Legislature(2021 - 2022)DAVIS 106

04/12/2021 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
08:01:46 AM Start
08:03:02 AM Presentation(s): Alaska Performance Scholarship, Program Review, and Recommendations
08:49:29 AM HB48
09:06:03 AM HB19
09:08:38 AM HB25
09:38:20 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: Alaska Performance Scholarship, TELECONFERENCED
Program Review, & Recommendations by McKinley
Research Group (Formerly McDowell Group)
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
        HB 25-PUBLIC SCHOOLS: SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL LEARNING                                                                     
9:08:38 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be HB  25 "An Act  relating to the duties  of the state  Board of                                                               
Education and Early Development;  relating to statewide standards                                                               
for instruction  in social-emotional learning; and  providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
9:09:07 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS, as  prime sponsor  of HB  25, overviewed                                                               
the proposed legislation's fiscal notes.   He said there would be                                                               
a  one-time  increment  for  creating  social/emotional  learning                                                               
(SEL) standards  that would include  $30,000 for 20  educators to                                                               
come together for  one year to create the  standards, $35,000 for                                                               
a  contract  for  an  expert to  help  facilitate  the  standards                                                               
process,  and $6,000  in legal  fees to  implement the  necessary                                                               
regulatory changes.  He noted  that stakeholder meetings would be                                                               
held virtually in order to save cost.                                                                                           
9:11:13 AM                                                                                                                    
ABBY  O'NEILL,  Educator,  National Education  Association  (NEA)                                                               
Alaska,  provided invited  testimony in  support of  HB 25.   She                                                               
said that  children successful  when they have strong connections                                                               
with people who care about them.   She explained that this allows                                                               
them to take  risks safely, work with  others, regulate emotions,                                                               
and recognize their  strengths.  She said this is  the epitome of                                                               
SEL.    She  argued  that   when  taught  in  the  classroom  and                                                               
relationships  are   strengthened,  SEL  provides   for  academic                                                               
success and personal growth both socially and emotionally.                                                                      
MS.  O'NEILL argued  the pandemic  highlighted  that teachers  do                                                               
much more than teach academics.   She said teachers are educating                                                               
children on how  to interact, how to calm down  and reset, how to                                                               
work past  a challenge,  and how  to be their  best selves.   She                                                               
stated that  SEL has allowed  her to instill  self-regulation for                                                               
those with high needs behaviors  and has also encouraged teamwork                                                               
and an appreciation  of differences.  She stated  that SEL builds                                                               
a bridge between life's obstacles  and a student's learning.  She                                                               
opined that adding  SEL standards at the state  level would allow                                                               
for students  to be  supported on a  level other  than academics.                                                               
She  offered that  SEL  can help  bring  in more  trauma-informed                                                               
teaching practices and can provide  students the skills that will                                                               
help them be  more successful in the classroom  and more prepared                                                               
for the future.                                                                                                                 
9:13:47 AM                                                                                                                    
MALLORY VANREENAN  provided invited  testimony in support  HB 25.                                                               
She shared that her daughter  has received support for SEL during                                                               
her time  in a  special education program,  which has  helped her                                                               
overcome  shyness and  given her  the skills  to advocate  in the                                                               
classroom.   She shared her  belief that this sort  of curriculum                                                               
would benefit all  students.  She said simple  skills like naming                                                               
and recognizing  emotions can help  to process feelings  and help                                                               
kids function in  the classroom and the world as  they grow.  She                                                               
stated that these skills also  help them interact with both their                                                               
teachers and  their peers.   She opined that  statewide standards                                                               
for this  curriculum would  benefit every  Alaska child  and help                                                               
hold the school system to a high standard.                                                                                      
9:15:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY opened public testimony on HB 25.                                                                                
9:15:37 AM                                                                                                                    
KATIE BOTZ testified  in support HB 25.  She  shared that she was                                                               
sexually abused when  in the sixth grade, and  she wasn't allowed                                                               
to talk about her experience  or the investigation that followed.                                                               
She said her teacher noticed  she was falling behind academically                                                               
in the eighth  grade, and a teacher asked that  she be held back.                                                               
Ms.  Botz asserted  that  she fell  behind  because she  couldn't                                                               
process the  social and  emotional aspects  of her  trauma, which                                                               
has since affected her work as an adult.                                                                                        
9:19:09 AM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTINE  HUTCHINSON testified  in  opposition to  HB  25.   She                                                               
called the  proposed legislation "mission creep  of the Education                                                               
Department."  She said [public  education] was to be [limited to]                                                               
reading, writing,  and arithmetic.   She suggested that HB  25 be                                                               
modified  to   include  interaction   and  permission   from  the                                                               
student's family.   She said [emotional  and behavioral] problems                                                               
and solutions start in the home,  which is where she opined these                                                               
things  should  be  addressed.    She  saw  HB  25  as  an  added                                                               
governmental expense.                                                                                                           
9:21:39 AM                                                                                                                    
MIKE COONS testified  in opposition to HB 25.   He said this bill                                                               
addressed  learning  that  children  should  receive  from  their                                                               
parents,  and that  he  disagreed with  spending  $71,000 on  the                                                               
proposed legislation.  He said  families were more concerned with                                                               
reading, writing, and arithmetic, and other social issues.                                                                      
9:24:27 AM                                                                                                                    
NORM WOOTEN,  Director of Advocacy, Association  of Alaska School                                                               
Boards (AASB), said the association  strongly supports HB 25.  He                                                               
shared that AASB has a  full-time position that works with school                                                               
districts and  families to support  SEL.  He explained  that AASB                                                               
doesn't intend to  supplant parent teaching within  the home, but                                                               
to supplement it.  He  argued that children's problems don't stop                                                               
when they attend school, and  it is necessary that teaching staff                                                               
address  student's  problems  and  also  help  families  overcome                                                               
problems that children may be having.                                                                                           
9:26:04 AM                                                                                                                    
KELLY NASH testified in opposition to  HB 25.  She stated that HB
25  was "funded  by the  Bill and  Melinda Gates  Foundation, ...                                                               
Chan  Zuckerberg,  and  it also  has  affiliations  with  Chinese                                                               
corporations,"   and  she   opined   that   it  is,   "absolutely                                                               
disgusting."   She argued this  legislation would be  a violation                                                               
of  privacy and  was unconstitutional.   She  reiterated previous                                                               
testifiers' sentiments  that schools  should [stick  to] teaching                                                               
reading, writing,  and arithmetic.   She  expressed that  she was                                                               
displeased  with  the  legislature's   response  to  COVID-19  in                                                               
schools, and  that it was  bad for  children's stress.   She said                                                               
she was considering removing her  daughter from the public school                                                               
9:28:24 AM                                                                                                                    
ALYSYN THIBAULT, Teacher, testified in favor  of HB 25.  She said                                                               
there  is much  more  to  schools than  just  the academics  that                                                               
teachers cover.   She shared that as a teacher  she has witnessed                                                               
the challenges  young people  have in  coping with  and surviving                                                               
struggles.   She argued  that Alaska  can and  must do  better to                                                               
support students and  families.  She said HB 25  would be a small                                                               
step  forward by  providing a  framework of  SEL standards.   She                                                               
argued  that SEL  is  no longer  [comprised  of] soft-skills  and                                                               
called  SEL "twenty-first  century skills"  that business  owners                                                               
look for in their workforce.                                                                                                    
9:31:05 AM                                                                                                                    
LISA SKILES  PARADY, PhD, Executive  Director, Alaska  Council of                                                               
School Administrators  (ACSA), testified in  support HB 25.   She                                                               
related   that    ACSA   is   an   umbrella    group   supporting                                                               
superintendents,  elementary  and  secondary  principals,  school                                                               
business officials,  and administrators. She said  as an umbrella                                                               
organization working  with multiple members, ACSA  develops joint                                                               
position   statements   annually,    which   reflect   collective                                                               
priorities in  public education.   In addition  to the  issues of                                                               
student achievement and adequate  funding, ACSA's members support                                                               
SEL.   She  shared  that Alaska  students  endure extremely  high                                                               
rates  of  trauma and  adverse  childhood  experiences, which  is                                                               
reflected in  the fact that Alaska  has the highest rate  of teen                                                               
suicide attempts  in the nation.   She said ACSA urges  the state                                                               
to  implement comprehensive  SEL programs  and supports  targeted                                                               
funding  to  enable  schools to  recruit,  retain,  and  increase                                                               
students'   access   to   school  counselors,   social   workers,                                                               
psychologists,  nurses,  and  mental health  specialists  and  to                                                               
provide  additional professional  development  for  all staff  to                                                               
meet student's social and emotional needs.                                                                                      
DR.  SKILES  PARADY said  ACSA  also  supports the  Alaska  Staff                                                               
Development  Network  (ASDN).   She  shared  that for  almost  40                                                               
years,  ACSA  has  been  providing  professional  development  to                                                               
educators  across  Alaska,  including   in  SEL  instruction  and                                                               
support.  She  opined that with the pandemic, this  has become an                                                               
even more critical need for the state.                                                                                          
9:34:30 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY,  after ascertaining  that there  was no  one else                                                               
who wished to testify, closed public testimony on HB 25.                                                                        
9:34:57 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX expressed  concern  with  the state  setting                                                               
standards for skills "normally taught  ... by parents and through                                                               
Sunday  school,  churches,  and organizations  like  that."    He                                                               
argued  that   the  proposed  legislation  dove   into  religious                                                               
freedoms.  He opined that children  may not be ready to deal with                                                               
these things, and  the legislature may be  creating more problems                                                               
than it is solving.                                                                                                             
[HB 25 was held over.]                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Report-ACPE APS Program Review & Recs 2021.pdf HEDC 4/12/2021 8:00:00 AM
AK Performance Scholarship
HB 48 Bundled documents.pdf HEDC 4/12/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 48
APS Program Review PPT 4_8_21.pdf HEDC 4/12/2021 8:00:00 AM
Alaska Performance Scholarship
APS Program Recs Matrix 4.9.21.pdf HEDC 4/12/2021 8:00:00 AM
Alaska Performance Scholarship
HB 25 FN EED.SSA.pdf HEDC 4/12/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 25
HB 25 Letters of Support (2) 4.12.21.pdf HEDC 4/12/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 25
HB 25 Do Not Support, Articles (3) 4.12.21.pdf HEDC 4/12/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 25