HB 333: "An Act relating to the regulation and funding of pre-elementary schools; and establishing a supplemental income tax on oil to support pre-elementary schools."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 333 01 "An Act relating to the regulation and funding of pre-elementary schools; and 02 establishing a supplemental income tax on oil to support pre-elementary schools." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 05 to read: 06 SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the Alaska Universal Voluntary Preschool 07 Act. 08 * Sec. 2. AS 14.07.020(a) is amended to read: 09 (a) The department shall 10 (1) exercise general supervision over the public schools of the state 11 except the University of Alaska; 12 (2) study the conditions and needs of the public schools of the state, 13 adopt or recommend plans, administer and evaluate grants to improve school 14 performance awarded under AS 14.03.125, and adopt regulations for the improvement
01 of the public schools; 02 (3) provide advisory and consultative services to all public school 03 governing bodies and personnel; 04 (4) prescribe by regulation a minimum course of study for the public 05 schools; the regulations must provide that, if a course in American Sign Language is 06 given, the course shall be given credit as a course in a foreign language; 07 (5) establish, in coordination with the Department of Health and Social 08 Services, a program for the continuing education of children who are held in detention 09 facilities in the state during the period of detention; 10 (6) accredit those public schools that meet accreditation standards 11 prescribed by regulation by the department; these regulations shall be adopted by the 12 department and presented to the legislature during the first 10 days of any regular 13 session, and become effective 45 days after presentation or at the end of the session, 14 whichever is earlier, unless disapproved by a resolution concurred in by a majority of 15 the members of each house; 16 (7) prescribe by regulation, after consultation with the state fire 17 marshal and the state sanitarian, standards that will assure healthful and safe 18 conditions in the public and private schools of the state, including a requirement of 19 physical examinations and immunizations in pre-elementary schools; the standards for 20 private schools may not be more stringent than those for public schools; 21 (8) exercise general supervision over pre-elementary schools that 22 receive direct state or federal funding and prescribe by regulation standards for 23 early childhood education in publicly funded pre-elementary schools; the 24 standards must set, at a minimum, 25 (A) a class size of not more than 10 students for each pre- 26 elementary certified teacher; and 27 (B) pre-elementary teacher certification requirements; 28 (9) exercise general supervision over elementary and secondary 29 correspondence study programs offered by municipal school districts or regional 30 educational attendance areas; the department may also offer and make available to any 31 Alaskan through a centralized office a correspondence study program;
01 (10) accredit private schools that request accreditation and that meet 02 accreditation standards prescribed by regulation by the department; nothing in this 03 paragraph authorizes the department to require religious or other private schools to be 04 licensed; 05 (11) review plans for construction of new public elementary and 06 secondary schools and for additions to and major rehabilitation of existing public 07 elementary and secondary schools and, in accordance with regulations adopted by the 08 department, determine and approve the extent of eligibility for state aid of a school 09 construction or major maintenance project; for the purposes of this paragraph, "plans" 10 include educational specifications, schematic designs, and final contract documents; 11 (12) provide educational opportunities in the areas of vocational 12 education and training, and basic education to individuals over 16 years of age who 13 are no longer attending school; 14 (13) administer the grants awarded under AS 14.11; 15 (14) establish, in coordination with the Department of Public Safety, a 16 school bus driver training course; 17 (15) require the reporting of information relating to school disciplinary 18 and safety programs under AS 14.33.120 and of incidents of disruptive or violent 19 behavior. 20 * Sec. 3. AS 14.07.020(c) is amended to read: 21 (c) In this section, "pre-elementary school" means a school for children ages 22 four [THREE] through five years if the school's primary function is educational. 23 * Sec. 4. AS 14.38 is amended by adding new sections to read: 24 Article 2. Pre-elementary Schools. 25 Sec. 14.38.200. District approval of pre-elementary schools. (a) A school 26 district may approve the establishment and operation of a pre-elementary school for 27 the early education of children if 28 (1) the school is certified by the state Board of Education and Early 29 Development; 30 (2) the district has available sufficient classroom space in existing 31 buildings that meet standards for the operation of a school;
01 (3) enrollment in the school is available to all children who are four or 02 five years of age at the start of the school year, regardless of social or economic status; 03 (4) the school offers a daily minimum of four hours of instructional 04 time; 05 (5) the early childhood education program is based on an age- 06 appropriate curriculum that is aligned with the department's early childhood education 07 standards for literacy, writing, math, and science skills and that address the cognitive, 08 physical, emotional, social, and communication areas of child development; and 09 (6) a sufficient number of certified pre-elementary teachers are 10 employed to maintain the maximum class size requirement established under 11 AS 14.07.020(a)(8). 12 (b) A pre-elementary school approved under this section may be funded under 13 AS 14.38.210. 14 (c) A program funded by the department as a head start program for students 15 who are four or five years of age may be approved as a pre-elementary school under 16 this section. 17 (d) A school district may enter into a collaborative agreement with another 18 school district or with a secular nonprofit agency with demonstrable experience and 19 expertise in early childhood education for the operation of a pre-elementary school. 20 Sec. 14.38.210. Pre-elementary school fund. (a) The pre-elementary school 21 fund is established. The fund consists of appropriations for distribution to school 22 districts to support public pre-elementary schools approved by school districts under 23 AS 14.38.200. A school district is eligible for funding from the pre-elementary school 24 fund equal to the base student allocation specified in AS 14.17.470 for each student 25 enrolled in a district-approved pre-elementary school. 26 (b) Money appropriated to the fund may be expended without further 27 appropriation. Money appropriated to the fund does not lapse. The money in the fund 28 may be expended only for the benefit of public pre-elementary schools approved 29 under AS 14.38.200 - 14.38.230. Interest earned on money held in the fund before 30 expenditure may be appropriated to the fund by the legislature. 31 (c) If the amount appropriated to the fund for purposes of AS 14.38.200 -
01 14.38.230 is insufficient to meet the amounts authorized under (a) of this section for a 02 fiscal year, the department shall allocate available funds to each school district on the 03 basis of need. The department shall prioritize funding needs of school districts by 04 identifying districts 05 (1) with a high percentage of children from families with incomes that 06 meet the eligibility requirements for free and reduced lunch under 42 U.S.C. 1771 - 07 1784; 08 (2) with a current lack of access to early childhood education and pre- 09 elementary education programs; and 10 (3) in which schools have received a low achievement designation 11 under AS 14.03.123(d). 12 Sec. 14.38.220. No student fees. State funding of a pre-elementary school 13 under AS 14.38.200 - 14.38.230 is subject to appropriation. A district may not assess 14 fees for payment of enrollment or tuition costs of a student. 15 Sec. 14.38.230. Definition. In AS 14.38.200 - 14.38.230, "district" has the 16 meaning given in AS 14.17.990. 17 * Sec. 5. AS 43.20.011 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 18 (g) In addition to the tax imposed under (e) of this section, during any taxable 19 year in which the average West Coast prevailing value for oil is equal to or exceeds 20 $25 a barrel, a taxpayer engaged in the production of oil from a lease or property in 21 this state whose business income is subject to AS 43.20.072 shall pay a tax of 2.5 22 percent of the taxpayer's taxable income. The department shall separately account for 23 the revenue obtained from the tax levied by this subsection. The legislature may 24 appropriate the revenue from the tax imposed in this subsection to the pre-elementary 25 school fund established under AS 14.38.210 for distribution under AS 14.38.210 to 26 school districts for pre-elementary schools approved under AS 14.38.200.