Legislature(2013 - 2014)

04/24/2014 11:12 AM HB278


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11:12:15 AM Start
11:13:42 AM HB278
11:33:18 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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                        HB 278-EDUCATION                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HAWKER announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  278,  "An   Act  increasing  the  base  student                                                               
allocation  used  in the  formula  for  state funding  of  public                                                               
education;   repealing    the   secondary    student   competency                                                               
examination  and related  requirements; relating  to high  school                                                               
course credit  earned through assessment;  relating to  a college                                                               
and career readiness assessment  for secondary students; relating                                                               
to  charter  school  application  appeals  and  program  budgets;                                                               
relating  to  residential  school  applications;  increasing  the                                                               
stipend  for  boarding  school students;  extending  unemployment                                                               
contributions for  the Alaska technical and  vocational education                                                               
program; relating  to earning high  school credit  for completion                                                               
of   vocational  education   courses   offered  by   institutions                                                               
receiving  technical and  vocational  education program  funding;                                                               
relating to education tax  credits; making conforming amendments;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
[Before  the   committee  was  CSHB   278(FIN)am  and   SCS  CSHB
278(FIN)amS.]                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:13:42 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MEYER   moved  to  adopt  the   proposed  Free  Conference                                                               
Committee Substitute  (FCCS) for HB  278, Version Q,  labeled 28-                                                               
GH2716\Q, Mischel, 4/23/14 as the working document.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HAWKER objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:14:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JULI  LUCKY,  Staff,  Representative Mike  Hawker,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  directed  attention  to  the  seven-page  sectional                                                               
document  in  members'  packets   entitled  "HB  278  Comparison:                                                               
House-Senate-Conference"  [with a  footer labeled  4/24/14, 12:17                                                               
AM].  She indicated that the first  two columns are the same as a                                                               
spreadsheet distributed  on 4/22/14, the third  column represents                                                               
the changes in the proposed  free conference committee substitute                                                               
(FCCS) for HB 278, Version Q.   When the fourth column [entitled,                                                               
"FCCS HB  278 -  v. Q"]  contains language  that reads  "same" it                                                               
means that  the House  and Senate  versions are  the same  so the                                                               
[FCCS for HB  278] language is also the same.   The other changes                                                               
that were adopted are noted in this column.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:16:16 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY  referred each  section to  indicate which  version was                                                               
adopted  into the  proposed  FCCS for  HB 278,  Version  Q.   She                                                               
stated  that  Section  1  of  Version Q,  relates  to  jury  duty                                                               
postponement  for  teachers  at  low-performing  schools  has  no                                                               
change.   She explained that Section  2 of Version Q,  relates to                                                               
course credit by  mastery is a hybrid and  incorporates the House                                                               
language for  "secondary school" courses through  mastery as well                                                               
as the Senate language that was  limited to core topics.  Section                                                               
3 of  Version Q, would repeal  the [HSGQE] exit exam  and replace                                                               
it with  a requirement to take  the SAT, ACT, or  WorkKeys before                                                               
graduation.   To do so,  numerous technical changes  are required                                                               
to incorporate this  language and these changes are  noted in the                                                               
sectional.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LUCKY directed  attention  to  Section 4  of  Version Q,  to                                                               
technical language  cleanup necessitated by  the use of  the term                                                               
"language  arts"  instead  of "reading,  writing,"  which  occurs                                                               
throughout  the  bill, and  also  to  incorporate the  exit  exam                                                               
changes.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY  directed attention  to Section 5  of Version  Q, which                                                               
contains  language in  House Section  4 regarding  the state  not                                                               
ceding  any  autonomy or  control  over  education standards  and                                                               
assessments.  That  language did not occur in  the Senate version                                                               
so the  proposed FCCS for HB  278, Version Q, contains  the House                                                               
language verbatim.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY  turned to Section 6  of Version Q, which  includes the                                                               
technical changes  for language arts  and the repeal of  the exit                                                               
exam.   She  said  that  Section 7  of  Version  Q also  contains                                                               
technical changes  for language arts  and the repeal of  the exit                                                               
exam.   House  Section 8,  which  would have  changed the  "star"                                                               
rating system with  an "A-F" system did not appear  in the Senate                                                               
bill  and is  not in  the proposed  FCCS for  HB 278,  Version Q.                                                               
Section 8 of  Version Q, includes the Senate  language of funding                                                               
for  Internet services,  but the  additional  language in  Senate                                                               
Section 7  for personalized learning  opportunity grants  and the                                                               
innovative approach to  learning grants were not  included in the                                                               
proposed FCCS for HB 278, Version Q.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY stated that Sections 9  and 10 of Version Q, related to                                                               
the charter  school application and  appeal process are  the same                                                               
in  the House  and  Senate  versions and  were  adopted in  their                                                               
entirety.   She stated that  Section 11  of Version Q  is another                                                               
section related to deleting the charter school exit exam.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:18:05 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY continued with Section  12 of Version Q, which includes                                                               
the  same language  in the  House and  Senate versions  regarding                                                               
leases  for charter  schools, which  appears in  its entirety  in                                                               
Version Q.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY said  that Section 13 of Version Q  includes the Senate                                                               
language regarding charter school  budgets and calculation of the                                                               
four percent cap.   She turned to Section 14  of Version Q, which                                                               
was the  same in the  House and  Senate version regarding  a $500                                                               
one-time  grant  for charter  school  programs.   She  turned  to                                                               
Section 15 of Version Q, which  is identical to Senate Section 14                                                               
regarding  independent  learning   programs  (ILPs)  and  student                                                               
allotments and  the rollover provisions.   She turned  to Section                                                               
16  of  Version  Q,  which provides  technical  language  changes                                                               
regarding language arts.  She  related that Section 17 of Version                                                               
Q  includes the  House language  in its  entirety, including  the                                                               
prohibition from spending money  on implementation of the "common                                                               
core"  standards for  K-12.   Sections  18 and  19  of Version  Q                                                               
contain language  from Senate Section  17 related to  waivers for                                                               
the  college and  career readiness  assessment, which  allows for                                                               
other tests instead  of the exit exam, and defines  "child with a                                                               
disability."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY directed  attention to House Section  16, regarding the                                                               
BOE report  of recommended changes  to promote efficiency  in the                                                               
administration of public education, which is not in Version Q.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY  directed attention to  Section 20 of Version  Q, which                                                               
contains language that was in  House and Senate versions verbatim                                                               
regarding pupil transportation.   She related that  Section 21 of                                                               
Version  Q   includes  a  provision  regarding   the  state  debt                                                               
reimbursement plan; however, it makes  no changes to the existing                                                               
70/30  plan, but  reduces the  alternate  60/40 plan  to a  50/50                                                               
plan.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:20:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY  explained that she  initially thought the  omission of                                                               
House  Section  18/Senate  Section  21   from  Version  Q  was  a                                                               
technical error, but it was  not.  The legislative legal attorney                                                               
explained that  the provision  for the  credit course  by mastery                                                               
for boarding schools is not  needed in statute since language was                                                               
included in  the enabling statutes  that defines  school district                                                               
to include boarding schools.   Therefore, it was not necessary to                                                               
include  the language  related  to course  credit  by mastery  in                                                               
boarding schools in  statute even though it appeared  in both the                                                               
House and Senate version.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY  directed attention to  Section 22 of Version  Q, which                                                               
incorporates the same  language in the House  and Senate versions                                                               
regarding  an open  application period  for residential  schools.                                                               
She noted  that Section 23 of  Version Q is the  same language in                                                               
Senate Section 23 to increase the residential school stipend.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:21:16 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MEYER asked  for clarification  on the  difference between                                                               
"residential schools" and "boarding  schools" and further whether                                                               
the  repeal of  the high  school exit  exam also  applied to  the                                                               
residential and boarding schools.   He recalled that the language                                                               
was changed for  charter schools but he was unsure  of whether it                                                               
was addressed for residential and boarding schools.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HAWKER suggested  that staff  continue with  the sectional                                                               
for the proposed FCCS for HB  278, Version Q, and then arrange to                                                               
address that question.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:22:15 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY related that the mill  rate that was included in Senate                                                               
[Section 24]  was not included in  the proposed FCCS for  HB 278.                                                               
Section 24  of Version  Q includes  Senate [Section  25] language                                                               
verbatim  to include  funding distributed  outside  the BSA  when                                                               
calculating  a   maximum  voluntary  local  contribution.     She                                                               
directed attention  to Section  25 of  Version Q,  which included                                                               
Senate  [Section  26]  that  would  increase  state  funding  for                                                               
correspondence study factor from 80  percent to 90 percent of the                                                               
BSA.   She related that  Section 26 of Version  Q is the  same as                                                               
Senate  [Section  27] regarding  increased  funding  for the  new                                                               
charter schools.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY related  that Sections 27-29 of  Version Q incorporates                                                               
the BSA increases  for 2014, 2015, and 2016.   She specified that                                                               
in 2014 the BSA will increase  by $150, and the BSA will increase                                                               
in 2015 and in  2016 by $50 each year.  The  proposed FCCS for HB
278, Version Q, does not  include the tenure provisions that were                                                               
included in House [Sections 23  and 24], which were later removed                                                               
by  the  Senate.   She  explained  that  tenure will  become  one                                                               
component  of the  Department of  Administration study  on salary                                                               
and  benefits,  which  will  allow the  legislature  to  make  an                                                               
informed decision in the future.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:23:52 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LUCKY stated  that Section  30  of Version  Q adopts  Senate                                                               
[Section 28] to increase the  employee contribution for TVEP from                                                               
.15  percent to  .16 percent.   She  related that  Section 31  of                                                               
Version Q  is the same  as Senate  Section 29 regarding  the TVEP                                                               
sunset  and fund  allocations.   She related  that Section  30 of                                                               
Version  Q is  the  same  language that  occurred  in both  House                                                               
[Section 26] and Senate [Section  30] regarding reporting for the                                                               
TVEP program.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LUCKY said  Section 33  of Version  Q is  the same  as House                                                               
[Section 27]  and Senate [Section  31] regarding dual  credit and                                                               
penalties.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:24:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY indicated  that Section 34 of Version  Q will establish                                                               
definitions  for  articulation  agreement   and  dual  credit  to                                                               
accommodate  the preceding  section,  which is  the  same in  all                                                               
three  versions of  the bill.   She  related that  Section 35  of                                                               
Version Q has a charter  school property tax exemption that would                                                               
allow a municipality by ordinance  to exempt the private property                                                               
being used  for charter  school purposes.   This language  is the                                                               
same in all three versions of HB 278, she said.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY related  that Sections 36-47 of  Version Q incorporated                                                               
the  education  tax  credits.     She  explained  that  this  was                                                               
initially in  the House bill  and was  amended by the  Senate, as                                                               
discussed  in  the prior  meeting,  and  it includes  the  Senate                                                               
language.  Section 48 would  establish the STEM pilot program for                                                               
middle  schools, which  is the  same  language as  in the  Senate                                                               
[Section 53] of the bill.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:25:28 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY stated  that Section 49 of Version Q  adopts the Senate                                                               
[Section  54] language.    This section  would  establish that  a                                                               
student  who did  not receive  a diploma  because they  failed to                                                               
pass the exit exam could obtain a diploma retroactively.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY stated that Sections 50  and 51 of Version Q adopts the                                                               
same repeal language as in the House and Senate versions.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY directed attention to  the studies.  She explained that                                                               
the  initial House  Section  47  required the  DOA  to conduct  a                                                               
salary and  benefits proposal [due  January 1, 2016]  and present                                                               
it  to  the  legislature  [due  January 1,  2016].    The  Senate                                                               
[Section 55] changed  it to an LB&A study [due  January 1, 2016].                                                               
She related  that Version Q  changed this  to require the  DOA to                                                               
study  and  present  a  comprehensive  education  funding  study,                                                               
including considering tenure, due January  1, 2015.  She reported                                                               
that  legal counsel  advises that  the  administration can  study                                                               
these issues  but implementing a  statewide salaries  and benefit                                                               
study would  require legislative action.   Thus, proposed Section                                                               
52 has been reworded to make it  clear that the DOA does not have                                                               
the  authority   to  implement  a  salary   study;  however,  the                                                               
department  can provide  the  legislature  with this  information                                                               
should a future legislature wish to do so.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:27:15 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY  directed attention to  Section 53 of Version  Q, which                                                               
includes  the  EED  study [on  School  Design  and  Construction]                                                               
contained in the Senate [Section 52].   In Section 54, Version Q,                                                               
the two LB&A studies that were  in Senate Sections 50 and 51 were                                                               
replaced  with a  more comprehensive  study.   She  characterized                                                               
this as  the only  new language  in the  bill so  some discussion                                                               
might be necessary.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY referred to page 38,  lines 22 through page 39 line 14,                                                               
to proposed Section 54 of  Version Q, which includes the language                                                               
from  the Senate  version, but  also some  additional items  that                                                               
must be considered.  The dates  for the DOA [salary and benefits]                                                               
study  and  the  EED  [School   Design  and  Construction]  study                                                               
remained the same.   However, the third  study, the comprehensive                                                               
education  study [by  LB&A] contains  a due  date of  January 20,                                                               
2015 to get the information before the next legislature.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:29:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY explained that Section  55 of Version Q includes grants                                                               
over  the next  three years  in  the amounts  of $42,953,500  for                                                               
2015, $32,243,700 for  2016, and $19,904,200 for  2017 to provide                                                               
funding outside of the BSA.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HAWKER interjected  and emphasized  that  this funding  is                                                               
distributed in the same manner as the BSA.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:30:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUCKY related  tenure provisions were removed  since there is                                                               
not  any applicability  for the  tenure; however,  the transition                                                               
language  and effective  dates remain  identical or  as close  as                                                               
possible  to accomplish  the technical  changes that  happened in                                                               
the bill  with the renumbering  of sections.  This  concluded her                                                               
presentation of the FCCS HB 278, Version Q.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:30:29 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HAWKER  indicated  that  the proposed  FCCS  for  HB  278,                                                               
Version Q,  has just  been brought  forth.   He asked  members to                                                               
accept Version Q as a working document.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HOFFMAN said the issues of  concern are the dates of some                                                               
of the  additional studies.   He asked whether  formal amendments                                                               
will be required or if conceptual amendments will be acceptable.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HAWKER  suggested  discussions  and to  bring  forward  an                                                               
amendment  for  the  Free  Conference  Committee  on  HB  278  to                                                               
consider.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:32:45 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HAWKER removed  his  objection.   There  being no  further                                                               
objection, the  proposed FCCS for  HB 278, Version Q,  was before                                                               
the Free Conference Committee on HB 278.                                                                                        

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