Legislature(2013 - 2014)CAPITOL 106

03/25/2013 08:00 AM EDUCATION


Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 41 SCHOOL SPORTS/INTERSCHOLASTIC ACTIVITIES TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 151 SCHOOL GRADING SYSTEMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled from 3/22/13>
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 25, 2013                                                                                         
                           8:05 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Lynn Gattis, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Lora Reinbold, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
Representative Dan Saddler                                                                                                      
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 151                                                                                                              
"An Act establishing a public  school and school district grading                                                               
system   for    purposes   of   improving    accountability   and                                                               
transparency; providing for Alaska  strategic educators in public                                                               
schools; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 41                                                                                       
"An Act relating to student participation in interscholastic                                                                    
activities; and providing for an effective date."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SSSB 41 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 151                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SCHOOL GRADING SYSTEMS                                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) REINBOLD                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
03/01/13       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/01/13       (H)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
03/15/13       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/15/13       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/15/13       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
03/18/13       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/18/13       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/18/13       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
03/20/13       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/20/13       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed to 3/22/13>                                                                    
03/22/13       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/22/13       (H)       Bill Postponed To 3/25/13                                                                              
03/25/13       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  41                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SCHOOL SPORTS/INTERSCHOLASTIC ACTIVITIES                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) SENATOR DYSON                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
01/30/13       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/30/13       (S)       EDC                                                                                                    
02/15/13       (S)       SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS                                                                
02/15/13       (S)       EDC                                                                                                    
02/25/13       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/25/13       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/25/13       (S)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
03/04/13       (S)       EDC RPT  3DP 1NR                                                                                       
03/04/13       (S)       DP: STEVENS, DUNLEAVY, HUGGINS                                                                         
03/04/13       (S)       NR: GARDNER                                                                                            
03/04/13       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/04/13       (S)       Moved SSSB  41 Out of Committee                                                                        
03/04/13       (S)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
03/13/13       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
03/13/13       (S)       VERSION: SSSB 41                                                                                       
03/14/13       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/14/13       (H)       EDC                                                                                                    
03/25/13       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTY HOVANETZ, PhD, Senior Policy Fellow                                                                                     
Foundation for Excellence in Education                                                                                          
Tallahassee, Florida                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 151 and answered                                                              
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MIKE HANLEY, Commissioner                                                                                                       
Department of Education and Early Development (EED)                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing of HB                                                              
151.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT PEARSON, Staff                                                                                                           
Representative Lora Reinbold                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing of HB                                                              
151.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BOB GRIFFIN, Research Fellow                                                                                                    
Alaska Policy Forum; Contributing Member, Students First -                                                                      
American Federation for Children                                                                                                
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 151.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
LADAWN DRUCE, Representative                                                                                                    
Kenai Peninsula Education Association/NEA-Alaska                                                                                
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 151.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
TIM PARKER                                                                                                                      
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 151.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JACOB BERA                                                                                                                      
Chugiak, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 151.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN SHIPLEY, Superintendent                                                                                                   
Kake City Schools                                                                                                               
Kake, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing of HB 151.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED DYSON                                                                                                              
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Speaking as the sponsor, explained that the                                                            
intent of SSSB 41 is to correct an omission in legislation                                                                      
passed last year.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
JOSHUA BANKS, Staff                                                                                                             
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced SSSB 41, on behalf of Senator                                                                 
Dyson, sponsor.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
GARY MATHEWS, Executive Director                                                                                                
Alaska School Activities Association, Inc. (ASAA)                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Answered questions  during the  hearing of                                                             
SSSB 41.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:05:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  GATTIS called the House  Education Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to order at 8:05 a.m.   Present at the call to order were                                                               
Representatives  LeDoux, Saddler,  Reinbold,  Seaton, P.  Wilson,                                                               
Drummond, and Gattis.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                 HB 151-SCHOOL GRADING SYSTEMS                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:05:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  151," An  Act establishing  a public  school and                                                               
school  district   grading  system  for  purposes   of  improving                                                               
accountability and  transparency; providing for  Alaska strategic                                                               
educators  in  public schools;  and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:06:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD,  prime sponsor of HB  151, observed that                                                               
the education committee is tasked  with an important mission:  to                                                               
oversee the laws of education in  Alaska.  As a whole, Alaska can                                                               
improve its system  of education by instituting  a grading system                                                               
to help schools  become aware of their effectiveness and  to be a                                                               
catalyst for  change.  She said  HB 151 - the  Parental Education                                                               
Information  Act  -  is  a consumer  report  for  education  that                                                               
creates school  accountability through transparency  by providing                                                               
a simple and comprehensive grading  system.  The bill directs the                                                               
Department of Education and Early  Development (EED) to establish                                                               
by  regulation  the criteria  that  accounts  for improvement  in                                                               
student achievement by  assigning annual performance designations                                                               
on  an  A-F   scale.    She  clarified  that   criteria  for  the                                                               
performance designation, based on two  years of data, would be as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
      (1) 50 percent combined student achievement data in                                                                       
     reading, writing, math, and science                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
        (2) 25 percent individual learning gains of all                                                                         
     students in reading, writing, and math                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     (3)  25 percent  individual learning  gains in  reading                                                                    
     and math  achieved by students  who scored at  or below                                                                    
     the  25th percentile  on the  statewide standards-based                                                                    
     assessment in reading or math                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD pointed  out  the  bill exempts  schools                                                               
with  less than  20 full-time  students from  this section.   The                                                               
impacts of the grading system are as follows:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
   · bring clarity and understanding                                                                                            
   · provide a consumer report card to communities                                                                              
   · motivate improvement                                                                                                       
   · spark community-wide support                                                                                               
   · increase parental involvement                                                                                              
   · be a catalyst for change                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD provided  background information  on the                                                               
next speaker.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:11:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTY  HOVANETZ,  PhD,  Senior Policy  Fellow,  Foundation  for                                                               
Excellence in  Education, directed  attention to the  graph found                                                               
in the committee  packet entitled, "School Grades  by School Type                                                               
in 2012."   She explained the graph is  a complete representation                                                               
of all  of the schools in  Florida receiving grades A-F  in 2012.                                                               
Also  in  the committee  packet  was  a graph  entitled,  "School                                                               
Grades for  2012 Compared to  2011: Elementary Schools,"  and she                                                               
noted   that  Florida   substantially   raised  its   proficiency                                                               
standards  between  the  2011  and   2012  school  years  thereby                                                               
affecting one-half  of each  school's grade.   The  graph depicts                                                               
the number of schools improved to  a higher grade even though the                                                               
"bar of  proficiency went up" in  2012.  Dr. Hovanetz  said, "...                                                               
specifically for F schools and  D schools as had been highlighted                                                               
in our previous  conversation, that not many  schools that earned                                                               
a D or an F remained a D  or an F the following year.  There is a                                                               
lot  of movement  of  those  schools up  and  down  based on  the                                                               
instructional practices and the  instructional leadership of that                                                               
school from year to year."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:14:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON requested clarity on the second graph.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DR.  HOVANETZ restated  the purpose  of  the graph.   In  further                                                               
response to  Representative P.  Wilson, she  said the  numbers in                                                               
yellow  are the  number of  schools that  maintained their  grade                                                               
from the  previous year, the numbers  in green are the  number of                                                               
schools that  increased a letter  grade, and the numbers  in pink                                                               
are the  numbers of schools  that declined  a letter grade.   She                                                               
offered that the  graph portrays a comparison  of schools' letter                                                               
grades from 2011 to 2012.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Discussion on the graph followed.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:20:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  referred to  the  same  graph for  middle                                                               
schools, and  pointed out that  in B,  C, and D  categories there                                                               
were more  schools that declined  than increased a  letter grade.                                                               
He asked  whether data from 2010  to 2011 was available,  as that                                                               
data would not be affected by changes in assessment criteria.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. HOVANETZ  said the  data exists for  each year,  although the                                                               
standards  are raised  every "couple  years."   She reminded  the                                                               
committee  that  Alaska  will  be  writing  its  own  proficiency                                                               
standards and its own grading criteria.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  requested   comparative  information  for                                                               
2010.   He  acknowledged that  Alaska proficiency  standards also                                                               
change each year.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
[The middle  school graph Representative  Seaton referred  to was                                                               
not included in the committee packet.]                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON,  again taking information from  the middle                                                               
school  graph,  advised  that  for   middle  schools,  in  the  B                                                               
category, eight  times as many  schools decreased a  letter grade                                                               
than improved.   In the C  category, seven times as  many schools                                                               
decreased a  letter grade than  improved, and in the  D category,                                                               
twice as many schools decreased a letter grade than improved.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:24:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX stated her general  support for the idea of                                                               
grading schools;  however, she suggested  that the data  could be                                                               
used in a  different context to attribute  improvements in grades                                                               
to school  choice, or  to other factors  in the  Florida schools.                                                               
She asked how the data proves  that these improvements are due to                                                               
the school grading system.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR.  HOVANETZ   stated  that   data,  prior   and  post   to  the                                                               
implementation  of   the  grading  system,  indicates   that  the                                                               
percentage  of students  improving  on  national assessments  for                                                               
fourth grade  reading and math has  increased substantially, even                                                               
though  there  were  not  many  other  reforms  taking  place  in                                                               
Florida.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  for  the effective  dates  of  the                                                               
following  programs in  Florida: the  school grading  system, the                                                               
third grade reading and retention  program, and the school choice                                                               
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR.  HOVANETZ   responded  the  school  grading   program  became                                                               
effective in 1999.  At the  same time, there were multiple school                                                               
choice  programs  available, including  opportunity  scholarships                                                               
for students  in failing  schools who wanted  to move  to better-                                                               
performing schools.   The  third grade  retention policy  did not                                                               
come into  effect for another  five years, thus that  program did                                                               
not  play   a  part  in   the  initial  improvements   in  school                                                               
performance.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:28:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  reported from  a newspaper  article that                                                               
the Florida  school system has slipped  out of the "top  ten" due                                                               
to budget  cuts and stalled national  test scores.  She  asked to                                                               
see  the  accountability  program  data  aligned  with  Florida's                                                               
budget, noting that the governor  is seeking to restore education                                                               
funding, and Florida is falling  in all 14 National Assessment of                                                               
Educational Progress (NAEP) categories.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR. HOVANETZ  agreed that Florida's  scores declined  slightly in                                                               
2011,  and observed  that  a  change of  governor  has  led to  a                                                               
weakening in  the leadership  advocating for  educational reform.                                                               
However, there  is a strong effort  to maintain the rigor  of the                                                               
accountability system and to increase proficiency requirements.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON stated  her  support  for the  grading                                                               
system, but agreed with the need  for details on all of Florida's                                                               
reform  efforts,  beginning  with  the starting  point  at  which                                                               
Florida  was  compared  to  other states.    Information  on  the                                                               
grading system  could then be  looked at  relative to all  of the                                                               
other reform efforts and student funding.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR.  HOVANETZ reported  that  in  the 1990s  Florida  was in  the                                                               
bottom ten ranking for fourth  and eighth grade reading and math,                                                               
nationwide.   The most recent  rankings put Florida into  the top                                                               
ten after the  implementation of school grading.   She offered to                                                               
provide the state  ranking data for those years,  and pointed out                                                               
that Florida has not mandated  any type of statewide professional                                                               
development instruction  or curriculum.  Statewide  policies such                                                               
as  expectations   for  reading   levels  are   without  specific                                                               
classroom direction  as to  how the expectations  are to  be met,                                                               
although   districts  were   offered  professional   development,                                                               
curriculum  and materials,  and diagnostic  training assessments.                                                               
For the grading  system, the state holds  schools accountable for                                                               
ensuring  that students  are  proficient and  make  at least  one                                                               
year's progress in one year's time,  but did not direct the local                                                               
districts on how to do so.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:35:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  asked whether  students in  the Anchorage                                                               
School District receive A-F report card grades.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  understood through third  grade students                                                               
receive N, S, or O.  Students in higher grades receive A-F.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  observed there  are other  assessments of                                                               
school performance  at the  state and  federal levels,  and asked                                                               
the sponsor for information on those assessments.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  stated the annual yearly  progress (AYP)                                                               
report -  related to  the No  Child Left Behind  Act (NCLB)  - is                                                               
available,  but is  complicated and  includes information  on the                                                               
district as a  whole.  Each school receives  an individual report                                                               
card  on   topics  such   as  race,   participation,  attendance,                                                               
retention,  transience,  economics,  volunteers,  drop-outs,  and                                                               
reading scores.   She opined that  HB 151 adds one  more layer to                                                               
data that is already being collected  in order to create a simple                                                               
report card similar to the sample found in the committee packet.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER   asked  whether  the  NCLB   AYP  report                                                               
concludes with an overall rating.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD said no.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  then  asked  whether there  is  a  state                                                               
assessment.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:39:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  HANLEY, Commissioner,  Department  of  Education and  Early                                                               
Development (EED),  informed the committee EED's  standards based                                                               
assessment (SBA)  is given annually  in grades three  through ten                                                               
as a function of complying  with federal accountability measures.                                                               
Although  the data  can be  broken  down by  subgroups, the  main                                                               
score reflects whether a school meets  AYP or not.  The bill adds                                                               
a separate system in addition to the one already in place.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked  whether the system added  by HB 151                                                               
is duplicative or complementary.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HANLEY  said  the systems  would  measure  slightly                                                               
different aspects.   At this time, EED has submitted  a waiver to                                                               
change  the AYP  model and  instead rate  schools on  a five-star                                                               
system; the  proposed bill  "could be  considered complementary."                                                               
In further response  to Representative Saddler, he  said a parent                                                               
would  go to  the state  web site  to see  the status  of federal                                                               
compliance and the report card created by the proposed bill.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:42:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   suggested  a  simpler  chart   could  be                                                               
developed on  how many  schools met  or did  not meet  AYP rather                                                               
than bringing in a new system to report on the same year.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. HOVANETZ  clarified that the  school grading system  does not                                                               
improve   student   achievement;   the  school   grading   system                                                               
highlights  students' performance  in the  school to  demonstrate                                                               
whether or not  the school is meeting the needs  of its students.                                                               
The A-F grading  system has been a major catalyst  for schools to                                                               
change albeit without  any direction from the state.   As schools                                                               
are held accountable  and grades are made public,  the A-F system                                                               
shines a bright light on schools  that are or are not successful,                                                               
leading to changes  and improvements at the school.   She advised                                                               
that these changes follow immediately.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON returned attention  to the graph indicating                                                               
declines  and  said  he  could  not see  how  the  letter  scores                                                               
actually produced  those results.   He noted  that HB 151  uses a                                                               
rolling average  of two  years and asked  how a  two-year average                                                               
would affect the changes in Florida.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR. HOVANETZ  said Florida  does not use  a two-year  average and                                                               
could not comment  on the possible impact.   The two-year average                                                               
is not used  because it complicates the system and  does not give                                                               
a  true picture  of what  is happening  in a  current year.   She                                                               
returned  attention  to the  graph,  explaining  that when  a  75                                                               
percent improvement rate  in the number of schools graded  A or B                                                               
is attained,  Florida raises the  standard higher.  From  2011 to                                                               
2012,  Florida raised  the bar  and that  explains the  number of                                                               
schools that are  in decline.  She assured the  committee that in                                                               
2013 there will be an increase in  A and B schools; in fact, data                                                               
from  2010  to  2011  shows  "a very  different  picture."    Dr.                                                               
Hovanetz restated the  importance of continuing to  raise the bar                                                               
on standards to prevent the data from becoming meaningless.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:49:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS  noted that  Alaska is  currently using  a five-star                                                               
program to  grade schools, but  the bill proposes to  change from                                                               
stars to A-F, for simplicity,  and the rating will be prominently                                                               
displayed for easy access by parents.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD emphasized that the  same data will be in                                                               
a different  and clearer  form.   Further, the  data would  be 50                                                               
percent  based  on  achievement  and  25  percent  on  individual                                                               
learning gains in  reading, writing, and math, and  25 percent on                                                               
the lowest 25 percentile.  Basically,  the bill strips out all of                                                               
the  accessories  and focuses  on  the  core of  achievement  and                                                               
learning gains.   She called  attention to an unnamed  handout in                                                               
the committee packet to point  out that Alaska spends the highest                                                               
amount per  pupil yet ranks  last according to 2011  NAEP scores;                                                               
Florida spends  only $1,517 per  pupil, yet ranked  sixth overall                                                               
in  the nation  in  reading.   Representative Reinbold  concluded                                                               
that the grading  system was a part of a  comprehensive system of                                                               
reform that can also be a catalyst for change in Alaska.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:52:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT  PEARSON,  Staff,  Representative  Lora  Reinbold,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, clarified  that the  star system  is part  of                                                               
EED's NCLB waiver  application and is not in place  at this time.                                                               
Furthermore,  there is  a major  difference between  the criteria                                                               
for grading  in that the  proposed one- to five-star  system uses                                                               
70   percent  achievement   and   learning   gains,  25   percent                                                               
attendance, and 5  percent participation.  The  grading system in                                                               
the  bill  determines  a  grade   on  the  basis  of  50  percent                                                               
achievement and 50 percent learning gains.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:53:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX, referring  to both  the star  and HB  151                                                               
grading systems, observed that a  school that starts out very low                                                               
and  makes significant  gains  may  earn a  higher  grade than  a                                                               
school that was already performing  well.  Her experience is that                                                               
a  grading system  should  be based  on  performance rather  than                                                               
improvement.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  responded that  the grading  system does                                                               
just  that  by eliminating  the  nonacademic  statistics such  as                                                               
attendance and participation, and  grading 50 percent on reading,                                                               
writing, math, and science testing.   However, it is important to                                                               
show progress to motivate schools and students.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DR.  HOVANETZ  agreed that  the  ultimate  goal  is to  have  all                                                               
children  proficient.     Further,   if  students   enter  school                                                               
proficient, there  still needs to  be an indication  of continued                                                               
progress.   On the other  hand, there  needs to be  an indication                                                               
that  teachers are  ensuring  that  underperforming students  are                                                               
also making a year's worth of progress.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:57:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SADDLER  cautioned   that  if   the  basis   for                                                               
assessments  is "gains"  there is  the  possibility that  schools                                                               
will  reach a  limit at  the top.   He  pointed out  that Florida                                                               
continues to raise standards thus  students will always have room                                                               
for  achievement; however,  if HB  151  bases 25  percent on  the                                                               
growth in the lowest 25 percentile  of schools, and 25 percent on                                                               
learning  gains,  there  may  only  be  a  "a  tiny  fraction  of                                                               
improvement available."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PEARSON advised  that  all  schools have  a  mix of  various                                                               
achievement levels  among their student  body.  The point  of the                                                               
criteria of the  grading system is that  a high-achieving student                                                               
body  will still  have to  make a  year's progress,  or more,  to                                                               
improve or  maintain a grade.   The rewarding of extra  points is                                                               
intended  to help  schools  rise  up students  in  the lowest  25                                                               
percent,  and  that  component   is  recognized  by  schools  and                                                               
teachers as a very important part of the education system.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR. HOVANETZ  added that  the method  of defining  learning gains                                                               
addresses students  who are performing  at an advanced  level, in                                                               
that  it  measures  whether  they  are  still  performing  at  an                                                               
advanced  level in  the  following  year.   In  fact, only  those                                                               
students who maintain their advanced  level are counted as making                                                               
learning gains even though they are proficient.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  agreed with  the previous  statement that                                                               
an A-B-C grade is a reflection  of achievement but does not imply                                                               
accelerated  learning or  improvement,  and he  said  he was  not                                                               
comfortable with  the added  element of  a change  in achievement                                                               
level.   He  asked  for information  about  the Alaska  Strategic                                                               
Educator section of the bill, and any related cost.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  relayed her  intent is  to give  EED the                                                               
power  to  recognize  outstanding  teachers who  are  willing  to                                                               
transfer to a D or F school.   The teachers will be identified as                                                               
Alaska Strategic Educators, and  this can be accomplished without                                                               
adding a fiscal note.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:02:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON  asked if the grading  system provides a                                                               
means to assist individual teachers who need extra help.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR.  HOVANETZ answered  that the  school grade  does not  provide                                                               
data  on  individual teachers,  but  the  principal will  receive                                                               
accountability  information  on  individual  student  performance                                                               
within  the  school,  and  this will  reveal  whether  there  are                                                               
classes with a  majority of students who are  not making learning                                                               
gains.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:05:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:05:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOB GRIFFIN,  Research Fellow, Alaska Policy  Forum; Contributing                                                               
Member,  Students  First  -  American  Federation  for  Children,                                                               
stated his  support for HB 151.   He said he  has attended dozens                                                               
of education seminars  across the country, and  views this reform                                                               
as  one  of  the  most  effective and  inexpensive  that  he  has                                                               
encountered.    Alaska  has  a   combination  of  expensive  K-12                                                               
education  per pupil  and low  performance, and  the state  is in                                                               
desperate  need  of  cultural  change  along  the  lines  of  the                                                               
Parental  Education Information  Act.    He compared  educational                                                               
statistics between  Florida and  Alaska, reporting that  in 2011,                                                               
Alaska was first in per-capita  educational spending and fiftieth                                                               
in reading  for low-  and upper middle-income  students.   One of                                                               
the most important aspects of  the Parental Education Information                                                               
Act  is  a  rating  system   that  allows  for  chronically  low-                                                               
performing schools  to show  improvement.  He  opined there  is a                                                               
lack  of choice  in  small communities  and  in chronically  low-                                                               
performing schools,  and assigning  grades to schools  will serve                                                               
as  a  positive  catalyst  for  cultural  change  and  will  spur                                                               
innovation  and change  such  as happened  at  the Alaska  Native                                                               
Cultural Charter  School.  He  disagreed with those  who consider                                                               
HB  151  as punitive,  and  compared  the  bill to  other  simple                                                               
consumer   rating   systems   that  provide   [objective]   data.                                                               
Inspiration  for  the Alaska  Strategic  Educator  came from  the                                                               
education summit  in Anchorage  and this model  has been  used to                                                               
great  advantage in  another  state.   Mr.  Griffin  urged for  a                                                               
cultural change  in K-12 education  statewide, beginning  with HB                                                               
151.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:11:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LADAWN   DRUCE,   Representative,   Kenai   Peninsula   Education                                                               
Association/NEA-Alaska, indicated her opposition  to HB 151.  Ms.                                                               
Druce stated  that educators  in Alaska  are continuing  to learn                                                               
and strive  to better  Alaska's education system.   She  said she                                                               
will serve  on the  advisory teacher  evaluation group  formed to                                                               
advise  EED   on  the  new  teacher   evaluation  regulations,  a                                                               
component  of which  is related  to student  learning data.   Ms.                                                               
Druce  referred  to  earlier testimony  and  disagreed  that  the                                                               
proposed grading system is simple  and comprehensive; in fact, it                                                               
is  not  simple to  understand,  as  evidenced by  the  questions                                                               
generated  by  the  committee  in  this  meeting.    Furthermore,                                                               
although assignment  of a letter  grade may be  simple, education                                                               
is not,  and educating  students is a  complex art  that involves                                                               
other subject  areas that  the grading  system does  not address.                                                               
The  bill intends  to motivate  improvement,  but she  questioned                                                               
how,  and stated  parental involvement  is  attained by  inviting                                                               
parents into  schools to be  part of  the school community.   She                                                               
suggested  that  education  is  not  a  competition  and  is  not                                                               
relevant  to a  business model,  because schools  do not  control                                                               
their  populations.    She recalled  teaching  at  Kotzebue  High                                                               
School in the  1980s, and said becoming a D  or F school attaches                                                               
a  stigma  -  not a  positive  motivation  -  to  a school  in  a                                                               
situation where  students have  no other  high school  to attend.                                                               
Finally, she asked the sponsor  to identify the problems that the                                                               
bill seeks  to address,  and to work  with educators  to identify                                                               
and solve problems.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:14:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked whether  teachers would be attracted                                                               
to  serve  in  low-performing  schools  as  an  Alaska  Strategic                                                               
Educator.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. DRUCE was unfamiliar with that section of the bill.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:15:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIM  PARKER informed  the  committee  he has  been  a teacher  at                                                               
Lathrop High  School for  15 years.   He  said his  experience in                                                               
motivating  and improving  student  performance  has proven  that                                                               
shaming is  not a  positive approach on  how to  improve schools.                                                               
It is a  fact that most of the low-ranking  schools deal with the                                                               
problems of  poverty and  transiency, which  cannot be  solved by                                                               
assigning a grade  to a school.  Mr. Parker  recalled his teacher                                                               
training  taught  him  that improvement  comes  from  talking  to                                                               
students   and  providing   extra  support.     He   agreed  with                                                               
Representative  LeDoux  that the  bill  is  not tied  to  student                                                               
performance,  and advised  that teacher  in-service opportunities                                                               
and extra time with students would  be actual solutions to do so.                                                               
He urged for  adequate support for schools to  enable teachers to                                                               
provide services to students who  are struggling.  He stated that                                                               
NEA-Alaska is in  favor of positive changes in  education such as                                                               
providing   directed   professional   development,   professional                                                               
learning  communities, peer  review,  extending the  time of  the                                                               
school  year, creating  a good  evaluation system,  family/school                                                               
partnering,  and  delivering a  varied  curriculum.   Mr.  Parker                                                               
urged  for  future   legislation  addressing  the  aforementioned                                                               
topics.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:19:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JACOB BERA said he is a teacher  at Eagle River High School and a                                                               
member of  the Anchorage Educational Association  and NEA-Alaska.                                                               
He expressed  his concern about  HB 151 because it  stigmatizes a                                                               
school instead  of providing  ideas for  improvement.   He agreed                                                               
with the  intent of the bill  which is to recognize  and identify                                                               
areas of  success and areas  which need improvement;  however, HB                                                               
151 moves in the wrong  direction to motivate parents and provide                                                               
a catalyst  for change.   He returned  attention to  the existing                                                               
school  report  card  issued by  the  Anchorage  School  District                                                               
(ASD), noting that education and  assessment is more complex than                                                               
a letter grade  can represent and the ASD report  card provides a                                                               
more  complete picture.   For  example, the  ASD report  card for                                                               
Eagle River  High School indicates improved  scores, the school's                                                               
goals and  actions for improvement, parental  involvement, school                                                               
strategies, and  school successes.  Mr.  Bera's research revealed                                                               
that  although the  intent of  the bill  is well-meaning,  and he                                                               
supports   accountability,  rigor,   parental  information,   and                                                               
parental  choice,  the  proposed  report card  does  not  provide                                                               
pathways to  improvement.   He referred  to the  Alaska Strategic                                                               
Educator  section of  the bill  and questioned  whether there  is                                                               
motivation for  a teacher to transfer  to a school that  has been                                                               
identified as a failing school.   Mr. Bera gave an example of the                                                               
excellent  teaching  staff  at  Mountain  View  Elementary,  even                                                               
though  it has  been targeted  by the  Alaska Policy  Forum as  a                                                               
failing school.   He provided copies  of NEA-Alaska's guidelines,                                                               
"Six Principles for Leading the Profession" to the committee.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:25:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN  SHIPLEY, Superintendent,  Kake City  Schools, agreed  that                                                               
Alaska needs to make changes  in its educational system that will                                                               
improve the  performance of all  students.  Although he  does not                                                               
have a  problem with  the A-F  grading system,  he stated  he has                                                               
concerns about the  bill.  Mr. Shipley noted his  experience as a                                                               
"turn-around  specialist" for  12 years  in Texas,  on which  the                                                               
Florida  grading  model is  based,  and  that he  understand  the                                                               
reform model  of education and  how it affects changes  that have                                                               
been implemented  in Alaska.   While the challenges  are similar,                                                               
there are  differences between Alaska,  Texas, and  Florida, thus                                                               
solutions to  problems are  not the same.   He  provided specific                                                               
outcomes to  the Florida  model, and  opined that  standards have                                                               
been manipulated:  scores for  minority students were raised, but                                                               
not in a way that related to  college readiness or to the ACT and                                                               
Scholastic Assessment  Test (SAT).   He questioned the  wisdom of                                                               
implementing a system from another  state into Alaska, citing the                                                               
cost  of  new testing  requirements  for  science.   Mr.  Shipley                                                               
cautioned the unintended consequences  of the bill may stigmatize                                                               
low-income schools and students.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS restated  that the science section  has been removed                                                               
from the bill.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:28:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GATTIS, after  ascertaining  that no  one  else wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
[HB 151 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
        SB  41-SCHOOL SPORTS/INTERSCHOLASTIC ACTIVITIES                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:28:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE  FOR SENATE BILL  NO. 41, "An Act  relating to                                                               
student   participation   in  interscholastic   activities;   and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:28:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRED DYSON,  Alaska State  Legislature, speaking  as the                                                               
sponsor,  informed the  committee the  intent  of SBSB  41 is  to                                                               
correct an omission in legislation passed last year.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JOSHUA   BANKS,  Staff,   Senator   Fred   Dyson,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature,  introduced  SSSB 41  on  behalf  of Senator  Dyson,                                                               
sponsor.    Mr. Banks  said  that  with  the continuing  rise  in                                                               
popularity  of   alternative  education  programs,   many  school                                                               
districts   are  including   students  from   home  schools   and                                                               
correspondence schools.   In 1997  the Alaska  Legislature passed                                                               
into  law  House  Bill  158 which  allowed  for  school  children                                                               
enrolled in private, correspondence,  or home school programs, to                                                               
also  enroll   as  part-time  students  in   a  school  district.                                                               
However,  a  problem  arose  related to  whether  a  home  school                                                               
student was allowed to play on  a football team.  In response, in                                                               
2012 the Alaska Legislature passed  Senate Bill 119 which allowed                                                               
for  high school  children enrolled  in an  alternative education                                                               
program  to   also  participate  in   interscholastic  activities                                                               
available  at  a public  school.    Unintentionally, private  and                                                               
religious schools were  not addressed in the law,  and the Alaska                                                               
School  Activities  Association   (ASAA)  recently  advised  home                                                               
school parents that their children  are ineligible to participate                                                               
in  high  school  interscholastic   activities  at  a  non-public                                                               
school.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BANKS said  SSSB 41  will allow  students to  participate in                                                               
private schools, adding that private  schools are not required to                                                               
accept a  home school student  onto a  sports team, but  the bill                                                               
prevents  the  systematic   rejection  of  alternative  education                                                               
students  from the  participation of  activities and  establishes                                                               
that  the  law  cannot  be  a  barrier  to  disallow  alternative                                                               
education   students   from  participation   in   interscholastic                                                               
activities.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:33:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON advised  that  the Sponsor  Substitute  for SB  41                                                               
strikes the  word "entirely"  from Section 1  of the  bill passed                                                               
last year.  This was  necessary because the interpretation of the                                                               
bill was that  all materials being used by  an alternative school                                                               
had to be from within the state.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked why a  state law is needed  to allow                                                               
private schools to accept participants on their athletic teams.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON  explained  that  ASAA sets  the  policy  for  all                                                               
schools that participate  in a sports league.   After the passage                                                               
of  last   year's  legislation,  a  home   school  student  could                                                               
participate  in interscholastic  athletics; however,  the private                                                               
school  would then  be  excluded  from the  league.   In  further                                                               
response to  Representative LeDoux,  he confirmed that  ASAA must                                                               
conform to state  law, thus the bill is necessary  so that a home                                                               
school student can  play for a private school  and not disqualify                                                               
the private school from participating in the league.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:35:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON  moved to adopt SSSB 41,  as the working                                                               
document.   There  being no  objection,  SSSB 41  was before  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER stressed  that high  school athletics  is                                                               
not  the   same  as   high  school   activities;  interscholastic                                                               
activities include  not only sports but  also band, cheerleading,                                                               
chess club, and  other activities.  He requested  ASAA to clarify                                                               
his understanding that  under Senate Bill 119 it  is not optional                                                               
for  a public  school  to accept  a student,  if  the student  is                                                               
eligible to participate.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANKS  clarified that Senate  Bill 119 and the  proposed bill                                                               
ensure that  schools have  the "final say"  on whether  to accept                                                               
students to play sports.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON recalled  House Bill 158 in 1997  required a school                                                               
to accept  a part-time student, but  Senate Bill 119 and  SSSB 41                                                               
are  permissive  related  to  athletics  and  activities.      In                                                               
response to Representative  LeDoux, he said the  bill would apply                                                               
to playing sports at private schools.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD asked for  a description of the situation                                                               
at Chugiak High School.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON said  the situation at Chugiak  revealed a problem:                                                               
Chugiak High School approved the  participation of a student, but                                                               
ASAA declared the  student ineligible, and the  football team was                                                               
disqualified  for  the  season.   Senate  Bill  119  solved  that                                                               
problem,  but  unintentionally  excluded private  schools,  which                                                               
left the need for SSSB 41.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON surmised that  all the games  were lost                                                               
due to one student.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON  said yes.   In further response  to Representative                                                               
P. Wilson, he  explained that the student wanted to  play and the                                                               
school  official thought  the  requirements  for his  eligibility                                                               
were met.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER, in response  to Representative P. Wilson,                                                               
added that  the student  was a home  school student  who received                                                               
permission from  Chugiak High School to  play, but at the  end of                                                               
the season  the team  was forced  to forfeit  the three  games in                                                               
which the student played, which were victories.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   P.  WILSON   asked  whether   the  student   was                                                               
recruited.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:42:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BANKS  responded that  ASAA  bylaws  carry strict  penalties                                                               
against recruiting;  even with the  passage of the  bill, private                                                               
schools could not recruit.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON opined it  should not be said  that the                                                               
school lost all of its games because of one student.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS clarified that a home  school student has no team to                                                               
play with and  last year's legislation allowed  public schools to                                                               
accept  home  school  students  on their  teams.    The  proposed                                                               
legislation  would  also allow  private  schools  to accept  home                                                               
school students  on their teams.   This legislation  is necessary                                                               
to satisfy ASAA's interpretation of the statute.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:44:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GARY  MATHEWS, Executive  Director, ASAA,  explained ASAA  is the                                                               
statewide  governing body  for  interscholastic activities  which                                                               
include athletics, fine  arts, and academic activities  in all of                                                               
its  200 plus  member high  schools  in Alaska.   To  be an  ASAA                                                               
member, a school  agrees to follow a common set  of rules.  Every                                                               
school district in the state and  all of the high schools, except                                                               
a few small,  private high schools, are members.   He agreed with                                                               
previous  testimony that  last year  Senate Bill  119 solved  the                                                               
problems associated  with the situation  at Chugiak  High School,                                                               
but  because  Senate  Bill   119  specifically  addressed  public                                                               
schools, the ASAA  board felt ASAA did not have  the authority to                                                               
include private and religious schools.   Therefore, amendments to                                                               
ASAA bylaws  in response to Senate  Bill 119 were limited  to the                                                               
public school sector.  However,  ASAA embraces the intent of SSSB                                                               
41; in  fact, ASAA has begun  the process to amend  its bylaws to                                                               
include  the  private  and  religious schools  that  are  in  its                                                               
membership.  Mr.  Mathews said he expects the ASAA  board to open                                                               
eligibility to  private and  religious schools in  any case.   He                                                               
stated that  the clarification on  the definition  of alternative                                                               
education that is included in SSSB  41 is also supported by ASAA;                                                               
further,  ASAA  recently  amended  its bylaws  to  implement  the                                                               
aspects of  Senate Bill 119,  and is prepared to  incorporate the                                                               
additional changes authorized by [SSSB 41] as of July 1.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:47:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  restated that  even if  the bill  does not                                                               
pass, ASAA  will allow  home school  students to  participate and                                                               
questioned why this action was not taken before.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MATHEWS  explained that  the  language  in Senate  Bill  119                                                               
identified   public  schools   which   raised  a   constitutional                                                               
question.  He pointed out that  SSSB 41 gives private schools the                                                               
opportunity  to accept  students, however,  ASAA's interpretation                                                               
of Senate Bill 119 is that  public schools do not have the option                                                               
of accepting a home schooled  student if the student lives within                                                               
the  school's attendance  area and  meets eligibility  standards.                                                               
This  does not  guarantee that  the student  makes a  team or  is                                                               
placed in a band, he cautioned.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said his  understanding, as well,  is that                                                               
Senate Bill 119 did not guarantee a  student a place on a team at                                                               
a public  school, but did  guarantee that he/she was  eligible to                                                               
participate.  He  directed attention to SSSB 41, page  2, line 9,                                                               
which read:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ... is eligible to participate in any interscholastic                                                                      
      activities program available in a religious or other                                                                      
     private school regulated under this chapter                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  opined  this  is  the  same  wording  and                                                               
requirement as  that of the  public school, which does  not grant                                                               
an option,  but that  acceptance is required.   He  then directed                                                               
attention to subsection (b), page 2, lines 15-19, which read:                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          (b) A student is eligible to participate in                                                                           
      interscholastic activities under this section if the                                                                      
     student                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          (1) is otherwise eligible to participate in                                                                           
    interscholastic    activities     under    requirements                                                                     
     established   by   the   school   and   the   statewide                                                                    
     interscholastic activities governing body                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  advised  the   language  does  not  allow                                                               
acceptance  on  a  case-by-case  basis,  and  asked  whether  all                                                               
students  are to  be  accepted.   To  clarify,  he  asked if  the                                                               
sponsor believes Senate Bill 119  "didn't guarantee him a slot on                                                               
the  team  but did  give  him,  guarantee  them, the  ability  to                                                               
participate, to  apply and participate,  and if we have  the same                                                               
thing here, I  don't see the distinction between  us not imposing                                                               
on private schools  what we imposed on public  schools, that they                                                               
must  make available  those opportunities  to  students that  are                                                               
really not ... enrolled in their school."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:53:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON  noted that page  1, line 7, states  "is eligible,"                                                               
as does  page 2, line 9.   He advised that  just because students                                                               
are  eligible  to  participate,  does  not  mean  the  school  is                                                               
required to allow them to  participate.  Also, participation does                                                               
not guarantee  placement on a team  or in a band.   Senator Dyson                                                               
said the  language "eliminates that  bar of eligibility  for that                                                               
student, but  - in my  understanding - it's still  permissive for                                                               
the school."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MATHEWS stated  that schools  do not  have the  authority to                                                               
decide whether a student is  eligible, but must follow the rules,                                                               
policies, and  bylaws established  by ASAA.    He  explained that                                                               
public  high   schools  have  attendance  areas,   although  some                                                               
districts allow students to attend out  of the area in which they                                                               
live.    However, private  schools do not have  attendance areas,                                                               
but  are community-wide.    Senate  Bill 119  said  a student  is                                                               
eligible  at the  public school  they would  normally attend,  if                                                               
they  were attending  a public  school, or  with approval  of the                                                               
school  district.   He directed  attention  to SSSB  41, page  2,                                                               
lines 6-14, which read:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     (a) A  full-time student who  is eligible under  (b) of                                                                    
     this section who is enrolled  in grades nine through 12                                                                    
     in an alternative education program  that is located in                                                                    
     the  state  and  that does  not  offer  interscholastic                                                                    
     activities   is   eligible   to  participate   in   any                                                                    
     interscholastic  activities  program   available  in  a                                                                    
     religious  or other  private school  regulated by  this                                                                    
     chapter                                                                                                                    
          (1) that the student would be eligible to attend                                                                      
     were  the  student  not   enrolled  in  an  alternative                                                                    
     education program; and                                                                                                     
          (2) at which the student requests to participate,                                                                     
     if the administrator of the school approves.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MATHEWS pointed  out that  the above-referenced  language is                                                               
not in  Senate Bill 119;  in fact, the school  administrator must                                                               
approve only  if the  student wants  to attend  a school  that he                                                               
would not normally attend.  This  is the basis of the distinction                                                               
made by ASAA.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:57:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON supported  language that  specifies the                                                               
student should choose the school in their attendance area.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANKS  explained that  the bill  makes no  limits on  where a                                                               
student attends a private school.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON added that private  schools and some public schools                                                               
are not limited to students from a certain geographical area.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON  surmised  that  the  change  is  that                                                               
students  in  a  private  or  religious  school  can  participate                                                               
anywhere they wish.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON  agreed, adding  that  waivers  are available  for                                                               
public school students who wish  for permission to attend outside                                                               
of their attendance area.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:00:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  read from Senate Bill  119, which becomes                                                               
effective July 1, as follows:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     If  a  home  school  student wants  to  participate  in                                                                    
     interscholastic  activities at  their local  attendance                                                                    
     area  they can  do so  if they  are otherwise  eligible                                                                    
     ....  If that  student who  is home  schooled wants  to                                                                    
     participate in  interscholastic activities at  a school                                                                    
     outside of his  attendance area, he can do so  if:  (a)                                                                    
     he shows  good cause ...  and if the governing  body of                                                                    
     the school approves.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER explained  that SSSB  41 allows  students                                                               
who  are   home  schooled   to  participate   in  interscholastic                                                               
activities at  a private or  denominational school anywhere  in a                                                               
school district  - not  only in their  attendance area  - because                                                               
the nature of a private school is citywide attendance.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON said, "...  we're now saying that public                                                               
school kids  can't do it,  but if you're rich  enough to go  to a                                                               
private school you can go anywhere you want."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BANKS clarified  that Senate  Bill  119 states  that a  home                                                               
school  student   is  eligible  to  participate,   based  on  the                                                               
residence  of the  parent or  legal guardian,  where the  student                                                               
would be eligible to attend, were  the student not enrolled in an                                                               
alternative education program.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   P.  WILSON   interjected   with  the   following                                                               
question:   "So  we're  not  giving ...  private  schools ...  an                                                               
advantage that public school kids can't have."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON  stated that  the  bill  proposes the  eligibility                                                               
rules of  the particular school  apply.  For  example, elementary                                                               
schools generally  want students from the  neighborhood, but kids                                                               
can go  to the ABC  schools because  of the eligibility  rules of                                                               
the  ABC schools.    In response  to  Representative P.  Wilson's                                                               
question, he said no.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON restated her question,  and her opinion                                                               
that the answer is yes.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:05:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER observed  that  Representative P.  Wilson                                                               
was  trying to  determine whether  a private  school student  can                                                               
attend any public  school they wish for activities.   He said the                                                               
answer is no;  the bill allows a student who  is home schooled to                                                               
participate in interscholastic activities  at a private school or                                                               
denominational school.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON returned  attention  to page  2, line  13,                                                               
which read:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ... if the administrator of the school approves.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  asked for confirmation that  this language                                                               
means that participation  by students will be handled  on a case-                                                               
by-case  basis, and  eligibility will  be based  on any  criteria                                                               
that the private school chooses.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON said yes.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  concluded that private schools  retain the                                                               
ability  to  discriminate  on many  grounds.    Additionally,  he                                                               
emphasized  that the  proposed  legislation  only addresses  home                                                               
school students  who are in  a program  "that is accredited  by a                                                               
recognized accrediting body."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON concurred.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:08:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  stated her  support for SSSB  41, saying                                                               
it will  encourage participation in  sports and band,  helps home                                                               
school students interact with their peers, and empowers parents.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER stated  his support  for Senate  Bill 119                                                               
last  year was  partly based  on the  fact that  parents of  home                                                               
school  students pay  property  taxes that  support local  public                                                               
schools.  He said:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     I  have a  question  or concern  whether the  students,                                                                    
     parents  of   the  students  who  are   home  schooled,                                                                    
     accredited home schools ... will  be paying the support                                                                    
     for the  private schools or religious  schools to whom,                                                                    
     to  which, their  kids want  to attend.  I will  assume                                                                    
     that the  administrators of those private  or religious                                                                    
     schools will  have provisions for the  expense of that,                                                                    
     and with the decision accept  them, that they will make                                                                    
     note that there might be some cost involved.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON indicated that is right.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON concluded  the bill  relates only  to a                                                               
home school  student who wants  to go  to a private  or religious                                                               
school.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:09:52 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:10:04 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 10:10 a.m. to 10:11 a.m.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:11:17 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON asked  for  further  clarification on  the                                                               
interpretation  of language  on page  2, lines  13 and  14, which                                                               
read:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
      at which the student requests to participate, if the                                                                      
     administrator of the school approves.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON surmised  this means  that the  school can                                                               
apply any  criteria that the  school is  allowed to employ.   For                                                               
example, anything  that is not prohibited  under the constitution                                                               
can be used for the private school to approve or disapprove.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON, speaking  as the sponsor of the  bill, agreed with                                                               
Representative Seaton's  interpretation of that statement  in the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GATTTIS,  after ascertaining  no  one  wished to  testify,                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:12:34 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER moved  to report SSSB 41  out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There  being no objection, SSSB 41 was  reported from the                                                               
House Education Standing Committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:13:14 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Education Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 10:13 a.m.                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 SB 41 Bill Text v. U.pdf HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 41
02 SB 41 Sponsor Statement v. U.pdf HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 41
03 SB 41 Sectional Analysis U.pdf HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 41
04 SB 41 EED Fiscal Note Version U.pdf HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 41
05 SB 41 Supporting Document-Letter Nate Davis 02-22-2013.pdf HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 41
06 SB 41 Supporting Document-Wasilla Lake Christian School 03-19-2013.pdf HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 41
01 HB 151 Sponsor Statement v. A.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
02 HB 151 v. A Bill Text.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
03 HB 151 Sectional v. A.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
04 HB 151 Fiscal Note v. A - EED-TLS-3-8-13.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
05 CS HB 151 ver. O.PDF HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
06 HB 151 Information Packet.pdf HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
07 CSHB 151 Fiscal Note - EED-TLS-3-14-13.pdf HEDC 3/18/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/20/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
08 HB 151 Letter Support - Alaska Policy Forum.pdf HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
09 HB 151 Letter Support - Von Imhof ASD.pdf HEDC 3/22/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151
10 HB 151 A-F Bill Presentation.pdf HEDC 3/25/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 151