Alaskan Schools Should Consider Charter Status
This article in the New York Times explores the plight of Alaska’s rural public school districts. These schools serve only a handful of students, and to survive, they have to try to convince families to move into homes within their boundaries. One district advertised on Craigslist.
Few parents are eager to move to remote parts of Alaska, so the districts are in for a struggle if they stick to that strategy. Here’s a better idea: These districts could convert to charter schools, like the district in rural Oregon that reopened as a charter. The Alaskan districts wouldn’t be able to physically bring in many new students to class every day — the bus ride would be too long. But they could enroll additional students online. The districts could continue to hold classes in person, while conducting parallel lessons over the Internet for students who live far away.