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Family Partnership Charter School taken over by Anchorage School District on a vote of 6-1

The most popular charter school — and arguably the most successful school in Anchorage — will lose its independence and be swept under the authority of the Anchorage School District, after a 6-1 vote on Monday that dissolved Family Partnership Charter School.

The decision followed months of internal dispute within the Academic Policy Committee, the charter school’s governing board. Two groups of parents disagreed on the direction of the school in an argument that went on for months, until the superintendent intervened.

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Anchorage School Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt recommended the district take over the school because of the dysfunctional nature of the governing board. He said there were instances where the board had broken the law.

The public has lined up on both sides of the issue for the school that provides educational options for about 1,700 students, and which has the best educational outcomes of any school in the district. Students from kindergarten through 12th grade have been able to use FPCS to do homeschooling and homeschooling hybrids, and the format allows parents to control more of their children’s curriculum. In this era of curriculum controversy, that is no small matter. Some who testified on Monday said they would withdraw their children from the district if the school board proceeded with the takeover.

Josiah Tshibaka, the student council president of FPCS, said taking over the school was equivalent to blowing up a mountain to address a molehill.

“It will harm students more than it will help them and it’s not in the best interest of our school,” he said.

The school board also made promises to the people attending the meeting that the funds dedicated for FPCS would stay with the school, and not be swept into the district’s other fund pools, even as it comes under the district’s supervision and morphs to the district’s command structure.

“It is time to pivot our focus to supporting the Family Partnership communities, and earn the trust of all families to choose the wonderful opportunities that Family Partnership offers. It’s time for us to begin the healing process, and that won’t happen overnight,” Bryantt said, as families filed out of the meeting.

Voting against the takeover of the school was member Dave Donley. The others on the board, including Andy Holleman, voted to take the school over. Donley and Holleman are on the ballot on Tuesday for reelection and often vote opposite each other on important issues.

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. Any body want to bet the test scores will go down. Everything the school board has touched is now worthless. I feel sorry for the students who are caught up in this power struggle. The government must be so proud and can claim we have ruined another school. Remember we used to be number 3 in the nation now we are next to last. Stand tall you worthless public employees.

  2. Surprised?

    If you love your kids, get them out of public education. Leave Alaska if you must.

    Public education is child abuse.

  3. Why are they doing this? Two simple reasons.

    1-they can.
    2-to shut down an institution clearly outperforming the state (be it city or state) run monopoly.

  4. Well, one more school that will be destroyed by the leftist democrats…for the benefit of the teachers union.

  5. A very sad day for FPCS. Not to sure I believe the superintendent since the whole scandal took place in Houston, TX, where he was employed. Texas Department of Education has taken over that school district.

  6. Parents in AK can just join out-of-district homeschooling groups. AK is on of the few states in the USA that allow parents to take their sizeable child’s allotment and remove it from their own school district. That hits the district where it hurts.

    Conservative/traditional parents need to stop expending their energy fighting liberals…as a wise man once said, wrestling with a pig just makes you both muddy and the pig really like it.

  7. The saddest part of this whole debacle is the real losers(besides the board and the texan shorthorn implant)are the children. Secondly we the taxpayers get to fund this s**tshow at an astronomical figure without any positive results and thirdly we have to deal with and pay for private education and provide transportation just to keep these sick individuals with their “almighty better than thou” sickening agendas away from innocent children. Andy Holleman preaches on the radio about a small group making a lot of noise about nothing trying to derail their plan.He and his gang need to be railed out of town to San Fransicko. I for one will never stop making noise until they are gone. I hate this term but they must be defunded until they lose the power they have stolen from the parents.They should all be held accountable for the lowest ranking in the nation. Nobody will even listen to anyone who brings it up and then they just say they need more Money to piss away. It sickens me the deepest when I think about the first victims of this f****d up mess. It hurts the most when I talk to young parents struggling to work and provide a home and they dont have a clue what is happening behind those soon to be locked closed doors. They just dont have the means to pay for private or the time for homeschooling and those sickos know that!

  8. part of it is equity. success is a bad thing because it embarrasses the rest. part of it is independent thinking which you just cannot have. education now days is not about learning to think but instead believe the boss. and yes a lot is about union control and money.

  9. If you cannot vote these idiots out at the Ballot Box, then please VOTE with your FEET. Either move to a place with better schools or remove your child from the cluthes of the Industrial Democrat Education Complex. There are better options.
    Disclaimer: doing the above will likely require some sacrifice on the part of the child’s parents. However, doing so will provide your child a better education.

  10. Audit the classrooms daily. Then affer class visit the teacher(s) when extremely unpleasant episodes happen. I called weekly. Questioned my child daily regarding events of the day. One day my child was just wiped out and I inquired about the day. The teacher had been very rude and nasty to the class that day. I quickly visited her under the guise of wanting to discuss learning progress. We engaged in a discussion and I invited her to the Principal because I was providing a written complaint which I did. She immediately resigned. She was very unhappy in the classroom and chose a different career path. I was surprised but happy for the beneficial change. Audit the classroom.

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