Legislature(2013 - 2014)CAPITOL 106

03/20/2013 08:00 AM EDUCATION


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 133 SCHOOL CONST. GRANTS/SMALL MUNICIPALITIES TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 93 CHARTER SCHOOLS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 151 SCHOOL GRADING SYSTEMS TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Postponed to 3/22/13>
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 20, 2013                                                                                         
                           8:04 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Lynn Gattis, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Lora Reinbold, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
Representative Dan Saddler                                                                                                      
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 133                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to grants for school construction."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 133 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 93                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to the authorization, monitoring, and operation                                                                
of charter schools."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 151                                                                                                              
"An Act establishing a public  school and school district grading                                                               
system   for    purposes   of   improving    accountability   and                                                               
transparency; providing for Alaska  strategic educators in public                                                               
schools; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING POSTPONED                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 133                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SCHOOL CONST. GRANTS/SMALL MUNICIPALITIES                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) EDGMON                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/20/13       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/20/13       (H)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
03/11/13       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/11/13       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/11/13       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
03/18/13       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/18/13       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/20/13       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 93                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: CHARTER SCHOOLS                                                                                                    
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) GATTIS                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
01/30/13       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/30/13       (H)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
03/15/13       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/15/13       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/15/13       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
03/20/13       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TIM CLARK, Staff                                                                                                                
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 133 on behalf of the sponsor                                                                
of the bill, Representative Edgmon.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH SWEENEY NUDELMAN, Director                                                                                            
School Finance and Facilities Section                                                                                           
Department of Education and Early Development (EED)                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during discussion of HB 133.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TOM BEGICH, Policy Director                                                                                                     
Citizens for the Educational Advancement of Alaska's Children                                                                   
(CEAAC)                                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 133.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DAVID HERBERT, Superintendent                                                                                                   
Saint Mary's City School District                                                                                               
St. Mary's, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 133.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE JOHNSON, Executive Director                                                                                               
Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA)                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during discussion of HB 133.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ERICK CORDERO-GIORGANA, Chief of Staff                                                                                          
Representative Lynn Gattis                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Presented  HB  93 on  behalf  of the  bill                                                             
sponsor, Representative Gattis.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN MCCAULEY, Director                                                                                                        
Teaching and Learning Support                                                                                                   
Department of Education and Early Development (EED)                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion on HB 93.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:04:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  GATTIS called the House  Education Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to order at 8:04  a.m.  Representatives Gattis, Drummond,                                                               
P. Wilson, Seaton,  Saddler, and LeDoux were present  at the call                                                               
to order.  Representative Reinbold  arrived as the meeting was in                                                               
progress.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
        HB 133-SCHOOL CONST. GRANTS/SMALL MUNICIPALITIES                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:04:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO. 133,  "An  Act  relating  to grants  for  school                                                               
construction."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:05:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIM  CLARK,  Staff,  Representative Bryce  Edgmon,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  presented  a  PowerPoint,  titled  "HB  133  School                                                               
Construction Grants/Small Municipalities."  [Included in members'                                                               
packets]   He read from slide  2:  "HB 133  makes small municipal                                                               
school districts  that meet certain criteria  eligible for school                                                               
construction funding  from the REAA  fund.  Five  districts would                                                               
currently  qualify.    They  are   Saint  Mary's,  Tanana,  Kake,                                                               
Klawock,  and  Hydaburg."    He stated  that  the  proposed  bill                                                               
related  to Willie  and Sophie  Kasayulie,  et al.,  v. State  of                                                             
Alaska, 3AN-97-3782 CI, (1999),  which had identified inequitable                                                             
access to construction funding for rural schools.  He explained:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Most municipal  districts are able  to bond  for school                                                                    
     construction and  subsequently access the  state's debt                                                                    
     reimbursement  program.   However,  Regional  Education                                                                    
     Attendance Areas  (REAAs) as  well as some  small rural                                                                    
     school  districts lack  taxable bases  large enough  to                                                                    
     make  bonding for  construction  possible.   Therefore,                                                                    
     REAAs and  some small rural school  districts can never                                                                    
     access the guaranteed state funding  that exists in the                                                                    
     form of the bonding debt reimbursement program.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARK  read from slide 3,  "The REAA Fund was  established in                                                               
2010  to   make  a  more  reliable,   consistent  funding  stream                                                               
available  to   REAAs,  none  of   which  can  bond   for  school                                                               
construction," and he  shared that they would not  have access to                                                               
this   guaranteed   funding   stream   in  the   form   of   debt                                                               
reimbursement.   He  continued  reading:   "Some small  municipal                                                               
school  districts are  effectively in  the same  circumstances as                                                               
REAAs."   Moving on to slide  4, he stated that,  "The Department                                                               
of Education  and Early Development Capital  Improvement Projects                                                               
School Construction Grant Fund List,"  which he declared would be                                                               
referred to  as "The  List," "plays a  central role."   Directing                                                               
attention to  slide 5, "Paths  to School Construction  Funding in                                                               
the Capital  Budget," he  declared that  these pathways  were the                                                               
heart of the  proposed bill and school construction  funding.  He                                                               
tracked  the paths  to receiving  school construction  funding in                                                               
the Capital  Budget, and walked  through the available  means for                                                               
construction funding.  He declared  that bonding was available to                                                               
most  municipal districts,  as the  State of  Alaska subsequently                                                               
reimbursed  60  -  70  percent   of  that  annual  bond  debt  as                                                               
guaranteed by law.  He described  that the other path was through                                                               
the  school construction  grant list,  which was  open to  REAAs,                                                               
small municipal school districts  without bonding capability, and                                                               
those districts with  bonding capability, if they so  choose.  He                                                               
explained that the Department of  Education and Early Development                                                               
(EED) ranked all the projects on  the grant list by priority, and                                                               
that  the  projects  then  awaited   funding  in  that  order  of                                                               
priority.   He explained that  a non-REAA project was  reliant on                                                               
legislative  appropriation   from  the  General  Fund,   with  no                                                               
guarantee to  any project on  the list  that funds would  be made                                                               
available.   He pointed out  that an REAA  project at the  top of                                                               
the  list would  have access  to designated  funding in  the REAA                                                               
fund by the legislature, with no other competition.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:12:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON asked how  schools would qualify  to be                                                               
placed on the list.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARK replied  that there was an EED  application process for                                                               
assessment and addition to the list.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.   WILSON  offered  her  belief   that  it  was                                                               
necessary  for an  architect or  engineer to  review the  project                                                               
prior to the EED.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARK  pointed out  that school  construction was  not solely                                                               
defined  as   an  entirely  new  structure,   and  could  include                                                               
expansion of capacity.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:13:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  directed  attention   to  slide  5,  and                                                               
clarified  that  the list  for  non-REAA  projects was  recreated                                                               
every year, so that there  could always be higher priority issues                                                               
such that there are schools that edge out others.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARK expressed his agreement,  and explained that the set of                                                               
criteria  by the  department includes  considerations for  health                                                               
and  safety issues,  such  that a  natural  disaster issue  could                                                               
prioritize a project.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER pointed  out that both ranking  and a lack                                                               
of appropriation could mean that  a project would never reach the                                                               
top of the list.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARK  agreed that was  concern for  any project on  the Non-                                                               
REAA project list.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GATTIS  reminded   the  committee  that  the   EED  had  a                                                               
representative available to answer any questions.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:15:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX,  offering  an  example for  a  number  of                                                               
families settling in a remote area  where there was not a school,                                                               
although  there  were  ten  children, asked  if  a  school  would                                                               
automatically be built to accommodate them.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLARK  offered  his  belief  that the  area  would  need  to                                                               
incorporate in some form of  municipality in order to receive the                                                               
funding.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:17:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH   SWEENEY  NUDELMAN,   Director,  School   Finance  and                                                               
Facilities   Section,   Department   of   Education   and   Early                                                               
Development  (EED), in  response,  said that  the  arrival of  10                                                               
students  to  a  community  would  not  automatically  entitle  a                                                               
school.   She said  that criteria  for school  construction would                                                               
need to  be met, which  included identification as  an attendance                                                               
area,  with an  additional review  for an  area of  less than  24                                                               
students.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX reflected on an  earlier visit to a logging                                                               
camp  where a  school  had existed  in a  trailer  which did  not                                                               
appear to  be an EED  approved building.   She reported  that the                                                               
logging camp had more students  than many villages, and she asked                                                               
why this community had not been entitled to a school.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUDELMAN explained  that modular units were  provided to some                                                               
areas, but that  any community requesting a school  would need to                                                               
process an application for funding and construction through EED.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:20:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  noted  that  a  logging  camp  was,  by                                                               
definition,  a temporary  location.   She  pointed  out that  the                                                               
Anchorage School  District had supplied  as many as  150 portable                                                               
classrooms.    Referring to  the  statement  on slide  5,  "60-70                                                               
percent of annual bond debt,  guaranteed by law," she stated that                                                               
the Anchorage School  District never took that  for granted, even                                                               
though  millions of  dollars were  passed  in bond  issues.   She                                                               
stated that there was always a  final decision for funding by the                                                               
State Legislature.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARK  suggested that it  would be  better to state  that the                                                               
reimbursement program was in law.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:21:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON,  referring  to  the  aforementioned  "The                                                               
List," offered his belief that  school districts were not able to                                                               
receive   assessment  grants   from   [Department  of   Commerce,                                                               
Community  & Economic  Development] to  develop the  criteria for                                                               
consideration by  Department of  Education and  Early Development                                                               
(EED) to be  placed on "The List."  He  asked if this information                                                               
was correct.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARK deferred.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUDELMAN  explained that  she was not  familiar with  a grant                                                               
program for  application development,  but that  school districts                                                               
had the  opportunity to  apply to EED  for phased  funding, which                                                               
included design  funding for project  development.   She reported                                                               
that  some of  the applications  were developed  in-house at  the                                                               
school  districts,  and that  the  application  process was  very                                                               
clear.   She  stressed that  there were  several avenues  for the                                                               
school districts in preparation of the applications.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON referred to  non-REAA projects, and pointed                                                               
to a  large re-build  project in  the Anchorage  School District,                                                               
which the Alaska State Legislature had approved and funded.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:24:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLARK,  directing  attention  to  slide  5,  emphasized  the                                                               
contrast in the  funding avenues for projects  that were eligible                                                               
for the REAA  fund versus those that were non-REAA  eligible.  He                                                               
declared  that  an REAA  project  had  a greater  likelihood  for                                                               
funding due to the availability of the fund.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  asked to  clarify that  the fund  had been                                                               
created as  a result of Willie  and Sophie Kasayulie, et  al., v.                                                             
State  of Alaska,  3AN-97-3782 CI,  (1999), which  had determined                                                             
that rural  school districts  did not  have the  same opportunity                                                               
for construction as the municipal school districts.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLARK expressed  his  agreement that  this  provided a  more                                                               
reliable funding stream.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:26:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLARK   read  slide  6   which  summarized   the  PowerPoint                                                               
presentation:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     HB  133 makes  small  municipal  school districts  that                                                                    
     meet  certain  criteria  eligible for  the  REAA  fund.                                                                    
     Five  districts  would  currently qualify.    They  are                                                                    
     Saint  Mary's,  Tanana,  Kake, Klawock,  and  Hydaburg.                                                                    
     Like REAAs, these districts are  not capable of bonding                                                                    
     and  need  access  to  the  more  consistent,  reliable                                                                    
     funding  source the  REAA Fund  creates.   Making  them                                                                    
     REAA Fund-eligible will  further rectify the inequities                                                                    
     in  rural  school  construction funding  identified  in                                                                    
     Kasayulie v. Alaska.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:27:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON asked who could apply to the REAA fund.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARK replied that every REAA  in the state was eligible, and                                                               
that proposed HB  133 would add eligibility for  these five small                                                               
municipal school  districts which  were currently in  a different                                                               
category.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON  asked to clarify that  the limited fund                                                               
was being opened to more qualified school districts.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLARK  explained that  the practical effect  on the  fund was                                                               
small,  as  the fund  was  annually  capitalized according  to  a                                                               
formula.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:29:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM  BEGICH,  Policy  Director,   Citizens  for  the  Educational                                                               
Advancement of  Alaska's Children  (CEAAC), explained  that CEAAC                                                               
represented 21  of the  53 school districts  in Alaska,  and that                                                               
REAAs  were the  choice  for  highest priority  of  funding.   He                                                               
declared that  the members of  CEAAC were in support  of proposed                                                               
HB  133.   He  pointed  out that  the  aforementioned five  small                                                               
school districts had  all been original members  of the Kasayulie                                                             
lawsuit, but  had not  been included  in the  settlement language                                                               
for  the REAA  fund.   He  declared that  proposed  HB 133  would                                                               
correct this inequity.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON asked how  many schools were included in                                                               
REAAs.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. BEGICH replied that he did not have the exact number.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:31:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked  if  there was  any  prospect  for                                                               
future expansion.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BEGICH  replied  that  CEAAC  did  not  intend  to  ask  for                                                               
expansion, as  the formula for  REAA funding was  very equitable,                                                               
and  only allowed  for school  districts without  the ability  to                                                               
bond.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked if proposed  HB 133 would dilute the                                                               
availability of funds to the REAAs.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BEGICH  replied that  there  would  be minimal  dilution  of                                                               
funding  to  the   REAAs  in  the  next  five   to  eight  years,                                                               
specifically as  there were  not a lot  of projects  currently on                                                               
the list.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:34:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  referred to  the fourth paragraph  of the                                                               
Sectional Summary [Included in members'  packets} and read:  "The                                                               
change  provides   that  the   percentage  of   municipal  school                                                               
districts  that  are eligible  for  the  REAA  Fund will  not  be                                                               
included  in  the percentage  of  municipal  school districts  by                                                               
which the  annual debt service  is divided  in the formula."   He                                                               
asked for further clarification of the section.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BEGICH explained  that  the five  schools  were being  moved                                                               
"from one end of  a divisor and putting them in  the other end of                                                               
the divisor."  He pointed out  that the divisor was determined by                                                               
the total amount of bonding in  any given year.  He reported that                                                               
the current  fund was a bit  more than $35 million  but could not                                                               
exceed $70  million.  He said  that this would add  an additional                                                               
$600,000 to the fund.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:35:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUDELMAN, referring  to an earlier question,  said that there                                                               
were  451 schools  in the  state, and  that 136  schools were  in                                                               
REAA's,  while the  remaining 315  schools were  in the  city and                                                               
borough school districts.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:36:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  asked how many  of the REAA's had  a tax                                                               
base which could contribute locally to the schools.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:37:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUDELMAN replied that as  the REAA's are in unorganized areas                                                               
of the state  they were not organized to assess  taxes similar to                                                               
city and boroughs.   She noted that these  REAAs did occasionally                                                               
receive impact aid.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:38:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUDELMAN, in response to  Representative P. Wilson, confirmed                                                               
that 136 schools were eligible  for the construction project list                                                               
and access to  the REAA fund, and that proposed  HB 133 would add                                                               
5 more schools.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:38:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  offered his  belief that  the unorganized                                                               
boroughs would  eventually become  organized boroughs,  and asked                                                               
if the REAAs would eventually become school districts.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUDELMAN  replied that this  was a state policy  question and                                                               
she would not speculate on it.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked if  any  REAAs  had become  school                                                               
districts.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:39:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BEGICH, noting that the  history of the state was consistent,                                                               
explained  that  when  a  borough was  formed  the  REAA  became,                                                               
instead,  a functioning  school district  with  a tax  base.   He                                                               
pointed out that this decision was  quite complex and was made in                                                               
conjunction with  the Local Boundary Commission,  although it was                                                               
based on the ability to have a sustainable tax base.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:40:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON,  directing attention  to the  military                                                               
base in the area between Fairbanks  and Tok, asked if there was a                                                               
tax base even though it was not a borough.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BEGICH  replied  that  many entities  went  through  a  long                                                               
process for  determination of borough  formation, and  that there                                                               
was an initiative being considered in that area.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:41:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  asked  if  the   tax  from  oil  and  gas                                                               
production located in an REAA was paid to the State of Alaska.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BEGICH replied that this was correct.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:42:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID   HERBERT,  Superintendent,   Saint   Mary's  City   School                                                               
District,  provided historical  background  to  explain that  the                                                               
district   had  been   excluded  during   the  final   settlement                                                               
negotiations of Kasayulie as it  was not an REAA school district,                                                             
but a  first class  city school  district.   He explained  that a                                                               
first  class  city  school  district  required  an  annual  local                                                               
contribution from the  city to the school district  to offset the                                                               
costs  of  its operation,  whereas  an  REAA  did not  have  this                                                               
mandatory local contribution.   He pointed out  that Saint Mary's                                                               
City School  District was  surrounded by  REAA districts,  all of                                                               
which benefitted  from the  aforementioned settlement  for school                                                               
construction funds.   He explained  that the school  district had                                                               
taken the necessary  steps to improve its position  on the school                                                               
construction list by writing  a quality application, academically                                                               
outperforming  the  surrounding  schools, and  showing  a  frugal                                                               
fiscal  responsibility.   He  said  that it  was  the only  small                                                               
municipal  school district  on the  school  construction list  to                                                               
which the  proposed bill  would apply;  therefore, the  impact of                                                               
the proposed bill was minimal to  the state but very important to                                                               
the school district.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:45:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HERBERT  explained  that municipalities  which  had  bonding                                                               
capacity  were eligible  for reimbursement  up to  70 percent  of                                                               
construction expenses.   He  pointed out that  the group  of REAA                                                               
school districts now had access  to funds for school construction                                                               
due to Kasayulie,  with an equitable formula of  funding with the                                                             
municipalities.   He  opined that,  as Saint  Mary's City  School                                                               
District was  surrounded by  REAAs, it  made sense  for it  to be                                                               
included  in the  funding mechanism.   He  declared that  the St.                                                               
Mary's  City  School District  had  demonstrated  its ability  to                                                               
provide quality education  in Rural Alaska, and  ensured that its                                                               
students  would become  productive,  contributing  citizens.   He                                                               
urged the passage of proposed HB 133.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:47:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  commented that  Anchorage had  an excess                                                               
of elementary  school space due  to the 70  percent reimbursement                                                               
for school  funding, and that  property taxes were "taxed  to the                                                               
max."  She  asked if the current mandatory  contribution would no                                                               
longer be  required if the proposed  bill passed.  She  said that                                                               
she was  "a huge believer that  the community needs to  have skin                                                               
in the  game.  They need  to help develop the  resources and jobs                                                               
around them."   She  asked for  a statement  of support  from the                                                               
community that it would work  with the Legislature to sustain the                                                               
schools.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. HERBERT  replied that proposed  HB 133  had no impact  on the                                                               
required   mandatory  annual   local   contribution,  which   was                                                               
currently about $35,000 in Saint Mary's.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  asked if  this contribution was  for one                                                               
school and how much was the school budget.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. HERBERT replied  that that there was only one  school and its                                                               
budget was about $3 million.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD mused  that this  mandatory contribution                                                               
was about 10 percent.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. HERBERT explained that the  mandatory local contribution rate                                                               
was determined by the state.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:49:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   asked  why  Saint  Mary's   City  School                                                               
District had initially  been a part of the lawsuit,  but was then                                                               
not included in the settlement.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BEGICH explained  that  the  REAA Fund  was  created by  the                                                               
Alaska  State Legislature  prior to  settlement of  the Kasayulie                                                             
lawsuit, which  had allowed  for settlement  by a  consent decree                                                               
that both parties would abide by  this mechanism.  He opined that                                                               
all  of  the schools  at  the  time  should have  been  included,                                                               
however the court had only named  the top seven schools that were                                                               
listed in the suit.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HERBERT added  that these  five school  districts were  in a                                                               
unique situation which needed to  be addressed by the legislature                                                               
in order to create funding equality.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:53:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  questioned the process of  the five school                                                               
districts' inclusion  in the  lawsuit and  then removal  from the                                                               
settlement.  She said "that just doesn't make any sense to me."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:54:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON stated  that she  was "a  real stickler                                                               
for  fairness," and  she declared  her support  for the  proposed                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:55:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE  JOHNSON,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Council  of  School                                                               
Administrators  (ACSA), said  that David  Herbert also  served as                                                               
the president  of ACSA, and  he expressed his agreement  with the                                                               
testimony regarding  the need  for a  solution to  this difficult                                                               
situation for the five school districts.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:56:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS closed public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:56:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said that the proposed  bill would provide                                                               
the  opportunity  for  other major  maintenance  projects  to  be                                                               
prioritized.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:57:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  stated her support for  adding the small                                                               
school  districts;   however,  she  expressed  concern   for  the                                                               
continued funding  given the projected revenues.   She questioned                                                               
whether the reimbursement was, indeed, "guaranteed by law."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:58:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD   corrected  her   earlier  observation,                                                               
noting that  Saint Mary's contributed  one percent to  the school                                                               
budget.    She  emphasized  that   local  communities  needed  to                                                               
contribute more than  this amount, and needed to  create jobs and                                                               
develop resources in the community.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:58:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  moved to  report HB  133, labeled  28-                                                               
LS0509\A, out  of committee  with individual  recommendations and                                                               
the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being no objection, HB 133                                                               
was moved from the House Education Standing Committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:59:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:59 a.m. to 9:02 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                     HB 93-CHARTER SCHOOLS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:02:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  93,  "An Act  relating  to  the  authorization,                                                               
monitoring,  and  operation of  charter  schools."   [Before  the                                                               
committee was the  proposed committee substitute (CS)  for HB 93,                                                               
Version  28-LS0354\O, Mischel,  3/11/13, adopted  as the  working                                                               
document on 3/15/13.]                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:03:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD moved  to adopt  the proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)   for  HB  93,  labeled   28-LS0354\P,  Mischel,                                                               
3/18/13, as the working document.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:04:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON objected for discussion.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:04:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERICK  CORDERO-GIORGANA,   Staff,  Representative   Lynn  Gattis,                                                               
Alaska  State  Legislature, explained  that  the  changes to  the                                                               
proposed CS, Version P, page  2, line 14, removed non-profits and                                                               
government  agencies as  authorizers and  only allows  accredited                                                               
postsecondary institutions  in the state.   He directed attention                                                               
to page  4, line  24, and reported  that Department  of Education                                                               
and  Early Development  (EED) had  been  removed after  testimony                                                               
that EED was not eligible to receive any of the funds.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:06:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  to  clarify that  the proposed  CS,                                                               
Version P, did not allow  certain authorizers, such as unions and                                                               
Native Corporations.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CORDERO-GIORGANA  replied  that Version  P  only  considered                                                               
post-secondary  accredited institutions  to  be authorizers,  and                                                               
removed the potential for non-profits and other entities.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:07:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER pointed  out  that this  change had  been                                                               
made  at  his  request,  stating   his  belief  that  educational                                                               
institutions "by their very nature,  they have some institutional                                                               
expertise  and administrative  capabilities necessary  to perform                                                               
the   responsibilities    envisioned   for   them    under   this                                                               
legislation."    He  noted  that   these  institutions  also  had                                                               
financial  resources.   He  opined  that  an expansion  of  these                                                               
approved authorizers  for charter schools  would be a  good first                                                               
step toward certification for other authorizers.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:08:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked  if it was necessary  for an approved                                                               
post-secondary  educational institution  to  be in  the State  of                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. CORDERO-GIORGANA directed  attention to page 2,  line 19, and                                                               
said that the institution was required to be in the state.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked what institutions would be included.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CORDERO-GIORGANA said that he did not have a complete list.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:09:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CORDERO-GIORGANA, in  response  to Representative  Drummond,                                                               
noted that  this language had been  changed in Version P  to only                                                               
include an accredited post-secondary institution.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:10:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS, speaking as the  sponsor of the proposed bill, said                                                               
that the  original version had allowed  multiple authorizers, but                                                               
that  Representative  Saddler  had concern  with  non-educational                                                               
authorizers.   She  stated that  she  "had no  problem with  just                                                               
moving  it  to  educational  institutions  within  the  State  of                                                               
Alaska" as presented in Version P.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:10:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   asked  if   the  intent  to   allow  the                                                               
University  of  Alaska (UA)  system  to  be an  authorizer  would                                                               
include all the campuses, as well as the skill center in Seward.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CORDERO-GIORGANA  explained  that  the  proposed  bill  only                                                               
approved a process  by EED to determine an  authorizer, while the                                                               
details would still need to be finalized.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON pointed  out  that the  definition for  an                                                               
authorizer was being  placed in statute, and  offered his opinion                                                               
that  it  was  necessary  for an  accredited  institution  to  be                                                               
recognized.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:12:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  asked  if  there was  pressure  on  the                                                               
charter school  system from non-school district  organizations to                                                               
create additional facilities.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. CORDERO-GIORGANA  explained that  there were more  than 2,000                                                               
Alaskan  students on  waiting lists  for Alaska  charter schools,                                                               
which he  determined to be  a "tremendous demand."   He explained                                                               
that  charter schools,  as  public  schools, had  a  duty for  an                                                               
equitable enrollment  process.  He  reported that there  would be                                                               
advertisements  in the  community during  enrollment periods  for                                                               
applications.  He clarified that  parents had to re-apply for the                                                               
waiting list each school year.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  emphasized that  a waiting list  did not                                                               
confirm a request by a community  for a new school.  She declared                                                               
that   many  Anchorage   optional  and   alternative  educational                                                               
programs also  had waiting  lists.  She  questioned the  need for                                                               
additional charter schools.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CORDERO-GIORGANA replied  that  community  members had  made                                                               
requests for new  charter schools, but had met  resistance by the                                                               
local  school districts  as the  current authorizers.   He  noted                                                               
that currently there  was not an appeal process.   He offered his                                                               
belief  that  there "was  a  natural  inclination and  a  natural                                                               
conflict of  interest by local school  districts, and hesitation,                                                               
to allow for new charter schools."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  questioned whether  additional  schools                                                               
would further the supervisorial responsibility for EED.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. CORDERO-GIORGANA  expressed his  agreement that  the proposed                                                               
bill  would  increase   the  role  of  EED   in  determining  the                                                               
authorizer's capability to approve,  monitor, renew, or terminate                                                               
a charter.  He noted that  the actual operation of the school was                                                               
handled by  the Academic Policy  Committee (APC) at  each school.                                                               
He  said that  the  charter schools  would  maintain the  current                                                               
autonomy for budget, schedule, calendar, and program.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:16:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND   asked  to  clarify  that,   under  the                                                               
proposed  bill, the  Alaska State  Board of  Education and  Early                                                               
Development would be the ultimate arbiter.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CORDERO-GIORGANA  said  that   the  Alaska  State  Board  of                                                               
Education  and Early  Development  still had  to  ratify a  local                                                               
charter school application.   He reported that  the proposed bill                                                               
created an appeal process, page 2, lines 8-12.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:18:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON offered her belief  that the limitation                                                               
for  an authorizer  in Version  P "guts  this whole  bill."   She                                                               
suggested a change to allow  Native organizations the opportunity                                                               
to organize  charter schools, with  certain parameters,  as "they                                                               
know how  their kids learn,  they could really do  something with                                                               
this."    She  declared,  "I don't  like  charter  schools,"  and                                                               
offered her  belief that charter  schools were not the  means for                                                               
upgrading the public schools.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:20:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX, in response, said  that UA was most likely                                                               
one of the  only entities to qualify as an  authorizer, and asked                                                               
if there is a UA  representative present to testify regarding its                                                               
position on Version P.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. CORDERO-GIORGANA replied  that there had not  been a response                                                               
from UA.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  if  the Blaine  Amendment would  be                                                               
violated  if  there  was  an   authorizer  other  than  a  public                                                               
institution.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CORDERO-GIORGANA explained  that  the funds  to educate  the                                                               
students would  go directly  to the charter  school, as  a public                                                               
school.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked if  there had  been a  legal opinion                                                               
for this possibility.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:23:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CORDERO-GIORGANA replied  that the  drafter of  the proposed                                                               
bill had stated  that the Blaine Amendment would  not be violated                                                               
as there  was no direct  benefit to  the private groups,  as this                                                               
would  be a  public  charter  school.   He  noted  that this  was                                                               
similar to the performance scholarship program.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:23:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  expressed that  he liked  the educational                                                               
choice offered by  charter schools.  He  opined that, nationally,                                                               
universities  were  the  most   common  authorizers  for  charter                                                               
schools,  as they  had an  educational mission.   He  pointed out                                                               
that  the proposed  bill did  not mandate  or create  new charter                                                               
schools, but merely  "opens another vector for  possibility."  He                                                               
stated that a wait list was  evidence of a desire for new charter                                                               
schools.  He stated his support  for Version P, and expressed his                                                               
appreciation that it was an opportunity, not a mandate.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:26:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  stated  her support  for  the  original                                                               
bill,  Version  U,  which  was   not  restricted  solely  to  the                                                               
University of Alaska  as an authorizer.  She  reported that there                                                               
were long  waiting lists  for charter  schools in  her community,                                                               
and that  many parents  were frustrated.   She declared  that she                                                               
was a supporter  for freedom of choice as "one  size does not fit                                                               
all."   She  said that  charter schools  "have more  skin in  the                                                               
game, typically  they have  to pay  a lot  of their  own facility                                                               
costs."     She  opined  that   charter  schools   had  increased                                                               
graduation  rates and  higher test  scores,  in many  incidences.                                                               
She declared that she did not  support a monopoly by the state as                                                               
authorizers.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:27:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND noted that  the Anchorage School District                                                               
received  an administrative  fee from  the charter  schools' base                                                               
student   allocation,   and   pointed   out   that   there   were                                                               
administrative fees to the authorizers, as well.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CORDERO-GIORGANA concurred and  directed attention to Version                                                               
P, page  4, line 20.   He said that  these fees varied  with each                                                               
local school  district, and that there  was a cap to  these fees.                                                               
He opined that  the authorizer would be allowed  to receive these                                                               
fees, as well.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  expressed her  confusion, and  asked for                                                               
clarification that  the administrative costs  were to be  paid to                                                               
the  authorizer  of  the  school.     She  requested  a  list  of                                                               
accredited post-secondary institutions in Alaska.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:30:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN   MCCAULEY,  Director,   Teaching  and   Learning  Support,                                                               
Department of  Education and  Early Development  (EED), explained                                                               
that the  indirect rate, or  administrative cost, applied  to the                                                               
local school  district or the  alternate authorizer  permitted by                                                               
the proposed bill, and that it  varied by district.  She declared                                                               
that it  was established by  the school district and  approved by                                                               
EED as  a means to determine  the permissible costs charged  to a                                                               
charter school in association with  the administration of federal                                                               
grants.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:31:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  directed attention  to Version P,  page 2,                                                               
lines 24-31, and  asked if the intention was  that authorizers be                                                               
required to  review applications from  any charter school  in the                                                               
state, and  it this  encourage an  appeal to  the State  Board of                                                               
Education  because of  locale.   He noted  that these  authorized                                                               
charter schools  would not  have to  fulfill the  requirements to                                                               
public  schools   for  the  same   union  agreements,   the  same                                                               
textbooks, or any of the  other exemptions listed in the proposed                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:34:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CORDERO-GIORGANA explained  that  charter schools  currently                                                               
had these exemptions,  except for labor agreements,  and were not                                                               
granted  any other  exemptions beyond  those in  current statute.                                                               
He  said that  the intent  was not  to force  new authorizers  to                                                               
accept every  application, but to  maintain the  current standard                                                               
statewide application  process.  He  said that the  local process                                                               
by an authorizer could change, similar  to that of a local school                                                               
district.  He pointed out that  a local school district could add                                                               
to the standard, and require additional conditions.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  offered his  belief that a  charter school                                                               
was authorized  by the  local school board  for that  local area.                                                               
He pointed out  that the proposed authorizer  was statewide, with                                                               
no  constraint  for local  area.    He  opined  that the  use  of                                                               
"shall," page 2, line 24, was not workable.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. CORDERO-GIORGANA  said that the  intent of the  proposed bill                                                               
was  not to  force  an authorizer  to  accept every  application,                                                               
although there would be an appeal process.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:37:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MCCAULEY  pointed to  Version  P,  page  2, line  28,  which                                                               
permitted an authorizer to deny  an application.  She offered her                                                               
belief  that  the  proposed  appeal  process  would  require  the                                                               
authorizer to provide reasons for  the denial, although a process                                                               
had  not yet  been established  for  appeal to  the Alaska  State                                                               
Board of Education and Early Development.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER suggested  that  the  appeal process  was                                                               
described on page 2, line 9.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCCAULEY,  in response, said  that she was referring  to page                                                               
2, line 28, in response to Representative Seaton.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  opined that  the appeal  was a  two stage                                                               
process,  and  that an  authorizer  was  obliged to  receive  and                                                               
consider an  application, but  was not  obligated to  grant them.                                                               
He suggested  that it would  be beneficial to  give authorization                                                               
for the  appeal process  to the Alaska  State Board  of Education                                                               
and Early Development.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:40:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked  whether authorization shopping might                                                               
occur until an application was approved.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CORDERO-GIORGANA  replied  that   it  could  be  technically                                                               
possible,  but  that the  two  tier  process for  approval  would                                                               
require proof  that it was a  viable project with the  EED before                                                               
ratification.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:42:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  noted that  there  was  no evidence  that                                                               
local school districts were  denying charter school applications.                                                               
He asked  for recent  evidence that  local school  districts were                                                               
inappropriately denying the ability to form charter schools.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CORDERO-GIORGANA  replied that  although they had  heard from                                                               
parents, hard  figures for denials  were not available  as people                                                               
were afraid  to testify for  fear of  retribution.  He  said that                                                               
multiple authorizers  were determined  to be  a best  practice by                                                               
the National  Alliance for Public  Charter Schools, as  it forced                                                               
the  approval   process  to   be  a   serious  process   so  that                                                               
applications were considered on their merit, and not conflict.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON expressed his desire  to get to the crux of                                                               
the problem.   He stated that there was not  any evidence, beyond                                                               
rumor,  that  the  local school  districts  were  inappropriately                                                               
denying  charter  school  applications.     He  opined  that  the                                                               
proposed  bill was  merely solving  a problem  that only  existed                                                               
through hearsay.  He asked for more evidence of these denials.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CORDERO-GIORGANA  said that,  while  serving  on the  school                                                               
board, he had heard administrators  state on the record that they                                                               
did not  want new  charter schools.   He said  there was  not any                                                               
data because there was not an appeals process.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:46:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND referred  to  a list  of charter  school                                                               
enrollment  capacity and  wait list  data,  which indicated  that                                                               
over 2,000  students were wait  listed for attendance.   She then                                                               
referred to the listed Anchorage  schools, which did not show any                                                               
wait  list.   She  expressed  her  agreement with  Representative                                                               
Seaton that  there did  not appear  to be  any pressing  need for                                                               
more  charter  schools in  Alaska.    She  said that  the  public                                                               
records  for these  school board  meetings would  reflect whether                                                               
statements of  denial had been made.   She asked to  have further                                                               
information that  would include  the number  of seats  in charter                                                               
schools  and  whether  charter  school  applications  were  being                                                               
denied.   She requested  more data, "not  rumor and  innuendo and                                                               
people pretending that they can't form charter schools."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:48:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  to clarify  that, currently,  there                                                               
was  not  an appeal  procedure.    She  asked  if there  was  any                                                               
definite criterion for denial of a charter school application.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CORDERO-GIORGANA  replied  that  there  was  not  an  appeal                                                               
process  at this  time, and  added  that the  application by  the                                                               
Thunderbird Charter  School in Matanuska-Susitna had  been denied                                                               
by the local  administration, and not even brought  to the Alaska                                                               
State Board  of Education and  Early Development.  He  offered an                                                               
anecdote about  a similar denial  for a French  immersion charter                                                               
school in Fairbanks.  He said  that the minutes might not reflect                                                               
this denial;  however, stating that, without  an appeals process,                                                               
it was difficult to find this data.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCCAULEY  explained that the  discretion for approval  was at                                                               
the  local level.    In response  to  Representative Ledoux,  she                                                               
reported that  there were criteria  for the  information required                                                               
in  a  charter  school  application,  which  would  document  the                                                               
educational  mission, the  plans for  facilities, the  service to                                                               
special  education  students, and  the  intended  programs.   She                                                               
noted  that the  application  would be  forwarded  to the  Alaska                                                               
State  Board  of  Education  and   Early  Development  for  final                                                               
approval.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked  to clarify that all  of the criteria                                                               
needed to be met before the  local school board would qualify the                                                               
application, and  then forward  it to the  Alaska State  Board of                                                               
Education and Early  Development.  She questioned  that the local                                                               
school board could  reject an application without  record for any                                                               
reason the application was not accepted.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MCCAULEY  repeated  that  the local  school  board  had  the                                                               
discretion for  approval or denial,  and there would likely  be a                                                               
public record the stated reasons for approval or denial.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  offered  her  belief  that  it  would  be                                                               
difficult  to  obtain  any  data for  denial  without  an  appeal                                                               
process,  and she  suggested the  need for  public disclosure  of                                                               
reasons for denial which could be appealed.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:53:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER considered  that this "was a  vector not a                                                               
mandate."   He noted  that, as the  original impetus  for charter                                                               
schools  came from  parents, the  appeal  of denied  applications                                                               
would also  come from  parents.  He  opined that  charter schools                                                               
required the  same parental involvement and  commitment which had                                                               
been declared to be "key to  student success."  He suggested that                                                               
a  need for  charter  schools would  allow parents  to  go to  an                                                               
authorizer, and to have an appeals  process.  He summarized:  "if                                                               
there's no need, no desire; no harm, no foul."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:54:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  pointed out that the  student population                                                               
for the  Anchorage School District  had remained at  about 49,000                                                               
students,  even  though  the city  population  had  significantly                                                               
increased in  the last  20 years.   She  said that  many students                                                               
were  now attending  private schools,  charter schools,  and home                                                               
schools.   She  said that  the graduation  rate in  the Anchorage                                                               
schools was about  70 percent compared to  a statewide graduation                                                               
rate  of  60 percent.    She  opined  that  it was  necessary  to                                                               
"harness  local energy,  and provide  these opportunities,  so we                                                               
can maintain some control."   She offered her belief that charter                                                               
schools had "more  skin in the game than anyone  else that I know                                                               
beside home schoolers."  She  declared charter schools to be cost                                                               
effective,  and often  with  better outcomes.    She stated  that                                                               
testimony on  the proposed bill  indicated that Alaska  had "some                                                               
of the worst laws in the  nation.  That was an objective outside,                                                               
their unwilling to invest here in  our state because of our laws,                                                               
are bad, we  need to change this law."   She declared that Alaska                                                               
had "issues with  our public education."  She opined  that it was                                                               
necessary for  immediate educational  reform, "and  anybody who's                                                               
willing to  help create  a charter  school and  have skin  in the                                                               
game, I  think we need to  capitalize on that energy  right now."                                                               
She  expressed  her  support  for   the  Alaska  State  Board  of                                                               
Education  and Early  Development to  review these  applications.                                                               
She  declared   her  desire  for   multiple  authorizers.     She                                                               
summarized:   "we  need  to  empower the  locals  and the  people                                                               
who're  passionate  about  education,  and get  this  bill  outta                                                               
committee, original version."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:56:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  reflected on the testimony  that there was                                                               
not  any data  because  there was  not an  appeals  process.   He                                                               
suggested  that  an  appeals process  would  be  appropriate  for                                                               
collecting  information  regarding  local school  board  decision                                                               
making.  Instead of a  new regulatory process for authorizers, it                                                               
would  be  much more  effective  and  economical for  an  appeals                                                               
process.  He explained that  the regulatory process would require                                                               
"an entire  panoply of  regulations that are  gonna have  to take                                                               
place, because  now there's  a new  relationship that's  going to                                                               
exist."     He  stated  that   this  would   include  contractual                                                               
requirements  for  record  keeping,   and  an  entire  regulatory                                                               
framework.   He affirmed  that a mandate  for an  appeals process                                                               
requiring  public  disclosure from  the  reasons  of approval  or                                                               
denial would resolve the dilemma  for any inappropriate denial of                                                               
charter school  applications.  He  emphasized that creation  of a                                                               
new  regulatory   system  was   not  necessary  to   ensure  that                                                               
reasonable  and  appropriate  charter  school  applications  were                                                               
approved.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:59:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  expressed her agreement.   She confirmed                                                               
that it  was best to  amend the  existing charter school  laws to                                                               
provide an  appeal process.   She suggested that  discussion with                                                               
the  local school  districts  could reveal  the  reasons for  any                                                               
application denials.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:00:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON maintained  her objection to  adopt the                                                               
proposed  committee  substitute  (CS)  for  HB  93,  labeled  28-                                                               
LS0354\P, Mischel, 3/18/13, as the working document.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:00:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote  was taken.   Representatives  Saddler, Seaton,                                                               
and Drummond  voted in favor  of adopting the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)   for  HB  93,  labeled   28-LS0354\P,  Mischel,                                                               
3/18/13,  as  the  working  document.    Representatives  LeDoux,                                                               
Reinbold, P.  Wilson, and  Gattis voted  against it.   Therefore,                                                               
Version P failed to be adopted  as the working document by a vote                                                               
of  3-4.   [The proposed  committee  substitute (CS)  for HB  93,                                                               
labeled  28-LS0354\O, Mischel,  3/11/13, adopted  as the  working                                                               
document on 3/15/13, was before the committee.]                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:04:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON reminded the  committee that information on                                                               
denials by  school boards  had been  requested for  discussion on                                                               
Version O.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:05:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND requested  additional  data for  charter                                                               
school authorizers  and a complete  list of charter  schools, the                                                               
capacities,  and the  actual wait  lists  for the  past year,  as                                                               
requested earlier in the meeting.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:06:15 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS declared that HB 93 would be held over.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:06:27 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Education Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 10:06 a.m.                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HB 133 Bill Text.pdf HEDC 3/11/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 133
02 HB 133 Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDC 3/11/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 133
03 HB 133 Sectional Summary.pdf HEDC 3/11/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 133
04 HB 133 ADMs and Full Values.pdf HEDC 3/11/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 133
05 HB 133 Kasayulie v. Alaska Consent Decree and Settlement Agreement.pdf HEDC 3/11/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 133
06 HB 133 DEED FY14 School Construction Grant Fund List.pdf HEDC 3/11/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 133
07 HB 133 PowerPoint.pdf HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 133
08 HB 133 Fiscal Note - EED-FundTransfer-3-13-13.pdf HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 133
00 CSHB 93 v. P.PDF HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
01 HB 93 Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
02 HB 93 v. A - Bill Text.PDF HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
03 CSHB 93 v. O.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
04 HB93 Changes from HB93 to CSHB93 v. O.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
05 HB 93 FAQ.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
06 HB 93 Fiscal Note - EED-TLS-3-6-13.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
07 HB 93 Sectional Summary v. A.PDF HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
08 HB 93 Backup Charter Schools Basic Information EED.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
09 HB 93 Research CERP Primer Multiple Authorizers 12-11.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
10 HB 93 Research ECS - What Policymakers Need to Know about Charter Schools.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
11 HB 93 Research Legislative Research Services.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
12 HB 93 Research Material - AYP Data for Charter Schools.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
13 HB 93 Letter Support NAPCS 3-13-13.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
14 HB 93 Letter Oppose NEA.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
15 HB 93 Letter Oppose Eagleton.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
16 HB 93 Letter Oppose ESSA.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
17 HB 93 Letter Oppose NAACP.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
18 HB 93 Letters Oppose.PDF HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
19 HB93 Letter Support - Covey.PDF HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
01 HB 151 Sponsor Statement v. A.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
02 HB 151 v. A Bill Text.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
03 HB 151 Sectional v. A.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
04 HB 151 Fiscal Note v. A - EED-TLS-3-8-13.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
05 CS HB 151 ver. O.PDF HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
06 HB 151 Information Packet.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
07 CSHB 151 Fiscal Note - EED-TLS-3-14-13.pdf HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151