Legislature(2013 - 2014)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/20/2013 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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08:03:26 AM Start
08:03:52 AM SB57
08:27:47 AM Confirmation Hearings: Professional Teaching Practices
08:44:54 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSB 57(EDC) Out of Committee
+ Confirmation Hearing: TELECONFERENCED
Professional Teaching Practices Commission
David DeVaughn, Eric Fry, Martin Laster, Melody
Mann, Frances Roberts
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         SB 57-LITERACY, PUPIL TRANSP, TEACHER NOTICES                                                                      
8:03:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be SB 57. He noted it is the second hearing of the bill.                                                                        
SENATOR DUNLEAVY moved to adopt  CSSB 57, labeled 28-LS0474\N, as                                                               
the working document.                                                                                                           
CHAIR STEVENS objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                 
TIM  LAMKIN,  staff, Senator  Gary  Stevens,  sponsor of  SB  57,                                                               
described the changes in the new  CS. He explained that the first                                                               
change  is  found on  page  1,  line 7.  At  the  request of  the                                                               
Department of  Education, and in  reflection of the  fiscal note,                                                               
to  avoid  hiring   additional  staff  at  the   state  level  to                                                               
coordinate  data with  local districts  in gathering  information                                                               
about parents  statewide or at a  local level, a change  was made                                                               
that  places that  responsibility on  the school  districts since                                                               
they already  have that data  and parents are more  accustomed to                                                               
receiving information directly from  the districts, as opposed to                                                               
the state. The change only  refers to publishing and distributing                                                               
pamphlets to parents at the local level.                                                                                        
MR. LAMKIN  explained that  subsection (b)  on page  2, maintains                                                               
that the state would continue  to have a publicity campaign using                                                               
local  media outlets  to promote  parental  involvement in  early                                                               
literacy  by third  grade. He  related  that Section  2, page  2,                                                               
reflects the Consumer Price Index  (CPI) annual adjustment, based                                                               
on   Anchorage's   inflationary   CPI  index,   regarding   pupil                                                               
transportation. That is consistent  with language that was passed                                                               
unanimously by the Senate last year.                                                                                            
He said  that Section 3 is  the "pink slip section"  of the bill.                                                               
In  instances  when  school  districts are  not  aware  of  their                                                               
budgetary levels or expectations, they  are obliged, by March 16,                                                               
to issue pick  slips to allow non-tenured faculty  to be notified                                                               
of  a potential  lay off  or non-retention  the following  school                                                               
year. This is an effort to  synchronize the budget process of the                                                               
legislature  with that  date,  rather  than creating  unnecessary                                                               
angst at the district level. He  noted that Section 3 has been on                                                               
the books for some time - since  1949. The March 16 date has been                                                               
maintained for decades.                                                                                                         
He related  that Section  4 repeals  a law  that was  passed last                                                               
year with regard  to pupil transportation at a fixed  rate of 1.5                                                               
percent. The  average approximate CPI  inflation rate is  about 3                                                               
percent annually.  Section 5 is applicability  language necessary                                                               
for existing contracts as it  relates to the pink slip provision,                                                               
allowing those contracts  to expire before the  changes are made.                                                               
Section 6 applies an effective date of July 2013.                                                                               
8:08:15 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GARDNER  referred  to  Section 1  and  asked  if  school                                                               
districts  could make  that information  available to  parents by                                                               
sending it home  with their children; it does  not require postal                                                               
MR. LAMKIN  answered that is  correct. A number of  districts are                                                               
already in compliance;  the bill would ensure  that all districts                                                               
SENATOR GARDNER asked if there was a fiscal note for Section 2.                                                                 
MR.  LAMKIN  reported  that the  original  fiscal  note  reflects                                                               
personal services of  $97,500, which would be  removed in version                                                               
N of SB 57.                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  STEVENS   asked  the  Department  of   Education  &  Early                                                               
Development  (DEED)  to  address   the  change  of  removing  the                                                               
department  from  the  obligation to  distribute  information  to                                                               
parents, which would require less staffing.                                                                                     
8:09:53 AM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN   MCCAULEY,  Director,   Teaching  and   Learning  Support,                                                               
Department   of  Education   and   Early  Development,   answered                                                               
questions related  to SB  57. She said  the previous  fiscal note                                                               
reflected the need  for the department to contact  the parents of                                                               
45,000 students  regarding the  distribution of  material related                                                               
to  early literacy.  The change  in version  N will  result in  a                                                               
change  to   the  fiscal  note.   The  bill  does   maintain  the                                                               
department's responsibility for an annual media campaign.                                                                       
CHAIR STEVENS  commented it makes  sense for school  districts to                                                               
make contact with parents.                                                                                                      
MS.  MCCAULEY   agreed.  She  added   that  schools   often  have                                                               
electronic newsletters  and other in-place  communication methods                                                               
with parents.                                                                                                                   
8:11:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS  noted the department  is still  providing handouts                                                               
to school districts.                                                                                                            
MS.  MCCAULEY   said  the  department's  intent   is  to  provide                                                               
consistent, accurate  information that reflects  current research                                                               
regarding early literacy.                                                                                                       
SENATOR STEDMAN voiced concern about  Section 2. He said indexing                                                               
into the  CPI creates formula-driven  issues. He opined  that, in                                                               
light  of  decreasing  revenue,   it  is  important  to  consider                                                               
challenges to  the operating  budget that  are driven  by formula                                                               
CHAIR STEVENS inquired if Senator  Stedman was comfortable moving                                                               
the bill  on to the Senate  Finance Committee to deal  with those                                                               
SENATOR STEDMAN replied yes.                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS opened public testimony.                                                                                          
DAVID  JONES, Assistant  Superintendent, Kenai  Peninsula Borough                                                               
School District, urged the committee to pass the bill.                                                                          
LUKE  FULP,  Chief  Business   Official,  Mat-Su  Borough  School                                                               
District, expressed support of all components in the bill.                                                                      
PEGGY   COWAN,  Superintendent,   North   Slope  Borough   School                                                               
District, testified  in support  of SB 57.  She pointed  out that                                                               
many of the issues are  state wide, including providing for pupil                                                               
transportation with state funds.                                                                                                
8:16:00 AM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  ALCANTRA, Government  Relations, NEA  Alaska, testified  in                                                               
favor  of SB  57. He  referred to  a letter  of support  from the                                                               
president of NEA - Alaska, Ron  Fuhrer. He voiced concerns on the                                                               
dates  contained  in  the  bill   regarding  teacher  tenure.  He                                                               
suggested May 20 as a compromise date.                                                                                          
BRUCE  JOHNSON,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Council  of  School                                                               
Administrators, testified  in support of  SB 57. He  commented on                                                               
non-retention  and lay-offs.  He pointed  out that  districts are                                                               
not going  to wait  until May  15 to  determine whether  they are                                                               
going  to keep  tenured and  non-tenured teachers.  He maintained                                                               
that  Alaska's school  districts will  approach that  issue in  a                                                               
highly  professional  manner and  give  themselves  a cushion  if                                                               
funding  is  unknown. Districts  in  rural  Alaska are  currently                                                               
issuing  contracts in  February in  order to  get their  staffing                                                               
plan in place.                                                                                                                  
8:19:07 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER asked  if the date of the job  fairs would change                                                               
due to the date of May 15.                                                                                                      
MR. JOHNSON replied that he did  not think so because the rest of                                                               
the  nation operates  on similar  timelines.  He reiterated  that                                                               
districts  would determine  staffing retention  earlier, allowing                                                               
those non-retained teachers to attend job fairs.                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER  asked for Mr.  Johnson's opinion  about amending                                                               
the April 20 date.                                                                                                              
MR.  JOHNSON   answered  that  the   Alaska  Council   of  School                                                               
Administrators  has not  discussed it.  He added  it is  good for                                                               
management to have as much flexibility as possible.                                                                             
8:20:39 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS closed public testimony.                                                                                          
8:20:50 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER  moved an amendment  to change the date  to April                                                               
20,  as  a  compromise,  because  it  is  after  the  legislative                                                               
adjournment date  and school districts  should be aware  of their                                                               
funding by then. She said the  change of date would also meet the                                                               
needs of teachers and the districts.                                                                                            
CHAIR  STEVENS   saw  no  major   problem  with   the  conceptual                                                               
SENATOR DUNLEAVY said he would not favor the amendment.                                                                         
CHAIR  STEVENS asked  if the  department  has an  opinion on  the                                                               
proposed amendment.                                                                                                             
SENATOR  HUGGINS commented  that Mr.  Johnson just  reported that                                                               
district management  could exercise a  date change. It is  to the                                                               
advantage to have  maximum flexibility for both  the employee and                                                               
SENATOR DUNLEAVY understood that  Mr. Alcantra stated that having                                                               
the  date as  close as  possible to  the end  of the  legislative                                                               
session gives  school districts an advantage.  He maintained that                                                               
April  15 is  too early.  He  recommended staying  with the  date                                                               
contained in the bill.                                                                                                          
8:23:24 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MCCAULEY said Senator Dunleavy's  comments are similar to Mr.                                                               
Johnson's  and  Mr.  Alcantra's  comments,  rather  than  to  the                                                               
CHAIR STEVENS declared that there is  no rush on the bill and the                                                               
committee could choose to take more time to consider it.                                                                        
SENATOR STEDMAN said he was ok with moving the bill.                                                                            
SENATOR GARDNER withdrew her amendment.                                                                                         
CHAIR STEVENS appreciated the testifier's comments.                                                                             
CHAIR STEVENS removed his objection.                                                                                            
8:24:32 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DUNLEAVY  moved to report CS  for SB 57, version  N, from                                                               
committee,  with individual  recommendations and  attached fiscal                                                               
CHAIR STEVENS  announced that without objection,  CSSB 57(EDC) is                                                               
reported from the Senate Education Standing Committee.                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
03132013_SB57_FiscalNote1.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03132013_SB57_FiscalNote3.pdf HEDC 4/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
SEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03182013_Professional Teaching - DeVaughn #3.pdf SEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
Professional Teaching Practices Commission
03182013_Professional Teaching - Laster #3.pdf SEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
Professional Teaching Practices Commission
03182013_Professional Teaching - Fry #3.pdf SEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
Professional Teaching Practices Commission
03182013_Professional Teaching - Mann #3.pdf SEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
Professional Teaching Practices Commission
03182013_Professional Teaching - Roberts #3.pdf SEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
Professional Teaching Practices Commission
03132013_SB57_FiscalNote2.pdf SEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57