American Classical Schools of Idaho (ACSI) is proud to support three member schools across Idaho, with more on the way. Each school is tuition-free and open to all Idaho students.

Member Schools: A Federalist Approach

ACSI’s relationship with member schools is informed by the philosophy of federalism. Just like humans beings are fundamentally dependent on others for the reliable provision of requirements for a comfortable life, so ACSI member schools are part of a family of schools within which key elements of support are provided by ACSI. Federalism argues that most decisions are best made at the individual or local level. Notwithstanding, for the purposes of mission accomplishment, unity of effort, and operational excellence, certain elements are best agreed upon and standardized as a group.

Thus, for ACSI, the concept of federalism rests on two main tenets:

  1. An assumption of autonomy for member schools
  2. Defined decision making authority for ACSI and member schools.

This is not unlike the relationship between the federal government and the states as laid out in the U.S. Constitution. The constitution defines the powers allocated to the federal government—the enumerated powers—but presumes state autonomy for all other decision making. This is most clearly defined in the 10th amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

ACSI defines the scope of decision making authority by laying out core elements and core support services. Core elements are deemed to be essential to mission accomplishment and must be consistent among ACSI member schools. Core support services are those collaboratively planned functions that are the primary responsibility of the ACSI SSO.

ACSI schools are led by principals and their leadership teams. Principals retain decision-making authority over budgets, day-to-day operations, and hiring of employees (faculty and staff).