The legal group defending the rights of parents to use state educational allotments to purchase instructional courses and classes at private institutions has vowed to appeal an April 12 lower court decision to the Alaska Supreme Court.

On Friday, Alaska Superior Court Judge Adolf Zeman ruled that the state’s popular Correspondence School Program violates the Alaska Constitution. The parents who are defending the educational choice program, represented by the Institute for Justice (IJ), will appeal the ruling to the state’s highest court. 

“Friday’s decision is incredibly disappointing,” said IJ Attorney Kirby Thomas West. “In its opinion, the court ruled that a program that benefits families throughout the state violates the Alaska Constitution. The court completely ignored our strong claims that this incorrect reading of the Alaska Constitution puts it at odds with the protections of the United States Constitution.” 

A statement from the Institute for Justice notes that Alaska is a sparsely populated state that faces unique challenges in ensuring all students receive a quality education, and the correspondence school program was created to address these issues.

Since its creation, thousands of Alaska students have benefitted from the program,” the legal group noted, pointing out that in the early days of the program, local public schools would use the post office or float planes to send lessons and tests to students in the rural reaches of the state, and then pick the assignments up to grade them.

“In 1997, lawmakers expanded the program to allow parents to receive reimbursement for certain education supplies,” the statement added. “And in 2014, the law was broadened even further to allow correspondence schools to reimburse parents who choose a variety of alternative education options, including sending their students to nonpublic schools.”

Andrea Moceri, left, uses Alaska’s correspondence allotments to pay for her son to attend classes at Holy Rosary Academy in Anchorage.

“This program is vitally important to my family, and so many others across the state,” said Andrea Moceri, one of the parents working with IJ to defend the program. “I’m disappointed by the court’s decision, but we’re not giving up. We will appeal and continue to fight to ensure that my son, and every other Alaskan child, has access to the education that best fits his or her unique needs.”  

Like thousands of families across the state, Moceri uses the allotment program to pay for classes at a private school – Holy Rosary Academy in Anchorage, where her son has excelled academically.

“If Friday’s ruling is allowed to stand, parents throughout the Last Frontier will no longer be able to send their children to the schools that best meet their needs,” said IJ Educational Choice Attorney David Hodges. “We’re prepared to continue fighting for the rights of school children throughout Alaska.”

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Attorneys blast ‘incredibly disappointing’ ruling that guts Alaska’s correspondence 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.


  • John J Otness says:

    The bolshevik grip of total control tightens its noose.

  • ML, just common sense says:

    I couldn’t agree with John, more about this issue. I am pleased we are continuing the fight it to the higher court. Outside this issue but applicable on all issues is the need to address the power given to Judges, and to have more checks and balances on their behavior, and and making judgements on things really out side their scope of intended authority. Government need a reminder that it is “We the People” that govern our country, and that includes a broken judicial system.

  • Coliseum in the Snow says:

    Not surprisingly, similar cases are occurring across the country. Here’s an example from WI:

  • Jon and Ruth Ewig says:

    This shows all the more reason to have tuition tax credits and parents’ choice in education options with money allocated to the student. That gives freedom to Alaskan citizens. The Democrat judge is probably getting money to make this problem. The unions are powerful and oppose parents’ rights. They loses their stangle hold on the state of Alaka and on the country as a whole. Pray for our state and our country to remove the obstacles to students and families. Thank you, Lord, for attorneys who care to take on these challenges to freedom.

    • Sequoia says:


    • Betsy says:

      Its just a basic part of the Alaska Constitution. Just trying to relabel your plan a ‘tax credit’ or a ‘voucher’ or a ‘education stipend’ doesn’t change the fact that you are trying to take federal funds to pay into private schools. You aren’t fooling anyone. Alaskans don’t want federal funds to pay for private schools, period. It is you guys that are trying to terminate our Constitution 1 line at a time. Despicable.

  • SA says:

    The ruling in no way robs parents of their unquestioned right to choose their child’s education. The only difference is that families can no longer expect the public to fund education provided by private or religious institutions.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      We should apply this way of thinking to the funding of libraries books that teach children all sorts of inappropriate things that only a few adults, including yourself, want those children to learn. You and your “special” group should not receive public taxpayer library funding or support. You guys should have to fund your own sicko library and buy your own sicko books, then you can allow anyone in and teach them whatever you want on your dollar and not on the public taxpayer dollar.

      • David says:

        Drop your holier than thou act. If someone wanted private funds to pay for a private school that teaches kids that they should all do drag and have gay sex, you would be very against your tax money going to fund such a school. And no. Libraries don’t teach children specific things. Don’t be a moron. Libraries only function is to make a variety of books available for the public to read. A parent is perfectly capable of keeping their child out of libraries if they don’t want their children to read its books. Claiming a library teaches children EVERYTHING that their books includes means them having the Bible and Quran and Torah teaches them to mutilate animals, rape women and kill infidels and babies. But you probably didn’t think about that.

    • Sammy says:

      funds could only be used on non-sectarian classes or activities at the religious or private school. plus kids were getting superior education while saving local school districts money. they still got funding for the student enrolled but don’t actually have to educate them, the stipend was way below what district received for the child.

  • Debi Kirchner says:

    I would have thought that homeschooling was in our state long before public schools. Alaska has always been big on “grandfather “ rights so couldn’t this be an issue?

  • jon says:

    Public funds should not be used for private schools.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Public funds should not be used for purchasing and storing books in public libraries that teach children how to be sexual.

  • Tell the Truth says:

    1) Homeschoolers, private and charter school parents are part of “the public.” Therefore to say that “the public” doesn’t want funding to go for their educational needs is a lie. “The public” most definitely wants the money to be spent to better the education of their children. 2) So called “public funds” in the public schools is already being used to fund indoctrinated RELIGIOUS beliefs of evolution, LGBTQ+ ideology, religious beliefs of infanticide (abortion), etc. People who argue against funding being used for private or religious education demand that our property tax dollars, sales taxes, and other taxes (which become public funds) be used to propulgate their religious beliefs. They fiercely fight against funding religious beliefs that are contrary to or that expose the lies of their indoctrinated religious beliefs.