Mat-Su Central, a correspondence program in the Mat-Su School District, is welcoming Anchorage-area families who are unhappy with the school district’s last-minute decision to clamp down on how families use correspondence allotments.
Last month, Anchorage announced that families are no longer allowed to use their allotments to offset the cost of full-time attendance at a private school. Under the new rules, public correspondence students in the Anchorage School District can only use “half or less” of their allotments for “part-time enrollment” at a private school.
Some of these students are abandoning the Anchorage School District entirely to join competing statewide correspondence programs, such as Mat-Su Central, which still allow students to use their educational funds while attending private schools full time. Students can reside anywhere in the state and join a statewide correspondence program.
While still the largest in the state, the Anchorage School District has been shrinking over the past few years, while the Mat-Su School District is growing.
The Watchman reached out to Mat-Su Central Principal Stacey McIntosh to see how the Anchorage restrictions are impacting her school. Below are her answers.
Q&A WITH MAT-SU CENTRAL PRINCIPAL
Can students who reside outside of the Mat-Su enroll in Mat-Su Central? Is it a statewide correspondence program?
We are a state-wide program, so yes families outside the Mat-Su can enroll with us.
How many students do you guys have enrolled who reside in the Anchorage/Eagle River area?
For the 2022-2023 school year, we had around 144 enrolled from ASD. Online registration/enrollment is still happening, and we will have a better idea of numbers after the start of this school year.
Are you seeing more people enroll from Anchorage after the Anchorage School District issued the memo restricting the use of correspondence allotments at private schools?
Mat-Su Central has seen more interest since the memo came out.
What options does Mat-Su Central provide for families who want to utilize their allotments for educational classes and services provided by private schools? Can you break down how students can use the funds at these private schools?
We vet the classes and curriculum that the private schools offer, and we do not reimburse for religious classes. The majority of what we reimburse to families is for extracurricular activities.
How many Mat-Su Central students dual enroll at a private school?
Last year we had 377 students enrolled in private schools both religious and non-religious.
What would you say to Anchorage parents who are looking for options in the wake of the new memo restricting the use of their allotments?
Mat-Su Central is a great option for families and we welcome folks to check out our website and learn more about us!