At least 12 states allow students to enroll in public schools at least part-time. Alaska has one of the broadest policies in the nation, thus allowing many families to choose which educational opportunities are best for their children. Part-time public-school enrollment allows more students to get the education that best fits their unique needs and increases their future opportunities.
Policies that permit part-time enrollment in public schools allow students to enroll in one or more courses at a public school. In Alaska, children enrolled in a private school, a correspondence school, or homeschooled are all permitted by statute to enroll part-time in their district. In some states, such as Illinois and Maine, only private school students can participate in part-time public-school enrollment, while in Idaho, only charter school students can participate in part-time enrollment.
Additionally, non-public school students in Alaska are not restricted to a certain number or type of courses they can enroll in. Some states limit the number of courses part-time students can enroll in or restrict the options to either core or non-core academic courses. A homeschooled high school student in Alaska can join an electives course or take an AP class from their public school.
Part-time enrollment in public school is school choice because it gives families the ability to choose a flexible education for their children, depending on what works best for them. School choice recognizes that students have different sets of strengths, interests, and challenges, and part-time enrollment in public school offers one more way to provide educational opportunities to students who are homeschooled, in private school, or in a correspondence school.
One-size-fits-all education does not work for all students and keeps many from flourishing. Continued flexibility in school choice will help Alaskan students receive the education that best fits their needs and increase their quality of life in the future. Alaskans are known for their fierce independence and educational freedom—through policies such as part-time public-school enrollment—is one important way to continue supporting that independence.