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Alaska school districts

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K-12 Education in Alaska
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Michael Hanley
Number of students: 131,167[1]
Number of teachers: 8,088
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:16.2
Number of school districts: 54
Number of schools: 511
Graduation rate: 70%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $16,674[3]
See also
Alaska Department of Education
Alaska school districts
List of school districts in Alaska
Alaska
School boards portal
Policypedia
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Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Alaska
Glossary of education terms

Alaska is home to 511 schools, 54 districts and 131,167 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators

  • State Board of Education
    • Jim Merriner, Chair, Public-at-Large
    • Barbara A. Thompson, Public-at-Large
    • James K. Fields, REAA Representative
    • Kathleen R. Yarr, First Judicial District
    • Kenny Gallahorn, Second Judicial District
    • Esther J. Cox, Third Judicial District
    • Sue Hull, Fourth Judicial District

Statistics

The following tables display the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment, the top 10 school districts by per-pupil spending and the school districts deemed "highest performing" in the 2012-2013 school year, based on the state's Alaska School Performance Index. The 2012-2013 school year was the first year the Alaska School Performance Index was used to assess school performance.[5]

Highest performing schools,
2012-2013 (in alphabetical order)[6]
Aleutians East Borough School District
Anchorage School District
Denali Borough School District
Dillingham City School District
Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
Galena City School District
Haines Borough School District
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Kodiak Island Borough School District
Lake and Peninsula Borough School District
Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District
Nome City School District
Skagway City School District
Southeast Island School District
Wrangell School District
Yakutat School District

Student enrollment, 2011-2012[7]
1.) Anchorage School District
2.) Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District
3.) Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
4.) Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
5.) Juneau School District
6.) Lower Kuskokwim School District
7.) Galena City School District
8.) Kodiak Island Borough School District
9.) Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District
10.) Northwest Arctic Borough School District

Per-pupil spending, 2011-2012[8]
1.) Kashunamiut School District
2.) Southwest Region School District
3.) Bering Strait School District
4.) Aleutian Region School District
5.) Pelican City School District
6.) Pribilof School District
7.) Yupiit School District
8.) Kake City School District
9.) Northwest Arctic Borough School District
10.) Lake and Peninsula School District

Demographics

See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Alaska as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[9]

Demographic information for Alaska's K-12 public school system
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 30,770 23.46% 1.10%
Asian 8,065 6.15% 4.68%
African American 4,730 3.61% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students 2,904 2.21% 0.42%
Hispanic 8,147 6.21% 24.37%
White 66,704 50.85% 51.21%
Two or More 9,847 7.51% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

In the news

New standardized testing

In 2012, Alaska was excused from the federal No Child Left Behind Act, leaving it free to pursue its own way of monitoring student achievement. The Standards Based Assessments (SBA) were used statewide through the 2013-2014 school year, but moving forward, the state will be using a new standardized test. The SBA was based on Grade Level Expectations, estimating the degree to which third through ninth grade students had mastered the Academic Performance Standards for reading, writing and mathematics. The new standardized test will be given to students in grades three through 10, and it will be broken down into two parts: math and English language arts.[10][11]

The new standardized test was created by the Achievement and Assessment Institute at the University of Kansas and will be available for schools in both paper and computerized forms for the first two years it is implemented, starting in 2015. After that, the test will only be taken on computers. The push for a computerized test was a money-saving measure, but it also allows for test results to come back much quicker than when they are administered on paper.[10]

State law

School board composition

Alaska school board members are generally elected by residents of the school district, although, if there is a vacancy, members will be appointed to fill that seat for the remainder of the term. School boards can have between five and 11 members, and all serve three-year terms. Elections are staggered so that no school board will have all of its board members up for re-election at once.[12][13]

District types

Alaska has three types of school districts: borough school districts, city school districts and school districts in rural areas called Regional Educational Attendance Areas (REAA).[12][14]

Term limits

Alaska does not impose term limits on school board members statewide, but term limits can be imposed on a local level.[15]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: Alaska school board elections, 2014

A total of three Alaska school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment will hold elections in 2014 for seven seats. Elections are spread throughout the year, including one on April 1, one on October 7 and one on November 4, 2014.

Here are several quick facts about Alaska's school board elections in 2014:

The districts listed below served 80,570 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.[16] Click on the district names for more information on the district and its school board elections.

2014 Alaska School Board Elections
District Date Seats up for election Total board seats Student enrollment
Anchorage School District 4/1/2014 2 7 49,206
Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District 10/7/2014 2 7 17,079
Fairbanks North Star Borough School District 11/4/2014 3 7 14,285


Path to the ballot

To qualify as a school board candidate in Alaska, an individual must reside and be registered to vote in the school district they wish to represent.[17]

Campaign finance

Before campaigning in any way, candidates must file a letter of intent with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. This can be filed as early as 18 months prior to the election and is only needed if the candidate wishes to campaign before they are able to file a declaration of candidacy. Once the declaration of candidacy is filed, the letter of intent is no longer needed. With the declaration of candidacy, a public official financial disclosure statement may also need to be filed. This is left to the discretion of the municipal office. Within seven days of filing the declaration of candidacy, candidates must file a candidate registration to provide campaign contact information and designate a campaign committee and a campaign depository. If a candidate does not intend to receive contributions in excess of $5,000, including personal money, the candidate may file a municipal exemption statement with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, exempting them from needing to file any campaign finance reports. Candidates who are not exempt must file reports disclosing their campaign finances.[18]

See also

External links

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References

  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. State Education Data Profiles, "Alaska," accessed August 13, 2013
  5. News Miner, "Alaska releases school ratings under new ranking system," August 16, 2013
  6. State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, "2012-2013 Report Card to the Public," accessed July 8, 2014
  7. Alaska State Department of Education, "District Enrollment as of October 1, 2012," accessed August 14, 2013
  8. Homesurfer, "School District Ranking Report," accessed July 8, 2014
  9. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 Alaska Public Media, "Alaska's New Standardized Tests," June 17, 2014
  11. Anchorage School District, "Assessment and Evaluation: SBA," accessed July 7, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 State of Alaska Division of Elections, "Current REAA School Board Members," accessed July 8, 2014
  13. Alaska Division of Elections, "Regional Educational Attendance Area (REAA) Candidates," accessed July 8, 2014
  14. Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, "Alaska Public School Districts on the Internet," accessed July 8, 2014
  15. Peninsula Clarion, "ACT seeks term limit ruling," March 14, 2008
  16. National Center for Education Statistics, "Elementary/Secondary Information System," accessed March 21, 2014
  17. Alaska Division of Elections, "Qualifications for Holding Office," accessed July 8, 2014
  18. Alaska Public Offices Commission, "2014 Municipal Election," accessed July 8, 2014