Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/28/1995 03:15 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 HB 217 - TEACHER EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS & RETIREMENT                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the next order of business would be HB                
 217, "An Act relating to employment of teachers."  He noted there             
 were people wishing to testify via teleconference.                            
                                                                               
 GUY STRINGHAM, Teacher, testified via teleconference from                     
 Dillingham.  He said he is a high school teacher and has taught               
 American Government and American History for a number of years.               
 He noted he has been involved with labor relations - employee                 
 representative kind of work.  He said he would make two                       
 observations regarding the legislation.                                       
                                                                               
 MR. STRINGHAM said his first observation in reading the bill is               
 that it will complete the slide of teachers into second class                 
 citizenship in that one of the great rights all American citizens             
 have under the Constitution is the right to a hearing before the              
 court and their peers.  If the bill is passed in its present                  
 form, they would lose that right.  He suggested adding wording to             
 the bill to say the cost of any hearings, trials or any kind of               
 court hearing be born by the people and not with public money.                
 He said he thinks this would then preclude a lot of the kinds of              
 releases, the kinds of taking away of teacher's jobs.                         
                                                                               
 MR. STRINGHAM referred to the area of administration and said he              
 disagrees with the meaning of the bill.  He said he finds most                
 administrators fairly (indisc.).  If he reads the bill correctly,             
 teaching will be the only profession in the world where somebody              
 has to take two to five years to decide if they've got a good                 
 employee.  Mr. Stringham said what has happened in the past with              
 this tenure bill is that because of the lack of (indisc.)                     
 evaluation and good progressive discipline to help teachers                   
 overcome weaknesses or to help their (indisc.) strength, they                 
 have seen an erosion of a PR campaign.  When a teacher reaches                
 tenure, they have the right to a job forever.  He said anybody                
 who knows how this operates or how it should operate knows that               
 any teacher can be removed in six months with a good progressive              
 discipline program carried out by competent administrators.  Mr.              
 Stringham said he works for competent administrators and he                   
 doesn't see a need for the bill at all unless we're trying to                 
 allow incompetent (indisc.) system.                                           
                                                                               
 MR. STRINGHAM referred to the status of teachers in general.  He              
 said for him to have to go forward to a court only in a due                   
 process which says he is going to have a hearing at a local level             
 with people.  The way hearings are currently, people don't really             
 have good a judicial background unless a lot of high priced                   
 lawyers are brought in.  He said they are going forward with                  
 little legal expertise into the court of law and they are not                 
 going to get due process.  He thanked the committee for allowing              
 him to testify.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 190                                                                    
                                                                               
 BOB COLLINS, Principal, Valdez Junior/Senior High School, said he             
 would speak briefly on behalf of Harry Rogers, Superintendent,                
 Valdez City Schools, on the issue of teacher tenure which is                  
 related to HB 217.  Mr. Rogers recommends extending the tenure                
 from two to four years.  He feels very strongly about tenure for              
 certificated teachers in Alaska.  Very seldom, if ever, does a                
 certificated teacher lose their job based upon a certificated                 
 evaluation process.  Mr. Collins said after two years, an                     
 administrator is involved in evaluating teachers.  It is a major              
 and difficult decision to make regarding recommending tenure or               
 nonretention for a teacher.  It is not uncommon for teachers new              
 to a district, especially teachers new to the profession, to have             
 a year or two where they struggle to adjust to the rigors of a                
 classroom and the demands of being a teacher.  It is their belief             
 that presently most administrators who evaluate teachers do a                 
 good job and they give the benefit of the doubt to the struggling             
 or marginal teacher rather than making the decision on what is                
 best for kids - the students in the school.  By lengthening or                
 strengthening the tenure requirements, they believe it will                   
 provide teachers, especially new ones to the profession, more                 
 time to make the necessary adjustments to the challenges of                   
 teaching and to demonstrate their skills.  In the long run, the               
 extended time period will allow a more accurate assessment of the             
 teacher's capabilities after they progress throughout the tough               
 and typical adjustment to functioning successfully in the                     
 classroom.  Lengthening tenure (indisc.) would permit                         
 administrators evaluating teachers more time to make accurate                 
 assessments of the teacher's strengths, weaknesses and potential              
 as a quality teacher and, therefore, be able to make that                     
 critical employment recommendation based upon a true measure of a             
 teacher's ability and what is right for students.                             
                                                                               
 MR. COLLINS said he believes that extending the tenure                        
 requirements will benefit teachers, administrators and students.              
 Teachers can more accurately demonstrate their true professional              
 skills.  Administrators can make more accurate assessments of a               
 teacher's capabilities without a rushed judgement.  He said                   
 Valdez city schools have 66 certificated staff members and as of              
 FY 96, it is very possible that there would be zero or no                     
 nontenured teachers in the district under the current system.  He             
 thanked the committee for listening to him.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 260                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT noted that the committee had adopted CSHB 217(L&C),             
 dated 4/25/95 the previous day.                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he would like to state a conflict.  He             
 said Mr. Collins is his wife's boss.  He asked Mr. Collins how                
 many nontenured teachers they did not retain because he felt                  
 there wasn't enough of a time period to evaluate them properly.               
                                                                               
 MR. COLLINS stated the answer is one.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 277                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON said it shouldn't take two years to                  
 decide if he has a good employee or not.  He said he is assuming,             
 per testimony the previous day, that one of the most important                
 jobs an administrator has is teacher evaluation and development.              
 He said he still needs to be convinced why they need four years               
 rather than two years to make a determination on whether somebody             
 will be good teacher or not.  He noted he is making an                        
 assumption, based on experience in Juneau, that there are a lot               
 of good teachers that are waiting be hired.  It may be cost                   
 efficient to dip into the pool of talented people who are waiting             
 to teach.                                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. COLLINS said it is his feeling as an administrator that it                
 benefits all parties involved in making the assessment.  It                   
 benefits the teachers by being able to "show their stuff."  Mr.               
 Collins said it has been his experience that teachers in the                  
 adjustment process of becoming a quality individual in the                    
 classroom go through a very rigorous adjustment process in both               
 student management, content orientation, etc.  He said it takes               
 an extended period of time to successfully adjust.  Two years                 
 isn't an adequate amount of time for a teacher to be able to go               
 through that process and for administrators to be able to make a              
 quality judgement.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 313                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON referred to parents he has spoken with and               
 said the problem they have with teacher tenure isn't the two year             
 or four year period at the beginning, it is teachers who have                 
 been in the system for a long period of time.  He said Mr.                    
 Collins is saying those bad teachers in the system, who are                   
 tenured, are there because of the two year period up-front.  A                
 good judgement wasn't made because there wasn't a long enough                 
 period of time to train or make a decision.                                   
                                                                               
 MR. COLLINS said he doesn't think that is the case at all.  He                
 said they have a fine cabaret of teachers in Valdez.  Mr. Collins             
 said what he is indicating is that it would be beneficial to the              
 teachers, students and the administrators to have an additional               
 period of time to make a better assessment regarding the                      
 capabilities of a potential teacher.  He noted he isn't making a              
 judgement based upon the individuals already on staff.  Mr.                   
 Collins said he is talking about those who are nontenured and are             
 new to the district.                                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said all of the current tenured teachers are             
 a result of a two year tenure program.  MR. COLLINS said that                 
 would be his understanding.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 338                                                                    
                                                                               
 JOE JOSEPHSON, Attorney at Law, said he does some work for the                
 National Education Association-Alaska (NEA-Alaska) and its                    
 affiliates.  He said it seems to him that from the previous                   
 testimony there is a paradox in the bill.  The previous testifier             
 said that you can't judge a teacher on the question of tenure in              
 less than four years.  But under the draft, one would turn around             
 and say in the case of layoffs, we will fire teachers who have                
 passed tenure and who have served the district well.  We will                 
 have a formula for laying them off regardless of their tenure                 
 rights, and keep working with those who have not proved                       
 themselves.  Mr. Josephson said it seems to him that there is a               
 philosophical inconsistency in having a four year provision                   
 coupled with the layoff language that he has seen.                            
                                                                               
 MR. JOSEPHSON referred to the question of de novo hearing and the             
 judicial review and said Mr. Stringham made some interesting                  
 points.  He used the phrase "second class citizen," and he is                 
 right.  Mr. Josephson said if he fired an employee in his office              
 and the employee believes that Mr. Josephson acted in bad faith,              
 the employee can go directly to court and get a hearing before a              
 mutual judge.  If a teacher who is tenured is dismissed by a                  
 school board, the teacher's rights are merely to have a hearing               
 before the school board or a hearing officer hired by the school              
 board.  If the teacher loses, he/she can could go to court and                
 the judge, under the language in the bill, would be bound to                  
 affirm the dismissal of the teacher if there is any substantial               
 basis for that dismissal even if the judge disagrees with it and              
 thinks the school board was wrong.                                            
                                                                               
 MR. JOSEPHSON said there was a Supreme Court case saying that                 
 school boards don't have expertise in these matters and that,                 
 under existing law, (indisc.) shouldn't be (indisc.) them.  Mr.               
 Josephson said what teachers want, and should have, is at least               
 one neutral fair hearing on the question of dismissal whether the             
 legislature decides it should be through arbitration or through               
 the present de novo hearing.  He thanked the committee for                    
 letting him speak.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 381                                                                    
                                                                               
 MARTI HUGHES, Vice President, Anchorage Council of the PTA; and               
 President, Hanshew Junior High, testified via teleconference from             
 Anchorage.  She said she would like to urge the committee to                  
 include the minimum of a five year probationary period before                 
 tenure is granted, and to (indisc.) collective bargaining in the              
 bill.  Anchorage Council of the PTA, representing over 12,000                 
 parents and guardians, has passed resolutions supporting a                    
 minimum of a five year probationary period before tenure is                   
 granted and supporting open collective bargaining.  Nationwide,               
 the move is to do away with tenure and go to annual renewable                 
 contracts.  Nine states currently do not have tenure.  She gave               
 an illustration of a scenario regarding teacher tenure.                       
                                                                               
 MS. HUGHES said with the budget constraints and cutbacks, the                 
 administrators who are responsible for the evaluation are some of             
 the work forces in jeopardy in facing cutbacks.  Everyday                     
 citizens in their jobs are not protected by tenure.  She urged                
 the committee to support the resolution passed by the Anchorage               
 Council of the PTA.  Ms. Hughes thanked the committee for                     
 listening to her testimony.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 407                                                                    
                                                                               
 BOB DOYLE, Assistant Superintendent, Finance, Mat-Su School                   
 District, testified via teleconference from the Mat-Su                        
 Legislative Information Office.  He said the district would                   
 support taking a look at the issues being addressed by HB 217 and             
 SB 132.  Anytime there is an opportunity to allow school boards               
 greater local control, it will improve instruction.  He said the              
 state should seriously consider any of those suggestions.  Mr.                
 Doyle said he doesn't think HB 217 is "teacher bashing."  It is               
 important to look at any kind of tool, in a time of fiscal                    
 deficit that we currently have, that would give local school                  
 boards some flexibility to deal with the issues that confront                 
 them on an every day basis.  Anytime we have unfunded mandates or             
 underfunded mandates and we cut budgets without giving boards                 
 some flexibility, we're headed towards a disaster.                            
                                                                               
 MR. DOYLE said he does support any effort to (indisc.) to                     
 improving student achievement.  That would include such things as             
 looking at the areas of career paths for teachers, merit pay for              
 teachers, retirement incentive programs and any other issues                  
 along those lines.                                                            
                                                                               
 MR. DOYLE referred to the bill and said by eliminating the de                 
 novo trial, you aren't removing all judicial review after the                 
 school board has actually heard the case.  He said he would                   
 differ from testimony given by Mr. Josephson in that the private              
 sector doesn't have due process requirements that the public                  
 sector employer does.  A private sector company can dismiss an                
 employee and they do get one fair hearing before the judge.  The              
 public sector employer has to provide due process and that                    
 employer has to give a fair hearing.  In this case, if a de novo              
 trial is granted, there is an additional hearing where the entire             
 record is thrown out and the previous hearing (indisc.) new.  The             
 cost of that can get to the point of $200,000 or more.  In these              
 tight budget times, that money can be better used directly in the             
 classrooms.                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. DOYLE said he would support some extensions of tenure and he              
 does think compromises are in order.  He said he does think in                
 cases, such as transfer rights where a teacher can be hired into              
 a school for one year and is transferred to another school the                
 following year, does allow a situation where people think that                
 the person is being directly supervised by the same employer both             
 years and that may not be the case.  They could have had two                  
 different principals during that time and they are going to have              
 to conduct their own independent observations.  In many cases, he             
 believes it takes more than two years to do that.                             
                                                                               
 MR. DOYLE referred to the 3 percent funding provision and said                
 his concern is that by the time you have actually determined the              
 basic needs (indisc.) enrollment calculations in October, they                
 have already issued year long contracts.  They probably won't be              
 issuing layoff notices until the subsequent year.  He does think              
 that it is appropriate for school boards to have some latitude                
 but the timing of which to determine that basic need in the 3                 
 percent reduction is critical because they are issuing contracts              
 to tenured teacher for the following year in March and to                     
 nontenured teachers by the last day of the school year.                       
                                                                               
 Number 463                                                                    
                                                                               
 JOHN CYR, Teacher; and Vice President, NEA-Alaska, testified via              
 teleconference.  He said he believes his comments have been faxed             
 to the committee.  Mr. Cyr requested the committee postpone                   
 passing the bill out of committee as there are so many issues                 
 that affect so many people, statewide.  It should be dealt with               
 during the interim when all those parties concerned can sit down              
 in a less heated atmosphere and make decisions that everybody can             
 live with.  He said he is extremely concerned about the tenure                
 provision.  Administrators all over the state have said they need             
 more time to evaluate and yet he sees nothing on the table about              
 mandatory evaluation.  There is an awful lot of "smoke and                    
 mirrors" that seems to be going on when people want one side of               
 the issue to go one way but they refuse to talk about true                    
 evaluation procedure.  Mr. Cyr said nobody wants bad teachers in              
 the classroom.                                                                
                                                                               
 MR. CYR referred to the de novo hearing and said he finds it                  
 interesting that it takes longer to become a tenure teacher and               
 after you are tenured, it takes employment away from you.  It is              
 real clear that school boards are political bodies and sometimes              
 act in a political fashion.  To consider a school board hearing a             
 fair hearing is sometimes a stretch of the imagination.                       
                                                                               
 MR. CYR referred to the reduction for budgetary constraints and               
 said he agrees with Mr. Doyle.  If we're going to look at that,               
 we need to be sure of exactly what kind of conditions exist.  He              
 suggested reviewing independent audits of school districts.  Mr.              
 Cyr said the issues are very complex and more time is needed to               
 look the issue over.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 501                                                                    
                                                                               
 KATHI GILLESPIE, Representative, Alaska PTA, testified via                    
 teleconference from Anchorage.  She said last Saturday, the                   
 Alaska PTA, which represents over 19,000 members statewide,                   
 passed two resolutions that pertain to HB 217.  The Alaska PTA                
 supports extending the probationary period for teacher tenure                 
 from two to five years.  The Alaska Conference of Parents and                 
 Teachers recommends that AS 14.150 A and B be amended to require              
 a minimum of five full school years of employment as a teacher to             
 obtain tenure in the school systems of the state of Alaska                    
 (indisc.) teachers who retire on or after the effective date of               
 the act.                                                                      
                                                                               
 MS. GILLESPIE said the Alaska PTA supports the opening of                     
 contract negotiations to public scrutiny.  She said their                     
 resolution RESOLVED reads that the Alaska Conference of Parents               
 and Teachers supports rules and collective bargaining and                     
 provides (indisc.) and reasonable time for public comment of all              
 issues being considered between the bargaining group and the                  
 school board.  Therefore, be it further resolved that the Alaska              
 Conference of Parents and Teachers actively seek and support                  
 changes to state legislation or regulations which allow for                   
 public disclosure and a reasonable time for public comment of all             
 issues being considered between a bargaining group and the school             
 board for collective bargaining.  The PTA can no longer stand by              
 silently as the policy of public education and public support for             
 public education (indisc.).  There is no smoke and mirrors here               
 except the part that is being born by the NEA.                                
                                                                               
 MS. GILLESPIE said parameters for evaluation are negotiated                   
 behind closed doors and out of the public eye.  In Anchorage,                 
 they have negotiated an evaluation process that never holds them              
 accountable for teaching the curriculum that we pay them to                   
 teach.  For them to use the evaluation process that they wrote to             
 deny the children of this community of quality education is                   
 ludicrous.  We all know that as oil revenues decline, significant             
 downsizing will occur.  Give us some tools to manage our work                 
 forces as (indisc.) and effectively.  She indicated there is an               
 incredible level of frustration felt by parents and taxpayers.                
 Our kids are the second class citizens here in a system that is               
 set up to protect the employees regardless of their performance.              
 She asked the committee to support HB 217.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 520                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to open negotiations and asked Ms.                     
 Gillespie if she is addressing the negotiating process or is the              
 PTA interested in understanding or knowing the issues that will               
 be negotiated.                                                                
                                                                               
 MS. GILLESPIE said the frustration is that they are not aware of              
 the issues that are being negotiated.  She said they don't                    
 necessarily have to sit at the table.  In Minnesota, everything               
 is open except for the strategy sessions that the two groups                  
 hold.  In California, they come before the public with their                  
 issues that they will be negotiating.  After public comment                   
 disclosure, they go into negotiations.  If there are any new                  
 issues, there is a time for public comment.  Ms. Gillespie said               
 our elected officials don't know what the will of the people is               
 on issues that have never been publicly discussed.  In Anchorage,             
 87 percent of the budget is negotiated in the contracts.  They                
 are at a disadvantage.  She said they are concerned that the                  
 budget is being negotiated behind closed doors for a period of                
 three years at a time.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 533                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA inquired if Ms. Gillespie had just been                 
 elected to the school board.  MS. GILLESPIE indicated she was.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he doesn't know of anything in the law             
 which requires that the negotiations be behind closed doors.  He              
 said he thinks that all the school board has to do is say that                
 they will be open.  He said Ms. Gillespie is in a position to do              
 so.                                                                           
                                                                               
 MS. GILLESPIE said that isn't her understanding.  She said it is              
 her understanding that the labor relations law doesn't speak to               
 the issue at all.  What they have been told by their labor                    
 relations person is that both parties have to agree in order for              
 them to be open and the union will never agree to that.  Ms.                  
 Gillespie said she thinks the public deserves to oversee the                  
 spending of public dollars.  The development of public policies               
 shouldn't be an option; it should be a guarantee to the children              
 of this state.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 564                                                                    
                                                                               
 JOHN GILLESPIE was next to testify via teleconference from                    
 Anchorage.  He indicated his family are products of the public                
 education system of this country.  He said their success, as a                
 family and individuals, in the fields of engineering, management,             
 education, space exploration and aviation can be directly                     
 attributed to the quality and availability of a publicly                      
 supported education system between the period of 1930 to 1975.                
 He said HB 217 will be a good first step in reversing the spiral              
 down that we are currently in.  The time has come for business,               
 interested taxpayer, voters and legislators to take a stand for               
 their kids.  Mr. Gillespie said he supports HB 217.  He asked the             
 committee to include an amendment to provide for open                         
 negotiations with public school employees.  Allowing open                     
 negotiations will involve the public in a meaningful way by                   
 allowing public comment in issues critical to their children's                
 education.  He said he believes this will result in an increase               
 of public support for the system.                                             
                                                                               
 MR. GILLESPIE said rolling back teacher tenure will result in                 
 improved performance.  He informed the committee he has been a                
 supervisor in private industry for the past 15 years and has had              
 to deal with many employee performance issues as well as                      
 downsizing operations.  Individuals who feel they have been                   
 wrongly terminated have the right to (indisc.) against employers.             
 He said he doesn't believe special provisions are necessary over              
 and above the rights of other citizens.  Mr. Gillespie urged the              
 committee to report HB 217, with an amendment for open                        
 negotiations, to the floor.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 598                                                                    
                                                                               
 LUCY HOPE, President, Mat-Su Education Association, testified via             
 teleconference from Mat-Su.  She indicated concern with some of               
 the effects of the bill.  Ms. Hope said she believes that two                 
 years is an adequate time to evaluate teachers on a probationary              
 period.  The Mat-Su School District has an excellent evaluation               
 tool that was developed jointly by teachers and administrators.               
 It is very effective.  She said she believes that is the most                 
 important component in improving instruction.  Ms. Hope said                  
 extending the probationary period without improving the                       
 evaluation process will not do this.  Extending the tenure                    
 provision can have some economic impact.  She said the previous               
 week, she received a phone call from a teacher who has taught in              
 the school district for two and a half years.  He has not                     
 achieved tenure.  He asked what the status was of HB 217 as he                
 had applied for a loan for a house at his bank and the bank told              
 him he would denied until he achieved tenure.                                 
                                                                               
 MS. HOPE said she is concerned about the teachers who live in a               
 community for four or five years before being allowed to purchase             
 a house.  It is another example of teachers being second class                
 citizens.  Ms. Hope said she is also concerned about extending                
 the ability of school districts to layoff tenured teachers.                   
 Revenue is declining but Mat-Su is growing at a rate of 4 percent             
 to 5 percent a year.  Next fall that will equate to about 500 new             
 students.  The ability to layoff more teachers will not help kids             
 in the school district.  Ms. Hope urged the committee to hold the             
 bill.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 617                                                                    
                                                                               
 ROBERT VAN SLYKE, Superintendent, Juneau School District, was                 
 next to testify in Juneau.  He said he believes there is                      
 something to be gained by extending tenure.  Two years tends to               
 be a bit short, but whether four or five years is necessary, he               
 doesn't know.  Two years is certainly short.  Mr. Van Slyke said              
 he thinks there are times when we don't give our nontenured                   
 employees a fair shake.  He said the district firmly believes                 
 that when they hire somebody, they make an investment in them.                
 They would like to have an opportunity to help them be                        
 successful.  If the period is too short, there is a tendency to               
 cut them loose, and some of those people, with a little more                  
 time, may have turned out to be very good teachers in the long                
 run.  On the other hand, they have kept people in an attempt to               
 be fair and have regretted it.                                                
                                                                               
 MR. VAN SLYKE referred to the layoff provision and said they                  
 would like to see it.  He said they reduced staff by                          
 approximately 40 teaching positions last year because of                      
 financial constraints.  Mr. Van Slyke said if anything happens                
 where they don't receive all of their funding, either locally or              
 from the foundation program, they are going to be in trouble.  He             
 said they would be at the point where they will have very few                 
 nontenured people to layoff.  If this situation were to continue              
 in subsequent years, they would be in a position where they                   
 wouldn't be able to afford to pay the salaries of all the tenured             
 people unless there were people retiring.                                     
                                                                               
 MR. VAN SLYKE referred to the language in the bill and said he                
 has concern with the 3 percent figure.  He said this is because               
 they have been wringing their budget for three years and they had             
 to make drastic cuts last year and will this year.  He said we                
 can have the same level of basic need and still be in                         
 trouble...(END OF TAPE)                                                       
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-49, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. VAN SLYKE referred to the elimination of de novo and said                 
 they support it.  Employees who are nonretained or dismissed can              
 be afforded a hearing that is fair and equitable.  If there are               
 any due process violations, the person would have a recourse to               
 court.  He said they have concerns about the lengthy process when             
 you have to go to superior court and start over as there are                  
 expenses associated with that.  Mr. Van Slyke said he applauds                
 the efforts put forth in drafting the bill and he thinks it has               
 some positive features.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 070                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said there are several proposals regarding              
 education this year.  There is HB 217.  Currently there is a                  
 proposal by the House majority to retain funding at last year's               
 level which is about an $18 million cut to education.  The                    
 Governor has a retirement incentive program (RIP) bill in place.              
 He asked Mr. Van Slyke to prioritize those three things.                      
                                                                               
 MR. VAN SLYKE said first and foremost should be full funding.                 
 That is the number one priority.  He said he would also like a                
 RIP bill so maybe they could get through negotiations                         
 successfully.  He said they are currently in negotiations and                 
 have asked for some concessions from their bargaining units in                
 order to get by.  Mr. Van Slyke said they would also like some                
 money and latitude the RIP bill might provide to bring back some              
 of the teachers that they had to layoff.  He noted they have                  
 approximately 20 teachers on recall.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 094                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON commented that Juneau is extremely lucky to              
 have Chief Administrator Bob Van Slyke.  He noted he is leaving               
 soon and will be replaced by Mary Robidoux.                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG referred to the 3 percent funding              
 and contract timing problems and asked Mr. Van Slyke to expand on             
 the issue.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. VAN SLYKE said, "I think on the 3 percent figure, for                     
 example, the so called flat funding, you know, that's proposed,               
 which I consider a cut because it would cut our revenue by about              
 $500,000 at the state level plus it would reduce the amount that              
 the local assembly could contribute under the cap by another                  
 $115,000 - well that's about ten teaching positions, but that's               
 still under $300,000 - I mean under 3 percent.  And, I think --               
 you know my figures are that we've got about eight people that we             
 could nonretain and, you know, we could have a reduction.  My                 
 point is we could have a reduction of less than 3 percent and                 
 still be in a world of hurt.  In fact, we're in a world of hurt               
 now because we've just run out of wiggle room.  As far as the                 
 contract period, you know it's a -- I'm not exactly sure how it               
 would work.  I guess there would have to be some regulations                  
 established to implement you know whatever statute the                        
 legislature did enact.  I don't know whether that gets at your                
 question or not."                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 130                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if Juneau was at the cap.                         
                                                                               
 MR. VAN SLYKE said Juneau is at the cap and has been at the cap.              
 He noted there are six districts, Juneau, Kenai, Valdez,                      
 Ketchikan, Sitka and Fairbanks.                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the cap is because of the                    
 disparity calculation in the formula.  MR. VAN SLYKE said it is               
 because the state chooses to take into account federal impact                 
 data.  It is not a federal requirement, it is a state choice                  
 under the current foundation system.                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the disparity has an impact.                 
                                                                               
 MR. VAN SLYKE responded the disparity test does.  It results in               
 the cap.                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said there is a state solution.  MR. VAN                
 SLYKE responded in the affirmative.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 160                                                                    
                                                                               
 CLAUDIA DOUGLAS, NEA-Alaska, was the next witness to come before              
 the committee.  She said she is sorry that the education                      
 community has not been able to come together and come to a                    
 resolution on some of the issues, because she truly doesn't                   
 believe this is in the best interest of kids and public school                
 systems.  Ms. Douglas referred to Ms. Gillespie and said she will             
 play a very important role and hopes she will look at the                     
 evaluation procedure very carefully.                                          
                                                                               
 MS. DOUGLAS said she happens to have the Alaska regulation that               
 says, "Responsibility for evaluation of performance of                        
 professional employees results with the individual school                     
 districts."  She said it goes on to describe how that process can             
 be followed.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MS. DOUGLAS gave committee members some information on tenure.                
 She also gave them a survey conducted on tenure around the state.             
 According to the figures, there are 41 states that have either a              
 two or three year period of tenure and different continuing                   
 contract provisions.  She said there are two states that have a               
 five year tenure process and two states that have a four year                 
 tenure process.  Ms. Douglas noted Colorado wasn't listed in the              
 information but currently has a three year provision with a                   
 renewal contract.                                                             
                                                                               
 MS. DOUGLAS gave the committee information regarding a survey in              
 terms of the appeal process and said if Alaska teachers lose the              
 de novo hearing, we would be the only state that has an impartial             
 hearing officer or arbitrator at some point in the review                     
 process.                                                                      
                                                                               
 MS. DOUGLAS referred to tenure and said it is a very sensitive                
 issue.  It is simply going from nontenure to a tenure position or             
 from temporary employment to permanent employment.  School                    
 districts have high standards for hiring new teachers and NEA-                
 Alaska supports those standards.  She said they support high                  
 standards for people that enter the profession.  They would even              
 consider some sort of an extension of the two year provision if               
 there was something included in the evaluation that said it had               
 to be conducted in some way.                                                  
                                                                               
 MS. DOUGLAS referred to the National Teacher of the Year being                
 from Kodiak, Alaska, and said the model established in Kodiak                 
 involving the parents and the community in changing the way that              
 they offer education is the way we should be going.  She said                 
 they shouldn't have to come to the legislature and ask them to                
 make laws to make changes.                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. DOUGLAS referred to the way the bill is structured and said               
 she thinks it is an insult to many practicing teachers that go                
 into their classrooms every day who are trying to do the best job             
 they can.  She urged the committee to give them the task to go                
 back and work with the community to try to work out some sort of              
 solution.  Ms. Douglas said she doesn't believe having this in                
 law and making the changes this way is best for kids.                         
                                                                               
 MS. DOUGLAS referred to the layoff provisions and said she can't              
 accept the fact that there is going to be less money for school               
 districts than what they currently get.  She urged the committee              
 not to pass the bill out.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 246                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if the university system has tenure.              
                                                                               
 MS. DOUGLAS said she believes they have a seven year tenure                   
 period.  After the seventh year, she doesn't believe they are                 
 required to have evaluations.  Currently, in public schools even              
 tenured teachers have a year requirement for an evaluation.  She              
 said she believes that at the university level, once you do have              
 tenure, there isn't a requirement for an evaluation procedure.                
 She noted it may vary from university to university.                          
                                                                               
 Number 264                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER said the committee has heard people               
 from both sides of the issue say they really don't think it is                
 appropriate to have to come here and deal with these issues.  He              
 said he would subscribe to that notion also.  He asked Ms.                    
 Douglas if she would support repealing everything.                            
                                                                               
 MS. DOUGLAS said there should be some kind of a task force,                   
 seminar or something to say to the people in the education                    
 community, parents, etc., to work on during the interim to try                
 and reach some kind of consensus based on research or what is                 
 going on in other school districts.  She said she would like to               
 work on some of the ideas of things occurring around the nation.              
                                                                               
 Number 284                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred  to the termination of the de                
 novo trial proceedings and asked MS. DOUGLAS to explain the                   
 current process.                                                              
                                                                               
 MS. DOUGLAS said currently, a tenured teacher that is dismissed               
 has an opportunity to request a hearing in front of the school                
 district.  She said she believes that can be done either in front             
 of the district or a hearing officer appointed by the school                  
 district.  Those are the same group of people that sign and                   
 negotiate contracts and hire teachers.  She said she believes                 
 that board members are often very close to the criticism or                   
 comments.  It seems very difficult to have a fair hearing at that             
 level.  Lets say the teacher is denied retention.  At that point              
 the teacher can request to have a de novo hearing in front of the             
 superior court judge.  At that point, the judge can review and                
 hear the evidence.  There can be no additional charges made but               
 the school districts or the teacher can bring in new evidence,                
 but they can't change the charge.  At that point, the judge can               
 make a decision.                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked what happens if the teacher doesn't             
 request a hearing.  MS. DOUGLAS said they have lost their job.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if they have a right at that time               
 to ask for judicial review.  MS. DOUGLAS said it has to go before             
 the board first.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 314                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said if the board denies the teacher the job or                 
 tenure and it is taken to de novo trial, who would pay the bill.              
                                                                               
 MS. DOUGLAS said the teacher has come through the association and             
 the association has had a motion to support that, the association             
 will pay for part of the teacher's expenses.  The district picks              
 up the district expenses.  She said it is her understanding that              
 it is a shared responsibility.  Each side pays their own.  Ms.                
 Douglas referred to binding arbitration and said some things are              
 different.  Sometimes the district has to pay all or the                      
 association has to pay all.                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked what the hearings cost.  MS. DOUGLAS said                 
 some are $100,000.  She noted she doesn't have the statistics.                
                                                                               
 Number 337                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Ms. Douglas if she could                        
 distinguish between the cost of having a hearing and a de novo                
 trial.  MS. DOUGLAS said in the current situation, having the                 
 hearing usually is less expensive.  If it goes to a de novo                   
 trial, it usually involves attorneys.                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if attorneys aren't normally                    
 present at the hearing level.  MS. DOUGLAS responded not always               
 on the association's part, but they can be sometimes.                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA referred to a section of the bill and asked             
 why the word "arbitration" was included.                                      
                                                                               
 MS. DOUGLAS said she believes it should have been deleted from                
 the CS that came from the Judiciary Committee.  She said they                 
 currently are not entitled to it, so it doesn't need to say that              
 they aren't entitled to it, because they're not.                              
                                                                               
 Number 403                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked Ms. Douglas if she could give an idea              
 of how often a de novo trial occurs annually.                                 
                                                                               
 MS. DOUGLAS said at the most, five a year.  She indicated she                 
 wasn't exactly sure.                                                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to a House Health, Education and Social                
 Services Committee meeting, and said de novo costs were discussed             
 and there were five recent cases that dealt with nonretention and             
 the total cost was $721,000.                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said if we're talking about two to five                  
 cases a year, we may be talking about the wrong end of the                    
 problem.  He said he thinks the cost of buying out the contract               
 for the previous superintendent in Juneau was two years of salary             
 and legal costs in excess of $300,000.  He said it still hasn't               
 been resolved and is ongoing.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 440                                                                    
                                                                               
 DAN BECK, Assistant Superintendent, Delta/Greely School District,             
 was next to testify from Delta Junction.  He referred to Section              
 6(c) and said in times of reduced revenues and increased                      
 (indisc.) costs the school districts must have the effective                  
 tools to deal with staff reduction.  He informed the committee                
 they were preparing to deal with the massive layoffs associated               
 with the realignment of Fort Greely.  Although they may be in                 
 somewhat of a unique situation, he believes that many or all of               
 the school districts can more effectively deal with programmatic              
 and sensible reductions enforced to put student needs first.  He              
 encouraged passage of HB 217.  He noted the section he should                 
 have referred to was Section 5 that deals with layoffs and the                
 ability of districts to layoff not on seniority, but on                       
 programmatic needs.  If a district has primary needs and a                    
 secondary teacher is more senior, the district should be able to              
 layoff a secondary teacher and place programmatic needs first.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if the law specifically says it has               
 to be by seniority.  MR. BECK said it doesn't, but noted HB 217               
 would define that a lot clearer.  He referred to the local                    
 bargaining unit trying to set ground rules in anticipation of the             
 bill and said they don't know what is going to happen the first               
 time it comes up with an individual teacher.  They could end up               
 in court.                                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said the Delta/Fort Greely area is                      
 anticipating some real problems because of the closure of the                 
 base.  He said we're certainly hopeful that the RIP bill will                 
 pass which will help them immensely.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 478                                                                    
                                                                               
 RON GLEASON, Principal, Juneau/Douglas High School, testified in              
 support the committee substitute for the extension of tenure from             
 two to four years.  He said as a building practitioner, he found              
 himself wanting to respond to questions he heard earlier.  Mr.                
 Gleason said there are two points as to why he would support the              
 committee substitute.  The first is as a building principal, he               
 would love to have the luxury of having evaluation being his only             
 responsibility.  Implementation of instructional programs,                    
 providing educational leadership, supporting staff, community                 
 school relations, dealing with school discipline, violence, drug              
 and alcohol issues are all extremely time consuming components of             
 his job.  The second point is, "What is a good teacher?"  He said             
 in Juneau we think that teaching is a complex process.                        
 Therefore, accessing the quality of a person's current                        
 performance, also interjecting a projection of what that person               
 will be, is an extremely complex process.  Angry parents calling,             
 which may lead to an investigation, is also a component.  In many             
 cases if not most, in his experience, we find a cadre of people               
 that feel strongly in support of a teacher for whom they have                 
 received a number of angry calls.  It always boils down to                    
 nothing but time and hard work.  He asked do we look at classroom             
 management as a tool?  Do we look at student performance?  Do we              
 look at the ability to communicate - interpersonal skills.  That              
 is another critical component of an effective teacher.  Not only              
 is a person being assessed as to their current performance, but               
 they have to make a read as to their ability to pursue                        
 professional growth.  Are they compatible with the desires of                 
 that particular community regardless of their pre-service                     
 training.  It is an extremely complex situation.  A four year                 
 period would provide much better results for our students and                 
 employees than a two year period.                                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Mr. Gleason how many evaluations he is                    
 responsible for.                                                              
                                                                               
 MR. GLEASON responded 30 certified teacher and 15 classified                  
 support staff, annually.                                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked how long it takes to evaluate the                         
 individuals.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. GLEASON explained they are predicated on at least a single                
 direct classroom observation and typically, multiple                          
 observations.  For a nontenured teacher in Juneau, they make four             
 observations a year.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 563                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said being an administrator of a school                 
 isn't a simple thing.  Being a teacher isn't a simple thing any               
 more.  He said it is very complicated and he thinks too many                  
 things are being pushed off on the schools.  If we could get rid              
 of them and do our function of teaching and administering a                   
 teacher in a school, the whole thing would be simplified.                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said if all administrators were like Mr.                 
 Gleason, we wouldn't have the need for any laws to regulate                   
 behavior in the district.  We expect good judgement and                       
 reasonable application of common sense.  Representative Elton                 
 said he would be interested in Mr. Gleason's discussions with                 
 parents.                                                                      
                                                                               
 MR. GLEASON said in his experience with parents, they feel                    
 relatively powerless regarding addressing concerns with tenured               
 teachers.                                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he can see where the extension of                   
 tenure would be a good and helpful managerial tool for Mr.                    
 Gleason.  He asked Mr. Gleason if he thinks it will resolve the               
 concerns of the PTA people who have testified.                                
                                                                               
 MR. GLEASON said he liked Ms. Douglas' view in developing an                  
 effective tool that involves the professionals, parents and all               
 interested constituents.  He said he would like to see the                    
 evaluation tool addressed at the level of the constituents.                   
                                                                               
 Number 614                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked Mr. Gleason if he sees any reason why             
 an evaluation tool would have to be in statute.                               
                                                                               
 MR. GLEASON said he doesn't think that would be a good thing to               
 do.                                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 617                                                                    
                                                                               
 MARILYN LEAHY, Member, Valdez School Board, testified via                     
 teleconference from Valdez.  She said Mr. Gleason put their case              
 forward very well in that not only is the public scrutinizing the             
 performance of our schools, but they're also escalating their                 
 demands of what subjects need to be taught.  They are also                    
 demanding that the schools continue to educate at higher and                  
 higher levels of competence.  Ms. Leahy noted unlike other                    
 professions, the market forces don't apply to teachers.  She said             
 as a school board member, she wishes she could believe that we                
 are going to continue to support and increase support for                     
 education.  Ms. Leahy stated budgets are shrinking both at the                
 state and local levels.  We still need to ensure that the people              
 selected to be in the classroom are going to be able to deliver a             
 high quality of instruction over the long term.  Ms. Leahy                    
 explained that the issues have to do with ensuring the quality in             
 our school systems that the parents and the public are demanding.             
                                                                               
 MS. LEAHY referred to the layoff provisions and said they have to             
 do with the financial status.  She doesn't see this as an                     
 abstract discussion.  We don't want to get rid of our teachers.               
 We would like to have as many teachers as possible and as small               
 as possible student/teacher ratio.                                            
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-50, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. LEAHY said she thinks the bill is fair to teachers and                    
 protects the best interest of the students.  She asked the                    
 committee to support the bill and move it out of committee.                   
                                                                               
 Number 014                                                                    
                                                                               
 WILLIE ANDERSON, NEA-Alaska, was the next to come before the                  
 committee.  He said he would focus on the de novo trial judicial              
 review.  Mr. Anderson said he would review what happens when you              
 terminate a teacher's employment.  First, the principal makes the             
 recommendation to the superintendent.  The superintendent concurs             
 with that recommendation.  Then the superintendent makes the                  
 recommendation to the board.  The board concurs with that                     
 recommendation.  After the board concurs with that                            
 recommendation, the superintendent has the right to send a letter             
 of nonretention or dismissal to a teacher.  So the board                      
 participates in part of the decision to nonretain the teacher.                
 Then the teacher has 15 days to request a hearing before that                 
 board.  The hearing is requested and the board reviews the                    
 information again.  He noted he has handled a number of these                 
 cases and in every case, the board retains its earlier decision.              
 He said what we're seeking is a fair hearing.  Mr. Anderson asked             
 how do you get a fair hearing when the board that makes the final             
 decision about your retention has already made a decision about               
 your nonretention.  The process is convoluted and you cannot get              
 a fair hearing from a board that has already made a decision.                 
 For the board to make a fair hearing, they would have to reverse              
 their earlier decision.  Mr. Anderson stated there are no other               
 employees, state, public or private, who has that type of                     
 situation.  Under the provisions in the bill, that is what would              
 happen.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. ANDERSON said currently there are negotiated agreements in                
 many of the school districts around the state.  He said they can              
 negotiate and arbitrate a ten-day suspension without pay.  An                 
 independent arbitrator comes in and renders a decision on that                
 cause and he/she can reinstate the ten-day suspension.  We can                
 arbitrate a transfer denial.  An independent arbitrator comes in              
 and makes a decision about that decision, but we are denying an               
 independent hearing officer to make a decision about the                      
 retention of a person's career.  Mr. Anderson said that is the                
 problem with the bill as it is currently structured.                          
                                                                               
 MR. ANDERSON said he tends to believe that people have the belief             
 that we are going to get an independent hearing from a school                 
 board.  Mr. Josephson stated that the court in Mat-Su has stated              
 that the board has no independent judicial review training.                   
 Administrative procedure, as currently constituted in state law,              
 is different than what is constituted here.  He said what he is               
 asking of the committee is a fair hearing whether it is a de novo             
 trial which is currently in law, or a binding arbitration                     
 decision.  He said they want one shot at the apple for a fair                 
 hearing.  People have characterized that you get two shots at the             
 apple.  You get a board hearing and you get a de novo trial.  He              
 said get rid of the board hearing because we know the outcome of              
 the board hearing.  They've already made their decision earlier               
 when they concurred with the superintendent's recommendation.                 
 Mr. Anderson said his request is one fair hearing.  He thanked                
 the committee.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 103                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said Mr. Anderson brought up a very good                
 point in where it is one where Valdez has had only two grievances             
 in the 17 years that he has been involved in Valdez.  He noted he             
 served as president of the union for many years.  Representative              
 Kubina said Mr. Anderson raised a good point.  A superintendent               
 goes to a school board and they talk about it.  He said that                  
 board not backing up that superintendent is almost like a vote of             
 no competence.  That board, 99 percent of the time, will go along             
 with what the superintendent has done and especially if it is                 
 public knowledge.  If they didn't agree with the superintendent,              
 it is like giving the superintendent a vote of no competence.                 
 He/she would be humiliated or contradicted to all their                       
 employees.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 134                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said this is similar to some experiences he              
 has been involved in during his service on the local assembly.                
 The assembly would make a determination on issuing a major mine               
 permit to an operator who wanted to invest hundreds of millions               
 of dollars in this community.  That permit decision made by the               
 assembly can be appealed and it is heard by the assembly again.               
 They would be sitting as a quasi-judicial body.  He said when the             
 assembly heard the appeal for the second time, it was compelling              
 to know that their decision sitting as a quasi-judicial body was              
 appealable to the superior court.  Without that appeal, you're                
 more apt to make a political decision than not.  He said that may             
 also be the case here because if a school board knows that their              
 second hearing process can be reviewed and can be second guessed,             
 you induce a much better second hearing on the part of the school             
 board.                                                                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said he thinks there is a bit of a problem in the               
 way the bill is set up.  He said he would agree that the school               
 board would reaffirm their earlier decision.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 172                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Mr. Anderson how prevalent is it to             
 use hearing officers in the state.                                            
                                                                               
 MR. ANDERSON informed him that the Anchorage School District uses             
 hearing officers.  Generally, the school board concurs with the               
 hearing officer's decision.  He said he hasn't seen a case in                 
 Anchorage where the school board hasn't concurred with the                    
 hearing officer's decision.                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to the hearings and asked if                 
 counsel is present.                                                           
                                                                               
 MR. ANDERSON explained that generally for a tenured teacher there             
 is counsel representatives on both sides.  For a nontenured                   
 teacher, there is generally counsel representing the school board             
 and a person who doesn't have legal training, like himself,                   
 representing the teacher.                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked who are the hearing officers.                   
                                                                               
 MR. ANDERSON explained there is a panel of hearing officers that              
 the Anchorage School District has impaneled.                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Mr. Anderson how many cases he has observed.              
                                                                               
 MR. ANDERSON said he has participated in twelve of the cases in               
 Alaska during the last eight years.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 198                                                                    
                                                                               
 VERNON MARSHALL, Executive Director, NEA-Alaska, came before the              
 committee to give his testimony.  He said Mr. Gleason made a                  
 great point relating to the time it takes to evaluate staff.  He              
 said maybe we should be saying that the time should be                        
 prioritized because the development of any staff is critical to               
 management of any system, whether it is a school district, a                  
 newspaper or a police force.  If you assume that you have 50                  
 staff members, 35 teachers and 15 support staff, and if we spent              
 three hours on three people on the average, that is 150 hours a               
 year.  He said if we really did well and get 300 hours a year,                
 we're only looking at maybe 4 percent of this individual's time               
 if they put in eight hours a day, five days a week, for 180 days              
 of instruction or 7,200 hours.  The critical issue is still time.             
 Mr. Marshall said he thinks a beginning teacher does need help                
 and assistance.  They need more than a set of keys and a box of               
 chalk to do their jobs.  They need the mentoring and the                      
 assistance that valuable administrators can provide them.  Mr.                
 Marshall said he thinks that if we set up a system that delays                
 that process two more years, we are doing not only a disservice               
 to children, but we're doing a disservice to that teacher.                    
 Nothing currently in the bill prescribes any kind of mentoring,               
 any kind of in-service, any kind of accelerated certification, or             
 any kind of classroom management training.  He said we're not                 
 even talking about five year programs at the college level to                 
 prepare teachers for the classroom.  We're not talking about                  
 site-based decision making, but yet for some reason it is in the              
 wisdom of someone to indicate that we need to move from two to                
 four years of probation.                                                      
                                                                               
 MR. MARSHALL referred to the layoff provision and said they are               
 concerned about that section.  He referred to page 3, line 7, and             
 said it does provide for a layoff of teachers because of                      
 decreased school attendance.  It also indicates that if the basic             
 need of the school district, determined and adjusted under the                
 law, decreases by 3 percent or more from the previous year.  Mr.              
 Marshall said he sees this as a tremendous safety valve.  He said             
 in other words, there are bills before the legislature that will              
 fund schools next year at about $59,000.  Mr. Marshall said he                
 feels that if the basic need in the school district is $61,000                
 and if you reduce that basic need by 3 percent or $1,830, you                 
 have a value of $59,170.  The disincentive here is not to fund                
 the unit.  There is a burden and a responsibility on government               
 to ensure that schools are adequately funded and that they are                
 provided the necessary resources to be innovative, different, and             
 meet the challenges of the new decade.  Mr. Marshall said it is               
 unfair to expect both administrators, school boards, systems and              
 teachers to do more with less.  Every year they have to deal with             
 the fact that they aren't getting any kind of adjustment for                  
 inflation, but yet they're expected to, in a sense, absorb those              
 costs into the system.  Now we come forward with a provision in               
 the law that mandates that the state will allow a school district             
 to balance budgets on the backs of children and tenured teachers.             
                                                                               
 MR. MARSHALL referred to line 8 and said that section only                    
 applies to tenured teachers.  So in effect, we could apply this               
 section if this adjustment takes place.  We get rid of tenured                
 teachers.  There is no responsibility or requirement to get rid               
 of nontenured teachers.  For the most part, the seniority system              
 is not effective or operative at all if this provision is                     
 triggered.  He said at the same time, class sizes will likely                 
 increase.                                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. MARSHALL referred to page 3, line 17, relating to the layoff              
 provision and said that is all permissive.  It is indicating a                
 school district may do that.  There is nothing in there that                  
 requires a school district to provide for provisions that deal                
 with layoff or retention.  The same is carried through on line 24             
 where the section may not be inconsistent with provisions of this             
 section.  He referred to lines 21 through 25, and said they do                
 feel they have many collective bargaining agreements in school                
 districts throughout the state.  These have been decided locally.             
 They deal with this issue, but yet this particular provision will             
 circumvent what has been decided over time on the local level.                
 Mr. Marshall said he is concerned about line 31.  He said if a                
 person is laid off in September, October, November or December,               
 they may look very carefully at line 31.  They have no job and                
 will probably be drawing unemployment.  They will probably will               
 look for extra funds so they will go and be treated as a                      
 terminated employee for the purposes of pulling out money from                
 their teacher retirement account.  If they have spent their                   
 retirement and if they ever enter the system again, it will be                
 too hard to pay back that money plus the interest to get back                 
 into the system if they have another ten years of service and                 
 wanted to achieve retirement.                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. VERNON referred to judicial review and said what they are                 
 most concerned with is relative to judicial review based on the               
 record and what the judge will do.  It is his understanding that              
 the judge will apply what is called a substantial basis test.                 
 Basically, that test will be, "Is there any rationale or evidence             
 evident in the record to support the decision."  In other words,              
 a decision was made to nonrenew a teacher.  Is there any rational             
 evidence or is there any rationale that supports the decision.                
 He said he has been told by their lawyer that the judge is not                
 going to have the ability to go back and say, "Well I believe                 
 this record is wrong.  I believe the school board was wrong and               
 based on what I believe..."  He said the judge cannot overturn                
 that particular decision.                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. VERNON referred to the burden of proof and asked if the                   
 burden shifts when you send the record to the judge.  Now is the              
 burden of proving that the school district was wrong shifted to               
 the teacher or does the school district still have the burden of              
 proving its case against the tenured teacher.  He explained                   
 another step in this process that hasn't been discussed relates               
 to the Professional Teachers Practice Commission (PTPC).  The                 
 PTPC can very well take up the case after the dismissal if it is              
 an incompetence immorality charge and the teacher can lose their              
 license to practice in the state of Alaska.                                   
                                                                               
 MR. VERNON referred to the terms of probation and before the bill             
 was in the HESS Committee, it was argued that basically what we               
 want to do is set up a system that somewhat equates to what                   
 applies to state employees.  Currently, if you are a range 13 or              
 below, you have a six month probationary period.  After the six               
 month probationary period, you have a just cause standard to                  
 dismiss that individual.  If you are a range 14 and above, you                
 have a one year probationary period and just cause becomes the                
 standard for dismissal of that employee.  Mr. Vernon indicated in             
 the case of the bill, we are saying, "You are an at will                      
 employee, you can be dismissed for no reason, any reason, just                
 because."  For four years within a district, you're gone.  There              
 is no reason.  He referred to denial of tenure and said if tenure             
 is denied to him in a school district, he has no recourse to the              
 courts.  When you compare that to other public employees, it is               
 not fair.  He said they are willing to look at ways to improve                
 evaluation.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 369                                                                    
                                                                               
 BOB DEITRICK, President-Elect, Juneau Education Association, came             
 before the committee to testify.  He said he is beginning his                 
 third term with the Juneau Education Association.  During his                 
 tenure as an association representative as well as a teacher in               
 the Juneau School District, he has had the opportunity to                     
 observe, witness and participate in many of the issues the                    
 committee is addressing in the bill.  The first issue he would                
 like to address is the acquisition of tenure.  He explained he                
 has testified before the Alaska 2000 Committee that we do need to             
 take a look at how tenure is granted in Alaska.  Mr. Deitrick                 
 said he does not believe that somebody who teaches for two years              
 should automatically be granted tenure.  He does believe that                 
 somebody who has taught two years should have an opportunity to               
 apply for tenure.  There should be a built in provision and                   
 funding provided to local school districts to provide a peer                  
 review committee, master teachers, and to provide a mentoring                 
 process so that when we are granting tenure to a person in the                
 school district that we, as a school district, believe this is an             
 individual that we want to keep in our community to work with our             
 children.  Mr. Deitrick said he believes four years is a lengthy              
 time period.  If we have an inadequate teacher, we shouldn't be               
 dumping money into their pockets for four years.  He said he                  
 thinks if a person, after two years, applies for and is not                   
 granted tenure, they should have one year to get their act                    
 together in working with a mentor or master teachers, etc.                    
                                                                               
 MR. DEITRICK referred to the area of layoffs and said we have a               
 layoff provision in our negotiated agreement.  He said he thinks              
 the negotiated agreement speaks well to the process for layoffs               
 of nontenured teachers and can, in fact, go into a tenured                    
 teacher layoff under certain conditions.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. DEITRICK said the 3 percent figure in the bill causes him                 
 great concern.  If the 3 percent figure is a result of a drop in              
 enrollment, then how are we going to define what a substantial                
 drop in enrollment is in order to (indisc.) attack the tenured                
 teaching force.  If any bills are passed that lowers the value of             
 the instructional unit, it will be a major impact on our                      
 professional, experienced staff that are in our communities.  He              
 referred to the 3 percent figure and said in the Juneau School                
 District last year, about 50 teachers were laid off and nearly                
 half of them were rehired so they didn't have a break in service.             
 During this school year, when we have about 20 teachers out there             
 on a recall list, our school board hired additional                           
 administration.  They increased the number of administrators in               
 the bargaining unit.  They have also increased the school board               
 budget so they can pay their Alaska Association of School Board               
 dues while we have teachers sitting out there waiting for jobs.               
 He said he doesn't believe the 3 percent figure is going to allow             
 equal treatment in our system.  He thinks that the administrative             
 direction that he has been observing in our community is a                    
 concern.  In 1987, we had a number of teachers on layoff and                  
 there was also a unilaterally imposed salary cut in their                     
 bargaining unit.  At the same time, school administrators                     
 received a salary increase.  He asked who is going to monitor how             
 school districts are laying off and spending money.                           
                                                                               
 MR. DEITRICK referred to hiring preference and said a number of               
 negotiated agreements speak to this.  At the same time, we've                 
 seen a number of grievances occur and what defines preference.                
 There is no definition of preference in the bill.  Who is going               
 to define preference in a hiring or rehiring process as well as               
 qualifications.  He said they attempted to negotiate language                 
 which provides definition for qualifications and when they try to             
 deal with qualifications in working with the school board or                  
 administration, there is always an attack on what is the                      
 definition of qualifications.  Mr. Deitrick asked if it is based              
 on being endorsed in a certain area or is it having a Type A                  
 Certificate.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. DEITRICK said we also need to be careful with local control.              
 He believes local control is a key point that we need to consider             
 when legislation is being written that will affect negotiated                 
 agreements.  He said we sit down with school boards and negotiate             
 a contract that we believe we can all live with.  If we truly                 
 believe that the bargaining process is a valid process in this                
 state, lets not mess with local control.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. DEITRICK referred to the teacher retirement system refunds                
 and said people coming back into the system to work wish that                 
 they had not taken that money out.  He said it impacts them the               
 rest of their lives.                                                          
                                                                               
 MR. DEITRICK referred to budget considerations for layoff and                 
 said we need to encourage an early retirement bill.  We also need             
 to encourage local retirement incentives.  Last year, the school              
 district and the Association of School Boards negotiated an early             
 retirement incentive plan where teachers received $10,000 if they             
 resigned or retired.  They had to meet certain conditions on the              
 salary schedule to save money for the district.  The Juneau                   
 School District saved nearly $1 million and that is what allowed              
 the rehire of about half of the teachers that were laid off the               
 previous spring.                                                              
                                                                               
 MR. DEITRICK referred to the trial de novo and said he thinks Mr.             
 Anderson spoke to it very well.  He said you need to be aware of              
 what goes into the evaluations.  He said he questions the types               
 of comments that are going into evaluations and whether they are              
 valid and whether they are observable.  Trying to get them                    
 removed is like pulling teeth.  He said they can't go in and say,             
 "This is an unfair statement.  This is an inadequate statement.               
 Remove it from the evaluation."  All they can do is attach a                  
 rebuttal.  Mr. Deitrick said if evaluations are going to be used              
 for a board hearing in proving a teacher's incompetence, they                 
 need to have some way of having a counter position and an                     
 impartial hearing in order to present their case.  He said he                 
 believes that as an association, we can work jointly with school              
 districts on nonretention of even tenured teachers.                           
                                                                               
 MR. DEITRICK said we are here as professionals, we can work                   
 together and the bill takes away that opportunity and takes away              
 what he believes is their professional right.  He urged the                   
 committee not to move the bill.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 462                                                                    
                                                                               
 There being no further testimony, CHAIRMAN KOTT closed public                 
 testimony.  He said it is the intent of the chair to recess until             
 7:00 p.m.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 470                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT called the meeting back to order at 7:17 p.m.                   
 Members present were Representatives Kott, Porter, Kubina, Elton,             
 Rokeberg and Masek.                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said there is a work draft of the bill                  
 before the committee.  He said he has a technical amendment on                
 page 2, to remove lines 10 and 11.  Because of the removal of a               
 previous paragraph, that wording isn't necessary.                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said he would concur with that.  He said                        
 Representative Porter made a motion to delete on page 2, lines 10             
 and 11.  Chairman Kott asked if there was an objection to                     
 Amendment 1.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he doesn't object, but he assumes that              
 means they are going to have to make a minor adjustment on line 9             
 to move the "and" up to line 6.  He said he would assume it is                
 incorporated in the motion that Representative Porter made.                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said they will delete the semicolon and add "and".              
 He asked if there was an objection to that motion as amended.                 
 Hearing none, the motion carried.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 510                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA moved to delete Section 6.                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG objected.                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he made the motion because of the                  
 discussion about school boards and them already making their                  
 decision and they're the ones the teachers will appeal to.  He                
 said he was uncomfortable working on the whole bill.                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said, "There is an objection, we'll just discuss                
 it.  I would agree, based on what I heard, that there is a little             
 bit of a problem here but I think if we delete Section 6 in its               
 entirety, then we have nothing.  In the event that there is a                 
 teacher that is fighting tenureship available...."                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said, "No, I don't agree with that."                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said, "(Indisc.) over the status quo."                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said, "We'd go back to status quo which               
 would be get rid of the judicial review and still have a de novo              
 trial."                                                                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said, "I think based on some of the discussion we               
 heard, a de novo trial is an expensive proposition."                          
                                                                               
 Number 537                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he has a degree of discomfort of the               
 total process that is left.  He indicated he has more discomfort              
 with the requirement for de novo trial and the expenses that can              
 be incurred.  Representative Porter said revenues are such that               
 they are going to have to come down more.  Now is the time to                 
 provide opportunities for school administrations to manage...                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON indicated concern with the bill as there are             
 some elements he likes and some he dislikes.  He said there are               
 some elements that address some problems but he isn't sure they               
 are the right answers.  He said he doesn't think parents are all              
 that concerned about extending teacher tenure from two to four                
 years.  He said the parents that he has spoken to are more                    
 concerned about teachers who are tenured that are in the system.              
 HB 217 doesn't address that problem.  Representative Elton                    
 referred to the problems the administrators have discussed and                
 said the bill may be a small managerial tool.  The problems they              
 have discussed are funding and the RIP management provision.  He              
 suggested the committee set up a subcommittee and incorporate                 
 some of the different suggestions.                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA withdrew his motion.                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said for the last two years these issues                
 have been in the legislature.  He said he thinks that passing the             
 bill out, the closer it gets to fruition and the closer people                
 are going to be forced together and maybe come up with a solution             
 before it gets passed into law.  He said there is just too much               
 diverse opinion on these issue.  To him, the further the bill                 
 moves along the process of being passed, the more motivation                  
 there will be for the parties involved to work something out.                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said the closer the bill gets to fruition,               
 the less the school boards and the PTA are going to be inclined               
 to want to talk.                                                              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said the issue has been dealt with over the last                
 two years and it is frustrating to see things not move forward.               
 He said he hates to invoke any kind of legislation action in                  
 these areas as he would much rather see the sides come together.              
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-50, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 006                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK said she has some serious problems with the              
 bill.  She said people from her district have been contacting her             
 regarding the bill.  There are many teachers who are really                   
 concerned with what the legislation will do.  She noted she is a              
 freshman legislator and this is the first time she has heard                  
 about the issue.  She said the issue is a really complex issue                
 and there are many different sides and people who the bill will               
 affect statewide.  Representative Masek said rural Alaska is                  
 completely different from the urban areas.  She is afraid the                 
 ramifications that the bill will bring about is going to hurt the             
 quality of education for our children.  Representative Masek said             
 she would like to see more work done on the bill.  We need to do              
 what is best for the state.  She said she is proud of the fact                
 that the Mat-Su Valley has the highest SAT scores.  The quality               
 of education can be improved, however, she doesn't believe the                
 bill falls within those lines.  She feels there is a need to do               
 more work on the bill.                                                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said the goal for better education in the state is              
 a goal for the whole committee.  He said he appreciates                       
 Representative Masek's concerns and comments.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 073                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pointed out the bill had substantial work             
 done on it in the House HESS Committee.  There was a very large               
 subcommittee where numerous people were involved.  The bill was               
 substantially changed and substantial compromises have already                
 been made.  He said he has problems with certain aspects of the               
 bill, particularly the judicial review provisions.  The bill is               
 needed to provide the administrations of the various school                   
 districts in the state a tool in which they can manage their                  
 budgets and their personnel.  Without the layoff provisions,                  
 there is going to be a major crisis occurring overnight because               
 the districts will find themselves in a position where their                  
 hands will be tied in managing their budget and personnel                     
 problems.  The biggest advantage of the bill would be in the                  
 rural areas.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 115                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said he must apologize because when the bill was                
 read across, he saw the word "arbitration" and requested it be                
 referred to the House Labor and Commerce Committee.  He said he               
 never even look at it and probably shouldn't have made the                    
 request.                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said the fact is there is only one part of              
 the bill that is really clear cut and that is the tenure.  The                
 layoff clause is not clear cut at all.  There has to be more to               
 the lay off provision than just saying the board can layoff.  How             
 does it relate to nontenured teachers?  He asked if anyone is                 
 going to look at it to approve some kind of a plan besides a                  
 school board who could then just arbitrarily start laying people              
 off.  Is there something that needs to go to the commissioner?                
 Have they looked at other things?  Is it fair to hire                         
 administrators and then layoff teachers?  The problems that were              
 mentioned on the judicial review.  He said there is only one part             
 of the bill he sees is clear cut and dry.  Representative Kubina              
 indicated concern with the layoff provision.  He said he would                
 suspect the layoff provision would cause far more court battles.              
 There hasn't been any testimony from Legislative Legal Services               
 to explain the ramifications of what the layoff provision or the              
 judicial review provision means.                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said in the House Judiciary Committee,                  
 there didn't seem to be any indication that this would foster                 
 litigation.  Unfortunately, that is the way disputes are                      
 resolved.  Whenever there is a new statute that doesn't please                
 everyone, it more than likely will be tested.  Nobody said this               
 is unconstitutional or this is in violation of an existing case               
 law that would be struck immediately upon being presented.                    
                                                                               
 Number 180                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to page 3, line 8, "This section does not              
 apply to a teacher who has not acquired tenure rights," and said              
 he thinks it was inserted by the Judiciary Committee.  It was                 
 supposed to be a clarifier but to him it is confusing.                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER explained there is another section in                   
 existing law that deals with tenured teacher.  He said he wanted              
 to make sure this wasn't to be held in conflict with that.                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said when he read this he thought now we're just                
 hitting the tenured teachers and the nontenured teachers were off             
 the hook.  He said in essence, there is another provision in law              
 that does cover nontenured teachers.                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he doesn't think there is a clause                 
 that says you have to let go of nontenured people before you can              
 layoff tenured people.                                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said there is nothing in the section that               
 would conflict with that statement if it is in law some place.                
 That would be the deciding factor.  This section doesn't apply to             
 nontenured teacher layoff.  In other words, he doesn't know what              
 the requirements of the statute are for laying off a nontenured               
 teacher.  What is being said on line 8 is that whatever it is, it             
 isn't that the school district has to establish a 3 percent basic             
 need loss or a loss of attendance.  He noted he doesn't know what             
 it says.                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he has the same interpretation as                   
 Representative Kubina.  We're talking about a new section.  We're             
 not talking about an existing section.  The sentence on line 8                
 leads him to believe that when basic need is determined under                 
 statute, it decreases by 3 percent or more, and districts may                 
 place teachers in a layoff status.  But then when you read the                
 last sentence, it makes it seem as if when that circumstance                  
 arises, the 3 percent decrease, it would only apply to the                    
 tenured teacher.  Representative Elton said he thinks he                      
 understands what the provision was meant to do, but in the                    
 context of the new section, his interpretation is a lot like the              
 chairman's.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 237                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said with the information that                          
 Representative Kubina has furnished, there is no doubt in his                 
 mind that the law which says nontenured teachers must be laid off             
 before tenured teachers is the driving law on that issue.  He                 
 said what line 8 means is defining criteria set up in lines 3                 
 through 7.  It is clear that they are not talking about                       
 nontenured teachers, they're talking about tenured teachers.                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said that sentence only applies to AS                   
 14.20.177 (a).                                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER indicated that is correct.                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said, "Why couldn't we say, `This paragraph'             
 then."                                                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said, "Because it goes on to (b) and                  
 (c)."                                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if they wouldn't want (b) and (c)               
 to apply to both tenured and nontenured teachers.                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said that is why it says "section."                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to talking about primary,                    
 secondary, seniority and things like that, you don't want to take             
 those other people into account.  He asked if you wouldn't have               
 to amend the other statute with the same kind of criteria.                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said, "The sponsor of the legislation and               
 those testifying for it said this section -- whole section                    
 applies to tenured teachers.  There is another total section that             
 deals with nontenured teachers and they wanted to make sure that              
 this section only applied to tenured teachers."                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if (b) and (c) wouldn't have to be              
 put in the nontenured provisions in the statute if that were to               
 be balanced.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said this bill doesn't deal with the                    
 nontenured teachers and he would just as soon not open that up.               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said the committee heard testimony that this             
 is a problem.  He said he doesn't know if this is a problem or                
 not.                                                                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said since there evidently is another section that              
 covers nontenured teachers, it is probably not as much of a                   
 problem that he had initially thought.  He said he wasn't aware               
 that there was another section.                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked if there is another section that                   
 covers nontenured teachers.  He said his understanding was that               
 the nontenured were covered under contractual provisions and not              
 under statutory provisions.                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA explained there is a nonretention section               
 that says, "A teacher who has not acquired tenure rights is                   
 subject to nonretention the following school year.  (Indisc.)                 
 expression of contract for any cause that the employer determines             
 adequate."  He said you could dump a nontenured teacher for two               
 years because of anything.  You don't even need to give a reason.             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA discussed a situation he encountered as a               
 nontenured teacher.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 330                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was further debate.                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to Section 6 and said he doesn't             
 know if it is right or wrong.                                                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to Section 6, line 7, page 4, and said it              
 refers to arbitration.  Since that was removed in the original                
 bill it should probably read, "attain tenure rights is not                    
 entitled to judicial review if arbitration has been removed."                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said he would like to know the views of the sponsor             
 of the bill.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 347                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN said the committees have worked hard on              
 the bill and this is the third committee of referral.  Some                   
 amendments were made in the HESS Committee.  We compromised on                
 the amendments were made.  He said he has heard debate from both              
 sides and he feels the bill is a good bill that will give some                
 flexibility to the school districts in the event of declining                 
 revenues.  He said he would like to see the bill move forward.                
 He said he felt discussion was provided and an ample opportunity              
 was given to all parties throughout the process.                              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said in light of it being late in the legislative               
 session and the bill still needs to go to the House floor and                 
 then through the Senate, he would be extremely surprised if the               
 bill made it to the Governor for his signature.  He said he would             
 suspect that wherever the bill ends up, Representative Ivan would             
 be willing to work with both sides in coming up with a                        
 compromise.                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said his interest is to see the bill pass.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said, "I don't know if this is a good idea               
 or not, so I'll fess up before I make this suggestion.  I wonder,             
 Representative Ivan, if this would be a possible solution.  If we             
 amended tenure, it's now four years in this bill - I think                    
 Sections 1 and 2, if we amended that to three years, moved                    
 Sections 1 and 2 forward and then worked on the interim on the                
 layoff and the binding arb or de novo trial or judicial review                
 provisions in the interim, would that be acceptable?  Move it                 
 forward as a simpler bill addressing tenure at three years                    
 perhaps and then keeping the more complicated portions behind for             
 interim work?                                                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said he presented the bill as it is and he                
 would like to see it advance and become law as it is.                         
                                                                               
 Number 406                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said he moved that on line 7, strike the words                  
 "arbitration or."  He asked if there was an objection.  Hearing               
 none, the conceptual amendment was adopted.                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved CSHB 217(L&C), Version R, out of                
 committee with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal             
 notes.                                                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON AND CHAIRMAN KOTT objected.  Chairman Kott               
 said there is additional work that needs to be done.  He asked                
 Representative Rokeberg to respectfully withdraw his motion.                  
                                                                               
 Number 422                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG withdrew his motion.                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said he understands a similar bill was                    
 introduced in the previous two sessions.  He said they have not               
 received anything from NEA-Alaska throughout the committee                    
 process except they explained what was wrong with the bill and                
 that they didn't agree with it.  He said there has not been any               
 suggested language, changes or negotiations until it reached the              
 House Labor and Commerce Committee.  It has gone through the                  
 committee process as all bills do.                                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if he knew whether either side has come to                
 the table and tried to work things out.                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said he believes that in the HESS                         
 subcommittee, NEA-Alaska was involved in working on the bill.  He             
 said he feels they were given full opportunity to address the                 
 bill.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 452                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT called for a five minute at ease at 8:04 p.m.                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT called the meeting back to order at 8:15 p.m.  He               
 said his intent is to lay HB 217 aside and bring up HB 284.                   
                                                                               
 HB 217 - TEACHER EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS & RETIREMENT                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT announced the committee had HB 217 before them once             
 again.  He noted he has received some proposed amendments.  He                
 asked Representative Ivan if he wanted to make some additional                
 comments or offer suggestions regarding the bill.                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN noted he was in the hospital as the bill                  
 passed through some of the committees of referral.  He asked that             
 Tom Wright be recognized by the committee to discuss the bill.                
                                                                               
 TOM WRIGHT, Legislative Assistant to Representative Ivan Ivan,                
 said one of the things discussed was the judicial review, de novo             
 trials.  One suggestion that was made, which they wouldn't have               
 any objection to, is having the judicial review right after the               
 decision to nonretain.  If the school board makes a decision to               
 nonretain, rather than having that hearing and rather than going              
 to de novo and re-creating a whole new record, they would go                  
 right straight to superior court.  It will eliminate one step of              
 the process.  It will go from the decision by the school board to             
 nonretain right to superior court.  There would be a record                   
 created that would only have to be done one time.                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked if there has been any feedback from                
 any of the groups.  It would seem to him that the initial                     
 argument that might be advanced against that would be that you                
 have a local school board and you're taking away some of the                  
 opportunity that they have to be involved in the process.                     
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT said he spoke briefly with Mr. Rose and he can tell                
 the committee NEA's position.  Mr. Wright said there was                      
 testimony that the principal makes the decision, he gives his                 
 opinion to the superintendent, the superintendent makes a                     
 decision, then the school board makes the decision.  Mr. Wright               
 said what he heard from NEA is that they feel the cards are                   
 stacked on one side of the deck.  He said what he is saying is de             
 novo is a too expensive proposition to keep on the books.  We                 
 don't have the money we had when de novo was established.  Lets               
 eliminate one of those steps and go right to superior court.  The             
 record will have to be established but it will not have to be re-             
 created.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 275                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he supports the suggested amendment              
 and he would be happy to offer it as such.  He said it alleviates             
 some of the questions he had about due process in Section 6.                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if we are then going to do away with              
 Section 14.20.180 and go straight to a de novo trial.                         
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT said basically without that one step.                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said the step being taken out is 14.20.180              
 which would be the step before judicial review.                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the process currently in the bill is               
 an administrative hearing, objective or not, and a judicial                   
 review as opposed to a de novo trial.  The option is if that                  
 isn't satisfactory to the individual teacher, they can go                     
 directly to a de novo trial.                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he doesn't have a problem with the                 
 conceptual amendment.  He said he would like to hear, on the                  
 record, from the different groups what their positions are.                   
                                                                               
 Number 331                                                                    
                                                                               
 CARL ROSE, Association of Alaska School Boards, asked                         
 Representative Kubina to repeat the question.                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA referred to a teacher who has tenure rights             
 and is nonretained and said the employer gives the notification               
 of dismissal.  If they're laid off, they will have the choice of              
 appealing to the school board or to the superior court.                       
                                                                               
 Number 340                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said if the teacher elects to have a review             
 by the school board and they are still nonretained, their appeal              
 from that is a non de novo judicial review.  Their option though              
 is to skip over the administrative process and go directly to                 
 trial.                                                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said the section doesn't deal with layoffs              
 as he reads it.  It deals with dismissals.                                    
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE said, "For the record, I could agree with that.  I would             
 agree with what has been said here if people feel that they                   
 cannot get an impartial hearing from the board that renders a                 
 decision and chooses to go directly to court.  They think that's              
 fair - fine.  If they choose to have the hearing at the local                 
 level and establish the record and have that record reviewed,                 
 that's fine.  I think it's a choice the teacher should be able to             
 make."                                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. MARSHALL said they have consistently argued that whatever the             
 appeal step is, should be unbiased.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 366                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said there is a conceptual amendment that has been              
 offered.                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved the conceptual amendment.                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said there is a motion to move the conceptual                   
 amendment that provides the option either/or, skipping over the               
 administrative hearing and going directly into a de novo trial or             
 what is currently contained in Section 6.  Chairman Kott asked if             
 there was an objection.  Hearing none, Amendment 5 was adopted.               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Representative Ivan or Mr. Wright if they had             
 additional recommendations.                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT said he had one which he briefly discussed with Mr.                
 Rose.  One of the concerns in the layoff provisions is there is               
 some uncertainty whether or not the layoffs will take place after             
 there are no nontenured teachers.  There seems to be a question               
 of whether or not layoffs can take place when there are still                 
 nontenured teachers within that school.  He asked if there was                
 the possibility of incorporating language that nontenured                     
 teachers will be laid off first prior to tenured teachers.  He                
 noted that has been the intention throughout the bill process.                
 Mr. Wright said he knows that brings up some questions relating               
 to primary and secondary teachers.  We don't want a secondary                 
 teacher going to primary if they aren't endorsed in that category             
 and vis a versa.                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA noted the terms in the bill are incorrect.              
 It should be elementary and not primary.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT said their intention is that the layoffs would take                
 place after the nontenured teachers.  He said he thought that was             
 stated, but to clear the concept up, a sentence should be                     
 inserted to clarify that.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 410                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said, "I think, and again, I would say                  
 conceptually but one option for this would be to put -- remove                
 line 8 and put it at the beginning after `layoffs' and before                 
 `(a)' and let it say, `This section does not apply to a teacher               
 who has not acquired tenure rights,' and then add some kind of                
 language to say, `nor does it supersede the provision of'                     
 whatever that specific cite is for the other statute that says                
 nontenured teachers will be laid off before tenured teachers."                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he doesn't think there is actually a               
 provision for layoffs.                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT said Representative Kubina is right.  This is a whole              
 new section in the layoff provision.  He said he understood that              
 nontenured teachers would the first to undergo any action should              
 there be fiscal constraints or a decrease in school attendance.               
 He noted the primary/secondary options should also be defined.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked what the terms are for laying off a               
 nontenured teacher.                                                           
                                                                               
 An unidentified speaker said there wouldn't be.                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said there needs to be a clear statement                
 that says nontenured teachers will be nonretained or laid off,                
 prior to tenured teachers being considered for layoff.                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER suggested changing line 8 to say, "This                 
 section does not apply unless...."  He asked if the past practice             
 was that nontenured teachers are let go, within a school, before              
 there is a layoff in that school.                                             
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE said it is district wide.  He said the appropriate terms             
 are you nonretain a nontenured teacher and you lay off tenured                
 teachers.  He said that is what we're trying to provide here                  
 because the law is silent on how to reduce staff.                             
                                                                               
 Number 445                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said this section does not apply until                  
 there are no remaining nontenured teachers in the district.                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he would move that conceptually.                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said on page 3, line 8, insert something to the                 
 effect that this section does not apply until there are no                    
 remaining nontenured teachers within the same district and                    
 classification.                                                               
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE suggested saying something to the effect that layoff for             
 tenured teachers cannot be invoked until you've exhausted all                 
 nontenured teachers within the district.                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if that would be regardless of a requirement              
 to fill an obligation to teach a certain course.                              
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE said he thinks there may be one exception and that may               
 be special education.  He said that may be one area where the                 
 certification will be required.                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA noted Alaska is very unique in that we have             
 many small communities.  You can't strengthen a law too much or               
 it could be too restrictive on a district.                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if there is a need to exempt special              
 education teachers.                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said there are certain requirements in the              
 law that you have to have certification in special education to               
 teach.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 487                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. ANDERSON interjected that the reality of how the system works             
 is you lay the people off and then call them back; it is called               
 recall.  You recall the people in the areas that you need.  If                
 you lay off all the nontenured teachers and you need five special             
 education teachers, you recall the special education teachers                 
 even though they may be lower in seniority status than someone                
 else, because that is the person you need for the job.  He noted              
 this happened in Juneau last year.  Every special education                   
 teacher was recalled into the Juneau School District this year.               
 They also hired an additional special education teacher who                   
 wasn't laid off in spite of the fact that there were still people             
 on the layoff list.                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said special education is the only place                
 you do that because the law requires a certification.                         
                                                                               
 Number 503                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to amend page 3, line 8, to say that              
 this section does not apply unless all nontenured teachers have               
 been nonretained in the district.  He said the bill drafters                  
 could put that in the proper form.                                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there was an objection to Amendment 6.                 
 Hearing none, Amendment 6 was adopted.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 514                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT referred to the question of what triggers the layoff               
 and said he doesn't know.  Original language in the bill said,                
 "Substantial decrease in revenues."  That did not work.  He said              
 they wanted to find a mechanism in place that would take into                 
 account local, state and federal funding.  The only mechanism                 
 they found to do that was under the basic need provision which                
 takes into account all three funding mechanisms.  He said this                
 was the only mechanism he found that describes what was                       
 originally called "substantial."                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER referred to the testimony in Juneau where a             
 witness had big problems with the 3 percent figure.  He asked                 
 about lowering the percentage.                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG indicated he had the same thought.                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said the problem with the 3 percent is those             
 districts who have been responsibly funding to their cap are the              
 ones that are probably going to suffer the most.  He said he                  
 would like time to think about this issue.                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON referred to page 3, lines 21 through 25,                 
 paragraph (d) and said you would be moving local control.  He                 
 asked why we need that.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 557                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he doesn't think the paragraph is                  
 necessary.  He said he doesn't think that contracts entered into              
 after the effective date of this law may be anything but                      
 consistent with this law.                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said if the Juneau School District found a               
 better way of coming to a trigger, this section would preclude                
 them from adopting that.                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said through the negotiation process, if a              
 district reached a different conclusion than what is stated in                
 any of the paragraphs, we have precluded them from doing that by              
 including the paragraph.  He said you can't write a statute that              
 changes an existing contract, but every statute you write may not             
 be contradicted by a future contract.                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON read from line 24, "...bargaining agreement              
 entered into between a school district or regional educational                
 attendance area and a bargaining organization representing                    
 teachers on or after the effective date of this section may not               
 be inconsistent with the provisions of this section."  We're                  
 saying if Juneau comes up with a better trigger mechanism, they               
 can't use that because it would be inconsistent with the trigger              
 mechanism that is in paragraph (a).                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said it is sort of like the grievance                   
 procedure.  All collective bargaining teacher contracts have to               
 have a grievance procedure with binding arbitration for the terms             
 of the contract.  So the grievance procedure may be somewhat                  
 different in each contract but they all have to have one.  You                
 can still negotiate layoff provisions within a contract as long               
 as they are not inconsistent, but you can fine tune them                      
 immensely.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 578                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if there is anyone that thinks that               
 deleting (d) would change a thing.                                            
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT said he has spoken to the drafter of the bill and he               
 thought it is consistent to have (d) in the bill.                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said when the bill comes back with the                   
 conceptual amendments, it would be very helpful to have the                   
 drafter in attendance.                                                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said that request will be made.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 597                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he still has four amendments for the               
 section.  He suggesting hearing from the two groups present about             
 their thoughts.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 603                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE said there are two concepts as to what would trigger the             
 layoff.  The suggestion was that there be third party                         
 verification and a whole bunch of hoops that we might have to                 
 jump through to validate the need.  He said he objected to those              
 because we're elected officials and the range of policy that we               
 deal in requires that we have some latitude.  Mr. Rose said he is             
 the one that came up with the idea that we address something that             
 we can prove we can show.  So we came up with the 5 percent                   
 trigger, but then we found that 5 percent trigger was a lot                   
 farther away.  He said there has to be some accountability for                
 the public.  Mr. Rose said if a trigger is set that is too low                
 and there isn't a fair threshold, then there is a lot of                      
 commotion at the local level.  He believes the 3 percent figure               
 is probably a good idea and is something that can be readily                  
 identified.  He said it would be fine to add language that it                 
 needs to be verified by the commissioner of the Department of                 
 Education (DOE).  Mr. Rose said now we have something we can                  
 verify.  He referred to substantial and asked who verifies                    
 substantial.  Saying 3 percent, verified by a third party which               
 would be the commissioner of the DOE, would be a good idea for                
 his organization.                                                             
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT said the 3 percent figure at first was an arbitrary                
 figure.  He said he went to the DOE and asked them to do an                   
 analysis, based on FY 96 basic need, as to what a 3 percent                   
 decrease would look like.  For some districts, it is                          
 substantial.... (END OF TAPE)                                                 
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-51, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT continued ...while the bigger school districts are                 
 going to have to take a hugh hit before this triggers.                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said if the legislature decides to "flat                 
 fund," the foundation unit will drop to about $59,000.  He asked              
 if that alone determines basic need.  What happens if the                     
 legislature does that and then Anchorage Assembly, for example,               
 reduces a school district request by $3 million.  If the flat                 
 funding didn't do it, would that trigger the lowering of the....              
 He said what bothers him about the trigger mechanism is that                  
 outside forces are being imposed on a district.  A community,                 
 even though they're not at the cap, could under fund and then                 
 you'd end up laying off teachers.  He said he isn't sure he is                
 comfortable with that.                                                        
                                                                               
 There was discussion regarding the formula being used for                     
 reaching the cap and how it would compare between Anchorage and               
 Pelican.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 101                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA explained tenure was designed to keep                   
 politics out of the retention of teachers.  The whole point of                
 tenure was to take politics out of it.  At times, education can               
 be a real political football.                                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA referred to his district of Valdez and said             
 its 3 percent is $156,000.  Because of Sheffield's accelerated                
 depreciation of the pipeline and terminal, we are at our cap and              
 are reducing the city share, by law, by $200,000 a year.  The                 
 fact is also that the school district has a $3 million cushion in             
 that they have been planning for this.  There really is no reason             
 for them to start laying off tenured teachers when they have the              
 money in the bank.  The 3 percent doesn't take in enough of the               
 universe.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 137                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. MARSHALL said, "We proposed I guess back in HESS and                      
 Judiciary that the lay off provision be for -- where you have                 
 decrease in school attendance on line 5, add in `or because of a              
 financial emergency in the school district.'  We went through the             
 drill of verification.  We wanted it verified by a third - you                
 know - some third party.  You may get away from trying -- because             
 I think you're going to have great difficulty in getting a                    
 percentage that everybody can walk away from the table from.  I               
 mean because in a (indisc.) the context of trying to figure out               
 what kind of funding school districts are going to get for FY 96              
 right now.  We're anxious because we know there are two bills out             
 there that will make this thing happen.  I mean the reality of                
 the situation is if, you know, the House bill or the Senate bill              
 goes through, we're looking at an instructional unit that is                  
 prorated down to about this area.  We also have anxiety about                 
 what's going to go on next year when we come here and we deal                 
 with the Contract for America and the cuts that they've made to               
 schools.  I would rather, you know us -- or I would like to                   
 suggest that we look at, you know, a financial emergency -- and               
 we did craft an amendment -- and I guess that our anxiety is                  
 that, you know, we would like to know that it is a legitimate                 
 loss in money and we have indicated here -- and we're just saying             
 that the district attempts to negotiate, you know, cuts within                
 the budget.  If you put a proposal on the table in your                       
 management and we don't negotiate, you made the attempt.  That's              
 all we're saying.  Now if we haven't got enough sense to pick up              
 on the fact there is a problem and we better, you know, talk                  
 because I think the dialogue on the local level is critical                   
 then...  You know, we've made a tragic mistake.                               
                                                                               
 "The second is that, you know, somehow teachers, in this case,                
 tenured teachers aren't taking the brunt of the attack.  I mean               
 you heard I don't know who it was that said, `Well, you know we               
 had a financial emergency but we hired two or three                           
 administrators or we bought a new car or something.  I'm                      
 exaggerating on the car.  I mean we'd like to see that -- you                 
 know there is (indisc--coughing) you prorate a reduction in a                 
 school district.  I mean it's not teachers taking it all, but you             
 look at administration, you look at school board operating costs              
 and, you know, laying it out there.  Create a committee, do                   
 whatever to see if you can bring those costs down.                            
                                                                               
 "Then we've said the layoff of tenured teachers are necessary                 
 notwithstanding the district's attempt to negotiate in its                    
 reduction in administrative and school board costs.  It's                     
 necessary, you've got to do it, fine, it's done.  And then we                 
 even threw in a provision that the necessary savings can't be                 
 achieved by laying off nontenured teachers and go after tenured               
 teachers.  And I think if you get the verifications in -- and I               
 think you'd want that, I mean you want folks to fully understand              
 there is no big grandiose boogie bear plan to get you.  We have a             
 problem.  Here's the problem.  Here's what we're doing.  And if               
 you could put financial emergency in, put some tests in, I think              
 this section -- whole section is fine."                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he wouldn't have any great concerns                
 except the process, in his mind, should not get into other                    
 financial decisions that the district has made.                               
                                                                               
 Number 222                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT referred to an amendment he thinks was offered by Mr.              
 Anderson in the House Judiciary Committee.  He said one of the                
 provisions was exigent circumstances.  Mr. Wright said to him                 
 there was no clear cut definition of exigent circumstance.  That              
 to him meant the same as substantial decrease.  He said he thinks             
 a solution can be reached as far as a school district budget.                 
 For instance, if there is a reserve in that school district's                 
 budget, that can be looked into.  He said he doesn't think other              
 budgets outside of the school district budget should be                       
 considered.                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON noted other budgets outside the school                   
 district budget, in many cases, can't be applied because many of              
 the communities are already at the cap.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 240                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE said if you have enough checks and balances, you don't               
 need a school board anymore.  He said there are elected officials             
 to provide oversight for the school district and he believes they             
 need to be called to task.  We don't control our revenue and we               
 build our budgets in public.  The public process is there.  You               
 can have a number of verifications and triggers but he would                  
 encourage the legislators not to look past the local levels of                
 governance.  He continued to discuss public process.                          
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE referred to the way the foundation works and said when               
 you talk about basic need, you're talking about instructional                 
 units times $61,000, times the area cost differential.  That's                
 basic need.  When you talk about state aid, you back out local                
 contribution and you back out 874.  That gives you state aid.                 
 The whole idea is that every local municipality is to pay a                   
 minimum, required by law.  If you go below that minimum, you                  
 don't qualify.  So you have to pay that portion.  The locals can              
 only go up, they can't go below the minimum.  Mr. Rose said that              
 is why he thinks basic need was selected instead of state aid.                
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE said the only thing he didn't take into consideration                
 was the testimony about the time lines.  If you did have a                    
 student count and it was determined that you were deficient the 3             
 percent, but you've already entered into contracts, that creates              
 another problem but at least you have a mechanism to address the              
 decrease in revenue.                                                          
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE said he would ask the committee not to look past the                 
 locally elected officials and local governments as they should be             
 called upon to perform.  He referred to the hoops and                         
 verifications and said he thinks it would call into question the              
 performance of the locally elected officials who can be replaced              
 if they don't perform.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 293                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said he would always assume that whatever               
 is going to happen is going to happen when the contracts come out             
 at the end of the year.                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE said he hadn't thought about the time lines.  He thought             
 the 3 percent is a good figure.  He said if this is a problem for             
 a particular school district, perhaps a supplemental is the way               
 you would look at that.  It would probably require a supplemental             
 to get through the year if they didn't have the funding.                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said what we're doing is changing the law,              
 a protection that was built in for teachers.  They're giving up               
 that protection.  This is giving them an out from that                        
 protection, basically a guarantee of a job.  There are reasons                
 that is not going to be there.  Representative Kubina said he is              
 uncomfortable not having something in place so that politics                  
 can't take place.  He noted he isn't sure what that is.                       
                                                                               
 Number 321                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he isn't sure they can agree on a                   
 trigger mechanism.  He referred to Section 5, the trigger                     
 mechanisms and everything else, and said the only reason it is                
 needed is because the legislature isn't meeting their duty of                 
 fully funding education.  He said the legislature isn't adjusting             
 for inflation more than once every decade.                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Mr. Wright if he would have an objection of               
 inserting the language after the 3 percent, "previous year as                 
 verified by the commissioner."                                                
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT said that is fine.                                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said the 3 percent is the problem.                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said he realizes that, but if the 3 percent is                  
 included, it certainly should be verified by a third party.                   
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE asked what is the threshold for an emergency.                        
                                                                               
 MR. MARSHALL said he would use financial emergency in the bill                
 rather than the exigency provision that was in the House HESS and             
 Judiciary versions.  Then you do provide the steps when you go                
 through the verification process.  He said we're dealing with an              
 issue where we don't have school districts that are getting less              
 aid from one district to another unless you want to deal with                 
 Adak.  They had a financial emergency and they're gone.  Mr.                  
 Marshall said they are being asked to somehow make a                          
 determination that they don't have a clear picture of.  He said               
 he doesn't know that he can give a clear definition of a                      
 financial emergency.  If there is a financial emergency, let the              
 parties sit down and show where a district is actually losing                 
 money.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 372                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE said if you say fiscal emergency or exigency, he can see             
 people bringing in issues such as lack of inflation proofing.  He             
 indicated someone could say we are fiscally strapped because of a             
 lack of inflation proofing, because of fixed costs, plus we've                
 lost a few dollars here.  He said he would think a 3 percent                  
 trigger is better.  When you say fiscal emergency, you're making              
 a case for reducing.  He said people can get real creative.  Mr.              
 Rose said he would like to be able to deal with something that is             
 identifiable and agreeable.  If we have something that is                     
 identifiable and agreeable, there is a place from which we can                
 start.                                                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said the situation with Adak was a                      
 financial windfall.  He said he had an Adak board member lobbying             
 him this week and they don't even have kids anymore.  He                      
 questioned why they are spending state dollars lobbying                       
 legislators.  He said we know they have about $3 million in the               
 bank because of closing down.  When you don't have kids anymore               
 or less students, we don't need any of this.  There are                       
 provisions in the bill for dismissing tenured teachers when                   
 you've got less students.  That is not the problem.  The same                 
 will be with Fort Greely.  They will get federal impact aid.                  
 They're guaranteed not to lose more than 25 percent of their                  
 foundation.  So that's not the problem.  You may want early                   
 retirements or something so that you don't dump them.  The                    
 problem is pretty much everybody else and it is very slight.  He              
 asked if he was wrong.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 404                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE said he thinks the hold harmless clause is an aid for                
 most of the school districts.  In the case of Sitka when they                 
 lost their mill, they qualified for that hold harmless clause.                
 He said that was a real help and he doesn't know if they had to               
 lay anyone off.  If there is something we can agree on that is                
 identifiable and understandable, they would be agreeable.  When               
 you say an emergency, what does an emergency mean?                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON suggested saying, "A financial emergency as              
 certified by the commissioner."  The commissioner is a                        
 noninvolved professional that could apply different criteria in a             
 REAA than he/she might apply in Anchorage or Juneau.                          
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE said he thinks the state is diverse enough where maybe               
 that is the only (indisc.).                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he would advance that as a conceptual               
 amendment.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. MARSHALL said the language on financial emergency verified by             
 the commissioner of the DOE is much better than (indisc.).  Mr.               
 Marshall said on line 3 it would say, "A decrease in school                   
 attendance or because of a financial emergency as verified by the             
 commissioner of Education."                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he has difficulty with this.                     
                                                                               
 There was discussion regarding the wording.                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if they wouldn't again be removing local                  
 control.                                                                      
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE said by including the 3 percent trigger, you're losing               
 local control.  He said they would rather be able to make these               
 decisions and stand accountable, but it appears it is either a 3              
 percent trigger which is kind of uniform for an entire state, or              
 something that is verifiable by the commissioner which provides               
 us to address the diversity.                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he thought the local boards could                
 cook their budget.  He asked if that isn't some portion of local              
 control even if you have a numeric standard.                                  
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE said if Representative Rokeberg is talking about the                 
 commissioner of the DOE verifying, he would imagine he is talking             
 about the finance director having access to all of the state                  
 audits.  He said he thinks to invoke a lay off, you probably have             
 to satisfy an extraordinary standard.  Mr. Rose said he believes              
 school boards are prepared to do that at the local level without              
 the trigger, but it doesn't appear that is acceptable.                        
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT said we're not going to come up with one standard that             
 is going to fit Anchorage or one standard that will fit Pelican.              
 He said maybe this is the best solution, but he would make the                
 decision nonappealable.  Once the commissioner makes the                      
 decision, the decision stands.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 495                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA questioned what the amendment would be.                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said on page 3, lines 6 and 7 would be                  
 strickened.  Line 5 would read "...decrease in school attendance              
 or because of a financial emergency as verified by the                        
 commissioner of the Department of Education that is                           
 nonappealable."                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 504                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. MARSHALL asked how they could deny a parent or NEA-Alaska the             
 right to go to court and say that they don't agree there is an                
 emergency.  These are public schools.                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG explained he is dealing with that exact               
 issue on another major piece of legislation.  What you can't do               
 under due process is deny anybody to bring a cause of action on a             
 constitutional issue.  Therefore, if there is a constitutional                
 issue about denial of schools, etc., in education which is in the             
 Alaska State Constitution, you probably would be able to build a              
 cause of action.  On the other hand, by stipulating                           
 nonappealability in the statute, they will look at a higher                   
 standard as to what forms a cause of action.  It would have to be             
 a pure constitutional issue.                                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said there is a motion to move Amendment 7 which                
 adds after the word "because" on line 5, "of a financial                      
 emergency as verified by the commissioner of the Department of                
 Education", and delete lines 6 and 7.  There being no objection,              
 Amendment 7 was adopted.                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 548                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. MARSHALL referred to page 3, line 17 of the layoff provision              
 and asked if it is permissive to say, "...a school district may               
 give preference..."                                                           
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT said they would prefer "shall."                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said by leaving it permissive, it gives               
 the district the flexibility rather than to mandate.                          
                                                                               
 Number 562                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. MARSHALL asked if this could be bargained.                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he thinks so.                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said as long as it stays within the                     
 parameters, he would suspect most school districts will try to                
 bargain.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 570                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he would move Amendment 8.  He                      
 explained it would change the tenure to three years.  He said he              
 feels very strongly that if an administrator can't decide in two              
 years, the board has a problem with the administrator.  This is               
 compromise language that makes it three years instead of four                 
 year.                                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER objected to Amendment 8.  He said with all              
 the testimony he has heard over the last two years, it is clear               
 to him that the PTAs, school board associations and                           
 administrators want (indisc.).                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he would contemplate an amendment to             
 raise it from four years to five years.                                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Representative Rokeberg if he is moving an                
 amendment to the amendment.  REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he                  
 wouldn't do that at this time.                                                
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT noted the original bill had five years.                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said there is no doubt in his mind that if              
 the committee put it to three years, there would be an amendment              
 on the House floor to put it back to two years.                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he thinks that the committee should set             
 a number that they can agree to.  He said we should come to a                 
 resolution that the committee thinks is best.                                 
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-52, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 006                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said the committee can bring up all kinds of             
 experiences and issues, but what he thinks they are doing is                  
 making a substantive change in changing tenure from two years.                
 He said he would rather stair step up than leap up and start                  
 falling back.  Representative Elton said the tenure problem he is             
 hearing about is not about new teachers, it is about teachers who             
 are in the system and have been in the system for ten years.  The             
 bill has nothing to do with that.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 028                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he would like to point out for the               
 record that he received a fax from Kathi Gillespie, President,                
 Anchorage Council on PTAs, pointing out that there are 11 states              
 that have no tenure provisions whatsoever.  He said this is a                 
 trend because over the last four years, four states have                      
 eliminated tenure for contractual based performance.                          
 Representative Rokeberg said the important thing is we are going              
 in the right direction in following a national trend.                         
                                                                               
 A roll call vote was taken on Amendment 8.  Representatives                   
 Kubina, Elton and Masek voted in support of the amendment.                    
 Representatives Kott, Porter and Rokeberg voted against the                   
 amendment.  So Amendment 8 failed to be adopted.                              
                                                                               
 Number 072                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT withdrew the remaining two amendments he put              
 on the table because they cover the judicial review section.                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said Amendments 9 and 10 have been withdrawn.                   
                                                                               
 Number 079                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA moved Amendment 11.                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT objected so Representative Kubina could explain it              
 to him.                                                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA read, "A decrease in school revenue causing             
 a financial emergency.  The commissioner of Education shall                   
 verify their emergency.  The commissioner must also certify the               
 school district has done everything possible to reduce costs                  
 including reducing administrative costs, administrative travel,               
 and school travel, lobbyist fees, etc.  Nonessential costs."  The             
 whole point of the amendment is to make a school district, when               
 they file something with the commissioner saying they're in an                
 emergency, that they are not just looking at teachers, but are                
 looking at their overall....  Representative Kubina said to him               
 it makes no sense to pay for things that are not related to                   
 teaching kids and lay off teachers.                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked Mr. Rose if his association is a                   
 school board expense or is he a lobbyist.                                     
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE explained about 42 percent of their revenue is derived               
 from dues and the rest is generated through entrepreneur                      
 (indisc.).                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked if the dues would be considered an                 
 administrative or a school board expense.                                     
                                                                               
 MR. ROSE responded a school board expense.                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER indicated he would oppose the amendment.                
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT said it probably would induce more litigation.                  
                                                                               
 Number 133                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said there are a lot of things a school                 
 district does spend money on.  He said he believes there needs to             
 be a statement that whatever a school district is going to submit             
 to the commissioner needs to state that the school district has               
 looked at reducing expenses in the district and not just at                   
 teachers.  He said Representative Porter's language was added                 
 regarding the financial emergency.  He suggested the second                   
 sentence read, "The commissioner must certify that the district               
 has done everything possible to reduce costs."                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the wording "everything possible to                
 reduce costs" could constitute firing the janitors.  He noted it              
 wasn't his language, it was the language he heard everybody agree             
 to.  Changing it now seems to be redundantly unnecessary.                     
 Representative Porter said he would not support the amendment in              
 any form.                                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT said he thinks it will go into the wrong section of                
 the bill.                                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA agreed, and said everyone knows where it                
 was supposed to go.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 170                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA withdrew Amendment 11.                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were further amendments.                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he has further amendments but they are              
 on the judicial review portion of the bill.  He said he will hold             
 them.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 193                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked if there were any further amendments for HB               
 217.  There were none.  Chairman Kott said a new committee                    
 substitute would be written and would be before the committee the             
 following Monday.                                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked that the drafter of the bill be in                 
 attendance.                                                                   

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