Moore v. State: who has control, the Alaska Legislature, the Dept. of Education & Early Development, or Local School Boards?

During the July 30 Legislative Budget & Audit hearing the agenda was a request for a DEED audit and testimony from the plaintiffs' attorneys in the Moore vs. State of Alaska case. It was a very interesting discussion of legislative versus departmental versus local control of education.

Judge Gleason’s 2007 Decision, pages 173-174, says:
1. “The Alaska Constitution requires that the Legislature.....
“establish and maintain a system of public schools….”

2. “The Legislature has the ultimate responsibility and plenary power over the education of Alaska’s children….It has chosen to delegate that responsibility in large part to the local school districts operating throughout the state. Certainly the Legislature has the authority to delegate this important responsibility, so long as it establishes adequate standards to guide the local districts….”

3. “In addition to delegating the operation of schools to the local school districts, the Legislature has delegated supervision on education to the executive branch, through the creation of the State Board of Education and the Department of Education and Early Development. The Plaintiffs have maintained this action against the State of Alaska. It is both the legislative and executive branches’ actions or inactions that are at issue with respect to the provision of education in Alaska.”

For complete discussions during the July 30 LB&A hearing, please see the July 30, 2010 issue of the Alaska Education Update.