Pleas made for and against dissolving homeschool Anchorage charter

The Anchorage School District wants to terminate the more than 25-year-old home school charter
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 8:21 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Questions loomed Monday over a long-running Anchorage charter school that could be drastically changed in the near future.

Family Partnership Charter School has been in operation for more than a quarter century, but it might be transitioned into an alternative correspondence school, according to the Anchorage School District.

At a near-packed Anchorage School Board meeting Monday, many voiced opinions on both sides of the issue.

Anchorage School District Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt wrote a memo to the board saying the Academic Policy Committee (APC) of Family Partnership, the homeschool charter, had “been engaged in repeated breaches of its charter and other unacceptable behavior.”

The committee says it agrees that there is significant board training that needs to happen.

In a counter-response to the district’s letter, the APC said it is deeply concerned by the allegations in the memo and believes there are “significant differences” over how people are thinking things happened.

There are more than 1,700 home-schooled students on the Family Partnership Charter, according to a former official there.

Many of those families voiced concern at Monday’s school board meeting, with worries about losing control over their charter.

Some testified that students in the charter system perform better than average in overall academics compared with the rest of the school district.

“It took two years to get started, 25 years to mature, and two weeks to dissolve,” David Cvancara said. Cvancara said he is against dissolving the school charter.

“Does this not sound suspicious?” Cvancara continued. “Family partnership, as previously said, has performed almost two times better than the average of district students at less cost. ASD has a $48 million deficit. Family Partnership is not to blame.”

While many testified against the dissolution of the charter, there were others at the meeting who explained why they agree with the district’s recommendation to terminate it.

“The APC has not done much business that helps or affects our families and ultimately, our students,” Shad Schoppert, a former member of the committee, said. “The APC has, instead, focused on adult issues while ignoring things that affect our children to the detriment of our school operation.”

Those that support dissolving Family Partnership claim that there have been conflicts of interest within the charter, among other reasons as well.

There were many more people making arguments to keep the charter Monday than there were people arguing to get rid of it.

There will be a vote on the future of the school on April 3.