Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 106

02/25/2011 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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08:04:17 AM Start
08:06:19 AM Presentation(s): Pribilof School District
08:24:47 AM HB5
08:58:56 AM HB93
09:51:41 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation by Pribilof School District TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
<Bill Hearing Postponed to 2/28/11>
Moved CSHB 93(EDC) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 25, 2011                                                                                        
                           8:04 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Alan Dick, Chair                                                                                                 
Representative Eric Feige                                                                                                       
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Representative Sharon Cissna                                                                                                    
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Lance Pruitt, Vice Chair                                                                                         
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION(S):  PRIBILOF SCHOOL DISTRICT                                                                                      
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 5                                                                                                                
"An Act  requiring a standardized  statewide history  of American                                                               
constitutionalism curriculum  and a  secondary school  history of                                                               
American constitutionalism  examination in public schools  in the                                                               
state; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                    
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
HOUSE BILL NO. 93                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to school gardens, greenhouses, and farms."                                                                    
     - MOVED CSHB 93(EDC) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
HOUSE BILL NO. 104                                                                                                              
"An Act renaming the Alaska  performance scholarship and relating                                                               
to the  scholarship and tax  credits applicable  to contributions                                                               
to   the  scholarship;   establishing   the  Alaska   performance                                                               
scholarship   investment   fund   and  the   Alaska   performance                                                               
scholarship  award  fund  and  relating   to  the  funds;  making                                                               
conforming amendments; and providing for an effective date."                                                                    
     - BILL HEARING POSTPONED TO 2/28/11                                                                                        
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB   5                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY CURRICULUM                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KELLER                                                                                            
01/18/11       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/11                                                                                
01/18/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/11       (H)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
02/09/11       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/09/11       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/09/11       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
02/18/11       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/18/11       (H)       -- CANCELED - Rescheduled to 02/21/11 -                                                                
02/21/11       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/21/11       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/21/11       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
02/25/11       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
BILL: HB 93                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: SCHOOL GARDENS, GREENHOUSES, AND FARMS                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) GUTTENBERG                                                                                        
01/18/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/11       (H)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
02/16/11       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/16/11       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/16/11       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
02/25/11       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JAMIE STACKS, Superintendent                                                                                                    
Pribilof School District                                                                                                        
St. Paul Island, Alaska                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented an overview of the Pribilof                                                                    
School District.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WES KELLER                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed HB 5, as prime sponsor.                                                                         
JIM POUND, Staff                                                                                                                
Representative Wes Keller                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Responded to questions, during the hearing                                                               
on HB 5, on behalf of Representative Keller, prime sponsor.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE DAVID GUTTENBERG                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced the committee substitute (CS)                                                                 
for HB 121, as prime sponsor.                                                                                                   
JAY HARDENBROOK, Staff                                                                                                          
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained the committee substitute (CS) for                                                              
HB 121, on behalf of Representative Guttenberg, prime sponsor.                                                                  
MARK LEWIS, Manager                                                                                                             
Administrative Operations                                                                                                       
Division of Teaching and Learning Support                                                                                       
Department of Education and Early Development (EED)                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 93.                                                                   
AL POINDEXTER, Retired Teacher                                                                                                  
Anchor Point, Alaska                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified with concern, on HB 93.                                                                        
SUSAN WILLSRUD, Director                                                                                                        
Calypso Farm and Ecology Center                                                                                                 
Ester, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 93.                                                                                      
CYNDY CURRAN, Director                                                                                                          
Division of Teaching and Learning Support                                                                                       
Department of Education and Early Development (EED)                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Responded to questions, during the hearing                                                               
on HB 93.                                                                                                                       
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:04:17 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ALAN DICK called the House Education Standing Committee                                                                 
meeting to order at 8:04 a.m.  Present at the call to order were                                                                
Representatives  Dick,  Kawasaki,   Wilson,  Seaton,  and  Feige.                                                               
Representative Cissna arrived while the meeting was in progress.                                                                
^PRESENTATION(S):  Pribilof School District                                                                                     
           PRESENTATION(S):  Pribilof School District                                                                       
CHAIR DICK announced that the first  order of business would be a                                                               
presentation  by  the  superintendent   of  the  Pribilof  School                                                               
8:06:19 AM                                                                                                                    
JAMIE  STACKS,  Superintendent,  presented  an  overview  of  the                                                               
Pribilof School  District beginning  with the positives  that are                                                               
enjoyed  by  both  the  St.  Paul and  St.  George  schools,  and                                                               
directed attention  to a  slide to indicate  the following:   100                                                               
percent  highly   qualified  staff;  97  percent   Aleut  student                                                               
population; continuing  to meet  AYP (adequate  yearly progress);                                                               
culturally  responsive teaching;  fiscally  sound; overall  great                                                               
staff and families; and supportive  parents, community and school                                                               
board.   Addressing  the slide  titled "2010  Academic Progress,"                                                               
she  indicated  the  2009  vs. 2010  progress  results  for  both                                                               
schools in  reading, writing and  mathematics, and said  there is                                                               
room  for  improvement.    One  of the  greatest  things  in  the                                                               
district  is  the  community partnerships,  she  said,  and  both                                                               
schools  have preschool  program.   The  programs  are funded  by                                                               
outside sources, but housed in  the school buildings to serve 2-5                                                               
year  olds.    The  Central Bering  Sea  Fisherman's  Association                                                               
(CBSFA)  funds   St.  Paul's  Montessori  based   preschool,  the                                                               
Aleutian Pribilof  Island Association  (APIA) funds the  St. Paul                                                               
HeadStart program,  and the St. George  Traditional Council funds                                                               
the  St.  George  preschool.   These  programs  ensure  that  the                                                               
children   have   a   strong   foundation   prior   to   entering                                                               
kindergarten.   She reported  that in  2010, $120,000  was raised                                                               
for local  student activities.   Another partnership is  with the                                                               
St.  Paul  Tribal  Government, building  relationships  with  the                                                               
Native  elders.   A grant  from the  AASB (Association  of Alaska                                                               
School Boards) is  helping with the initiative,  which includes a                                                               
focus on  language preservation.   She said state  grants provide                                                               
important programs to the district,  as well, and provided a list                                                               
of benefits,  which included:   library;  artist in  schools; CDL                                                               
(Consortium for  Digital Learning)  - computers for  students and                                                               
staff  development;  UAA  AEIN (University  of  Alaska  Anchorage                                                               
Alaska  Educational  Innovations  Network) -  staff  development;                                                               
AASB  staff  and student  training  to  promote social  emotional                                                               
learning; carpentry  in conjunction  with the  Denali Commission;                                                               
UAF (University  of Alaska Fairbanks) Future  Educators; $400,000                                                               
matching grant for housing and  to renovate older teacher housing                                                               
units;  and  E2T2  (Enhancing  Education  Through  Technology)  -                                                               
$92,000  for staff  development  and technology  purchases.   She                                                               
highlighted the  UAF grant, which  is focused on  training future                                                               
educators.   In an effort to  "grow our own" teachers,  she said,                                                               
students  are  able  to  take dual  college  credit  classes  and                                                               
graduate  with college  experience and  postsecondary credits  in                                                               
mathematics.  Federal grants have  recently provided $2.4 million                                                               
for roof repair on St. George  School and she indicated a list of                                                               
other federal support, which included:   $24,000 in Education Law                                                               
funds;  e-Rate  funds  90  percent  of  communication  telephone,                                                               
internet and video; funding for  vocational programs via the Carl                                                               
Perkins Grant;  and the Indian education-bilingual  program.  The                                                               
greatest resource, and  the reason the district  is successful is                                                               
the  staff,  she  opined.     All  of  the  teachers  are  highly                                                               
qualified, and 40  percent have master's degrees.   She said many                                                               
of the educators,  and staff members, have been  serving for over                                                               
ten  years, and  the  pride  that is  taken  in  the schools  and                                                               
students equals  success.  District  concerns revolve  around two                                                               
primary  issues:    a  declining   student  enrollment,  and  the                                                               
physical  condition  of  the  St.  Paul  School  building.    The                                                               
enrollment is at 98 in the St.  Paul School, and 11 at St. George                                                               
School.   The budget is  being sustained under the  hold harmless                                                               
funding rule.   Like many  rural schools, the local  gymnasium is                                                               
the center for  community events, and the St. Paul  School gym is                                                               
in  decay and  a  safety  concern.   Returning  to the  declining                                                               
enrollment   issue,   she   said  the   effects   include   fewer                                                               
opportunities for students, fewer staff  members who must take on                                                               
more  duties, and  the  possibility  of the  closure  of the  St.                                                               
George  School.   Finally, she  listed  the focus  areas for  the                                                               
coming year,  which include:   working to  meet the goals  of the                                                               
new  strategic  plan;  continuing  to  work  to  improve  student                                                               
achievement  through  individualized  instruction based  on  data                                                               
analysis  and state  standards; continuing  parent and  community                                                               
involvement  and collaborations;  completion of  teacher contract                                                               
negotiations;  and remodeling  the 40  year old  St. Paul  School                                                               
8:15:35 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  referred  to the  governor's bill  for                                                               
performance  scholarship funding,  and asked  for comment  on the                                                               
ability of the district to deliver the required courses.                                                                        
MS.  STACKS stated  that students  are enrolled  in the  WorkKeys                                                               
program,  and the  school curriculum  is challenging,  which will                                                               
allow students to qualify for the scholarship.                                                                                  
8:16:57 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  FEIGE  acknowledged  the high  teacher  retention                                                               
rate and inquired how it is accomplished.                                                                                       
MS. STACKS  indicated that  the remoteness of  the district  is a                                                               
challenge;  however, the  teacher compensation  package is  good,                                                               
the housing is excellent, and the community is embracing.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  FEIGE noted  the  high student  success rate  and                                                               
asked how this is measured by the district.                                                                                     
MS. STACKS  pointed out that  only one  student in ten  years has                                                               
not passed  AYP (adequate yearly  progress), the dropout  rate is                                                               
low, and school pride is high.                                                                                                  
8:19:58 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DICK queried why the population is in decline.                                                                            
MS. STACKS cited  the difficulty of living in rural  Alaska.  The                                                               
loss of  just one family  could mean  the loss of  four children,                                                               
and it's an expensive place to live.                                                                                            
8:20:44 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON  asked  for  the  population  of  both                                                               
islands and the cost of travel to Anchorage.                                                                                    
MS. STACKS replied  that the population of St. Paul  is 450, down                                                               
from 600,  and St.  George is  at 86.   A  round trip  ticket, to                                                               
Anchorage, may cost between $742 and $942.                                                                                      
8:22:24 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  assumed that  the hold harmless  aspect of                                                               
the funding formula has been helpful to the district.                                                                           
MS. STACKS  said yes,  with the  drastic enrollment  decline, the                                                               
hold harmless provision has allowed the district to prepare.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON commented that  the provision appears to be                                                               
working and helpful in the way in which it was intended.                                                                        
            HB   5-CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY CURRICULUM                                                                        
8:24:47 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DICK  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  5, "An  Act requiring  a standardized  statewide                                                               
history of American constitutionalism  curriculum and a secondary                                                               
school  history  of  American  constitutionalism  examination  in                                                               
public  schools in  the  state; and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
date."    [A  committee  substitute  (CS)  labeled  CSHB  5,  27-                                                               
LS0018\D, Mischel, 2/1011,  was adopted as the  working draft, at                                                               
the 2/21/11 meeting;  also available in the  committee packet was                                                               
a document labeled CSHB 5, 27-LS0018\E, Mischel, 2/24/11.]                                                                      
8:25:56 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  moved to rescind the  action adopting CSHB                                                               
5,  27-LS0018\D,  Mischel,  2/1011.   There  being  no  objection                                                               
Version D was rescinded.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  moved  to   adopt  CSHB  5,  27-LS0018\E,                                                               
Mischel,  2/24/11.   There  being  no  objection, Version  E  was                                                               
adopted as the working draft.                                                                                                   
The committee took an at-ease from 8:26 a.m. to 8:27 a.m.                                                                       
8:27:20 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  referred to  Section 3, subsection  (a) to                                                               
note the deletion  of the requirement for testing  in the twelfth                                                               
grade, and  pointed out that  the legislation does  not establish                                                               
testing standards.                                                                                                              
8:29:17 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI queried  whether existing statute defines                                                               
the term "curriculum segment."                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER deferred.                                                                                                 
8:29:40 AM                                                                                                                    
JIM  POUND,  Staff,  Representative   Wes  Keller,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  answered  that various  terms  were  juggled in  an                                                               
effort to arrive at one  which would allow local superintendents,                                                               
and school  boards, to  determine how they  want to  classify the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI asked  for the  sponsor's definition  of                                                               
the term "curriculum segment."                                                                                                  
MR. POUND recalled his high  school experience to suggest that it                                                               
could be a six week course.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  pondered  the  options  of  specifying  a                                                               
segment  of  time versus  stipulating  required  curriculum.   He                                                               
suggested that required curriculum  could be incorporated into an                                                               
established program; a less onerous approach.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  offered that  the  intent  is to  provide                                                               
broad language  and allow the  districts to  establish curriculum                                                               
and determine when the segment will be taught.                                                                                  
8:33:31 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DICK  stated support  for  the  intent  of the  bill,  but                                                               
expressed concern for the school  districts receiving an unfunded                                                               
mandate,  and   asked  whether   testing  would   be  imperative;                                                               
particularly attached as a graduation requirement.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  agreed  that mandates  are  difficult  to                                                               
impose, but the  issue is important and should be  brought to the                                                               
fore.   Testing is necessary, as  it creates a point  of business                                                               
that  must be  accomplished.   The  school board  is the  contact                                                               
between  the  parents  and  what   occurs  in  the  schools,  and                                                               
specifics for meeting curriculum  requirements should be in their                                                               
hands for discussion.   It is important to have  an evaluation of                                                               
learned knowledge, and, to that end, a test is the best vehicle.                                                                
CHAIR DICK pointed  out that about 25 percent  of prisoners don't                                                               
understand the  process by  which the  government acted  to place                                                               
them in lockup.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER concurred.                                                                                                
CHAIR DICK pointed out that, given  the parameters of the bill, a                                                               
one day course and a two minute test could be acceptable.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  said yes,  that is  the latitude  that the                                                               
bill allows.                                                                                                                    
8:37:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON, referring  to Section 2, paragraph (4),                                                               
and Section 3, subsection (a),  which name the seven documents to                                                               
be taught,  recalled that the  sponsor's intent to  have American                                                               
values taught.  She said:                                                                                                       
     There's  a big  difference ...  between teaching  these                                                                    
     [documents], and teaching American  values. ... I'm not                                                                    
     quite sure what you want taught.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER explained  that the  suffix "ism"  implies                                                               
standards and  values, and  the documents  capture the  values of                                                               
the nation.   The source  and the  core of American  human rights                                                               
are natural,  as specified in  these documents.  He  allowed that                                                               
some  teachers may  already  be teaching  some  aspects of  these                                                               
documents in existing curriculum.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   P.  WILSON   pointed  out   that  current   U.S.                                                               
government  values are  different than  when the  named documents                                                               
were adopted.                                                                                                                   
8:41:41 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA commented that  the urban and rural values,                                                               
in Alaska,  may create  a discrepancy,  and opined  that imposing                                                               
non-indigenous  values  into  the   Native  culture  may  not  be                                                               
appropriate; other priorities may need to be addressed first.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER pointed out that  the bill does not include                                                               
the Alaskan  Constitution, but provides  segue to that  course of                                                               
study as well.   He contended that the most  important rights for                                                               
rural and urban Alaska, core  values of sovereignty, are included                                                               
in the required documents.                                                                                                      
8:46:26 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON said  that  law suits  may be  forthcoming                                                               
should this  legislation be enacted.   The bill does  not require                                                               
the teaching  of the specific  documents, but  rather instruction                                                               
of  something  portrayed in  the  documents.   He  paraphrased  a                                                               
previous statement from the sponsor, stating:                                                                                   
     Your response  was that we're teaching  the values that                                                                    
     were established when the  [U.S.] Constitution, and ...                                                                    
     the Articles of  Confederation, etcetera, were adopted,                                                                    
     and   as  was   pointed   out,   those  values   aren't                                                                    
     necessarily  the  values  today.   ...  We  don't  have                                                                    
     slavery ...  we've got a  lot of different  things that                                                                    
     we incorporate  in diversity today.   Women didn't have                                                                    
     the right to vote - those kinds of things.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  pointed out  that lacking a  definition of                                                               
American  Constitutionalism,  and  addressing  it  by  the  named                                                               
documents, which are peripheral to the  ism, as well as lacking a                                                               
clear statutory definition of what  values are to be taught under                                                               
the rubric, may invite challenges from the districts.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  disagreed,   but  acknowledged  that  the                                                               
values are not defined in the  bill.  He maintained that the term                                                               
"American Constitutionalism"  is a  definable term, and  the bill                                                               
is  to require  the instruction  of how  the U.S.  government was                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON argued  that the term is  not commonly used                                                               
and said it  would be important to prevent  a misunderstanding of                                                               
what is to be taught by inserting a definition in the bill.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER underscored  the intent  to provide  broad                                                               
language,  and   thus,  allow  latitude   to  the   local  school                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  maintained  his  concern  to  have  clear                                                               
language  regarding  what  is  to  be  taught,  in  the  proposed                                                               
statute.  Additionally, he asked  why the Alaskan Constitution is                                                               
not  included  in  the  list  of  source  documents;  Section  3,                                                               
subsection (a).                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  responded that  it would change  the scope                                                               
of the bill, and allowed  that the committee has the jurisdiction                                                               
to amend the working draft.   Some teachers may choose to include                                                               
the Alaskan Constitution, but he said:                                                                                          
     This is  a mandate  to teach history,  and some  of the                                                                    
     circumstances,   stories,   values  and   things   that                                                                    
     surround a fifteen year block  of history in the United                                                                    
     States of America.                                                                                                         
8:52:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  said that  the intent  is not  clearly                                                               
stated in the bill.  She said:                                                                                                  
     I'm  not sure  that what  you really  want is  what the                                                                    
     bill  says.  ... You  just  want  ... American  history                                                                    
     taught  with   the  start  of  the   context  of  these                                                                    
     documents.    That  could  mean  just  going  over  the                                                                    
     documents  pretty  quickly  and  then  going  onto  ...                                                                    
     [other] American history.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  said the bill  is very clear  and directed                                                               
attention to page  2 lines 20-25, and  read [original punctuation                                                               
     An   approved   syllabus   must  ensure   a   students'                                                                    
     understanding    of    the    history    of    American                                                                    
     constitutionalism  as portrayed  in the  Declaration of                                                                    
     Independence,  the   first  state   constitutions,  the                                                                    
     Articles  of  Confederation,  the Constitution  of  the                                                                    
     United  States,  the  Federalist Papers,  the  Bill  of                                                                    
     Rights, and other historical  documents produced in the                                                                    
     founding  of  our   constitutional  republic  model  of                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON maintained  concern for the  intent not                                                               
being clearly stated.                                                                                                           
CHAIR DICK  interjected that  the intent of  the committee  is to                                                               
continue public discussion and consideration of HB 5.                                                                           
8:55:07 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON directed attention  to the committee packet                                                               
to point that  the Mat-Su Borough School District  has provided a                                                               
resolution recommending  that the legislature mandate  a required                                                               
half credit  course be taught  in civics, focused on  the Alaskan                                                               
Constitution,   the   U.S.   Constitution  documents,   and   the                                                               
Declaration  of Independence.    The  district supports  teaching                                                               
these  documents  along  with  civics,  but  the  bill  indicates                                                               
teaching the values  held by the people, during  the fifteen year                                                               
period when  the documents were  created.   He noted that  the CS                                                               
does  not appear  to  reflect the  resolution  points, and  asked                                                               
whether  the  Mat-Su  Borough School  District  could  choose  to                                                               
institute a half credit class, under current statute.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  said  that  the district  could  offer  a                                                               
class; however,  the resolution requests that  classes be offered                                                               
statewide, in a specific and consistent manner.                                                                                 
8:58:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DICK announced that the bill would be held.                                                                               
          HB 93-SCHOOL GARDENS, GREENHOUSES, AND FARMS                                                                      
8:58:56 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DICK  announced that the  final order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.   93,  "An  Act  relating   to  school  gardens,                                                               
greenhouses, and farms."                                                                                                        
9:00:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON moved  to adopt  the committee  substitute                                                               
(CS) for HB  93, labeled 27-LS0227\I, Mischel, 2/23/11.   With no                                                               
objection, Version I was adopted as the working draft.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON objected for discussion.                                                                               
9:01:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DICK  read the  three changes, reflected  in Version  I, to                                                               
wit [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                            
     Sec.  5. ...  (b) ...  not more  than $10,000  for each                                                                    
     school ...;                                                                                                                
     Sec. 5.  ... (c)  The department may  not, in  a fiscal                                                                    
     year, award grants for the  operation of more than five                                                                    
     gardens,   greenhouses,   or   farms  that   were   not                                                                    
     previously  the subject  of a  grant  award under  this                                                                    
     section; and                                                                                                               
     Sec. 6.  The uncodified law  of the State of  Alaska is                                                                    
     amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                                   
     GRANTS  FOR  SCHOOL  GARDENS, GREENHOUSES,  AND  FARMS.                                                                    
     Notwithstanding the limitation placed  on the number of                                                                    
     new  grants  awarded  for the  operation  of  a  school                                                                    
     garden,  greenhouse,  or  farm under  AS  14.30.377(c),                                                                    
     added by sec.  5 of this Act, the  department may award                                                                    
     grants for the  operation of not more  than 10 gardens,                                                                    
     greenhouses, or farms in fiscal year 2010.                                                                                 
9:02:30 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON noted that  seven schools currently have                                                               
gardens, and  referred to Section  5, subsection (c),  to surmise                                                               
that  the proposed  limit  of  five would  eliminate  two of  the                                                               
existing gardens.                                                                                                               
9:03:34 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DAVID   GUTTENBERG,  Alaska   State  Legislature,                                                               
explained that the gardens in  place now would come under statute                                                               
in the  transitional year.  Thus,  in 2012, ten schools  could be                                                               
funded, and  each proceeding  year five  could join  the program.                                                               
To a follow  up he underscored that the bill  covers programs not                                                               
previously subject to the grant awards.                                                                                         
9:04:40 AM                                                                                                                    
JAY HARDENBROOK,  Staff, Representative David  Guttenberg, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  clarified that the first  year [2012] creates                                                               
a baseline  of ten  programs, and  every year  after five  can be                                                               
added.   The seven  existing programs could  apply for  the grant                                                               
the first year,  and a total of ten would  be eligible to receive                                                               
9:05:25 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE FEIGE asked if there is an amended fiscal note.                                                                  
CHAIR DICK  indicated that the  fiscal note will  be forthcoming,                                                               
and  will show  $100,000  for  the first  year  and increases  of                                                               
$50,000 for proceeding years.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  reviewed  how  the  fiscal  note  was                                                               
calculated, and said it is not  expected that every grant will be                                                               
9:07:16 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON  expressed a desire to  have the program                                                               
benefit as  many schools  as possible, and  stated her  hope that                                                               
successful programs  will become  self sustaining;  otherwise the                                                               
grant will  increase by $50,000 every  year.  She asked  how many                                                               
different school buildings exist statewide.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG deferred  to the  department regarding                                                               
the  number  of   school  buildings,  and  said   that  EED  will                                                               
administer the  grants.  He  pointed out that Fairbanks  will not                                                               
need a  grant, and  said having more  schools with  programs will                                                               
represent a success.                                                                                                            
9:09:39 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  asked   how  the  department  envisions                                                               
taking applications, if it's a competitive process.                                                                             
9:10:09 AM                                                                                                                    
MARK  LEWIS,  Manager,  Administrative  Operations,  Division  of                                                               
Teaching and Learning Support, Department  of Education and Early                                                               
Development (EED), answered that  a competitive grant application                                                               
process  would  be  established.   The  potential  exists  for  a                                                               
successful district  to receive  the total fund,  and win,  if no                                                               
other  districts  indicated  interest, or  fail  the  application                                                               
9:10:58 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE FEIGE  opined that  a particular  greenhouse could                                                               
receive $10,000 per year in perpetuity.                                                                                         
MR. LEWIS said, yes.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE FEIGE  asked at what  point the  greenhouses could                                                               
expect  to become  self sustaining  and  be weaned  off of  state                                                               
MR. LEWIS indicated that it  would depend on the school district.                                                               
Nothing  would   prohibit  a  district   from  taking   over  the                                                               
operational costs.   However, he deferred  to districts regarding                                                               
how each may choose to handle the program.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  FEIGE  noted that  there's  no  incentive, for  a                                                               
school district to discontinue state support.                                                                                   
MR. LEWIS that is correct.                                                                                                      
9:12:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DICK suggested  that the inclusion of  language specific to                                                               
the re-application process and  requiring activity reports, could                                                               
provide a means to limit continued access to state funding.                                                                     
9:13:14 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG pointed  out  that  many schools  have                                                               
greenhouses that are lying fallow, possibly  due to the lack of a                                                               
steady funding  stream, which is  important to  ensure continuity                                                               
for a program.  To a  follow-up question, he said that many times                                                               
a single  person generates the  enthusiasm for a  garden program,                                                               
and speculated that, if the  key person leaves the community, the                                                               
matching funds would cease.                                                                                                     
9:14:55 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  interjected  that  performance  standards                                                               
would  need to  be  met,  and maintained,  in  order to  continue                                                               
9:15:33 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  noted that  there is  no limit  in the                                                               
bill,  to wean  programs  off of  state  funding, and  speculated                                                               
that,  through yearly  exponential  increases, in  ten years  the                                                               
fiscal note could  mushroom to $500,000.  She  stated support for                                                               
the program,  and said the  burden should not be  placed entirely                                                               
on   education   funding.     The   bill   indicates   a   strong                                                               
entrepreneurial involvement;  and entity  which should  share the                                                               
9:18:34 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  FEIGE acknowledged  the  importance for  start-up                                                               
money, and  suggested that the  bill could stipulate  a decreased                                                               
grant award with each renewal  of a particular program to provide                                                               
incentive for diversification of funding sources.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  explained that the  cooperating entity                                                               
must  hold  a  501C3  non-profit  status,  which  eliminates  the                                                               
possibility of  corporate participation.   Further, he  said that                                                               
sustained  funding is  important,  and the  proposal  is for  the                                                               
state  to match  the non-profits  contributions.   He underscored                                                               
that these  programs are a  significant benefit to  the students,                                                               
and that rural  schools, growing local produce,  will represent a                                                               
great success.                                                                                                                  
9:22:42 AM                                                                                                                    
AL  POINDEXTER, Retired  Teacher,  expressed concern  that HB  93                                                               
might   create  competition   between   the  state,   effectively                                                               
subsidizing   non-profits,   and  private   enterprise   farmers.                                                               
However,  if the  goal  is to  educate  children, then  certified                                                               
teachers  should be  required  to  work with  the  students.   He                                                               
reported that he  was restricted from volunteering  to instruct a                                                               
class, as  his teaching  certificate has  expired.   A non-profit                                                               
may lack  the scope to  meet educational needs, but  the national                                                               
program, Future  Farmers of America  (FFA), established  in 1923,                                                               
could be  enlivened for students  at the  high school level.   He                                                               
reported that,  although there  are perhaps  three today,  27 FFA                                                               
Chapters once  existed in Alaska,  and he reviewed  the technical                                                               
and vocational  merits, which  he opined  as being  more valuable                                                               
and appropriate than a school garden.   The garden program may be                                                               
useful  at  the  elementary  level,   he  agreed.    Further,  he                                                               
questioned the relationship that  was reported between the garden                                                               
and school  lunch programs and  the exchange of revenue,  as well                                                               
as  the disposition  of funds  garnered from  the sale  of excess                                                               
produce.    The  awareness  that these  programs,  including  FFA                                                               
related, revolve  around a motivated  individual is  accurate, he                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  said the  involvement of FFA  is hoped                                                               
for and would be welcomed.                                                                                                      
MR.  POINDEXTER  reported  that FFA  chapters  exist  in  Palmer,                                                               
Kodiak, and North  Pole.  Finally, he opined that  the bill needs                                                               
more work, and offered to make himself available.                                                                               
9:32:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON  returned  to  the  comment  that  Mr.                                                               
Poindexter  has been  prohibited from  volunteering his  teaching                                                               
services, and asked for further details.                                                                                        
MR. POINDEXTER  reported that the  teachers union  disallowed him                                                               
to volunteer services as a  Natural Resources teacher, due to the                                                               
lapse of his teaching certificate.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON asked  whether lessons could  have been                                                               
scheduled   the  lesson   outside  of   school  hours,   and  for                                                               
clarification  whether   it  was   the  teachers  union   or  FFA                                                               
restrictions that prohibited his actions.                                                                                       
MR.   POINDEXTER  said   FFA  requires   that   the  program   be                                                               
administered through a  scheduled school class, and  the rules of                                                               
the state were apparently being violated.                                                                                       
9:34:24 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  encouraged the  witness to  pursue further                                                               
involvement,  and become  a vital  part  in what  the sponsor  is                                                               
hoping to create.                                                                                                               
MR.  POINDEXTER  stated that  he  runs  a commercial  greenhouse;                                                               
however he  said he would  be interested in assisting  to operate                                                               
an FFA program;  current rules do not allow him  to volunteer his                                                               
9:36:22 AM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN WILLSRUD,  Director, Calypso Farm and  Ecology Center, said                                                               
an  FFA Chapter  exists  in  Fairbanks, but  the  program is  not                                                               
thriving.   She opined that  HB93 could  serve to enliven  FFA in                                                               
The committee took an at-ease from 9:37 a.m. to 9:38 a.m.                                                                       
9:39:09 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  requested  that information  be  provided                                                               
from EED regarding the certification  requirements brought to the                                                               
fore by  the preceding witness.   Specifically,  are restrictions                                                               
imposed  at  the  state  or  district  level,  and  what  is  the                                                               
relationship regarding the teachers  union.  The bill establishes                                                               
a program outside  of the state certificated  requirements and it                                                               
will be important to understand  any restrictions that need to be                                                               
9:40:19 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON offered Conceptual  Amendment 1 to, page 2,                                                               
line 4,  following the word  "sold" insert "if reinvested  in the                                                               
program".   The intent  of Conceptual Amendment  1 is  to address                                                               
the  concern  for  competition   regarding  the  sale  of  excess                                                               
produce, he said.                                                                                                               
The committee took an at-ease from 9:40 a.m. to 9:42 a.m.                                                                       
9:42:11 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON objected for discussion.                                                                               
9:42:16 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  requested a response from  EED whether the                                                               
participating non-profits, or the  garden master, are required to                                                               
be teacher certified.                                                                                                           
9:43:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CYNDY  CURRAN,  Director,  Division   of  Teaching  and  Learning                                                               
Support,  Department of  Education and  Early Development  (EED),                                                               
indicated that  she would research  the requirements  and provide                                                               
the information to the committee.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON acknowledged that  the type "M" certificate                                                               
may  cover the  situation, and  asked the  department to  provide                                                               
adequate assurance that it would align with the bill.                                                                           
9:45:18 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WILLSRUD interjected  that  the Calypso  farm  staff act  as                                                               
assistants to  the state  certified teachers;  farm staff  do not                                                               
instruct without the presence of a teacher.                                                                                     
9:46:43 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   established  that  the   proposed  state                                                               
statute is not setting up a  program for non-teachers to act in a                                                               
capacity other than as aides  or resources to accomplish the goal                                                               
of  a school  garden; nor  is the  state authorizing  independent                                                               
supervision of students, during the school day, by non-teachers.                                                                
9:47:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DICK  interjected that  the intent of  state statute  is to                                                               
ensure  the safety  of  children, while  not  limiting access  to                                                               
individuals who are knowledgeable resources.                                                                                    
9:47:31 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA asked whether Calypso pays its helpers.                                                                   
MS.  WILLSRUD responded  that the  garden assistants  are trained                                                               
and vetted, and act as volunteers receiving a stipend.                                                                          
9:49:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  removed  her  objection to  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1.                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DICK,   hearing  no  further  objection,   announced  that                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                             
9:50:35 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON moved to report  the CSHB 93, Version I, as                                                               
amended,  out of  committee with  individual recommendations  and                                                               
the  accompanying   fiscal  notes.     There  being   no  further                                                               
objection, CSHB 93 (EDC), 27-LS0227\I, Mischel, 2/23/11, was                                                                    
moved from the House Education Standing Committee, as amended.                                                                  
9:51:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DICK announced the next meeting.                                                                                          
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Education Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 9:52 a.m.                                                                 

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