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State appeal of judge’s decision over homeschool reimbursement constitutionality could mean U.S. Supreme Court decision, educational dividend

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – Citing what he called the “unprecedented” nature of an Anchorage Superior Court judge’s ruling last week that said it’s unconstitutional to use public money to reimburse parents and guardians of children in private or religious schools, Gov. Mike Dunleavy said a planned state appeal could end up with the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We don’t know where this is going to go, but if this is as broad as some think … it may not be able to be remedied in statute,” Dunleavy said during a Wednesday news conference.

The governor was joined by Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor, who said the state planned to ask for a stay of the decision longer than the June 30, 2024, date NEA-Alaska has asked for. Taylor also predicted a likely appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court.

“Clearly the [National Education Association] … recognized the magnitude and devastating consequences of this decision to Alaska students and families,” Taylor said.

The governor went further, saying because of the ruling’s broad nature, multiple hypotheticals now must be considered, including a special session, constitutional amendment, an education dividend similar to the PFD and new scholarships.

“The judge ruled that much if not all the correspondence homeschool education that we do in Alaska may be unconstitutional,” Dunleavy said earlier this week. “With 24,000 students enrolled in these programs, to say this would be disruptive would be an understatement. This disruption, coupled with the fact that we and many Alaskans believe this ruling is flawed, leads us to ask for a stay and quick resolution with our [Alaska] Supreme Court.”

This is a developing story. Stay with Alaska’s News Source as this content is updated through the day.

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