Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106
04/13/2005 08:30 AM RULES
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* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 16-SCHOOL FUNDS RELATED TO BOARDING SCHOOLS CHAIR ROKEBERG announced that the first order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 16, "An Act relating to funding for school districts operating secondary school boarding programs and to funding for school districts from which boarding students come; and providing for an effective date." 8:39:16 AM REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL explained that HB 16 is an expansion of the boarding school program such that the state becomes partners with the school district and the state would pay a stipend for the students. The legislation is designed to only fund those communities with a boarding school at this time, and at the end of five years the situation will be re-evaluated. 8:40:42 AM REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL moved that the committee adopt Amendment 1, labeled 24-LS0125\A.3, Mischel, 4/8/05, which read: Page 1, line 2: Following "programs": Delete "and" Insert "," Following "come;" Insert "and to the effectiveness of district secondary school boarding programs;" Page 2, following line 17: Insert a new bill section to read: "* Sec. 4. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to read: REPORT ON SECONDARY SCHOOL BOARDING PROGRAMS. Not later than February 1, 2010, the department shall provide to the governor a report on the effectiveness of the district secondary school boarding programs operated by school districts. The department shall include draft legislation to extend the cost reimbursement under AS 14.16.200 and the student counting method under AS 14.17.905(c) for boarding school programs if the department finds that continuation of the programs is in the best interest of the state. The department shall make the report available to the public and to the legislature." REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS objected for discussion purposes. 8:41:07 AM REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL explained that Amendment 1 specifies that [the department] will provide a report on the effectiveness [of secondary school boarding programs] to the legislature and the governor no later than February 1, 2010. He related that Eddy Jeans, Director, School Finance, Department of Education and Early Development, has said that the department can absorb the cost of the report. 8:41:52 AM CHAIR ROKEBERG recalled that Mt. Edgecumbe wasn't one of the three boarding schools, and therefore he asked if Mt. Edgecumbe is handled as a separate entity. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL clarified that Mt. Edgecumbe is a state- operated boarding school for which the state bears the capital costs and the full boarding costs. The boarding schools addressed in HB 16 are filling needs in the area. For example, the boarding school in Galena has people from all over western Alaska. 8:42:37 AM REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS asked if these are all strictly private boarding schools. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL replied no, and clarified that these are public schools that are run by the district. He noted that the Galena school district is an actual school district; the Nenana school district is a first class city school district. He said he didn't know about [the structure] of the Bethel boarding school. In further response to Representative Harris, Representative Coghill confirmed that the Nenana [boarding school] uses the Nenana public school for classroom space, "but the boarding school is, in fact, going to be separate from the school." The same will be the case in Galena and Bethel. These boarding schools are taking advantage of economies of scale by establishing a boarding area and utilizing the public schools [for curriculum]. 8:44:07 AM REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL, in further response to Representative Harris, specified that these students are high school students. He was not aware of a situation at any of these three boarding schools in which more than a high school was involved. REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS expressed the need to closely review regional boarding schools, although he acknowledged that it's controversial. He said he viewed these boarding schools as a pilot project for the beginnings of [a regional boarding school] system. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL stated that the time line was inserted because there is a need to review the progress. Representative Coghill related that having seen two of these boarding schools first hand, these students attend these boarding schools on purpose. In fact, in all cases there are waiting lists to enter. He noted that the legislation also includes a sort of hold harmless [provision]. 8:46:25 AM REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS removed his objection, [and therefore Amendment 1 was adopted]. 8:46:33 AM REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS moved to report HB 16, as amended, out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSHB 16(RLS) was reported from the House Rules Standing Committee.