Legislature(1993 - 1994)

01/20/1994 09:09 AM CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 CHAIRMAN RANDY PHILLIPS introduced  SB 136  (NATIVE LANGUAGE                  
 EDUCATION) as the next order of business before the committee.                
 ANNIE LANDRUM, staff to Senator Lincoln, explained the changes in             
 the draft committee substitute to SB 136.                                     
 SENATOR TAYLOR expressed his concern that SB 136 does not address             
 the communities where the majority of native children live.                   
 SENATOR ADAMS said that nothing in SB 136 prohibits any local                 
 school district from offering the local tongue.  He moved to adopt            
 CSSB 136 (CRA).  Hearing no objections, it was so ordered.  Senator           
 Adams requested that bills be held until the following week when              
 information or material is received that morning.                             
 Number 340                                                                    
 ANNE KESSLER, Program Manager for Bilingual Education, Department             
 of Education, informed the committee that there are 48 district               
 with bilingual programs.  She referred to the attachments for the             
 specifics of each district's program.  In response to Senator                 
 Taylor's question, she stated that bilingual means to have limited            
 english proficiency or to be able to speak more than one language.            
 She explained that Anchorage provides an English as a Second                  
 Language (ESL) program, but that each school district can offer               
 different options according to their population and student needs.            
 Number 230                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if any of the current programs were dictated             
 by racial orientation.  Ms. Kessler said that the bilingual program           
 is not based on ethnicity.  She said that the state funds are based           
 on the category of the students within the bilingual regulations              
 and the amount of proficiency they have in english, then the school           
 decides what options to implement.                                            
 ANNE KESSLER explained that the unit of funds is not necessarily              
 equal everywhere.  The unit of funds depends upon the category of             
 the student, not per student.  She stated that to create a program            
 for native language is more expensive because you have to develop             
 materials and do staff training, however it is not recognized in              
 the foundation funding.  She noted that the estimated $60,000 per             
 site seems to be a fairly good average.                                       
 SENATOR TAYLOR asserted that the $60,000 estimate only becomes a              
 valid fiscal note if the districts without a program decide to have           
 a program which is added to the state foundation formula.  He asked           
 if that increases the foundation formula by $60,000 per group or do           
 they have to eat the $60,000 as a choice within the money they                
 receive.  Ms. Kessler pointed out that there are only three                   
 districts that are not currently receiving bilingual money who                
 could possibly apply.  Approximately $213,000 if every one of those           
 TAPE 94-5, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 001                                                                    
 ANNE KESSLER added further comments regarding cost issues.                    
 CHAIRMAN RANDY PHILLIPS held SB 136 until Tuesday morning.                    

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