Legislature(2013 - 2014)CAPITOL 106

04/08/2013 08:00 AM EDUCATION


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 57 LITERACY, PUPIL TRANSP, TEACHER NOTICES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 57(EDC) Out of Committee
*+ HB 197 LITERACY PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
*+ HB 179 BROADBAND DISCOUNTS FOR SCHOOLS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 179(EDC) Out of Committee
+= HB 190 CREDIT FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL COURSES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 190(EDC) Out of Committee
*+ HB 189 HAZING TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
             HB 179-BROADBAND DISCOUNTS FOR SCHOOLS                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:44:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  179, "An Act providing for  public school funding                                                               
for telecommunications or Internet services."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:44:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BENJAMIN  NAGEAK,   Alaska  State   Legislature,                                                               
explaining  the proposed  bill,  paraphrased  from the  following                                                               
prepared statement [original punctuation provided]:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     The  E-rate  program  provides federal  funding  for  a                                                                    
     portion of a  school district's telecommunication cost.                                                                    
     HB 179 will  provide state funding for  the portion not                                                                    
     covered  by  the federal  discount.    For FY  14  that                                                                    
     amount is approximately $13.8 million dollars.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     This  bill also  allows  school  districts to  increase                                                                    
     their bandwidth.  Right now  about 1/3 or approximately                                                                    
     170 schools  have less than  10 megabits per  second of                                                                    
     Internet services.   HB 179  will allow  school schools                                                                    
     below  10  megabits  per  second to  come  up  to  that                                                                    
     minimum  level and  receive state  reimbursement.   For                                                                    
     schools that  are already at  that level or  higher, HB                                                                    
     179  allows those  schools to  increase 10%  over their                                                                    
     prior year and  receive state funding.   This bill does                                                                    
     not limit  any school district to  higher increases but                                                                    
     does limit the state contribution at that point.                                                                           
     This bill will benefit  all school districts across the                                                                    
     state.    HB 179  will  assists  school districts  with                                                                    
     their  Internet  needs  and bring  all  schools  across                                                                    
     Alaska to a minimum level of Internet services.                                                                            
     Thank you for again for hearing  this bill today.  I am                                                                    
     happy to  answer any questions the  committee may have.                                                                    
     My staff  is available  and there  are people  from the                                                                    
     Department online to answer questions as well.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:46:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB   170,  labeled  28-LS0679\U,  Mischel,                                                               
4/5/13, as the working draft.   There being no objection, Version                                                               
U was before the committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:47:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NAGEAK  explained  the  changes in  the  CS,  and                                                               
paraphrased from the following prepared statement:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Removed  "telecommunication" from  the  bill on  advice                                                                    
     from the department.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Removed  Title   1  references   on  advice   from  the                                                                    
     department.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     For  FY14 the  state match  would be  the total  of the                                                                    
     applicant's  share.   This  is  considered   the  "base                                                                    
     amount."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Beginning  in FY15,  for those  school districts  whose                                                                    
     Internet services are  faster than 10 megabits-a-second                                                                    
     the amount they  are eligible to receive  is limited to                                                                    
     10 percent increase from the previous year's amount.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Beginning  in FY15,  for those  school districts  whose                                                                    
     Internet services are  slower than 10 megabits-a-second                                                                    
     the amount  they are eligible  to receive  can increase                                                                    
     more than 10 percent from the previous year's amount.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:48:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PEGGY   COWAN,  Superintendent,   North   Slope  Borough   School                                                               
District, stated that the proposed  bill supported all the school                                                               
districts in Alaska, as increased  costs and flat funding created                                                               
a  continuing   challenge  to   provide  the   necessary  student                                                               
programs.   She declared that  funding for internet  services was                                                               
critical  for education.    It  allowed the  State  of Alaska  to                                                               
leverage   federal   funds   for   a   percentage   of   district                                                               
telecommunications   services.     She  encouraged   support  for                                                               
proposed HB 179.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:50:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON  asked for an explanation  of the E-rate                                                               
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:50:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. COWAN explained that it  was a per school determination, with                                                               
an application that  required the school district to  bid out its                                                               
telecommunication  services.     She   stated  that   a  formula,                                                               
established   by  poverty   rates,  would   define  the   average                                                               
reimbursement  percentage   to  each  school  district,   with  a                                                               
specific rate  to specific schools.   She  compared reimbursement                                                               
percentages  among various  Rural Alaska  school districts.   She                                                               
noted that  the amount of  reimbursement was based on  the amount                                                               
spent on  telecommunication, but that the  level of reimbursement                                                               
was based on federal poverty guidelines for the school district.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. COWAN,  in response  to Representative  P. Wilson,  said that                                                               
the proposed bill  would allow her school district  to receive an                                                               
increase  of  more than  10  percent  reimbursement for  internet                                                               
services  up to  10 megabits-a-second,  beginning in  2015.   She                                                               
declared  that this  was  a  big step  forward  for rural  school                                                               
districts.   She reported that,  currently, the rural  schools in                                                               
her district had  less than 3 megabits, compared  to 100 megabits                                                               
in  the Alaska  legislative offices.   She  pointed out  that any                                                               
school  districts  with  more  than 10  megabits  would  also  be                                                               
eligible to increase funding by up to 10 percent.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:54:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER, asking about  the Department of Commerce,                                                               
Community &  Economic Development statewide broadband  task force                                                               
to increase  bandwidth for rural communities,  questioned how the                                                               
proposed bill would "mesh with that effort."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. COWAN replied that, although  proposed HB 179 would not solve                                                               
the broadband issue,  it was a step in the  right direction.  The                                                               
populated areas  of the  state did not  have the  Internet access                                                               
issues that  the rural areas  had, and  this was the  concern for                                                               
the taskforce.   She offered  her belief  that there would  be an                                                               
attempt  to   bring  up  to   450  megabits  to  all   the  rural                                                               
communities.   She clarified that  the proposed bill  would allow                                                               
the  rural school  districts  to afford  to  utilize the  current                                                               
technology,  and make  available  distance courses  in order  for                                                               
students  to  compete  for  the  performance  scholarship.    She                                                               
emphasized that  this was  not the  fix that  the task  force was                                                               
researching.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  called attention to  previous legislation                                                               
regarding bandwidth.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:57:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON  asked  to clarify  that  each  school                                                               
contracted for these services.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
LINDA  THIBODEAU, Director,  Office of  the Director,  Libraries,                                                               
Archives   &  Museums,   Department   of   Education  and   Early                                                               
Development  (EED),   offered  her  belief  that   currently  the                                                               
services were  contracted through  the school district,  but that                                                               
the  services  in the  proposed  bill  would  go to  each  school                                                               
individually.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON asked if it  would be possible to have a                                                               
statewide contract for these services.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  THIBODEAU replied  that  it  would be  a  huge leap  forward                                                               
beyond  the  proposed  bill,  but   that,  conceptually,  it  was                                                               
possible.  She explained that  the E-rate requirements were for a                                                               
competitive bidding process, so that  a school district would not                                                               
be required to buy from a provider.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON asked  to clarify  whether it  would be                                                               
possible, and if the providers could bid for this contract.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  THIBODEAU explained  that  the providers  would  bid to  the                                                               
school  districts individually,  and  that  the school  districts                                                               
would buy from the cheapest option.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON  asked if a statewide  approach would be                                                               
advantageous.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. THIBODEAU  replied that  it could  be very  advantageous, but                                                               
would require a lot of study.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:59:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:00:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVE  JONES, Assistant  Superintendent,  Kenai Peninsula  Borough                                                               
School District (KPBSD),  stated support for proposed  HB 179 and                                                               
said that,  although it would only  have a limited effect  in the                                                               
Kenai Peninsula  Borough School District, it  would provide great                                                               
opportunities for other rural areas of the state.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:01:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON  asked about  the  statewide  contract                                                               
approach.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JONES  declared  that  services  were  currently  bid  on  a                                                               
district  wide  basis  and that  the  federal  reimbursement  was                                                               
determined on  an individual basis.   He said that the  volume in                                                               
the district could bring the cost  down, but he questioned that a                                                               
single company had the ability to service the entire state.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:02:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEENA  PARAMO, Superintendent,  Matanuska-Susitna Borough  School                                                               
District,  stated support  for HB  179.   She  declared that  her                                                               
school  district  invested  heavily  in  technology  and  on-line                                                               
courses, to  ensure that its  students were well connected.   She                                                               
pointed out  that digital  learning was an  integral part  of the                                                               
school district  curriculum, and allowed students  mastery of on-                                                               
line research  methods and  course work,  in order  to adequately                                                               
prepare for a future immersed  in technology.  She reported that,                                                               
as  this  was  a  responsibility  of  the  school  district,  the                                                               
partnerships  with  service  providers  had  increased  the  area                                                               
network  for connection  to more  schools.   She emphasized  that                                                               
this connectivity had  brought higher costs, which  had been paid                                                               
by the community.  She declared support for proposed HB 179.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:04:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE  JOHNSON,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Council  of  School                                                               
Administrators,  stated  support of  HB  179,  declaring that  it                                                               
would be beneficial for payment  of ever increasing higher costs,                                                               
while providing greater internet access in Rural Alaska.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:05:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARL  ROSE,  Executive  Director, Association  of  Alaska  School                                                               
Boards (AASB), stated support of  proposed HB 179, observing that                                                               
digital technology needed to be extended into the schools.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:05:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS closed public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:05:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  stated his  support for proposed  HB 179.                                                               
He referenced  page 7,  footnote 8,  of the  Legislative Research                                                               
Report  00.007  titled  "The  Federal  E-Rate  Program  and  ASTF                                                               
Grants:   Helping to Connect  Alaska's Schools," dated  March 17,                                                               
2000 [Included  in members' packets].   The footnote  pointed out                                                               
that although wireless  connection in schools would  be much more                                                               
cost  effective,  it  would  entail   a  change  to  the  Federal                                                               
Communications Commission  (FCC) rules.   He suggested  that this                                                               
could be a better long-term fix.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:06:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked to clarify  that the schools were not                                                               
able to utilize wireless internet access.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:07:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS explained that schools  could use wireless but there                                                               
was a federal issue.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:07:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  moved to  report  CSHB  179, Version  28-                                                               
LS0679\U,  Mischel,  4/5/13,  out of  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no  objection,   CSHB  179(EDC)  was  reported   from  the  House                                                               
Education Standing Committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
04032013_SB57_BillText_VersionY.PDF HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
04052013_SB57_SponsorStatement_VersionY.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
04052013_SB57_Sectional_VersionY.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03132013_SB57_FiscalNote1.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03132013_SB57_FiscalNote2.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03132013_SB57_FiscalNote3.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03132013_SB57_FiscalNote4.PDF HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
SB 57 SampleParentInvolvement_Pamphlet_Idaho.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/28/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 57
SB 57 Third Grade Reading Policies.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/28/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 57
SB 57 ECS_Third Grade Literacy Policies.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/28/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 57
SB 57 SupportLetters.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/28/2013 9:00:00 AM
SB 57
01 HB 179 v. A.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 179
02 CS HB 179.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 179
03 CS HB 179 Explanation of Changes.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 179
04 HB 179 Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 179
06 HB 179Fiscal Note-EED-LAM-3 21-13.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 179
07 HB 179 Backup-FY2012 Total Broadband Cost E-Rate share and Applicant Share.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 179
08 HB 179 Backup-ADN Article.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 179
09 HB 179 Backup-LegislativeResearch_Erate section.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 179
12 HB 179Support Letter FNSB.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 179
01 HB 190 v. A.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
02 HB 190 Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
03 HB 190 Fiscal Note - EED-TLS-3-28-13.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
04 HB 190 Supporting Documents-Letter Herb Schroeder 03-28-2013.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
05 HB 190 Supporting Documents-Email Bob Crumley 03-28-2013.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
06 HB 190 Supporting Documents-Letter Steve Atwater 04-01-2013.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
07 HB 190 Supporting Documents-Anchorage SD Credit By Choice program 04-02-2013.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190
08 HB 190 Supporting Documents-MatSu SD policy 04-02-2013.pdf HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/5/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 190