Alaska Statutes.
Title 14. Education, Libraries, and Museums
Chapter 7. Administration of Public Schools
Section 20. Duties of the Department.
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AS 14.07.020. Duties of the Department.

(a) The department shall

(1) exercise general supervision over the public schools of the state except the University of Alaska;

(2) study the conditions and needs of the public schools of the state, adopt or recommend plans, administer and evaluate grants to improve school performance awarded under AS 14.03.125 , and adopt regulations for the improvement of the public schools;

(3) provide advisory and consultative services to all public school governing bodies and personnel;

(4) prescribe by regulation a minimum course of study for the public schools; the regulations must provide that, if a course in American Sign Language is given, the course shall be given credit as a course in a foreign language;

(5) establish, in coordination with the Department of Health and Social Services, a program for the continuing education of children who are held in detention facilities in the state during the period of detention;

(6) accredit those public schools that meet accreditation standards prescribed by regulation by the department; these regulations shall be adopted by the department and presented to the legislature during the first 10 days of any regular session, and become effective 45 days after presentation or at the end of the session, whichever is earlier, unless disapproved by a resolution concurred in by a majority of the members of each house;

(7) prescribe by regulation, after consultation with the state fire marshal and the state sanitarian, standards that will assure healthful and safe conditions in the public and private schools of the state, including a requirement of physical examinations and immunizations in pre-elementary schools; the standards for private schools may not be more stringent than those for public schools;

(8) exercise general supervision over pre-elementary schools that receive direct state or federal funding;

(9) exercise general supervision over elementary and secondary correspondence study programs offered by municipal school districts or regional educational attendance areas; the department may also offer and make available to any Alaskan through a centralized office a correspondence study program;

(10) accredit private schools that request accreditation and that meet accreditation standards prescribed by regulation by the department; nothing in this paragraph authorizes the department to require religious or other private schools to be licensed;

(11) review plans for construction of new public elementary and secondary schools and for additions to and major rehabilitation of existing public elementary and secondary schools and, in accordance with regulations adopted by the department, determine and approve the extent of eligibility for state aid of a school construction or major maintenance project; for the purposes of this paragraph, "plans" include educational specifications, schematic designs, and final contract documents;

(12) provide educational opportunities in the areas of vocational education and training, and basic education to individuals over 16 years of age who are no longer attending school;

(13) administer the grants awarded under AS 14.11;

(14) establish, in coordination with the Department of Public Safety, a school bus driver training course;

(15) require the reporting of information relating to school disciplinary and safety programs under AS 14.33.120 and of incidents of disruptive or violent behavior.

(b) In implementing its duties under (a)(2) of this section, the department shall develop

(1) performance standards in reading, writing, and mathematics to be met at designated age levels by each student in public schools in the state; and

(2) a comprehensive system of student assessments, composed of multiple indicators of proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics; this comprehensive system must

(A) be made available to all districts and regional educational attendance areas;

(B) include a developmental profile for students entering kindergarten or first grade; and

(C) include performance standards in reading, writing, and mathematics for students in age groups five through seven, eight through 10, and 11 - 14.

(c) In this section "pre-elementary school" means a school for children ages three through five years if the school's primary function is educational.

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