Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/10/2017 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 102 INTERNET FOR SCHOOLS; FUNDING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 103 ED GRANTS/SCHOLARSHIP;INNOVATIVE ED FUND TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 104 EDUCATION CURRICULUM TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
SENATE BILL NO. 102                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to funding for Internet services for                                                                      
     school districts; and relating to the Alaska higher                                                                        
     education investment fund."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 103                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act establishing  the Alaska  education innovation                                                                    
     grant program;  eliminating the Alaska  education grant                                                                    
     program   and   the  Alaska   performance   scholarship                                                                    
     program;  redesignating  the  Alaska  higher  education                                                                    
     investment  fund  as  the Alaska  education  innovation                                                                    
     grant fund; and providing for an effective date."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 104                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  relating to the  duties of the state  Board of                                                                    
     Education  and  Early   Development;  and  relating  to                                                                    
     school curriculum."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:45:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRITTANY   HUTCHISON,   STAFF,   SENATOR   ANNA   MACKINNON,                                                                    
offered an overview about why  the suite of bills were being                                                                    
introduced. She asserted that SB  102, 103, and 104 had been                                                                    
crafted out of  the need for major  improvements in Alaska's                                                                    
educational  system. She  said that  the needs  addressed in                                                                    
the legislation  were threefold: the prioritization  of K-12                                                                    
education   as   a    constitutional   responsibility,   the                                                                    
improvement of outcomes for  Alaskan students, and providing                                                                    
for   efficient  and   streamlined  delivery   of  education                                                                    
processes and procedures.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:45:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hutchison offered a sponsor statement for the bill:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The  goal  of this  bill  is  to help  provide  Alaskan                                                                    
     students  with better  outcomes through  new innovative                                                                    
     new  educational delivery  methods and  by providing  a                                                                    
     fund that will  allow school districts to  apply to the                                                                    
     Department  of Education  and Early  Development (DEED)                                                                    
     for innovative education grants.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     We  need to  prioritize  K-12 investment  to make  sure                                                                    
     that  our students  are prepared  for  life after  high                                                                    
     school.  Since  2011  when   APS  was  created,  47,907                                                                    
     students  have graduated  from high  school in  Alaska,                                                                    
     only 8,606 of  them received the APS.  The total payout                                                                    
     to the  approximately 18% of high  school graduates was                                                                    
     $48.8 million.  Of the  recipients, 26%  currently need                                                                    
     remediation  when they  enter college.  The APS  is not                                                                    
     achieving the results we had hoped for.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     SB   103  will   phase  out   the  Alaska   Performance                                                                    
     Scholarship  and the  Alaska Education  Grant over  the                                                                    
     next 4 years.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
        · Seniors in high school now - will receive 4 years                                                                     
          of scholarship                                                                                                        
        · Freshman in College now - will receive 3 more                                                                         
          years of scholarship                                                                                                  
        · Sophomore in College now - will receive 2 more                                                                        
          years of scholarship                                                                                                  
        · Junior in College now - will receive 1 more year                                                                      
          of scholarship                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The high  school graduating class  of 2017 will  be the                                                                    
     last class to receive these awards.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     We must prioritize K-12  investment and provide Alaskan                                                                    
     students  with a  valuable 21st  century education.  In                                                                    
     doing so, SB 103 will  rename the Higher Education Fund                                                                    
     to, "The Alaska Innovation  Education Grant Fund." This                                                                    
     Fund's  purpose is  to  provide  school districts  with                                                                    
     grants  to  fulfill  academically  innovative  ways  of                                                                    
     delivering  education,  such  as coursework  through  a                                                                    
     combination   of  technologies,   pilot  programs   for                                                                    
     cutting-edge  learning resources,  and  changes in  the                                                                    
     way students  and teachers  interact in  the classroom,                                                                    
     to name  a few.  These grants must  be approved  by the                                                                    
     Commissioner  of  Education  and be  submitted  to  the                                                                    
     legislature for funding.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     I urge your support for this legislation.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:48:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hutchison reviewed the Sectional Analysis (copy on                                                                          
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1: AS 14.03                                                                                                    
     Adds a new section,  AS 14.03.128, that establishes the                                                                    
     Alaska   Education   Innovation  Grant   Fund.   School                                                                    
     Districts may  request a grant  under this  section for                                                                    
     the   support  of   innovative  education   ideas.  The                                                                    
     Commissioner of  the Department of Education  and Early                                                                    
     Development (DEED) shall  determine annually the amount                                                                    
     requested for  grants and submit  them in  their budget                                                                    
     for legislative approval.                                                                                                  
     Section 2: AS 14.42.030(e)                                                                                                 
     Removes the Alaska Education  Grant from state statute.                                                                    
     The  Alaska Education  Grant is  in AS  14.43.400 -  AS                                                                    
     14.43.420.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3: AS 14.43.810(a)                                                                                             
     Makes  the high  school graduating  class of  2017, the                                                                    
     last   high  school   class  to   receive  the   Alaska                                                                    
     Performance Scholarship (APS).                                                                                             
     Section 4: AS 14.43.820(a)                                                                                                 
     Allows the commission  to award an APS to  a student no                                                                    
     later than July 1, 2017.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5: AS 14.43.915(a)                                                                                             
     Makes  the APS  and  the Alaska  Education Grant  (AEG)                                                                    
     available  to  students for  four  years  and does  not                                                                    
     allow a student's eligibility to  go past the 2020-2021                                                                    
     academic year.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section 6: AS 14.43.915(a)                                                                                             
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska  Education  Innovation   Grant".  This  section                                                                    
     deals  with money  going from  the fund  to the  Alaska                                                                    
     Education Grant fund. This section  is repealed Feb. 1,                                                                    
     2021.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 7: AS 14.43.915(b)                                                                                             
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska  Education  Innovation   Grant".  This  section                                                                    
     deals  with money  going from  the fund  to the  Alaska                                                                    
     Performance Scholarship award  account. This section is                                                                    
     repealed Feb. 1, 2021.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 8: AS 14.43.915(c)                                                                                             
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska  Education  Innovation   Grant".  This  section                                                                    
     deals  with the  allocation  of monies  from the  fund.                                                                    
     This section is repealed Feb. 1, 2021.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 9: AS 14.45.130(a)                                                                                             
     This section deals with eligibility  of students from a                                                                    
     private or  religious school receiving  the APS.  It is                                                                    
     repealed Feb. 1, 2021.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 10: AS 37.14.750(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska  Education  Innovation   Grant".  This  section                                                                    
     establishes the  purpose of the fund,  which is "making                                                                    
     grants  to  school  districts  to  support  the  Alaska                                                                    
     Education Innovation Grant Program."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 11: AS 37.14.750(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska  Education  Innovation   Grant".  This  section                                                                    
     establishes the  purpose of the fund,  which is "making                                                                    
     grants  to  school  districts  to  support  the  Alaska                                                                    
     Education Innovation Grant  Program." This section also                                                                    
     removes  the language  that  allows  payments from  the                                                                    
     fund   to   go   to   scholarships   to   postsecondary                                                                    
     institutions.  This  section  is repealed  in  Feb.  1,                                                                    
     2021.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 12: AS 37.14.750(d)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska Education Innovation Grant".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
     Section 13: AS 43.20.014(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska Education Innovation Grant".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 14: AS 43.55.019(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska Education Innovation Grant".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 15: AS 43.56.018(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska Education Innovation Grant".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 16: AS 43.65.018(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska Education Innovation Grant".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 17: AS 43.75.018(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska Education Innovation Grant".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 18: AS 43.77.045(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska Education Innovation Grant".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 19: AS 14.03.113                                                                                               
     AS 14.03.113, "District's  determination of scholarship                                                                    
     eligibility" is repealed July 1, 2017.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 20                                                                                                             
     Repeals the following sections on Feb. 1, 2021.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Article 8: Alaska Education Grant Program                                                                                  
     - AS 14.43.400 - Purpose; creation                                                                                         
     - AS 14.43.405 - Administration                                                                                            
     - AS 14.43.406 - Applicability of other laws                                                                               
     - AS 14.43.415 - Eligibility; priority                                                                                     
     - AS 14.43.420 - Limitation on grants                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
    Article 12: Alaska Performance Scholarship Program                                                                          
     -  AS   14.43.810  -  Alaska   performance  scholarship                                                                    
     program established; regulations                                                                                           
     -  AS   14.43.820  -  Alaska   performance  scholarship                                                                    
     program; eligibility                                                                                                       
     - AS 14.43.825 - Maximum annual awards                                                                                     
     - AS 14.43.830 - Qualified postsecondary institutions                                                                      
     - AS 14,43.840 - Report to the Legislature                                                                                 
     - AS 14.43.849 - Definitions                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Article 13 General Provisions                                                                                              
     -  AS 14.43.915  - Alaska  education grant  account and                                                                    
     Alaska performance scholarship award account                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
    Article 9: Alaska Higher Education Investment Fund                                                                          
     - AS  37.14.750(c) -  As soon  as is  practicable after                                                                    
     July 1 of each year,  the commissioner of revenue shall                                                                    
     determine the  market value of the  fund established in                                                                    
     this section  on June 30 for  the immediately preceding                                                                    
     fiscal  year.  The  commissioner shall  identify  seven                                                                    
     percent of  that amount as available  for appropriation                                                                    
     as  follows:  (1)  one-third   for  the  grant  account                                                                    
     established  under  AS  14.43.915(a),  from  which  the                                                                    
     Alaska Commission on  Postsecondary Education may award                                                                    
     grants; and (2) two-thirds  for the scholarship account                                                                    
     established  under  AS  14.43.915(b),  from  which  the                                                                    
     Alaska Commission on  Postsecondary Education may award                                                                    
     scholarships.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section 21: Applicability Section                                                                                      
     The  Alaska Commission  on Postsecondary  Education may                                                                    
     only  award an  APS  to  a new  applicant  if they  are                                                                    
     determined  eligible  by   their  school  district  and                                                                    
     reported  as eligible  to  DEED on  or  before July  1,                                                                    
     2017.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 22: Transition                                                                                                 
     The  Departments of:  Education and  Early Development,                                                                    
     Labor   and  Workforce   Development  and   the  Alaska                                                                    
     Commission   on  Postsecondary   Education  may   adopt                                                                    
     regulations  to  implement  necessary changes  made  by                                                                    
     this act.  The regulations  may only take  effect after                                                                    
     the law is implemented.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 23: Retroactivity                                                                                              
     If Sections  3-5 and 19  of this Act take  effect after                                                                    
     July 1, 2017, then sections 3-5  and 19 of this act are                                                                    
     retroactive to July 1, 2017.                                                                                               
     Section 24: Effective Dates                                                                                                
     Sections 2, 9, and 11 take effect Feb. 1, 2021.                                                                            
     Section 25: Effective Date                                                                                                 
     Except  for  Sections 2,  9,  and  11, this  act  takes                                                                    
     effect immediately.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section 23: Retroactivity                                                                                              
     If Sections  3-5 and 19  of this Act take  effect after                                                                    
     July 1, 2017, then sections 3-5  and 19 of this act are                                                                    
     retroactive to July 1, 2017.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section 24: Effective Dates                                                                                            
     Sections 2, 9, and 11 take effect Feb. 1, 2021.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 25: Effective Date                                                                                             
     Except  for  Sections 2,  9,  and  11, this  act  takes                                                                    
     effect immediately.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:50:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon OPENED public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ARLENE  RONDA, SELF,  HOMER (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in  opposition to  the legislation.  She said  that she  was                                                                    
opposed to  any provision  that would give  a tax  credit to                                                                    
individuals,  businesses,  property  owners,  or  any  other                                                                    
entity that  could claim  a tax credit  for a  donation. She                                                                    
asserted that well-funded public  schools were essential for                                                                    
a civil society.  She was opposed to the  tax credit section                                                                    
of the legislation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:53:16 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:53:45 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  explained that the bill  would not alter                                                                    
or repeal anything in relation  to tax credits. She stressed                                                                    
that the  tax credits  mentioned in the  legislation already                                                                    
existed  in state  statute and  were not  being repealed  or                                                                    
changed.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Ronda was surprised that  the credit had been in statute                                                                    
all  along. She  maintained her  concerned that  tax credits                                                                    
were   going  toward   anything  that   was  not   a  public                                                                    
institution.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  explained how the tax  credits worked in                                                                    
relation to the Higher Education Fund.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:55:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SAICHI   OBA,   UNIVERSITY   OF   ALASKA,   FAIRBANKS   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified  in  strong  opposition  to  the                                                                    
bill.   He  supported   the  continuation   of  the   Alaska                                                                    
Performance  Scholarship.   He  said  that   the  University                                                                    
opposed the  use of  funds, identified for  APS, to  be used                                                                    
for other purposes. He said  that APS encouraged students to                                                                    
take  rigorous  courses,  and  that  recipients  took  fewer                                                                    
remedial courses  than non-recipients.  He ruminated  on the                                                                    
positive   educational  aspects   of  the   scholarship.  He                                                                    
believed  that  the  greatest challenge  facing  Alaska  was                                                                    
students  choosing not  to  continue  to any  post-secondary                                                                    
program, which the loss of APS would only exacerbate.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:58:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEPHANIE   BUTLER,  ALASKA   COMMISSION  ON   POSTSECONDARY                                                                    
EDUCATION, JUNEAU, testified in  opposition to the bill. She                                                                    
said  that the  APS was  an  existing resource  that had  an                                                                    
extraordinary  reach;  students  and  the  state  benefitted                                                                    
greatly from  the program.  She listed  the various  ways in                                                                    
which  the APS  benefitted  the state.  She  noted that  the                                                                    
scholarship  provided  a  pathway to  higher  education  for                                                                    
lower income  Alaskans. She noted  that many  APS recipients                                                                    
are the first  members of their families  to attend college.                                                                    
She related that the APS  was a positive force in addressing                                                                    
Alaska's education and workforce  crisis, and the impact was                                                                    
growing.  She  relayed  that   the  program  encouraged  all                                                                    
students to aim higher academically.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:02:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT  MACMANUS,   SUPERINTENDENT,  ALASKA   GATEWAY  SCHOOL                                                                    
DISTRICT,  TOK,   spoke  in  opposition  to   the  bill.  He                                                                    
testified  that he  supported innovation  in education,  but                                                                    
not at  the expense of  the APS. He supported  the education                                                                    
commissioner's "Alaska  Challenge," which he  believed would                                                                    
create  an  innovative,   systemic,  long-term  solution  to                                                                    
Alaska education. He lamented all  of the positions that his                                                                    
district was going to lose  under the proposed 5 percent cut                                                                    
to education.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:04:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN  SHIPLEY,  KAKE  CITY   SCHOOLS,  KAKE,  testified  in                                                                    
opposition to SB 103. He  stressed that the APS had resulted                                                                    
in students  taking more  academically rigorous  classes. He                                                                    
said that the  APS had been a driver in  raising the bar for                                                                    
students  to challenge  themselves  academically. He  shared                                                                    
that the APS  had allowed for innovation  in schools because                                                                    
educators  had  to figure  out  how  to offer  the  required                                                                    
courses to students.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  asked  whether the  Kake  school  board                                                                    
adopted curriculum.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Shipley replied  that the school board  had adjusted and                                                                    
adopted curriculum, and he lamented  that the curriculum was                                                                    
largely driven by textbooks.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon asked  if the local school  board set the                                                                    
parameters for education qualifications.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Shipley replied in the affirmative.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:07:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator von Imhof asked whether  the school district offered                                                                    
information on various scholarships to seniors.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Shipley replied  that the  district had  a college  and                                                                    
career counselor,  paid for  by a  grant, and  that students                                                                    
were  constantly  seeking  additional  ways  to  fund  their                                                                    
higher education. He said that  the counselor was funded for                                                                    
the next three years through a federal grant.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  von  Imhof asked  how  many  seniors lived  in  the                                                                    
district.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Shipley replied that he had 5 seniors in his district.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:08:52 PM                                                                                                                    
TONY  HABRA, HAINES  BOROUGH SCHOOLS,  HAINES, testified  in                                                                    
opposition to  the bill. He  shared that his  daughter would                                                                    
be receiving  the APS in  2017. He  said that the  APS would                                                                    
allow her  to receive  her degree and  stay in  Alaska after                                                                    
graduation. He believed that she  was representative of many                                                                    
students that  received the scholarship. He  echoed previous                                                                    
testimony  about the  APS  benefitting lower-income  student                                                                    
who may be the first in their family to attend college.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:11:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIM BAUER,  SUPERINTENDENT, ANNETTE ISLAND  SCHOOL DISTRICT,                                                                    
METLAKATLA, testified  in opposition to the  bill. He echoed                                                                    
the comments of  the previous speaker. He  asserted that the                                                                    
scholarships  provided hope  and  possibilities for  Alaskan                                                                    
students. He relayed  that the chance at an APS  was used to                                                                    
bolster  motivation for  engagement  by  students; the  idea                                                                    
that  there would  be a  reward  for hard  work resulted  in                                                                    
students success. He passionately  defended the retention of                                                                    
the APS.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  asked   whether  Mr.  Bauer's  students                                                                    
qualified for other University grants.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Bauer answered in the affirmative.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:13:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN   CONWELL,   SUPERINTENDENT,   UNALASKA   CITY   SCHOOL                                                                    
DISTRICT, UNALASKA,  spoke against  the bill.  He remembered                                                                    
that   the  original   legislation   that  established   the                                                                    
scholarship  had  been signed  on  campus  by then  Governor                                                                    
Parnell. He believed that the  program especially served his                                                                    
diverse district well, and he  praised the innovative nature                                                                    
of the program.  He shared that the scholarship  was often a                                                                    
"safety net" for students seeking  financial aid. He thought                                                                    
that recipients of the scholarship  were more likely to stay                                                                    
in Alaska for their postsecondary education.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:17:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LORA  JORGENSEN, SELF,  JUNEAU, testified  in opposition  to                                                                    
the bill.  She discussed  the benefits  of the  program that                                                                    
extended beyond  recipients of the scholarships.  She shared                                                                    
that her son was a recipient of APS.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:19:54 PM                                                                                                                    
HOLLY  HOLMAN,  UNALASKA  CITY  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,  UNALASKA,                                                                    
testified against the  bill. She relayed that  her child had                                                                    
applied for the scholarship and  had decided to go to school                                                                    
in  Fairbanks.  She  said that  students  in  Unalaska  were                                                                    
working extra  hard in  order to qualify  for APS,  and that                                                                    
these students wanted to go to  college and then make a life                                                                    
in  Alaska.  She  believed  that   the  scholarship  was  an                                                                    
investment in the future.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:22:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MAXIMILIAN ERICKSON,  SELF, FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  opposition to the  bill. He voiced  strong support                                                                    
for APS.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:23:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GRETCHYN  O'DONNELL,  SELF,   JUNEAU  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  opposition to  the bill.  She shared  that she                                                                    
was a  first generation college  student in her  family. She                                                                    
relayed that the APS became  available her sophomore year of                                                                    
high  school.  She  believed  that  investment  in  students                                                                    
through the APS  gave students hope that  their dreams could                                                                    
be achieved. She  said that she would not have  been able to                                                                    
attend college without the APS.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:26:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PETE  HOEPFNER,   CORDOVA  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,   CORDOVA  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  opposition to  the bill.  He                                                                    
spoke of  the increased academic  rigor in his  district due                                                                    
to the APS. He said that  many students had planned on using                                                                    
the  scholarship to  go  to college.  He  worried that  only                                                                    
having  grants available  would pit  districts against  each                                                                    
other because  some would  be better  at grant  writing than                                                                    
others. He did not think  that districts should compete with                                                                    
each  other  for  funding.  He   felt  that  the  additional                                                                    
administrative  costs  of  crafting  the  innovative  grants                                                                    
would  add  more work  to  the  already  full plate  of  the                                                                    
reduced personnel  at the Department of  Education and Early                                                                    
Childhood Development.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:28:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOE NELSON,  UNIVERSITY OF  ALASKA SOUTHEAST,  JUNEAU, spoke                                                                    
in  opposition  to  the  bill. He  echoed  the  comments  of                                                                    
previous  testifiers.  He  expressed understanding  for  the                                                                    
fiscal situation in the state.  He felt that the scholarship                                                                    
was  impacting systemic  change  and helping  to change  the                                                                    
culture  of education  district-by-district.  He noted  that                                                                    
districts were  initially challenged by the  requirements of                                                                    
the APS, but that the idea  had been proved to be thoughtful                                                                    
and  innovative,   as  it  tied   the  scholarship   to  the                                                                    
curriculum, standardized test scores,  the G.P.A, and took a                                                                    
three tiered approach to qualifying levels.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  believed  that  of  the  5  percent  of                                                                    
students that applied for the  grant and received it, only 5                                                                    
percent of the student graduated in 6 years' time.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Nelson  agreed that the  issue of persistence  should be                                                                    
addressed.  He  thought  that   graduation  rates  could  be                                                                    
improved.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon restated  that 5  percent of  all Alaska                                                                    
high school  freshmen would graduate  from college  within 6                                                                    
years.  She noted  that the  statistic was  farther reaching                                                                    
than just the scholarship.  She wondered whether the dollars                                                                    
were being used to the greatest benefit through the APS.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:33:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALYSE  GALVIN,  SELF, JUNEAU,  spoke  in  opposition to  the                                                                    
bill. She believed that the  scholarship served students who                                                                    
may not have believed that they could ever attend college.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:36:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JACK  WALSH, SUPERINTENDENT,  CRAIG SCHOOL  DISTRICT, CRAIG,                                                                    
testified in opposition to SB  103. He recognized that there                                                                    
was a  need for  innovation in  education. He  believed that                                                                    
eliminating the  scholarship would  be harmful to  the state                                                                    
overall. He felt  that the legislature could  craft a fiscal                                                                    
plan while maintaining the scholarship.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:39:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Micciche asked how Mr.  Walsh made the connection of                                                                    
K-12 education and the APS part of his mission.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Walsh responded that  scholarships in education provided                                                                    
hope  and opportunity  to Alaskan  students  and could  lead                                                                    
people out  of poverty  and into successful  livelihoods. He                                                                    
believed  that   not  only  K-12  education   needed  to  be                                                                    
encouraged, but  also postsecondary education. He  felt that                                                                    
education should not  end with the 12th grade,  and that all                                                                    
of  the research  stated  that  postsecondary education  was                                                                    
necessary in the future.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:42:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIM PARKER, NEA  ALASKA, JUNEAU, spoke in  opposition to the                                                                    
bill. He  believed in innovation  in K-12 education,  and he                                                                    
stressed  that   every  good  teacher   in  the   state  was                                                                    
innovating  on a  regular basis.  He said  that 2  out of  3                                                                    
students  needed financial  aid in  order to  attend college                                                                    
and that the APS was needed by those students.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:44:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRENDA TAYLOR,  GREAT ALASKA  SCHOOLS, JUNEAU,  testified in                                                                    
opposition to the  bill. She said that she  had initially be                                                                    
against the  APS because of  the pressure that it  placed on                                                                    
school districts  to meet  the scholarship  requirements for                                                                    
class offerings.  She said  that her  mind had  been changed                                                                    
and she  had realized that  the advanced rigor  had resulted                                                                    
in students working harder toward  the goal of postsecondary                                                                    
education.  She  said  that  college  counselors  at  Juneau                                                                    
Douglas  High School  had been  cut, which  had resulted  in                                                                    
students  having less  guidance when  seeking resources  and                                                                    
financial aid for college.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:47:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHY  TODD, SELF,  VALDEZ  (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
opposition  to  the bill.  She  believed  that the  APS  had                                                                    
proved  successful in  her district  in  motivating kids  to                                                                    
take  more  academic classes,  and  in  raising grade  point                                                                    
averages. She  said that the  scholarship had  provided much                                                                    
needed  funding  for  financial  aid.  She  added  that  the                                                                    
scholarship fed the University  budget while helping Alaskan                                                                    
students. She  believed that the  APS was an  innovative way                                                                    
to  change  school culture  for  the  better and  give  more                                                                    
students a range of postgraduate educational opportunities.                                                                     
3:51:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN  NIMAN, SELF,  VALDEZ (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in  opposition to  the bill.  She thought  that taking  away                                                                    
money from a  group that did not have the  power to vote was                                                                    
unfair.  She   felt  that  education  funding   should  take                                                                    
priority  over  funding   juvenile  detention  centers.  She                                                                    
echoed the points made by previous testifiers.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:52:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  COONS, SELF,  PALMER  (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
support of the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:55:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TODD SMOLDON,  SELF, WILLOW (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in support the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:58:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon specified  that  amendments  for SB  103                                                                    
were due by 5pm, Tuesday, April 11, 2017.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Stephanie Butler,  Executive Director, Alaska Commission                                                                    
on  Postsecondary  Education,  Department of  Education  and                                                                    
Early  Development offered  to  provide further  information                                                                    
that supported not eliminating the APS program.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon reminded  the committee  and the  public                                                                    
that Alaska was  facing a fiscal crisis.  She explained that                                                                    
a direct draw from the  earnings reserve account (ERA) would                                                                    
jeopardize the Alaska Permanent  Fund Dividend. She stressed                                                                    
that it  was critical to  examine important issues  in order                                                                    
to address the current budget shortfall.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SB  103  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon discussed housekeeping.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 102 - Sectional Analysis.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 102
Copy of SB 102 Alaska Schools Under 25mbps.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 102
SB 102 Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 102
SB 103 2015-2016 Graduation Rates.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 AEG.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 APS.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 High School to College.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 HS Grads UA Table and Remediation Rates.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 Public Testimony Hoza.msg SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 Sectional Analysis.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 104 - Sectional Analysis.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 104
SB 104 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 104
SB 103 APS UA Scholars Overlap.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 – Alaska Performance Scholarship Azpilcueta.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 – Alaska Performance Scholarship Schrage.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 – Alaska Performance Scholarship Keene.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 – Alaska Performance Scholarship Brekke.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 - Alaska Performance Scholarship Sosnowski.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 – Alaska Performance Scholarship Echaverria.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103-Alaska Performance Scholorship Doner.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 ACPE Testimony.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103