Alaska school districts
|K-12 Education in Alaska|
|State Superintendent: Michael Hanley|
|Number of students: 131,167|
|Number of teachers: 8,088|
|Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:16.2|
|Number of school districts: 54|
|Number of schools: 511|
|Graduation rate: 70%|
|Per-pupil spending: $16,674|
|Alaska Department of Education|
Alaska school districts
List of school districts in Alaska
School boards portal
|Education policy project|
|Public education in the United States |
Public education in Alaska
Glossary of education terms
- 1 Quick facts
- 2 In the news
- 3 State law
- 4 School board elections
- 5 See also
- 6 External links
- 7 References
Alaska is home to 511 schools, 54 districts and 131,167 K-12 students.
State school administrators
- Commissioner of Education: Michael Hanley
- State Board of Education and Early Development:
- 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
Enrollment and per-pupil spending
The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment and per-pupil spending.
The following table displays the school districts deemed "highest performing" during 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.
The table below displays the number of teachers, the teacher-pupil ratio and the average teacher salary in Alaska from 2010 to 2014.
|School year||Number of teachers (including part-time)||Teacher-pupil ratio||Average teacher salary|
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.
|Demographic information for Alaska's K-12 public school system|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students||2,904||2.21%||0.42%|
|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.|
Enrollment by region type
The following list details the different regional types of schools in the state and the percentage of students who attended them during the 2011-2012 school year:
- City schools: 34.2 percent
- Suburban schools: 2.9 percent
- Town schools: 22.5 percent
- Rural schools: 40.4 percent
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.
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 more quickly than when they are administered on paper.
Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. As of 2014, Alaska had not adopted these standards.
Local 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.
Alaska has three types of school districts: borough school districts, city school districts and school districts in politically unorganized rural areas of the state called Regional Educational Attendance Areas (REAA). Of the state's 54 school districts, 15 are borough school districts, 20 are city school districts and 19 are REAAs.
Alaska does not impose term limits on school board members statewide, but term limits can be imposed on a local level.
School board elections
- See also: Alaska school board elections, 2014
A total of three Alaska school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment held elections in 2014 for seven seats. Elections were spread throughout the year, including one on April 1, 2014, and two on October 7, 2014.
Here are several quick facts about Alaska's school board elections in 2014:
- The largest school district by enrollment with an election in 2014 is Anchorage School District with 49,206 K-12 students.
- The smallest school district by enrollment with an election in 2014 is Fairbanks North Star Borough School District with 14,285 K-12 students.
- Anchorage School District has the most seats on the ballot in 2014 with four seats up for election.
- Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District has the fewest seats on the ballot in 2014 with two seats up for election.
The districts listed below served 80,570 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. 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|
|Fairbanks North Star Borough School District||10/7/2014||3||7||14,285|
|Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District||10/7/2014||2||7||17,079|
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. To get on the ballot, candidates must file a declaration of candidacy and pay a $25 filing fee in cash to their municipal election office during the candidate filing period.
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 the use of personal funds, the candidate may file a municipal exemption statement with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, which exempts them from needing to file any campaign finance reports. Candidates who are not exempt must file reports disclosing their campaign finances throughout their candidacy.
- School board elections portal
- United States school districts
- List of school districts in Alaska
- Alaska Department of Education and Early Development
- Public education in Alaska
- State of Alaska Division of Elections
- Alaska Department of Education and Early Development
- Association of Alaska School Boards
- Alaska Report Card to the Public
- Rolodex of Schools and Districts in Alaska
- National Education Association - Alaska
- National Center for Education Statistics school district search tool
- 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
- 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."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- State Education Data Profiles, "Alaska," accessed August 13, 2013
- Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, "Office of the Commissioner," accessed July 29, 2014
- Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, "State Board of Education & Early Development," accessed July 29, 2014
- Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, "District Enrollment as of October 1, 2012," accessed August 14, 2013
- Homesurfer, "School District Ranking Report," accessed July 8, 2014
- News Miner, "Alaska releases school ratings under new ranking system," August 16, 2013
- Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, "2012-2013 Report Card to the Public," accessed July 8, 2014
- Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, "Quick Facts," accessed July 29, 2014
- 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
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Selected Statistics from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2011-2012: Table 4," accessed July 29, 2014
- Alaska Public Media, "Alaska's New Standardized Tests," June 17, 2014
- Anchorage School District, "Assessment and Evaluation: SBA," accessed July 7, 2014
- Common Core: State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State,” accessed July 12, 2014
- State of Alaska Division of Elections, "Current REAA School Board Members," accessed July 8, 2014
- State of Alaska Division of Elections, "Regional Educational Attendance Area (REAA) Candidates," accessed July 8, 2014
- Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, "Alaska Public School Districts on the Internet," accessed July 8, 2014
- Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)," accessed July 29, 2014
- Peninsula Clarion, "ACT seeks term limit ruling," March 14, 2008
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Elementary/Secondary Information System," accessed March 21, 2014
- State of Alaska Division of Elections, "Qualifications for Holding Office," accessed July 8, 2014
- Matanuska-Susitna Borough, "Election Information," accessed July 29, 2014
- Alaska Public Offices Commission, "2014 Municipal Election," accessed July 8, 2014
State of Alaska
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Comptroller | Commissioner of the Department of Revenue | Commissioner of Education | Director of Insurance | Director of Agriculture | Commissioner of Natural Resources | Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development | Regulatory Commission |
Alaska Department of Education and Early Development | Alaska school districts |