Legislature(2015 - 2016)

11/17/2015 09:04 AM BUD

Audio Topic
09:04:51 AM Start
09:05:55 AM Presentation of Final Reports Required under House Bill 278 Passed by the 28th Legislature
11:46:28 AM Approval of Minutes
11:47:01 AM Legislative Revised Programs (rpls)
12:03:44 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             LEGISLATIVE BUDGET AND AUDIT COMMITTEE                                                                           
                       Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                        
                       November 17, 2015                                                                                        
                           9:04 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Hawker, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Representative Steve Thompson (via teleconference)                                                                              
Representative Sam Kito                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Anna MacKinnon, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kurt Olson                                                                                                       
Representative Mark Neuman (alternate)                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
Senator Pete Kelly (alternate)                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative David Guttenberg (via teleconference)                                                                            
Representative Tammie Wilson (via teleconference)                                                                               
Representative Harriet Drummond (via teleconference)                                                                            
Representative Lynn Gattis (via teleconference)                                                                                 
Representative Chris Tuck (via teleconference)                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator Mike Dunleavy (via teleconference)                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION OF FINAL REPORTS REQUIRED UNDER HOUSE BILL 278                                                                     
PASSED BY THE 28TH LEGISLATURE                                                                                                  
APPROVAL OF MINUTES                                                                                                             
LEGISLATIVE REVISED PROGRAMS (RPLs)                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH SWEENEY NUDELMAN, Director                                                                                            
School Finance and Facilities Section                                                                                           
Department of Education & Early Development (EED)                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Participated  in the presentation  of final                                                             
reports   required   under   the   Twenty-Eighth   Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature's House Bill 278.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PAUL BARIL, Principle/Vice President                                                                                            
Nvision Architecture, Inc.                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Participated  in the presentation  of final                                                             
reports   required   under   the   Twenty-Eighth   Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature's House Bill 278.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LESLIE RIDLE, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                               
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Administration (DOA)                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Participated  in the presentation  of final                                                             
reports   required   under   the   Twenty-Eighth   Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature's House Bill 278.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DIANE HIRSHBERG, PhD, Director                                                                                                  
Center for Alaska Education Policy Research (CAEPR)                                                                             
Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER)                                                                                
University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA)                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Participated  in the presentation  of final                                                             
reports   required   under   the   Twenty-Eighth   Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature's House Bill 278.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ALEXANDRA "LEXI" HILL, Associate Director                                                                                       
Finance and Administration                                                                                                      
Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER)                                                                                
University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA)                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Participated  in the presentation  of final                                                             
reports   required   under   the   Twenty-Eighth   Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature's House Bill 278.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HEIDI TESHNER, Director                                                                                                         
Administrative Services                                                                                                         
Department of Education and Early Development (EED)                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented RPL 05-06-0111.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
LACEY SANDERS, Fiscal Analyst                                                                                                   
Legislative Finance Division                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Addressed  RPL 05-06-0111,  RPL 05-06-0114,                                                             
and RPL 18-6-360.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SHANNON DAUT, Executive Director                                                                                                
Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA)                                                                                         
Department of Education and Early Development                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented RPL 05-06-0114.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TOM CHERIAN, Director                                                                                                           
Division of Administrative Services                                                                                             
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented RPL 18-6-0360.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:04:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  MIKE  HAWKER  called  the  Legislative  Budget  and  Audit                                                             
Committee meeting to order at  9:04 a.m.  Representatives Hawker,                                                               
Kito,  and Thompson  (via teleconference),  and Senators  Giessel                                                               
and MacKinnon were present at  the call to order.  Representative                                                               
Pruitt  and  Senator  Hoffman  arrived  as  the  meeting  was  in                                                               
progress.   Also  in attendance  were Representatives  Guttenberg                                                               
(via teleconference), Wilson  (via teleconference), Drummond (via                                                               
teleconference),  Gattis  (via  teleconference),  and  Tuck  (via                                                               
teleconference), and Senator Dunleavy (via teleconference).                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION  OF FINAL  REPORTS  REQUIRED UNDER  HOUSE BILL  278                                                               
PASSED BY THE 28TH LEGISLATURE                                                                                                  
  PRESENTATION OF FINAL REPORTS REQUIRED UNDER HOUSE BILL 278                                                               
                 PASSED BY THE 28TH LEGISLATURE                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:05:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HAWKER announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
the  presentation of  final reports  required  under the  Twenty-                                                               
Eighth Alaska State Legislature's House Bill 278.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HAWKER added that those  reports would be made available on                                                               
the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee's web site.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:07:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH   SWEENEY  NUDELMAN,   Director,  School   Finance  and                                                               
Facilities Section,  Department of Education &  Early Development                                                               
(EED),  referring to  a PowerPoint  presentation, explained  that                                                               
the  Twenty-Eighth  Alaska  State Legislature's  House  Bill  278                                                               
directed [the  EED] to  submit a  school design  and construction                                                               
report   to   the   legislature  regarding   the   benefits   and                                                               
disadvantages   of  using   "prototypical"  designs   for  school                                                               
construction  in both  the Railbelt  and rural  areas of  Alaska.                                                               
She indicated  that this  report was  produced for  the EED  by a                                                               
team  composed  of  an   Anchorage  architectural  firm,  Nvision                                                               
Architecture, Inc., and an Ohio [research] firm, DeJong-Richter.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:10:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL  BARIL,  Principle/Vice   President,  Nvision  Architecture,                                                               
Inc.,  Anchorage, Alaska,  Participated  in  the presentation  of                                                               
final  reports  required  under the  Twenty-Eighth  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature's  House Bill  278. referring  to the  aforementioned                                                               
PowerPoint presentation,  noted that  others who helped  with the                                                               
studies necessary  to produce the  report required by  House Bill                                                               
278's Section 53 included Kathy  Christy, and the Anchorage firms                                                               
of  CE2 Engineers,  Inc.; BBFM  Engineers Inc.;  RSA Engineering;                                                               
and  Watterson  Construction.    He  explained  that  one  report                                                               
reviewed  by  the  team  regarding   research  conducted  at  the                                                               
national  level about  prototype  school-design and  construction                                                               
was  a study  sponsored by  the Council  of Educational  Facility                                                               
Planners  International  (CEFPI);  this report  summarized  prior                                                               
studies conducted by other states'  departments of education, was                                                               
useful  in establishing  context and  understanding national  and                                                               
statewide trends, and  concluded that state-run prototype-school-                                                               
design programs  are not practical  and will not result  in cost-                                                               
savings.  This report also concluded, however, that prototype-                                                                  
school-design  programs  in  large school  districts  with  ample                                                               
resources  could ultimately  result in  significant savings  - in                                                               
both time and  money - in instances where  many school facilities                                                               
are being  constructed within a  short timeframe; that a  "kit of                                                               
parts"   approach  to   prototype-school-design  has   been  used                                                               
successfully; but  that documentation of cost-savings  related to                                                               
the use of prototype-school designs was lacking.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BARIL,  noting  that  the State  of  Alaska  has  previously                                                               
researched the issue of  prototype-school design [several times],                                                               
relayed  that  the  resulting  research  indicates  that  growth,                                                               
enrollment size, what  he referred to as  "homogeneity," and time                                                               
are common  variables in predicting  the viability  of prototype-                                                               
school-design   programs.     However,  variations   in  geology,                                                               
culture,  climate, population,  and  educational  needs can  also                                                               
impact  the viability  of  prototype-school-design programs,  and                                                               
could therefore prove challenging  in any such programs developed                                                               
for  Alaska.    [Questionnaires]  developed   by  the  team  were                                                               
distributed  to all  [school districts  in Alaska],  but only  33                                                               
school  districts responded.   Eight  of  those school  districts                                                               
reported that they'd  previously used [prototype-school designs],                                                               
and school  districts with  significant student  growth expressed                                                               
interest  in  [using  prototype-school designs],  whereas  school                                                               
districts  with  low-to-moderate  student  growth did  not.    In                                                               
responding  to  the   questionnaire,  school  districts  provided                                                               
information  regarding  some of  the  design  issues specific  to                                                               
their  facilities,  such as  information  on  energy sources  and                                                               
alternative  energy  sources,  and electrical,  water,  plumbing,                                                               
foundation, and construction systems.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:21:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARIL ventured  that rapid growth in  enrollment is necessary                                                               
for prototype-school-design  programs to be  economically viable,                                                               
and that  the success of any  such program is dependent  upon the                                                               
favorable  alignment  of  a  district's  homogeneity,  size,  and                                                               
growth factors.  Also, there  are enough similarities with regard                                                               
to  utilities  and construction  to  explore  the possibility  of                                                               
having  regionalized prototype-school-design  programs for  those                                                               
components,  particularly  if  such  programs  can  limit  design                                                               
challenges while  generating a consistent product.   He explained                                                               
that regional  conferences in Barrow, Bethel,  Juneau, Anchorage,                                                               
Fairbanks,  Kodiak, and  the  Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su)  Borough                                                               
were  held,  and each  conference  consisted  of site  visits  to                                                               
schools, as  well as  presentations/discussions.   Attendees were                                                               
[school] district  personnel, representatives from the  EED, what                                                               
he referred to  as "the design community," and  parents and other                                                               
citizens   interested    in   the   construction    of   schools.                                                               
Additionally,  Mr.  Baril  relayed,   the  team  hosted  what  he                                                               
referred  to  as  a  "statewide"  conference  in  Anchorage,  and                                                               
conducted follow-up conferences via  teleconference.  In response                                                               
to  comments and  a question,  he  agreed to  provide the  signup                                                               
sheets from the conferences to  the committee, and mentioned that                                                               
the report itself documents conference attendance.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BARIL -  with regard  to school  district profiles  and site                                                               
visits,  specific details  of which  can be  found in  the report                                                               
itself - explained  that the North Slope  Borough School District                                                               
(NSBSD)  has 12  schools, has  a stable  student population,  has                                                               
never  developed  or  utilized  a  prototype-school  design,  has                                                               
building systems  unique to Arctic conditions,  and has expressed                                                               
interest in  the concept  of prototype-school-design  systems and                                                               
components.   The  Fairbanks North  Star Borough  School District                                                               
has   30  schools,   has  a   student   population  that   shifts                                                               
occasionally  but   is  tending   to  decline,  has   no  obvious                                                               
differences in building systems, and  has indicated that seven of                                                               
its schools have successfully  utilized a prototype-school design                                                               
and  that  such  may  be  utilized again  in  the  future.    The                                                               
Matanuska-Susitna   Borough  School   District  (MSBSD)   has  37                                                               
schools, has  experienced a steady  growth in  student population                                                               
since the 1980s - resulting  in multiple schools being brought on                                                               
line  in  a short  period  of  time  -  currently has  a  student                                                               
population that is increasing, and has indicated that prototype-                                                                
school designs have  been used in 16 of its  schools, though five                                                               
of those  schools also utilized what  he referred to as  a "basis                                                               
of design" model wherein room  size and configuration could vary.                                                               
The MSBSD  has also indicated  that it would continue  to utilize                                                               
prototype-school  designs and  "basis-of-design" models,  and has                                                               
expressed a desire to standardize  as many systems and components                                                               
as is practical.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:31:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARIL said that the  Anchorage School District (ASD) has more                                                               
than  87  schools,  has a  student  population  that's  declining                                                               
slightly, and has indicated that  18 of its schools have utilized                                                               
prototype-school designs  developed from three to  five different                                                               
floor plans.   The ASD has  also utilized prototype-school-design                                                               
components  for  gymnasiums  and   multipurpose  rooms,  and  has                                                               
indicated that  it would do so  again in the future  for purposes                                                               
of  uniformity.   The  Lower  Kuskokwim  School District  has  28                                                               
schools,  has  a  modest  increase  in  student  population,  has                                                               
indicated that eight of its schools have utilized prototype-                                                                    
school-design, and has expressed a strong desire for prototype-                                                                 
school-designs for components.  Variations  in sites and needs in                                                               
that school  district, however, would still  be important factors                                                               
in  determining the  viability  of  any future  prototype-school-                                                               
design use.   The  Kodiak Island Borough  School District  has 14                                                               
schools, has  a stable student population  that includes students                                                               
from U.S. Coast  Guard families, has indicated that  three of its                                                               
schools were constructed in the 1970s utilizing a prototype-                                                                    
school-design, and has expressed  interest in having standardized                                                               
components.  The  Juneau Borough School District  has 11 schools,                                                               
has a [stable] student population,  has indicated that one of its                                                               
schools  utilized a  prototype-school-design,  and has  confirmed                                                               
the potential usefulness of standardized components.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARIL,  with regard to  school district profiles  in summary,                                                               
said  that   school  districts  have  individual   approaches  to                                                               
prototype-school-design  development   and  implementation;  that                                                               
each school  district believes  its approach  works best  to meet                                                               
its  particular needs;  and that  a school  district's philosophy                                                               
toward   educational-program-delivery  models   can  impact   its                                                               
perception  of  how useful  a  prototype-school  design will  be.                                                               
Community  involvement  in the  planning  process  can result  in                                                               
modifications to  a particular prototype-school  design so  as to                                                               
meet a school  district's evolving needs, and  such designs, when                                                               
so modified,  have a greater  success rate and  generally provide                                                               
greater  return   on  investment.     Furthermore,  the   more  a                                                               
particular prototype-school  design is  repeated, the  lesser the                                                               
design fees,  and the  lesser the  risk -  which may  also reduce                                                               
construction   costs.      Variations  in   site   configuration,                                                               
geological characteristics,  and climate, however, can  limit the                                                               
usefulness and advantages of repeating a particular prototype-                                                                  
school design.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:37:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARIL indicated  that rapid growth in  student population and                                                               
the resulting  high demand for  additional classroom  space might                                                               
warrant  the  use  of  prototype-school  designs,  and  such  are                                                               
perceived by  the public as a  good use of public  funds.  School                                                               
districts  reported that  whether  prototype-school designs  were                                                               
used  made no  difference with  regard to  delivering educational                                                               
services  effectively,  but   variations  in  educational-program                                                               
requirements could  limit the  effectiveness of  using prototype-                                                               
school  designs.    For example,  across  the  state,  elementary                                                               
school  educational-program requirements  are generally  similar,                                                               
and  thus  the use  of  prototype-school  designs for  elementary                                                               
schools may  be more warranted  than for middle schools  and high                                                               
schools,   which  generally   have  more   variations  in   their                                                               
educational-program requirements.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BARIL   relayed  that   prototype-school  designs   are  not                                                               
typically site specific,  and thus adaptation of  either the site                                                               
or the design  is generally required; that  most school districts                                                               
- with the exception of the  MSBSD and the Lower Kuskokwim School                                                               
District -  had either stable  or declining  student populations;                                                               
that in most school districts,  education specifications vary per                                                               
school, though the ASD and  the MSBSD have districtwide education                                                               
specifications;  that six  of the  school  districts visited  had                                                               
used  prototype-school  designs  in  the   past  as  a  means  of                                                               
addressing  student-population growth  and/or  needs; that  [most                                                               
conference attendees] were  of the opinion that in  the long run,                                                               
savings in  operations- and maintenance-costs through  the use of                                                               
prototype-school  designs  for  many  facilities  and  components                                                               
would exceed upfront costs; and  that rural school districts have                                                               
indicated   that  the   use  of   prototype-school  designs   for                                                               
components  such as  gymnasiums and  kitchens could  be a  viable                                                               
option.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:40:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARIL indicated that [Chapter  4] of the report addresses the                                                               
issue  of developing  urban  schools versus  rural  schools.   In                                                               
summary,  differences between  urban school  districts and  rural                                                               
school  districts  can  impact how  successful  using  prototype-                                                               
school designs  will be,  and certain other  factors can  also be                                                               
impacted, factors  such as design approach;  student populations;                                                               
[facility]  functionality [and  spacing]; building  construction,                                                               
labor, and  equipment, and materials procurement;  and operations                                                               
and  maintenance.   Communities  and  school districts  utilizing                                                               
prototype-school  designs were  typically  the  larger ones  with                                                               
greater  population  bases,  and   since  rural  communities  are                                                               
typically smaller,  use of prototype-school designs  tended to be                                                               
impractical.   Furthermore, the communities and  school districts                                                               
that  utilized  prototype-school  designs  typically  did  so  in                                                               
response to rapid  student-population growth so as to  be able to                                                               
maintain  desired   student:teacher  ratios.    In   response  to                                                               
questions  and  comments,  he  confirmed   that  what  was  being                                                               
referred to  as "single-site" school  districts were  included in                                                               
the report and were considered  to be rural school districts; and                                                               
clarified  that  for  purposes   of  compiling  the  statutorily-                                                               
required  report,   the  team  sought  information   from  school                                                               
districts  about  the  benefits and  disadvantages  of  utilizing                                                               
prototype-school  designs, but  the team  didn't analyze  [school                                                               
districts' possible  funding sources or specific  project costs].                                                               
Again,  though, one  of the  benefits  of using  prototype-school                                                               
designs is the potential to reduce costs.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KITO added  that he  has worked  with the  EED on                                                               
both urban and rural school projects,  and found that there was a                                                               
lot  of effort  in  rural  school districts  to  contain costs  -                                                               
regardless of funding  sources - to the point  where those school                                                               
districts  made a  significant sacrifice  regarding  much of  the                                                               
exterior areas of  the schools, such as  playground amenities, in                                                               
order to ensure  adequate classrooms and interior  spaces for the                                                               
students.   He  predicted  that future  efforts  to maintain  and                                                               
support all of Alaska's schools would be challenging.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:47:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARIL,  returning to his  presentation, explained  that rural                                                               
communities  with significant  geographical variations  typically                                                               
do not  utilize prototype-school designs, and  those with schools                                                               
with  significant  variations  in student  populations  are  less                                                               
likely to  have success  with prototype-school  designs.   On the                                                               
latter point, large  urban school districts, in  contrast, may be                                                               
able  to equalize  their student-population  numbers by  changing                                                               
[neighborhood]  boundary   lines.    Chapter  5   of  the  report                                                               
addresses the issue  of utilizing prototype-school-design systems                                                               
for components,  providing detailed analyses of  the benefits and                                                               
disadvantages,  broken   down  by   engineering  type   -  civil,                                                               
structural,  mechanical, and  electrical -  for each  of Alaska's                                                               
climatic  regions  -  the  Arctic,  the  Interior,  Southcentral,                                                               
Southwest, Southeast, and the Aleutians.   The design, selection,                                                               
and implementation of prototype-school  designs for components is                                                               
greatly   affected  by   Alaska's  diverse   climate,  geography,                                                               
geology, and other factors.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARIL  said civil engineering  systems in Alaska  are greatly                                                               
influenced  by  climate,  soil   and  site  conditions,  and  the                                                               
difficulty and cost of bringing  services such as water and sewer                                                               
to  remote locations,  and  there can  also be  a  wide range  of                                                               
variables  to  address  within  a  particular  region  or  school                                                               
district.   Also, rural communities  located off the  road system                                                               
have   unique  construction   challenges,   which  impact   civil                                                               
engineering  systems greatly.   Climate,  soil conditions,  water                                                               
supplies, and  wastewater treatment  systems vary  greatly across                                                               
the state;  many civil-engineering improvements for  schools have                                                               
similarities, but there will always  be exceptions within regions                                                               
and   school   districts,    and   thus   prototype-school-design                                                               
components will always have to  be modified to fit the particular                                                               
site.  This can negate [any  of the benefits of] using prototype-                                                               
school designs  [for components],  particularly when the  goal is                                                               
to save on  costs.  However, there are  alternatives to utilizing                                                               
such designs,  in order to eliminate  duplicate efforts, increase                                                               
construction  and  design  reliability,  and  potentially  reduce                                                               
costs,  though  in  some  instances,  utilizing  prototype-school                                                               
designs for water  and wastewater treatment systems  may still be                                                               
of benefit.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:52:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BARIL  said structural  engineering  systems  in Alaska  are                                                               
greatly  influenced by  variations  in  climate, soil  condition,                                                               
site topography,  materials availability, and facility  size, and                                                               
therefore   structural-engineering   designs   must   be   highly                                                               
individualized  and site-specific.   And  although this  does not                                                               
preclude  utilizing  prototype-school  designs for  such  systems                                                               
altogether,  it does  present unique  challenges  to using  them.                                                               
Furthermore,  due  to  variations  in  building-design-loads  and                                                               
foundation types,  there is little  opportunity to create  a true                                                               
prototype-school  design that  could be  used throughout  Alaska.                                                               
For example,  to design a  prototype with a structure  capable of                                                               
withstanding seismic activity in  Unalaska, high coastal winds in                                                               
Gamble, heavy  snow loads in  Valdez, and extreme cold  in Barrow                                                               
would  neither  be  practical  nor  cost-effective,  whether  for                                                               
components or for entire facilities.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARIL added that extreme  conditions aside, it could still be                                                               
cost  effective to  have prototype-school  designs that  could be                                                               
modified  to  meet the  specific  conditions  of particular  site                                                               
types.   And  although  this could  increase  design costs,  such                                                               
expense  could easily  be offset  by savings  made later  on, and                                                               
taking  this  approach  has   worked  well  for  prototype-school                                                               
designs  in Anchorage,  Fairbanks, and  the Mat-Su  Borough, even                                                               
though  each school  district had  to make  modifications.   With                                                               
regard to  foundations, he pointed  out that even if  two schools                                                               
in the  same district have  essentially the same snow,  wind, and                                                               
seismic load, the  soil conditions could vary from  site to site,                                                               
possibly requiring different  foundation types.  It  may still be                                                               
possible,  however, to  create  several prototype-school  designs                                                               
with  adaptable  structural  foundation  systems  that  could  be                                                               
modified on a  per site basis, depending on the  specifics of the                                                               
region, to serve as a basis of design.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:54:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BARIL  said mechanical  engineering  systems  in Alaska  are                                                               
greatly   influenced  by   climate,  available   energy  sources,                                                               
building  size,  construction  method,   water  supply,  and  the                                                               
availability  of  properly  trained and  skilled  operations  and                                                               
maintenance  personnel.   And  although  all  these factors  vary                                                               
throughout  each region  of the  state and  thus there  is little                                                               
possibility  of being  able to  create a  prototype-school design                                                               
that could  be applied across  the state, for sites  with similar                                                               
climates  it could  still  be possible  to  limit variability  in                                                               
prototype-school  designs  for  mechanical  engineering  systems.                                                               
For such to work, however, the  buildings must be of similar size                                                               
and use  the same  type of  fuel.   For example,  several regions                                                               
have both  larger schools in  urban settings and  smaller schools                                                               
in rural  settings, and  to the  extent that  the climate  is the                                                               
same  throughout the  region, a  prototype-school design  for the                                                               
mechanical systems for  each of those two types  of schools could                                                               
be utilized.   Also, schools  generally have a classroom  wing, a                                                               
gymnasium, a multipurpose room - usually  used as a cafeteria - a                                                               
kitchen, and  sometimes a vocational/technical  area, and  so the                                                               
more similarly  schools can be configured,  the closer particular                                                               
mechanical-system designs could be to becoming prototypes.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARIL  said electrical engineering  systems -  power systems,                                                               
lighting,  and  specialty  systems  -  are  not  as  affected  by                                                               
location  as by  the other  engineering systems  being used  in a                                                               
particular  building.    Creating  prototype-school  designs  for                                                               
electrical  engineering   systems  will  still   be  challenging,                                                               
however, because of continuing rapid  advances in technology.  In                                                               
response  to  comments  and questions,  he  confirmed  that  what                                                               
source  a school  district's electrical  power is  generated from                                                               
won't  result  in differences  in  the  interior designs  of  its                                                               
buildings, and that the team  understands that the mechanical and                                                               
structural engineering  systems do currently vary  from school to                                                               
school across Alaska.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MACKINNON noted that providing  for such variations tends                                                               
to cost the state more money.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KITO  pointed  out  that  some  of  the  existing                                                               
variations were  the result  of facilities  having been  built at                                                               
different points in time over  the course of several decades, and                                                               
surmised that that would still be the case moving forward.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:01:02 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARIL, returning to his  presentation, indicated that the use                                                               
of prototype-school  designs has the potential  to provide short-                                                               
term  capital gains  and  long-term  operational and  maintenance                                                               
efficiencies when  initial designs are well  thought out, tested,                                                               
evaluated, and  modified to  minimize deficiencies.   Utilization                                                               
of  prototype-school designs  can also  promote uniformity,  both                                                               
districtwide  and within  the physical  environs  of the  schools                                                               
themselves,  and can  contribute to  efficiencies in  maintenance                                                               
and  operations -  in  turn  leading to  energy  [savings] -  and                                                               
results  in  no  measurable  difference   in  the  [delivery]  of                                                               
educational  services.   Growth  in  student  populations can  be                                                               
efficiently   and  quickly   accommodated  through   the  design,                                                               
development, and construction of  schools utilizing such designs.                                                               
However,   most  school   districts  in   Alaska  are   currently                                                               
experiencing  static or  declining student  enrollments, negating                                                               
the need  for new-school construction.   Furthermore, most school                                                               
districts  also have  significant  variation  in geological  soil                                                               
conditions,  topography,  climate,   community  populations,  and                                                               
conventional  and alternative  energy sources,  any of  which can                                                               
negate the benefits of utilizing prototype-school designs.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BARIL said  that school  districts also  generally encourage                                                               
community   involvement  in   the  school-construction   planning                                                               
process, and  invite personalization of their  schools, which can                                                               
in turn negate  any benefits of using  a prototype-school design.                                                               
Differing  educational programs  for  elementary schools,  middle                                                               
schools, high schools,  and K-12 schools necessitates  the use of                                                               
multiple  prototype-school  designs,  and school  districts  with                                                               
extreme  variations  in the  design  of  their schools  have  the                                                               
potential  for creating  inefficient  and over-designed  schools.                                                               
With   regard   to   utilizing   prototype-school   designs   for                                                               
components, he  indicated that  such could  theoretically produce                                                               
long-term  savings for  school  districts  through having  energy                                                               
efficient  components, operations  and maintenance  efficiencies,                                                               
and  bulk  purchasing  agreements [for  construction  materials].                                                               
The  utilization of  prototype-school designs  for components  is                                                               
currently encouraged and desired  by many school districts across                                                               
the  state, and  there  is the  potential  for sharing  equipment                                                               
recommendations and maintenance techniques with other districts.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:05:13 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BARIL said  that to  realize any  theoretical cost  savings,                                                               
prototype-school designs for components would  need to be able to                                                               
address specific environmental  requirements and constraints, and                                                               
be able  to be modified in  order to accommodate a  wide range of                                                               
building sizes.  Furthermore, multiples  of such components would                                                               
have to  be designed  and constructed  within a  short timeframe.                                                               
Aligning  these  three  factors into  an  economical,  prototype-                                                               
school-design program  is unlikely.  Furthermore,  the rapid pace                                                               
of  component innovation  would  require  constant monitoring  of                                                               
available products  so as  to be  able to  select those  with the                                                               
best  performance,  efficiencies, and  cost.    With the  minimal                                                               
growth in student enrollment currently  projected for many school                                                               
districts,   utilization   of    prototype-school   designs   for                                                               
components  would  most  likely   be  relegated  to  retrofitting                                                               
existing  facilities, and  yet  any  such replacement  components                                                               
would  have to  be  compatible with  existing  systems.   Careful                                                               
evaluation of  existing systems within Alaska's  school districts                                                               
would  therefore  be  required.   Specific  components  have  the                                                               
potential  to become  proprietary,  reduce competition,  increase                                                               
costs, and  require the  amendment of  state regulations.   Also,                                                               
because  Alaska's  existing  facilities come  in  various  sizes,                                                               
prototype-school designs  for components  of various  sizes would                                                               
have to be developed.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BARIL, to  summarize, indicated  that nationwide,  statewide                                                               
deployment   of  prototype-school   designs  was   found  to   be                                                               
impractical  due to  the multitude  of variables  that had  to be                                                               
contended  with.   Alaska's  own  set  of unique  variables  only                                                               
increases the chances  of that being the case in  Alaska as well.                                                               
There  is  still  the  potential,  however,  for  success  to  be                                                               
achieved  at the  district level  through the  use of  prototype-                                                               
school designs, both  for schools and for components,  as long as                                                               
certain factors apply.   And when variables can  be minimized and                                                               
multiple schools  and building  systems are  needed over  a short                                                               
period  of  time,  utilizing   prototype-school  designs  at  the                                                               
district level, and possibly at  the regional level, could become                                                               
feasible,  and   such  represents  the  greatest   potential  for                                                               
viability.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:09:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUDELMAN,  in response to  comments and  questions, indicated                                                               
that the EED  is pleased with the amount of  information that the                                                               
report has  brought forth, and  would be willing to  research any                                                               
of the issues raised, such as that of cost, further.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MACKINNON offered  her  understanding that  a school  in                                                               
Eagle River was constructed using  a prototype-school design, and                                                               
that this resulted in savings of over $1 million.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NUDELMAN observed  that the  report explains  that there  is                                                               
opportunity at the district level  to achieve savings through the                                                               
use  of  prototype-school designs,  and  indicated  that the  EED                                                               
would be reviewing  that information further, and is  ready to do                                                               
everything it  can to help the  state save money [with  regard to                                                               
school construction].                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 10:19 a.m. to 10:21 a.m.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:21:36 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LESLIE RIDLE,  Deputy Commissioner,  Office of  the Commissioner,                                                               
Department of  Administration (DOA)  - referring to  a PowerPoint                                                               
presentation  - explained  that  the  Twenty-Eighth Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature's  House Bill  278 directed  the DOA  to present  the                                                               
legislature with  a written  proposal for  a salary  and benefits                                                               
schedule for  school districts, including  an evaluation  of, and                                                               
recommendations  for,  teacher  tenure;  and  indicated  that  to                                                               
comply  with that  mandate, the  DOA  had the  Center for  Alaska                                                               
Education   Policy  Research   (CAEPR),  Institute   of  Economic                                                               
Research  (ISER), conduct  a study  and compile  a report  of its                                                               
findings.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:24:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DIANE  HIRSHBERG,  PhD,  Director, Center  for  Alaska  Education                                                               
Policy  Research  (CAEPR),  Institute   of  Social  and  Economic                                                               
Research  (ISER),   University  of   Alaska  Anchorage   (UAA)  -                                                               
referring  to  Section  52  of  the  Twenty-Eighth  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature's House Bill 278 -  mentioned that in addition to the                                                               
brief report  and the appendices  that members currently  have, a                                                               
longer,  more   technical  report   would  be   forthcoming;  and                                                               
explained  that both  the aforementioned  PowerPoint presentation                                                               
and the  reports use the  term, "community  salary differential."                                                               
Calculations  were  used  to  determine   how  much  teachers  in                                                               
different school districts  would need to be paid  if salary were                                                               
the primary  means of  attracting and  retaining them.   However,                                                               
CAEPR/ISER  won't  be  proposing  a  single-salary  schedule  for                                                               
Alaska's  principals or  superintendents because  there wasn't  a                                                               
way of making  comparisons between those few  positions in Alaska                                                               
and  the national  market, due  to  variations in  the scope  and                                                               
responsibilities of  such positions in  Alaska.  For  example, in                                                               
some  schools the  principal  is also  the  superintendent, or  a                                                               
teacher, or  a special education  coordinator, or is  tasked with                                                               
fulfilling some  other duties in  addition to that  of principal.                                                               
In response to a question,  she confirmed that the aforementioned                                                               
appendices  both   detail  community  salary   differentials  and                                                               
describe the  duties of superintendents and  principals, and that                                                               
that information  is also summarized in  the aforementioned brief                                                               
report.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR.  HIRSHBERG,   returning  to   her  presentation,   said  that                                                               
nationwide    literature   and    policies   regarding    teacher                                                               
compensation  and  tenure  were  reviewed, and  that  the  tenure                                                               
policies  of  other  states  is   contained  in  the  appendices.                                                               
Interviews  and focus  groups were  held with  key personnel  and                                                               
stakeholders,     including     school     business     officers,                                                               
superintendents,  teachers,  and  representatives from  the  EED,                                                               
including  the commissioner.   A  survey was  also sent  out, and                                                               
statistical analyses  were conducted regarding  school districts,                                                               
community   characteristics,   compensation    terms,   and   the                                                               
employment records  of certified personnel.   There are a  lot of                                                               
factors that  affect teacher recruitment  and retention,  such as                                                               
community   demographics;   geographic  characteristics   -   for                                                               
example,  the  distance from  a  hub  community; cost  of  living                                                               
indicators -  for example, other available  employment within the                                                               
community; and  student demographics.   In other  words, teachers                                                               
make their  decisions about where to  teach based on a  number of                                                               
factors, with salary being only one such factor.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:33:06 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. HIRSHBERG,  with regard  to salary,  noted that  the question                                                               
is, what  must be paid  in order  to attract and  retain teachers                                                               
without   overpaying  them   and   with   consideration  of   the                                                               
aforementioned other factors.  Using  the salary schedule for the                                                               
Anchorage School  District (ASD) as  the base salary  schedule, a                                                               
salary differential  was calculated for each  community, in order                                                               
to understand  what would  be needed  to compensate  teachers for                                                               
the factors  that make that  particular community either  more or                                                               
less attractive  than Anchorage.   The  results ranged  broadly -                                                               
between  0.85 and  2.01, with  numbers less  than 1.0  reflecting                                                               
teachers' preferences for teaching  in other communities compared                                                               
to teaching  in the  ASD.   In Alaska there  are some  very large                                                               
school  districts  that  have  significant  variations  in  their                                                               
communities,  there are  school  districts that  have both  urban                                                               
hubs and remote communities, and  there are school districts that                                                               
have only  remote but distinctly  different communities.   Again,                                                               
such  factors  are  amongst those  considered  by  teachers  when                                                               
deciding whether to work in a particular community.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR. HIRSHBERG, in  response to a question,  relayed that although                                                               
the  salary schedule  of the  ASD was  not initially  selected to                                                               
serve as the base, it  was ultimately chosen because Anchorage is                                                               
often  used for  comparison  purposes due  to  it being  Alaska's                                                               
largest  community.   With regard  to attracting  [and retaining]                                                               
teachers, however,  Anchorage does not have  the fewest problems.                                                               
For example, the  report illustrates that the  ASD is underpaying                                                               
teachers by an estimated amount of about 10 percent.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MACKINNON  expressed   dissatisfaction  with  CAEPR/ISER                                                               
having chosen to  use the ASD's salary schedule as  the base when                                                               
calculating community salary differentials.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:38:33 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ALEXANDRA   "LEXI"   HILL,   Associate  Director,   Finance   and                                                               
Administration,  Institute   of  Social  and   Economic  Research                                                               
(ISER),  University of  Alaska  Anchorage  (UAA), indicated  that                                                               
CAEPR/ISER  initially used  the Matanuska-Susitna  Borough School                                                               
District's (MSBSD's) salary  schedule as the base  because of its                                                               
record   of  attracting   and   retaining   teachers,  but   then                                                               
reformulated  the calculation  for  purposes of  using the  ASD's                                                               
salary   schedule   for   the   aforementioned   reason.      She                                                               
acknowledged,  though, that  Anchorage  doesn't  have the  lowest                                                               
costs.   In response  to a further  question, she  explained that                                                               
although   cost-of-living   "indicators"   were   used   in   the                                                               
calculations,  the cost-of-living  indices  themselves were  not,                                                               
because it was  necessary for CAEPR/ISER to look  at every Alaska                                                               
community individually,  though standardized  data was  used when                                                               
possible  for  factors such  as  fuel  prices and  transportation                                                               
costs, for example.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR.  HIRSHBERG,  returning to  her  presentation,  referred to  a                                                               
chart on page  16 of the aforementioned brief  report listing the                                                               
community salary  differentials by school district.   With regard                                                               
to "Pay relative to proposed  Anchorage pay schedule", the middle                                                               
left-hand column  reflects the community salary  differential for                                                               
school districts that had  similar community salary differentials                                                               
across  the  district,  and the  two  middle  right-hand  columns                                                               
reflect the  range of community  salary differentials  for school                                                               
districts  that had  significant  variations  in their  community                                                               
salary differentials  across the  district.   The last  column on                                                               
the chart  reflects by what  percent a school  district's current                                                               
salaries  would change  if the  listed salary  differentials were                                                               
applied.   In response to  comments and questions,  she explained                                                               
that the 1 percent change listed  for the MSBSD is an average for                                                               
the  entire  school district,  and  takes  into account  turnover                                                               
rates  and other  factors in  some of  its outlying  communities;                                                               
that Appendix  F contains the  community salary  differentials of                                                               
each community  within a given  school district; and that  when a                                                               
school district's community salary  differential is above 1.0, it                                                               
indicates that because  of certain factors in  the community, and                                                               
if  salary  were  the  only means  of  attracting  and  retaining                                                               
teachers, that perhaps  that community's teachers may  have to be                                                               
paid more [to make working there  as attractive as working in the                                                               
ASD].                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:48:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. HILL added that the  community salary differentials listed in                                                               
Appendix F are  similar to the teacher  salary differentials used                                                               
when geographic  cost differentials are calculated;  and that for                                                               
the   individual  community   salary   differentials  listed   in                                                               
Appendix F,  CAEPR/ISER  used  three   different  models  in  its                                                               
calculations,  and so  the column  titled  "Turnover" relates  to                                                               
teachers  staying in  a particular  community, the  column titled                                                               
"Move" relates to teachers moving  from one community to another,                                                               
and the column titled "HQ"  relates to highly qualified teachers;                                                               
and that because there was  no theoretical basis for favoring one                                                               
of those  three models  over the  other, CAEPR/ISER  averaged the                                                               
resulting   figures   to   arrive   at   the   community   salary                                                               
differentials  [that were  used  in the  aforementioned chart  on                                                               
page 16 of the brief report].                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HILL, in  response to  a  question, indicated  that for  the                                                               
chart on  page 16 of  the brief report, the  aforementioned three                                                               
middle columns reflect  community salary differentials calculated                                                               
using  the base  salary schedules  proposed [on  page 15  of that                                                               
report], whereas  the last column  on the chart  reflects instead                                                               
the percent  a school district's  current salaries would  need to                                                               
change in order to meet those proposed base salaries.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DR. HIRSHBERG  added that the  figures used for the  brief report                                                               
were from two years ago,  and acknowledged that using more recent                                                               
figures  could  perhaps  change the  results,  allowing  them  to                                                               
reflect things like  existing teacher shortages.   In response to                                                               
further  questions   and  comments,   she  indicated   that  [the                                                               
country's] current  teacher shortages can't as  yet be quantified                                                               
via model; that  although the national data is a  couple of years                                                               
behind, Alaska's teacher pay is  still amongst the highest in the                                                               
country but  is no longer the  highest; and that there  are a lot                                                               
of  factors  that affect  teacher  recruitment  and retention  in                                                               
Alaska, some  of them intangible and  some of them the  result of                                                               
changes  occurring  outside  of   Alaska.    She  indicated  that                                                               
CAEPR/ISER would  urge [lawmakers  and other  interested parties]                                                               
to  continue discussions  about all  the things,  in addition  to                                                               
salary,  that  can  be  done   in  Alaska  to  encourage  teacher                                                               
recruitment  and  retention.    In response  to  a  request,  she                                                               
relayed that CAEPR/ISER would compile  information on the average                                                               
teacher  salary in  other  states, but  cautioned  that the  data                                                               
obtained could  be about three  or four  years old, and  that the                                                               
focus should  not be just  on whether to increase  teacher salary                                                               
in Alaska,  because the state's  budget couldn't support  that as                                                               
the  only  solution,  because  having  teachers  who  come  to  a                                                               
particular community solely  because it paid the most  may not be                                                               
the  right solution,  and because  there are  other factors  that                                                               
affect teacher recruitment and retention in Alaska.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:01:13 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MACKINNON  expressed dissatisfaction  that  CAEPR/ISER's                                                               
report doesn't address the issue of student outcomes.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DR.  HIRSHBERG  acknowledged that  point.    Continuing with  her                                                               
presentation,  she explained  that the  chart on  page 15  of the                                                               
aforementioned brief  report illustrating a proposed  "base step-                                                               
and-lane salary"  schedule for  Alaska's teachers  was calculated                                                               
using a proposed base salary that  would allow the ASD to attract                                                               
and retain teachers without overpaying  them.  This proposed base                                                               
salary  schedule   gets  multiplied   by  the   community  salary                                                               
differentials   in  order   to  arrive   at  the   aforementioned                                                               
percentage-change amounts on page 16.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DR.  HIRSHBERG, in  response to  a question,  concurred that  the                                                               
proposed  base  salary  schedule  on  page  15  is  simply  being                                                               
provided   for  purposes   of  discussion;   CAEPR/ISER  is   not                                                               
recommending implementing  it.  The  cost to do  so, particularly                                                               
in  rural  school  districts, would  be  prohibitive,  given  the                                                               
state's  current fiscal  situation,  and may  not constitute  the                                                               
right approach.   For example,  according to  information gleaned                                                               
from a survey  provided to teachers in  rural communities, better                                                               
support by  administrators and the community,  rather than simply                                                               
a  higher  salary, might  instead  better  address the  issue  of                                                               
teacher recruitment and  retention.  In response  to comments and                                                               
further questions,  she acknowledged  that in  general, obtaining                                                               
quantifiable information about student outcomes is difficult.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR.  HIRSHBERG, returning  to  her  presentation, indicated  that                                                               
there is therefore a lot of  interest in the concept of utilizing                                                               
a merit/performance-based  pay schedule  for Alaska's  teachers -                                                               
tying teacher  compensation to  student outcomes.   There  is not                                                               
much, however, in the way  of national research that outlines how                                                               
such  can be  done successfully,  but perhaps  once Alaska's  new                                                               
teacher-evaluation system  and student-examination system  are in                                                               
place for a couple of years,  some new data might come forth that                                                               
will  provide  Alaskans  with the  opportunity  to  research  the                                                               
issues involved  more systematically.  Referring  to the proposed                                                               
base step-and-lane salary schedule on  page 15 of the report, she                                                               
reiterated    that   CAEPR/ISER    is   not    recommending   its                                                               
implementation at this  time, and concurred that it  is not based                                                               
on student outcomes.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:15:33 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HILL,  in  response  to  comments  and  questions  regarding                                                               
recruiting  teachers from  outside of  Alaska, noted  that that's                                                               
how many of the teaching  positions in Alaska are currently being                                                               
filled, particularly  in rural communities.   Such indicates that                                                               
it is possible to make teaching jobs in Alaska attractive.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR.  HIRSHBERG, in  response to  further comments  and questions,                                                               
reiterated that  there are a  lot of factors that  affect teacher                                                               
recruitment and retention;  the question becomes how  to make the                                                               
factors  other  than  salary  more  attractive,  such  that  more                                                               
teachers can  be recruited and retained  without overpaying them.                                                               
For example,  one long-term partial  solution might be  to create                                                               
conditions  within  the schools  that  will  inspire students  to                                                               
become  teachers themselves.    After referring  to  some of  the                                                               
other  [studies/reports]  required  by the  Twenty-Eighth  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature's  House  Bill   278,  she  again  noted  that                                                               
information gleaned from a survey  provided to teachers indicated                                                               
that better  support by administrators and  the community, rather                                                               
than simply  a higher  salary, might  instead better  address the                                                               
issue  of  teacher  recruitment and  retention,  particularly  in                                                               
rural Alaska.   Some  good efforts to  increase such  support are                                                               
already  being  undertaken  by   certain  entities,  but  nothing                                                               
statewide or systematically.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. HIRSHBERG -  returning to her presentation,  and referring to                                                               
superintendent  duties  and  compensation -  reiterated  that  in                                                               
Alaska there  is enormous variation  in superintendent  roles and                                                               
the  size  of   school  districts;  CAEPR/ISER  did   not  see  a                                                               
correlation   between  compensation   for  superintendents,   the                                                               
magnitude  of their  responsibilities, and  the community  salary                                                               
differentials.   Alaska's  school boards  set compensation  rates                                                               
and do  the hiring, and  CAEPR/ISER wasn't  able to make  a solid                                                               
recommendation   regarding  a   salary   schedule  for   Alaska's                                                               
superintendents, whose  salaries, statewide, are  currently below                                                               
national  averages,  which  also  vary   greatly.    One  of  the                                                               
aforementioned appendices addresses this  issue further, and it's                                                               
an issue that warrants future discussions, she noted.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:30:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. HIRSHBERG  explained that CAEPR/ISER considered  the issue of                                                               
benefits, and found  that benefit packages can  make a difference                                                               
with regard  to recruiting and retaining  teachers, but currently                                                               
the  only  statewide  benefit  being  provided  is  retirement  -                                                               
through the State  of Alaska.  And although  health care benefits                                                               
are also provided, there is not  a single plan for educators, and                                                               
so   what   educators   contribute   for   health   care   varies                                                               
considerably.   There  are also  differences  in leave  benefits,                                                               
travel  compensation,  and  tuition reimbursement,  for  example.                                                               
The  various  benefits are  detailed  in  one of  the  appendices                                                               
provided,  but unfortunately  there  is  nothing consistent  with                                                               
regard  to  those  benefits  that   allowed  CAEPR/ISER  to  draw                                                               
conclusions about what's been working, she emphasized.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR.  HIRSHBERG, on  the  issue of  teacher  tenure, relayed  that                                                               
CAEPR/ISER  surveyed  teachers  regarding   what  they  would  be                                                               
willing to receive in lieu of  tenure, or in lieu of tenure being                                                               
granted  after just  three years  of probation,  and the  results                                                               
clearly  indicate  that  teachers   value  tenure  highly.    The                                                               
monetary value  of tenure was  found to be  approximately $34,000                                                               
over the course  of a career, or $16,000 if  tenure is awarded at                                                               
the end of three  years instead of at the end of  five years.  At                                                               
this point,  she stated, CAEPR/ISER  does not  recommend changing                                                               
Alaska's   existing   tenure   [policies/schedules],   but   does                                                               
recommend  that  further  discussions  regarding  teacher  tenure                                                               
occur  in the  future.   She  ventured that  there are  a lot  of                                                               
misconceptions about tenure.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. HIRSHBERG,  in response to questions  and comments, confirmed                                                               
that  the  aforementioned   forthcoming  longer,  more  technical                                                               
report  would  provide  more   detailed  information  on  teacher                                                               
tenure,  and indicated  that  CAEPR/ISER  conducted an  extensive                                                               
review of national literature and  practices regarding tenure, as                                                               
well as  a detailed  analysis of  survey responses  from parents,                                                               
teachers,  and community  members  on that  issue.   Teachers  in                                                               
particular  consistently valued  tenure,  though school  business                                                               
officers  didn't have  such a  view, but  this is  understandable                                                               
given  their fiscal  and business  perspective.   She  reiterated                                                               
that there are  a lot of misconceptions about tenure.   Tenure in                                                               
Alaska, she ventured, is really  about due process; a person with                                                               
tenure cannot  be fired at  will, but  that does not  mean he/she                                                               
cannot  be removed  from his/her  position  so long  as there  is                                                               
documentation of  improper or ineffective teaching  practices, or                                                               
of  a   fiscal  climate  necessitating  lay-offs,   and  such  is                                                               
generally  not difficult  to document,  according to  many school                                                               
administrators.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:36:48 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR.  HIRSHBERG, in  response further  to comments  and questions,                                                               
said  her perception  is that  the new  teacher-evaluation system                                                               
will  provide  the  necessary systematic  data  for  everyone  to                                                               
become  involved in  the process,  thereby lessening  the burdens                                                               
placed on the larger schools  in particular.  Continuing with her                                                               
presentation,  she  said there  is  a  significant difference  in                                                               
labor markets  between certified personnel, such  as teachers and                                                               
principals, and  classified personnel,  such as  those performing                                                               
administrative,  maintenance,  and   clerical  duties,  and  thus                                                               
compiling  salary  schedules for  all  positions  in the  schools                                                               
would be problematic.   Additionally, although the  former can be                                                               
recruited  from  a  national market,  the  latter  are  generally                                                               
recruited locally,  particularly in  rural communities,  and thus                                                               
some  schools   can  have  difficulty  filling   such  classified                                                               
positions with  trained personnel  because of  local labor-market                                                               
conditions.   Related service providers,  such as those  who work                                                               
with   "special   needs"    children   -   speech   pathologists,                                                               
occupational  therapists,   for  example  -  can   also  be  very                                                               
difficult  to  recruit  and  retain,   she  relayed,  even  on  a                                                               
contractual basis from  a national market or  through a statewide                                                               
organization, and so  offering a single salary  schedule for such                                                               
positions [isn't feasible].                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. HIRSHBERG  said that  CAEPR/ISER therefore  doesn't recommend                                                               
providing  for  a  single teacher-salary  schedule,  particularly                                                               
given that there could be  some significant salary-cost increases                                                               
- about  15 percent  across the  state as a  whole -  and doesn't                                                               
recommend  changing  the  state's  tenure policy  at  this  time.                                                               
However,  CAEPR/ISER  does  recommend that  a  merit/performance-                                                               
based  pay schedule  be discussed.    And once  the new  teacher-                                                               
evaluation  and  student-assessment  systems  become  solidified,                                                               
valuable data  will be  obtained from them.   The  current system                                                               
isn't  working well  for  many teachers  and  students in  remote                                                               
communities,  and this  can be  problematic in  terms of  teacher                                                               
retention, so  changes must  be made in  order to  improve what's                                                               
occurring in the schools, she concluded.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HAWKER  offered his belief  that legislators  are concerned                                                               
about student  outcomes as  well as how  to achieve  the [desired                                                               
ends] efficiently  and effectively with the  resources available,                                                               
and surmised that  all the various studies  conducted and reports                                                               
compiled  will  therefore  be  helpful  to  legislators  as  they                                                               
deliberate their next courses of action.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
^APPROVAL OF MINUTES                                                                                                            
                      APPROVAL OF MINUTES                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:46:28 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HAWKER announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
approval of the minutes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:46:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MACKINNON  made  a  motion to  approve  the  minutes  of                                                               
October 21,  2015.   There being no  objection, the  minutes from                                                               
the meeting of October 21, 2015, were approved.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
^LEGISLATIVE REVISED PROGRAMS (RPLs)                                                                                            
              LEGISLATIVE REVISED PROGRAMS (RPLs)                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:47:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HAWKER announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
consideration  of  [RPL  05-06-0111,  Child  Nutrition  Programs,                                                               
Department of  Education and Early Development  (EED); RPL 05-06-                                                               
0114, Alaska State  Council on the Arts,  Department of Education                                                               
and Early  Development (EED); and  RPL 18-6-0360,  Tsunami Marine                                                               
Debris Cleanup, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)].                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:47:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HEIDI TESHNER,  Director, Administrative Services,  Department of                                                               
Education and Early Development (EED),  with regard to RPL 05-06-                                                               
0111,  explained   that  if  approved,  it   would  authorize  an                                                               
additional $8.7 million  in federal receipts for  the Division of                                                               
Teaching  and Learning  Support,  Child  Nutrition Programs,  for                                                               
fiscal year 2016  (FY 16).  Currently the  total authorization is                                                               
$52.3 million and approval of the  RPL would bring that amount up                                                               
to  $61 million.   This  additional grant  funding from  the U.S.                                                               
Department  of Agriculture  (USDA) is  intended to  address large                                                               
increases in  school-based programs,  and it is  anticipated that                                                               
there will  be a  17 percent increase  in funding  amounts school                                                               
districts are eligible for and can claim.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:48:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LACEY  SANDERS,  Fiscal  Analyst, Legislative  Finance  Division,                                                               
Alaska State  Legislature, added that there  aren't any technical                                                               
issues with RPL 05-06-0111.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:49:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SHANNON  DAUT, Executive  Director, Alaska  State Council  on the                                                               
Arts (ASCA), Department of Education  and Early Development, with                                                               
regard to  RPL 05-6-0114,  explained that  if approved,  it would                                                               
authorize an additional $800,000  in statutory designated program                                                               
receipts  for  the  "current"  fiscal year,  for  a  Margaret  A.                                                               
Cargill Foundation grant program.   She indicated that this grant                                                               
program -  involving a ten-year  initiative - will  help "teacher                                                               
preparedness" in  the [Kodiak  area], that  last year  an initial                                                               
grant  of  $120,000  for  the  first-year  planning  process  was                                                               
received, and  that additional grants to  implement the resulting                                                               
plan would be forthcoming.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. SANDERS  indicated that approval  of the RPL would  result in                                                               
$1,221,600 total statutory designated  program receipts, and that                                                               
the $15,000 that  has been allocated for  personal services could                                                               
offset general funds (GF).   The Legislative Finance Division can                                                               
research that  latter issue further  once the  [operating] budget                                                               
is submitted in December.  She  added that there aren't any other                                                               
technical issues with RPL 05-06-0114.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAUT, in response to comments, clarified:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The state allocation that our  agency receives needs to                                                                    
     be matched  one-to-one with our federal  award from the                                                                    
     National Endowment for the Arts,  and we're getting ...                                                                    
     very close to that, that  match point, so the [$15,000]                                                                    
     may  have some  bearing  on that  ability  to meet  our                                                                    
     match for the federal dollars.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:52:50 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TOM  CHERIAN,  Director,  Division  of  Administrative  Services,                                                               
Department of  Environmental Conservation  (DEC), with  regard to                                                               
RPL  18-6-0360, explained  that if  approved, it  would authorize                                                               
$950,000  in   federal  receipts   from  the  National   Ocean  &                                                               
Atmospheric  Administration  (NOAA)   for  tsunami  marine-debris                                                               
cleanup pertaining to  the March 2011 tsunami  that struck Japan.                                                               
These funds will  be used for cleanup activities  on Kayak Island                                                               
and  Montague Island,  and  for  the disposal  -  in an  approved                                                               
[landfill]  facility   -  of  the   debris  collected.     It  is                                                               
anticipated  that  these  cleanup   activities  will  take  place                                                               
between May  and September 2016.   Approval of the RPL  will have                                                               
no  impact  upon  the  GF  nor  are  any  [new]  positions  being                                                               
requested.   Once  [the  RPL  is] approved,  all  aspects of  the                                                               
debris  collection/removal/disposal/reporting  will be  completed                                                               
by October 1, 2016, he concluded.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. SANDERS  ventured that given:   the  non-controversial nature                                                               
of the  RPL; the facts  that federal funds  would be added  to an                                                               
existing  capital project  and that  no GF  or new  positions are                                                               
being   requested;  the   anticipated  funding-receipt   date  of                                                               
January 1, 2016; and  the possibility of a  delay in adjournment,                                                               
the Legislative Budget  and Audit Committee may  wish to consider                                                               
[approving this  request at  this time] in  order to  ensure that                                                               
resulting contracts can  be in place before May 2016.   She added                                                               
that there aren't any technical issues with RPL 18-6-0360.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HAWKER  acknowledged those  points and  expressed interest,                                                               
therefore, in approving the RPL at this time.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:56:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MACKINNON made a motion  to approve RPL 05-06-0111, Child                                                               
Nutrition   Programs,   Department   of   Education   and   Early                                                               
Development (EED);  RPL 05-06-0114,  Alaska State Council  on the                                                               
Arts, Department  of Education and  Early Development  (EED); and                                                               
RPL  18-6-0360,  Tsunami  Marine Debris  Cleanup,  Department  of                                                               
Environmental Conservation (DEC).                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HAWKER stated that there was objection to the motion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GIESSEL,  referring  to   RPL  05-6-0111,  relayed  that                                                               
constituents of  hers have expressed  concern about  and objected                                                               
to the  EED's Child Nutrition  Programs.  She  expressed concern,                                                               
therefore, that [the  state] would be taking  more federal monies                                                               
to support a program which may not be needed in Anchorage.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL then made a motion to "divide the RPLs."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MACKINNON  instead  made   a  motion  to  "withdraw  the                                                               
previous motion."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HAWKER ascertained that there were no objections.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
12:00:08 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MACKINNON  then made a  motion to approve  RPL 05-6-0111,                                                               
Child  Nutrition  Programs,  Department of  Education  and  Early                                                               
Development (EED).                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL objected.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
12:00:48 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
A  roll call  vote was  taken.   Representatives Kito,  Thompson,                                                               
Pruitt,  and Hawker,  and  Senator MacKinnon  voted  in favor  of                                                               
approving  RPL  05-6-0111.   Senator  Giessel  voted against  it.                                                               
Therefore, RPL 05-6-0111 failed to be  approved by a vote of 5-1.                                                               
[The Chair noted that a full  affirmative vote of the majority of                                                               
the committee is required to pass an RPL.]                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
12:02:29 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MACKINNON  made  a motion  to  approve  RPL  05-06-0114,                                                               
Alaska State  Council on  the Arts,  Department of  Education and                                                               
Early Development (EED); and RPL  18-6-360, Tsunami Marine Debris                                                               
Cleanup, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).  There                                                                 
being no objection, RPL 05-6-0114 and RPL 18-6-0360 were                                                                        
approved.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
12:03:44 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the                                                                       
Legislative Budget and Audit Committee meeting was adjourned at                                                                 
12:03 p.m.                                                                                                                      

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