Case history and Moore Settlement

Case background:

In 2004, a variety of plaintiffs sued the State of Alaska in Moore, challenging the adequacy of the educational system under the Alaska Constitution’s guarantee of “a system of public schools open to all children.” In 2007, Judge Sharon Gleason for the first time defined the constitutional obligation and narrowed the case to the State’s failure to support and oversee chronically underperforming schools. CEAAC alone carried on the litigation through the “compliance phase,” achieving positive rulings in 2009 and 2010, until settling with the State on January 26, 2012.

Settlement structure:

The State pays $18 million total for four programs over an anticipated three years. The money is allocated by the Moore Collaborative Committee, with three voting members appointed by the State and three by CEAAC. The committee designs most program details, creates simplified grant applications, and reviews outcomes. Grants are scored and evaluated by independent contractors. After the $18 million is expended, the committee and the programs end unless extended by future action of the State. Read the settlement here.

 
 

Program

Purpose

Beneficiary

Two-year kindergarten and related programs

Standards-based instruction for four-year-olds to prepare them for school.

The 40 schools with the lowest performance and demonstrating community support for the program.

Targeted resource grants

Non-competitive grants to support proven educational strategies.

The 40 Alaska schools with the lowest performance.

Teacher retention grants

Competitive grants for initiatives or physical improvements to reduce teacher turn-over.

Any Alaska school with high teacher turn-over and low test scores, depending on proposals.

HSGQE Remediation Reimbursement

Remedial support for students who fail the graduation exam after attending an underperforming school, up to $3000 per student.

Any Alaska school with a junior or senior failing the HSGQE who attends or previously attended high school at one of the 40 lowest schools.

Other obligations In exchange for settling, CEAAC and the State agreed to:

  • Dismiss the litigation without recovering legal expenses;
  • New accountability measures for school districts accessing settlement funds;
  • New attendance requirements for students benefiting from settlement funds;
  • The $18 million appropriation in new education funds (without offsets) during the 2012 session;
  • Refrain during the 2012 session from advocating for increases to the settlement.

Moore Settlement Update

We are in the final year of disbursement of the Moore Settlement funds and 4th year evaluation of the Targeted Resources Grants is underway. The amounts awarded are:

  • Targeted Resources Grants (FY13 – FY17): $5,125,083
  • Teacher Retention Grants (FY13 – FY15): $2,609,624
  • HSGQE Remediation (FY14 – FY15): $128,371
  • Ed Connector (reallocated upon HSGQE cancellation): $450,000
  • 2-Year Kindergarten/Pre-Literacy Grants (FY14 – FY17: $8,669,872

$473,932 of unallocated and returned funds were available for disbursement by June 30, 2017. We worked with the Moore Collaborative Committee and DEED to identify additional Moore sites to receive funding for pre-K programs (Lower Yukon, Yupiit, Yukon Flats) and are reviewing options for use of the remaining funds.