No-budge judge who killed correspondence courses for Alaskans says decision is in effect June 30

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Judge Adolf Zeman

The Alaska Superior Court judge who killed state funding for correspondence classes said on Thursday he will only pause his ruling from going into effect until June 30. The Dunleavy Administration had asked for it to be stayed, or set aside, until an appeal is heard at the Supreme Court.

Judge Adolf Zeman ruled in favor of the education industry, and against the governor in his initial decision and in this second decision, determining when his ruling will be in effect.

The state law that allows parents to enroll their students in correspondence or home school programs was struck down by Zeman, who said that the laws governing these programs are unconstitutional.

Over 24,000 students and at about 48,000 parents of Alaska students are impacted by the judge’s decision, which favored the the National Education Association-Alaska, and a cluster of parents who were litigants in the case who are hostile to homeschool and correspondence students.

In denying the extended stay, Zeman said that the Dunleavy Administration was not likely to win on its appeal.

“Accordingly, this Court finds that a limited stay is the best solution to ensure that students, families, and school districts are protected from undue disruption and all parties are protected from unnecessary uncertainty and related harms. A limited stay until the end of the fiscal year will ensure that any correspondence allotments that were taken in reliance on AS 14.03.300-310, will be honored, while minimizing the potential for continued unfettered unconstitutional spending,” Zeman wrote.

Zeman faces a retention vote later this year and will be the subject of a public hearing on May 8 to help the Alaska Judicial Council determine his worthiness to continue serving Alaskans as a Superior Court judge.

48 COMMENTS

  1. Constitutional convention anyone? Put the judiciary in the people’s court. Fix that pesky education clause. How bout it folks?

    • It’s yet another dimension of the steady decline and fall of the American republic. When the Alaska constitution was written the education bureaucracy was not the disgraceful cesspool of failure it is today. The NEA is now the biggest union in our nation; it would spend millions protecting its hog-trough of taxpayer money. Futhermore, the average parent is too lazy to take control of their childrens’ education. They would rather just delegate that responsibility to government babysitters whose sole concern is money and benefits–not educating children. Given these facts, a constitutional amendment is likely unobtainable.

    • Sounds like a VERY good idea. Take care of several issues with a constitutional convention! I’m willing to bet money that judge is paid off by the teachers union! They want to force kids into the leftist, perversion they are teaching in schools.

  2. Note that in Alaska we, the public, have no say in our judges, they are appointed, the troopers are appointed, no voting in a sheriff, and our elections are rigged. We are the most socialist state in the union. Children belong to their family, not the state. The state of Alaska does not have education standards. A child is much better off with pick any third world country’s education. We the public need to ignore these people, maybe they will go away.

    • Is that to say that Alaskans’ votes to retain judges has been in vain?
      So far as Alaska state standards in education go, they’re more rigorous than ESSA standards. It’s interesting to assert that there are none.

  3. November 5 is coming and all Alaskans can vote to NOT RETAIN judge Zemen in his judgeship.

    Write his name down. Pin it to the fridge. Tell all your friends and enemies. Spread the word. Vote NO on retention.

    There is more than one way to correct the judicial branch and voting NO is the surest way.

    • The NEA and the liberal school districts think that if they end/restrict correspondence schools, they will get all those students back into their brick and mortar. Reality is that most of those students will go independent and the school districts will lose the entire $22,000 per student they were getting from both state and federal (they only paid out approximately $2,700 for each student)
      The parents are not sending them back for 💩 education and indoctrination after tasting freedom.

  4. If he had granted the longer stay, the Democrats in the legislature would lose their leverage to try to push their bills through to put even more power in the hands of the NEA. The outcome here was a foregone conclusion. Politics pretending to be law.

    • True and thank you.
      Don’t see Dunleavy doing anything but vetoing any garbage legislation.
      Curious if there is no other way to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot other then though the legislature?

  5. Trials and tribulations are to be expected from a state that codified abortion, unfortunately, there’s more to come. Wake up.

  6. Remember, we have 3 branches of government. And in Alaska, the judicial branch is lower than the other 2 branches. Even though a judge decided this, he, and the entirety of the judiciary, has NO enforcement power. The governor (executive branch) can decide to ignore this ruling and that is perfectly allowable. The legislature can allow homeschool allotments despite any judge trying to legislate from the bench.

    Regardless of the outcome, you can be sure that the parents who currently homeschool are not going to stop because of this ruling. When it comes time, vote Zeman out.

    • Laura, you’re on the right track here. Nearly 200 years ago President Andrew Jackson pointed out the thin ice the judiciary stands on when he challenged the Supreme Court by saying Chief Justice “John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.”

      Nothing in the Constitution says an unelected judge can override a statute passed by a majority of 60 elected representatives of the people in the House and Senate. To allow that to happen is to throw out the democratic principles upon which our state and nation is built upon. A judge is neither a king nor a super-legislature.

      As you’ve pointed out Dunleavy can ignore the judiciary’s attempted breach of the separation of powers doctrine. Today he could make an announcement to put 48,000 Alaskan parents and 24,000 children at ease. The question then is, will he?

  7. The Zee man is lower than an “F”. The fake lei and the gang hand gesture are inappropriate for someone wearing judicial robes. My guess is he is rather drunk in this photo. Libtards.
    Idiot – from the Greek, “one who is characterized by self-centeredness”. Anything more I might say won’t be printable.

    • So Bob, how is money allocated to educating Alaskan children in whichever accredited program their parents approve of as “hand outs”? Are you worried about the logistical nightmare of Drag Queen Story Hour home delivery? Our children do not belong to you or the State.

    • You are an idiot of you think that if they end/restrict correspondence schools, all those students will be back in brick and mortar schools. Reality is that most of those students will go independent and the school districts will lose the entire $22,000 per student they were getting from both state and federal (they only paid out approximately $2,700 for each student)
      The parents are not sending them back for 💩 education and indoctrination after tasting freedom.

      You are feeble minded if you think (oxymoron I know) that the allotments were handouts. It is our $$$, not yours. You steal it from us and then hand it back to us and tell us it’s a “hand out”. Meanwhile, our kids do much better than those who are in your 💩 schools.

      • I don’t disagree with your opinion on restricting homeschoolers. I do want to point out a few things though. First, all 22,959 homeschoolers won’t go independent. If they make it too difficult to homeschool, a percentage of them will put their children back into brick and mortar schools. They will be many of the lower income families that won’t be able to teach their children without assistance of the allotment so they will be forced back into the system that is broken. ASD currently has a 86% chronic absentee rate, and a 36% reading scores that their kids can actually read. Math scores are equally dismal. Some will stay with the correspondent schools, so their kids can play in sports and even if they don’t have the allotment, they will still have support. I suspect that the largest portion of homeschoolers will go independent. I know we certainly will even if it means eating more beans every week our child’s education is the most important thing to us. As far as money goes, the school districts will gain on an average of $22,000 a student that they can force back into school. Losing all the rest of the correspondence school students will be OK for them because the Districts only get a little under $6000 per student for correspondence students. The reason brick and mortar school students get so much more is because of the multipliers. Correspondent students do not have that. So they can get one out of every four students back, they lose nothing.

    • Laura, your concept of the judiciary lacking control over political branches is contrary to what we have all been led to believe. However, it is being echoed by various credible sources at this time. It is interesting and compelling to think political bodies can ignore judges. It seems a rightful concept inasmuch as they are not elected. However, eviscerating judges’ authority, whether rightly or wrongly will obviously cut two ways. Bureacracy regulations would no longer be subject to challenge except during elections or initiatives.

  8. So, Judge Zeman ruled that parts of the correspondence program were unconstitutional but that unconstitutional program can continue until June 30th! If it’s unconstitutional on May2, 2024, then isn’t it unconstitutional every day thereafter? Seems as if the judge is very closely aligned with the NEA-AK and Anchorage School District. I wonder if he filed an Amicus brief (sarc).

  9. The guy that brought the suit is a transplant that has cost the state millions and done more to disrupt the lives of Alaska citizens, on behalf of onereous bureaucracies, than has any other individual. Scott Kendall is a pox on our state.

  10. Judges always get retained as most voters don’t do any research. It’s a shame but that’s how we continue to get such whack jobs in office. People just don’t care and sell future generations down the river. Read, research and don’t yield to idiots.

  11. If this were a conservative judge ruling against one of the high-holy progressive causes, he would be doxed and there would be hundreds of protesters outside his home at all hours making his life miserable. Thank goodness home-schoolers and conservatives are polite and law-abiding.

  12. “NEA wins all the way for government indoctrination camps.”
    What does the NEA stand to win here? I beg to differ. STUDENTS win! There’s much less accountability in homeschooling than in public schooling. The funds that are allocated for each student in a public school add up exponentially when it comes to shared resources within a classroom, not to mention the social component from working in diverse settings. Considering all that teachers are tasked to do, there’s little to no time for indoctrinating students in what?

    • Alaska ranks 49th out of 50 in academic achievement in public schools. The Alaskan public eduction bureaucracy is nothing more than a factory churning out deficiently educated young people. A large portion of which will become dysfunctional adults. The homeless population will swell because of this digusting bureaucratic nonsense.

    • The NEA ultimate goal is to get as many children into brick & mortar schools as possible. Their goal is to make as much money off of the teachers that are in their union as they can. They care little for the students. That’s a pretty simple concept. There is the same amount of accountability for homeschoolers under the public umbrella as there is for the brick and mortar students at this time. You state that “funds that are allocated for each student in a public school add up exponentially when it comes to shared resources within a classroom.” Hopefully, you understand that the children in the classroom are also worth a lot more money. The state pays an average of $22,000 per student in a brick and mortar school. That is due to all the multipliers that they are allowed to use. Correspondence students under the public are only allowed under $6000 per student. Of that, the families only see on an average of $2700 a year to educate their children. It sounds to me like the public school kids as opposed to the correspondents school. Kids are certainly getting a lot more money and yet our statewide test scores are at best. With Anchorage school districts, test scores for reading sitting at 37% accuracy and slightly higher in math, add in and 86% chronic absenteeism, it’s obvious the school kids are not learning. Our schools in Alaska receives some of the highest amounts per child in the nation and yet we are at the bottom of how well our children are educated. It doesn’t sound to me homeschoolers are stealing anything from the public school districts if you want to discuss accountability perhaps we need to be looking at why our schools are performing so badly, even though they get so much money, and quit worrying about the homeschoolers.

  13. Suzanne, is this true? “The state law that allows parents to enroll their students in correspondence or home school programs was struck down by Zeman.” Or was the use of State education funds for correspondence struck down? I know there are other states, like Tennessee, that allow correspondence but parents do not receive any state funds to support the students.

    • It’s one and the same in Alaska, basin hunter. It’s use of state education funds, which is what parents use to educate their children. Only those who can afford to pay for these courses will be able to use them in the elite system that the NEA has in mind. – sd

  14. Why not simply ignore the judge’s ruling?
    .
    Call it nullification through noncompliance.
    .
    What’s Judge Adolf gonna do… have Alaska’s entire education industry arrested and thrown in jail?
    .
    Might be totally fun to find out, especially if Alaska’s senate became instant heroes, passing a resolution saying, “We ain’t doing it!”
    .
    Could happen, no?

  15. Why should he budge? He is upholding the Alaska Constitution, Dunleavy knows it which is why he wanted to amend it years ago, and would like to do it again. Just say NO!

  16. Always voted no to retain a judge. Send them packing after 1 term and maybe their replacements will get the hint.

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