Private School Regulation
Registration/Licensing/Accreditation: The Alaska
Department of Education and Early Development is not authorized
to require the licensing of religious or other private schools. Alaska
Stat. § 14.07.020(10).
Private schools that elect to comply with Alaska Stat. § § 14.45.100-130
are considered "exempt schools", i.e. exempt from other state education
requirements. However, health and safety provisions apply equally to "exempt
and "non-exempt" private schools. Alaska Stat. § 14.45.100.
Under Alaskan law, the Department of Education and Early development has a
duty to accredit private schools that request accreditation and that meet accreditation
standards prescribed by regulation by the Department. Alaska Stat. § 14.07.020(10).
(In practice, Alaska does not accredit private schools and has not adopted
accreditation regulations, but has an informal agreement with the Northwest
Association of Schools and Colleges to provide accreditation to public and
private schools that request accreditation.)
Recordkeeping/Reports: An "exempt" school must maintain monthly
attendance records for each student enrolled. Alaska Stat. § 14.45.110(b). "Exempt" schools
must maintain permanent student records reflecting immunizations, physical
examinations, standardized testing, academic achievement, and courses taken.
The chief administrative officer must certify that the records are being maintained.
Alaska Stat. § 14.45.130. The Department does not collect reports from
private and/or religious schools.
"Non-exempt" private schools must make regular monthly attendance reports
and annual reports to the Commissioner of Education in the same manner as teachers
and superintendents in the public schools. Alaska Stat. § 14.45.030. "Exempt" schools
must make an annual report to the Commissioner of Education of the number of
students in each grade and the school calendar. Alaska Stat. § 14.45.110(b).
Parents/guardians of children attending "exempt" schools must file an annual
notice of enrollment with the local public school superintendent. The form
must be signed by the parent/guardian and chief administrative officer of the
exempt school and then submitted to the local public school superintendent
by the parent. If the child withdraws, the "exempt" school must notify the
public school superintendent within a reasonable time. Alaska Stat. § 14.45.110(a)
Length of School Year/Day: "Exempt" schools must operate
on a regular schedule excluding reasonable holidays and vacations during at
least 180 days of the year. Alaska Stat. § 14.45.110(b).
Non-exempt private schools must comply with the laws and regulations relating
to education. Alaska Stat. § 14.45.030. To satisfy the state compulsory
attendance requirement, students at non-exempt private schools must receive
an academic education comparable to the local public schools. Alaska Stat. § 14.30.010(b)(1).
A public school term must include not less than 180 days, unless approved by
the Commissioner. Alaska Stat. § 14.03.030.
Teacher Certification: "Non-exempt" private schools must
employ teachers certificated according to Alaska Stat. §§ 14.20.020;
Curriculum: Private education satisfies the Alaskan compulsory
school attendance law if the academic education provided is comparable to that
offered by the public schools in the area. Alaska Stat. § 14.30.010(b)(1).
"Exempt" schools must administer a nationally standardized test selected by
the chief administrative officer of the school to all students enrolled in
grades four, six, and eight at least once each school year. The test must measure
achievement in English grammar, reading, spelling and mathematics. The school
must maintain records of the results and make them available to parents/guardians.
Composite test results for the school must be made available annually to the
Alaskan Department of Education. These results are not public information unless
the public school is also required to release identical information. Alaskan
Stat. § 14.45.120
Safety: The Alaskan Department of Education and Early Development
has a duty to prescribe by regulation standards to assure healthful and safe
conditions in the private schools. Standards for private schools may not be
more stringent than those for public schools. Alaskan Stat. § 14.07.020(7).
Private schools must instruct pupils by means of drills to safely exit school
buildings in an emergency. Drills must be conducted once each month during
the school term, weather permitting. Alaska Stat. § 14.03.140.
School teachers and school administrative staff members of private schools
who in the performance of their occupational duties have reasonable cause to
suspect that a child has suffered harm as a result of child abuse or neglect
must immediately report the harm to the Alaska Department of Education. A person
required to report child abuse or neglect to the Department is not relieved
of the obligation by notifying his supervisor of the harm. If the alleged abuse
occurred at a private school and was caused by a school employee, the law enforcement
agency will notify the chief administrator of the school. In the event the
allegation of abuse is against the chief administrator or his immediate family,
the agency will notify the Commissioner of Education. The notification must
set out the factual determination of the law enforcement agency. Alaska Stat. § 47.17.020(a)(2),
Transportation: The Alaskan Department of Education and Early
Development provides transportation for nonpublic school students who travel
comparable distances and the same routes as public school students. Alaska
Stat. § 14.09.020
Home Schooling: An annual assessment of the minimum course
of study must be completed. The minimum course of study is reading, writing,
use of numbers, citizenship, history, government, physical education, comprehensive
health education, English, natural science, and fine arts. Alaska Stat. §§ 166b;
The public school may allow home school students to use public school resources,
including taking courses at the public school. Home school students are not
issued diplomas unless they are enrolled in a correspondence course that provides
Home school students found to have a disability can continue to receive services
under an IEP while they are home schooled.
Public Aid for Private Schools/Private School Students: Private
schools and religious schools by definition do not receive direct state or
federal funding. Alaska Stat. § 14.45.200.
The Alaska Constitution provides "No money shall be paid from public funds
for the direct benefit of any religious or other private educational institution." Alaska
Constitution, Education, and Welfare, Art. VII, Sec.1.
The Alaska Constitution exempts property used exclusively for nonprofit religious,
charitable, or educational purposes from taxation. Alaska Constitution, Finance
and Taxation Art.IX, Sec. 1.
Miscellaneous: Private schools may apply for membership in
the Alaska School Activities Association, an association established to promote
and govern interscholastic activities. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 4, § 06.115.