a continuous number of revolving names, ever so many names: Cancel Culture-Woke Curriculum-People for the American Way (PAW)-LGBTQ+BLM-Antifa. School Choice in some form will hopefully remove their power. Right to Work Laws success would remove the unions flow of money from their members because of closed agency shop requirements. Keep praying.