As a sparsely populated state, Alaska faces unique challenges in ensuring that all children can receive an education. To address this concern, the state created “correspondence programs,” in which a student’s public school used the post office or float planes to deliver lessons to students across the state and then pick up and grade assignments. In 1997, this law was broadened to allow parents more ability to design their children’s curriculum and receive reimbursement for certain educational expenses. Then, in 2014, the law was broadened even further to allow correspondence schools to reimburse parents if they chose to send their students to nonpublic schools.
In January 2023, a lawsuit was filed challenging the correspondence program. In response, the Institute for Justice teamed up with a group of Alaska families who benefit from the program to defend it against this lawsuit.