Allotments for Alaska Homeschoolers
Alaska is an incredibly supportive state when it comes to homeschooling. One option for homeschoolers is to enroll in a state funded correspondence program. There are 35 state funded correspondence programs in Alaska that provide support to homeschool students.
When you decide to homeschool your child in Alaska, the state sets aside a fund for that student in the form of an annual allotment.
What’s covered by the homeschool allotment?
This can vary depending on the program. Most programs will allow allotment (or partial allotment) funds to be used to help cover items related to the student’s education including, but not limited to, curriculum, books/textbooks, school supplies, technology, tutors, classes/instruction/lessons and extracurricular activities (physical education/art/music).
How much is the annual allotment?
Allotments may vary greatly depending on the program. The amounts are based on the student’s age and the number of courses the student will be taking during the projected school year. Four courses is considered full-time enrollment. Depending on those factors, and depending on the program, allotments range from $500-$4000 annually per student.
Why do allotment amounts vary so much among correspondence programs?
There are many factors. If a homeschool program has a smaller student to teacher ratio, the allotment per student may be smaller. Whereas, more students in a particular program may mean more state funding and a higher allotment per student. Another factor is overhead costs for the correspondence program and what is needed to run the program/their offices.
Should I enroll with the program that offers the highest allotment?
To some Alaskan homeschoolers, the allotment amount is very important and the biggest reason they will choose a particular program. Meanwhile, some longtime Alaskan homeschoolers will recommend considering more than the dollar amount and choose a program that best fits your family.
There are pros & cons to every homeschool correspondence program in Alaska. Some are larger which means more students per contact teacher. Some are smaller and have a lower student/teacher ratio. Some correspondence programs offer weekly & monthly classes and/or programs for their students and parents. Some programs offer an internet stipend in addition to the allotment.
All correspondence programs will have different rules, but each program must comply with state regulations. Some of those state regulations include:
- Creating an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) for each student
- An ILP is submitted in the Fall & outlines which courses, topics and curricular materials the student will use/need for the school year
- Monthly communication between student and/or parent with a designated contact teacher
- Submitting quarterly reviews (some programs require “work samples”) for each course listed on the student’s ILP
- Submitting progress reports/report cards twice a year for each course listed on the student’s ILP
Does my homeschooled child have to participate in state testing to receive an allotment?
While testing is greatly encouraged by the state and correspondence programs, the answer is no. Children can opt out of state testing and not be penalized.
Can I use my student’s allotment for religious curriculum?
The answer is no. While homeschoolers in Alaska are allowed to use religious curriculum, state funds can NOT be used to purchase/fund religious curriculum.
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