Homeschool Archives - Alaska Watchman
 

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On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that states cannot prohibit tuition grants or scholarships to private religious schools if they award the same grants to secular private schools. The court’s ruling dealt with a state scholarship program in Montana which banned the use of taxpayer funds at religious or sectarian schools. The high court noted that states have the right to decide whether to fund private schools, but if they do, they...

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In the wake of COVID-19, it appears the number of homeschool students may double in the Mat-Su Borough, which is home to the state’s second largest school district. Speaking to the Mat-Su School Board on May 20, Superintendent Monica Goyette said a recent survey by the district indicated that the number of parents who want to home educate next year will rise from 2% to 4%. The survey polled 4,939 parents around the Mat-Su Borough....

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An anti-homeschool summit that was scheduled for next month at Harvard Law School has reportedly been cancelled. According to one of the invited speakers, the controversial event was scratched due to COVID-19 concerns. Calls and emails to Harvard to confirm the cancellation were not returned, but the event was by invitation only. The Coalition for Responsible Home Education, which was scheduled to present at the conference, posted a notice stating that the event “is no...

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Much has been said about Alaskan student test scores lately. We now hold the honor of being dead last in literacy rates. That’s right, Alaska holds the red lantern of literacy as measured in the 4th and 8th grade. It’s time to have an honest conversation about education. Many people I know are teachers, whose pay and benefits have not kept up with the rest of the country and whose class sizes are 50% larger...

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Battle hardened educational bureaucrats finally pushed aside Fairbanks parents and concerned community members to force through a curriculum that weaves leftist ideology, multiculturalism and the LGBTQ agenda into area classrooms. In the end, the deck was always stacked against the conservative leaning Alaska town. A clear majority of Fairbanks School Board members partnered with left-leaning district leadership and a small army of insider curriculum writers. This trio zealously locked arms to further dismantle traditional education...

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Parental rights advocates are concerned about an upcoming Harvard summit in June that includes nationally known figures who want homeschooling banned and/or heavily regulated by the state. One of the speakers is Dr. Barbara Knox, the new medical director of Alaska CARES, an Anchorage clinic that helps coordinate investigations of suspected child abuse. Run by Providence, the clinic sees about 1,000 children annually. The aim is to form a political strategy to undermine parental rights...

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Alaska’s high school graduates will be allowed to participate in small, heavily sanitized in-person graduation ceremonies under new COVID-19 health guidelines released from the state. An April 23 notice from the state’s Education Commissioner Michael Johnson lays out specific requirements for school district superintendents across Alaska. This includes virtual events and in-person ceremonies which could include drive-in or walk-through graduations. GUIDELINES FOR ALL EVENTS Groups of less than 20 people may meet with individuals maintaining...

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In response to COVID-19, Alaska took the unprecedented step of closing schools from mid-March until the end of the school year. Schools both in Alaska and around the nation are already discussing delayed starts for the coming school year, leaving many parents unable to plan, worried and wondering whether their child will receive the educational certainty every parent hopes for. My name is Daryl Bowers and I am the director of the IDEA Homeschool program....

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Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced April 9 that all of Alaska’s public and private K-12th grade schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year in order to protect students and the general public from the spread of COVID-19. Student learning will continue through distance and home education during this time. “The reason for this is we don’t know what this virus is going to do,” Dunleavy said during his daily press briefing....

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With COVID-19 shutting down all traditional public schools in Alaska, tens of thousands of parents have been thrust, almost overnight, into the role of home educators. According to leaders from some of the top state-run homeschool programs, many of these parents are pondering a permanent change. “We’ve seen some people who after a couple of weeks of doing this are like, ‘You know what, we could actually handle this. We never thought we could but...