Legislature(2013 - 2014)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/13/2013 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
         SB 57-LITERACY, PUPIL TRANSP, TEACHER NOTICES                                                                      
8:00:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS announced that consideration of SB 57.                                                                            
TIM LAMKIN, staff  to Senator Gary Stevens, introduced  SB 57. He                                                               
explained that  the bill does  three things.  It is an  effort to                                                               
encourage  parental involvement  in their  children's ability  to                                                               
read   proficiently   by   third    grade.   It   adjusts   pupil                                                               
transportation  dollars annually  by  the  inflationary index  of                                                               
Anchorage, which is about 3  percent. It also shifts the deadline                                                               
for districts to  notify faculty of layoff  or non-retention from                                                               
March 16  to May 15,  in order to  be compatible with  the budget                                                               
8:03:01 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. LAMKIN said  that Section 4 of the bill  would repeal the 1.5                                                               
percent pupil transportation amount  enacted last year. Section 5                                                               
is required language to allow  existing employment contracts with                                                               
school  districts  and  faculty  to  expire  before  the  May  15                                                               
deadline is  used. Section 6  sets an  effective date of  July 1,                                                               
SENATOR GARDNER joined the meeting.                                                                                             
CHAIR STEVENS opened public testimony.                                                                                          
8:04:14 AM                                                                                                                    
LES MORSE, Deputy Commissioner,  Alaska Department of Education &                                                               
Early Development, addressed the  transportation component of the                                                               
fiscal note.  He noted  in the  past, Legislative  Finance, along                                                               
with  the administration,  requested  the  department to  present                                                               
fiscal  notes  for  the  public  education  fund  addressing  the                                                               
cumulative  effect. He  said the  fiscal note  depicts the  total                                                               
amount SB  57 would  cost, cumulatively, through  FY 19.  This is                                                               
different than most  fiscal notes which show  a yearly increment.                                                               
He suggested  the fiscal  note could be  addressed in  the Senate                                                               
Finance Committee.                                                                                                              
CHAIR STEVENS said he was comfortable with that plan.                                                                           
MR.  MORSE stated  that the  other  piece pertains  to where  the                                                               
burden would be in terms  of distribution of materials, which Dr.                                                               
McCauley will address.                                                                                                          
8:06:11 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  SUSAN MCCAULEY,  Director, Division  of Teaching  & Learning                                                               
Support,  Alaska Department  of  Education  & Early  Development,                                                               
explained the fiscal note for SB  57 with regard for the literacy                                                               
component.  It assumes  that the  department  would be  providing                                                               
literacy  resources  to  the  parents  of  children  in  K  -  3,                                                               
approximately  45,000  students.  The   cost  reflects  that  the                                                               
department will development and distribute the materials.                                                                       
CHAIR  STEVENS  stated  that  he met  with  the  Commissioner  of                                                               
Education and said  it was not his intention  that the department                                                               
hire a staff to do all the  work, but rather that they would work                                                               
with districts to distribute materials.                                                                                         
SENATOR GARDNER  asked if  it would make  sense for  small school                                                               
districts to get the materials from other districts.                                                                            
CHAIR  STEVENS  agreed.  He  added  that the  plan  was  for  the                                                               
department  to be  responsible for  giving the  materials to  the                                                               
districts  to distribute.  He asked  Mr.  Morse if  that was  his                                                               
8:08:11 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MORSE answered  that some money would be used  to prepare the                                                               
publications and for updating them.                                                                                             
CHAIR STEVENS  agreed that  the department  should work  with the                                                               
districts and provide materials.                                                                                                
8:09:26 AM                                                                                                                    
DAVID MEANS,  Director of Administration, Juneau  School District                                                               
(JSD),  testified in  support  of  SB 57.  He  drew attention  to                                                               
Section 2,  which discusses a  cost of living increase  for pupil                                                               
transportation contracts. He noted  that the JSD contract already                                                               
contains a  cost of  living increase. The  bill would  keep state                                                               
payments  in line  with  the school  district's  payments to  its                                                               
service provider,  allowing foundation monies to  go to classroom                                                               
expenses as much as possible.                                                                                                   
He pointed  out that in  the current law  there is a  1.5 percent                                                               
increase  for FY  14  and FY  15, but  not  thereafter. He  noted                                                               
support for  Section 3,  which provides  for flexibility  for all                                                               
districts regarding reduction of tenured teachers.                                                                              
He stated  support for  Section 1,  for all  partnerships between                                                               
the district and parents.                                                                                                       
8:11:22 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS shared  his experience  of dealing  with the  non-                                                               
retention  date of  March 16.  He requested  to know  of concerns                                                               
regarding changing that date to May 15.                                                                                         
MR.  MEANS  opined  that  there  is  less  controversy  than  was                                                               
SENATOR  GARDNER  asked  when  teachers  expect  to  renew  their                                                               
contracts for the upcoming year.                                                                                                
MR.  MEANS replied  that in  JSD contracts  are issued  after the                                                               
budget process around the end of May.                                                                                           
8:13:28 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GARDNER responded  that it  is unlikely  that JSD  would                                                               
offer a contract in early May and then hand out a pink slip.                                                                    
MR. MEANS  answered that  they did  not want to  do that.  Once a                                                               
contract is offered, it is irrevocable for a tenured teacher.                                                                   
AMY  LUJAN,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Association  of  School                                                               
Business Officials  (AASBO), testified in  support of SB  57. She                                                               
noted that AASBO members deal  with such things as transportation                                                               
contracts. She  said that  last year AASBO  assisted with  SB 182                                                               
which revamped the pupil transportation funding mechanism.                                                                      
She opined  that the change to  the bill goes against  the intent                                                               
of SB 182, which was to  make sure that classroom resources would                                                               
not be used for transportation. She  termed SB 57 a correction to                                                               
that problem. She  explained that the reference  to the Anchorage                                                               
Cost  Price  Index   (CPI)  was  included  as   a  best  practice                                                               
standardization of contracts several  years ago. She testified in                                                               
support of changing back to the Anchorage CPI.                                                                                  
MS. LUJAN also testified in support of Section 3.                                                                               
8:16:36 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER inquired which contracts  Ms. Lujan was referring                                                               
to, the pick slips or actual contracts.                                                                                         
MS. LUJAN said both.                                                                                                            
SENATOR  GARDNER asked  if the  legislation changes  the contract                                                               
date or just the non-retention notification date.                                                                               
MS. LUJAN  said most districts hand  out one or the  other at the                                                               
same time.                                                                                                                      
MIKE ABBOTT, Chief Operating  Officer, Anchorage School District,                                                               
testified  in support  of SB  57.  He said  the Anchorage  School                                                               
District strongly supports all three provisions of the bill.                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS asked  if the Anchorage School  District is already                                                               
involved  in supporting  parent interaction  in order  to promote                                                               
MR.  ABBOTT  replied  that  the  Anchorage  School  District  has                                                               
already  made  progress  regarding   resources  for  parents  and                                                               
childcare providers of pre-K students.                                                                                          
CHAIR STEVENS agreed that Anchorage is ahead of the game.                                                                       
SENATOR  GARDNER asked  when Anchorage  currently offers  teacher                                                               
8:19:45 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. ABBOTT replied  that Anchorage was similar to  Juneau in that                                                               
they try to offer contracts before the end of the school year.                                                                  
DAVE  JONES, Assistant  Superintendent,  Kenai Peninsula  Borough                                                               
School  District, testified  in support  of SB  57. He  concurred                                                               
with the previous  speaker about all three sections  of the bill.                                                               
He described  how the date  for contract issuance  is determined.                                                               
Tenured  contracts  are  issued   by  March  16  and  non-tenured                                                               
contracts,  or pink  slips,  must be  issued by  May  15 and  are                                                               
dependent on state funding.                                                                                                     
8:23:42 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. JONES commented that the  date change gives the district time                                                               
to decide if RIF's and teacher improvement plans are needed.                                                                    
MR. JONES  summarized that the  Kenai School District is  in full                                                               
support of all sections of SB  57. He thanked the legislature for                                                               
prior funding for education.                                                                                                    
8:25:53 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  DEENA  PARAMO,   Superintendent,  Matanuska-Susitna  Borough                                                               
School District, testified  in support of SB 57.  She thanked the                                                               
legislature  for  focusing  on  the real  costs  associated  with                                                               
education  of  kids  in Alaska.  She  focused  on  transportation                                                               
budget alignment with possible state contracts.                                                                                 
8:28:31 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. PARAMO addressed  a funding shortfall in  regards to Mat-Su's                                                               
transportation services  due to SB  182. She spoke in  support of                                                               
SB 57's treatment of transportation funding.                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS voiced appreciation for Dr. Paramo's comments.                                                                    
8:30:09 AM                                                                                                                    
KATHERINE  GARDNER,  Director   of  Human  Resources,  Matanuska-                                                               
Susitna Borough School  District, testified in support  of SB 57.                                                               
She focused her  comments on Section 3 of the  bill. She informed                                                               
the committee  about tenure  law. She said  Section 3  deals more                                                               
with  the date  by which  notice must  be given,  not by  which a                                                               
contract must be issued.                                                                                                        
MS. GARDNER listed the reasons  why a later contract notification                                                               
date is beneficial to the district.                                                                                             
8:34:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS asked how it works  if a notice of non-retention is                                                               
given and  funds become  available later on.  He asked  about the                                                               
teacher re-instating process.                                                                                                   
MS. GARDNER  said the process  is complicated. The  district must                                                               
first  consider seniority  and endorsements  and  the process  is                                                               
8:36:03 AM                                                                                                                    
ABBE HENSLEY,  Executive Director, Best Beginnings,  testified in                                                               
support of  Section 1 of  SB 57.  She stressed the  importance of                                                               
the parents' role in a  child's learning to read. She recommended                                                               
a  multi-faceted   campaign  to   provide  accurate   and  useful                                                               
information to parents about facilitating literacy.                                                                             
8:39:04 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS asked  how different  districts assist  parents in                                                               
this effort.                                                                                                                    
MS.  HENSLEY   replied  that  Best   Beginnings  does   not  have                                                               
information  about   how  specific   districts  might   go  about                                                               
informing  parents  of  children  older than  pre-K  about  early                                                               
reading.  She said  the Anchorage  School District  is trying  to                                                               
work on the transition between pre-K and kindergarten.                                                                          
8:40:51 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS held SB 57 in committee.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
03122013_SSSB47_BillText_VersionC.PDF SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_BillText_VersionP.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_FiscalNote1.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_Galena School Letter Dec 2012.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_LongTermEffects_Report.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_Sectional Analysis Version C.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_Sectional Analysis Version P.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_Sponsor Statement_Version C.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_SponsorStatement_Version P.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SB57_BillText.PDF SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03122013_SB57_SponsorStatement.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03122103_SB57_Sectional.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03132013_SB57_ECS_Third Grade Literacy Policies.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03122013_SB57_SampleParentInvolvement_Pamphlet_Idaho.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03132013_SB57_SupportLetters.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03122013_SB57_Third Grade Reading Policies.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57