Legislature(2019 - 2020)CAPITOL 106

03/25/2019 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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07:59:46 AM Start
08:00:29 AM Presentation: Alaska Council of School Administrators
09:55:51 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Joint with Senate EDC
+ Presentation: Alaska Council of School TELECONFERENCED
-- Teleconference Listen Only --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
                         JOINT MEETING                                                                                        
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 25, 2019                                                                                         
                           7:59 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                              
 Representative Harriet Drummond, Co-Chair                                                                                      
 Representative Andi Story, Co-Chair                                                                                            
 Representative Grier Hopkins                                                                                                   
 Representative Tiffany Zulkosky                                                                                                
 Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                  
SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                             
 Senator Gary Stevens, Chair                                                                                                    
 Senator Shelley Hughes, Vice Chair                                                                                             
 Senator Chris Birch                                                                                                            
 Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                           
 Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                             
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                              
 Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                      
 Representative Josh Revak                                                                                                      
SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                             
 All Senate Members Present                                                                                                     
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION: ALASKA COUNCIL OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS                                                                           
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
LISA SKILES PARADY, Ph.D., Executive Director                                                                                   
Alaska Council of School Administrators                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Participated in the presentation by the                                                                   
Alaska Council of School Administrators.                                                                                        
PATRICK MAYER, President                                                                                                        
Alaska    Council   of    School    Administrators   and    Alaska                                                              
Superintendents Association                                                                                                     
Yakutat School District                                                                                                         
Yakutat, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented on the work of the Alaska                                                                       
Superintendents Association.                                                                                                    
ERIC PEDERSON, President                                                                                                        
Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals                                                                              
Paul Banks Elementary School                                                                                                    
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented on the work of the Alaska                                                                       
Association of Elementary School Principals.                                                                                    
DAN CARSTENS, President                                                                                                         
Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals                                                                               
Nikiski Middle/High School                                                                                                      
Nikiski, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented on the work of the Alaska                                                                       
Association of Secondary School Principals.                                                                                     
CARL HORN, President                                                                                                            
Alaska Association of School Business Officials (ALASBO)                                                                        
Nenana, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented on the work of ALASBO.                                                                          
SAM JORDAN, Grants Administrator                                                                                                
Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN)                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented on the work of the ASDN.                                                                        
MONICA GOYETTE, Superintendent                                                                                                  
Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District                                                                                       
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT: Testified  on  Mat-Su  college entrance  exam                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
7:59:46 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS  called the  joint meeting of  the House  and Senate                                                            
Education Standing  Committees to  order at  7:59 a.m.  Present at                                                              
the  call to  order  were  Senators  Birch, Costello,  Hughes  and                                                              
Chair  Stevens and  Representatives Hopkins,  Co-chair Story,  and                                                              
Co-Chair  Drummond.  Senator Begich  and  Representatives  Johnson                                                              
and Zulkosky arrived shortly thereafter.                                                                                        
^Presentation: Alaska Council of School Administrators                                                                          
     Presentation: Alaska Council of School Administrators                                                                  
8:00:29 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS  announced  the presentation  of the Alaska  Council                                                              
of School  Administrators. He  noted that  the committee  had been                                                              
asked to hold their questions until the end of the presentation.                                                                
8:00:43 AM                                                                                                                    
LISA SKILES PARADY,  Ph.D., Executive Director, Alaska  Council of                                                              
School Administrators,  Juneau, Alaska, thanked the  committee for                                                              
the  opportunity to  share the  great things  happening in  public                                                              
education.  The  organization is  celebrating  its  40th year  and                                                              
wants to  share and  celebrate their  mission: leadership,  unity,                                                              
and  advocacy  for  public  education. They  strive  to  create  a                                                              
common voice,  advocating for public  education by  shaping policy                                                              
and growing  leadership capacity  across  the state. This  morning                                                              
they  will hear  from  the presidents  of  each  of the  affiliate                                                              
organizations    that     the    council    represents:     Alaska                                                              
Superintendents  Association,  Alaska   Association  of  Secondary                                                              
School  Principals,   Alaska  Association  of   Elementary  School                                                              
Principals, and  Alaska Association  of School Business  Officials                                                              
DR.  PARADY  said  they have  a  bifurcated  purpose,  policy  and                                                              
advocacy  along with  professional development,  which is  carried                                                              
through  the Alaska  Staff Development  Network  (ASDN), which  is                                                              
the largest  provider of professional  learning in  Alaska outside                                                              
of individual school districts.                                                                                                 
8:03:46 AM                                                                                                                    
PATRICK    MAYER,   President,    Alaska    Council   of    School                                                              
Administrators    and    Alaska    Superintendents    Association,                                                              
Superintendent,  Yakutat School  District,  Yakutat, Alaska,  said                                                              
the  organizations under  the umbrella  of the  Alaska Council  of                                                              
School Administrations  (ACSA) function in unison  with the intent                                                              
of doing  what is best for  students and sending young  people out                                                              
into the world college and career ready.                                                                                        
MR. MAYER  said that Yakutat is  a tightknit community,  where the                                                              
city,  the   school  district,   and  tribe,   along  with   other                                                              
organizations, function  well together.  Likewise they want  to be                                                              
in synchronization  with state government  to continue  to provide                                                              
quality  and  adequately  funded   educational  opportunities  for                                                              
students. He  made the analogy of  a Tlingit canoe working  with a                                                              
unified  and  synchronized  approach to  operate  efficiently  and                                                              
effectively.  He is  proud  to be  superintendent  of Yakutat  for                                                              
many  reasons.  One is  to  be  associated  with a  district  that                                                              
directs  72  percent  of  its  operating  budget  to  instruction,                                                              
thereby directly benefitting students.                                                                                          
MR.  MAYER pointed  out  that the  committee  had  the joint  ACSA                                                              
position statements  that are collaboratively developed  each year                                                              
through an  extensive process. The  number one statement  for 2019                                                              
is  priority funding  for  education, "The  State  of Alaska  must                                                              
provide timely,  reliable, and  predictable revenue  for schools."                                                              
This is not  surprising because the base student  allocation (BSA)                                                              
has had  no substantial  increase  for well over  ten years.  They                                                              
understand the  current fiscal realities,  which is why  they want                                                              
to stress  that their  members ask  the legislature to  prioritize                                                              
timely, reliable,  and predictable funding as the  legislature did                                                              
last year.                                                                                                                      
MR.  MAYER said  that  instability is  not  good for  the kids  of                                                              
Alaska.  There  has   been  roughly  a  61  percent   turnover  in                                                              
superintendents   since  2014.   Superintendent,  plus   principal                                                              
turnover, plus teacher  turnover, equals instability.  They hear a                                                              
lot about student  performance as a standalone topic,  and this is                                                              
not a  singular issue.  Education turnover  at all levels  creates                                                              
instability  in   the  state's  education  system.   It  is  often                                                              
suggested   that  the  business   model   should  be  applied   to                                                              
education.  If they apply  the business  model in this  particular                                                              
scenario,  with  this  excessive  turnover, in  such  a  business,                                                              
institutional   knowledge   is   lost,   employee   and   customer                                                              
confidence is eroded,  and the business is in a  constant of state                                                              
of rebuilding, which creates instability.                                                                                       
MR.  MAYER moved  on  to  a discussion  of  metrics  and data  and                                                              
displayed  a slide  of  ACT and  SAT scores.  He  said often  they                                                              
focus only on one  metric, the PEAKS. The slide  shows that Alaska                                                              
performance  on  the   ACT  and  SAT  is  at   or  above  national                                                              
performance. Also,  they are seeing increases in  graduation rates                                                              
across  the state.  In 2005,  Alaska's  statewide graduation  rate                                                              
was  61.4  percent.  in  2017,   it  increased  to  78.2  percent.                                                              
Yesterday,   the   commissioner   stressed   this  to   the   ACSA                                                              
MR. MAYER displayed  slide "FY 19 Total Expenditures  by Type." He                                                              
said  the   root  of   the  slide   originates  from   David  Teal                                                              
[Legislative Fiscal  Analyst]. They  added it to  the presentation                                                              
in order  to show  that their instructional  expenditures  are, on                                                              
average,  at 76  percent, in  contrast  to the  54 percent  figure                                                              
that  has been  recently  circulating. The  76  percent figure  is                                                              
derived from the  Department of Education and  Early Development's                                                              
(DEED)  own processes  and procedures  that  were previously  used                                                              
under the 70/30  rule which was repealed in 2016.  Alaska's school                                                              
districts continue  to meet  or exceed  the 70 percent  threshold.                                                              
Their  ALASBO  colleagues  will  flesh this  out  further  in  the                                                              
8:08:49 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MAYER  said the  survey  "The  Great  Work of  Alaska  Public                                                              
Schools" was  commissioned in  January of 2019  by a  coalition of                                                              
Alaskan  public   education  advocates,  including   ACSA,  Alaska                                                              
Association  of  Secondary  Principals,   and  the  Coalition  for                                                              
Education Equity.  The survey was conducted by  Zogby Analytics, a                                                              
highly  respected  international  polling  and research  firm.  He                                                              
presented the following results of the survey:                                                                                  
     Question: When it comes to how state government spends your                                                                
     public dollars, which of the following areas do you think                                                                  
     should be the highest priority?                                                                                            
     Result: 44.5 percent of Alaskans believe that K-12                                                                         
     education is the priority expenditure for public dollars.                                                                  
     Question: Do you support or oppose state-funded public pre-                                                                
     Result: 73.5 percent of Alaskans support state-funded pre-                                                                 
MR. MAYER  said the  result to  the following  question shows  the                                                              
public desire for a well-rounded, public education.                                                                             
     Question: In  your opinion,  should public schools  provide a                                                              
     well-round  education to all  children, including  items such                                                              
     as  all-day kindergarten,  gifted  and  talented, music,  art                                                              
     and  physical  education,   technology,  advanced  placements                                                              
     courses   or  should   public  schools   provide  only   core                                                              
     curriculum (math, English, science, social studies)?                                                                       
     Result:  79.7  percent  of Alaskans  support  public  dollars                                                              
     being directed to a well-rounded education.                                                                                
     Question: Please  tell us which type of  elected official you                                                              
     most support?                                                                                                              
     Result:  72.1  of  Alaskans   desire  elected  officials  who                                                              
     support  increased funding  for K-12  public education.  67.3                                                              
     percent  of Alaskans  desire  elected  officials who  support                                                              
     improvement and innovation in public education.                                                                            
     Alaskans  support  elected   officials  who  will  invest  in                                                              
     education and work to make it better for all children.                                                                     
MR. MAYER  said the  results of  this survey  are a reflection  of                                                              
the Senate's  own online survey  that clearly demonstrates  that a                                                              
majority  of  Alaskans  support   either  sustained  or  increased                                                              
funding for K-12 public education.                                                                                              
MR.  MAYER said  the Alaska  Council of  School Administrators  is                                                              
private and  the Alaska  Superintendents  Association, as  part of                                                              
NCSA,  continues to  support its  members  as they  have over  the                                                              
last two  years with a new  and incoming superintendents  academy.                                                              
Mentors are provided  to all new superintendents for  at least two                                                              
years   and   multiple  training   opportunities   are   available                                                              
throughout the year.                                                                                                            
8:11:46 AM                                                                                                                    
ERIC  PEDERSON,   President,  Alaska  Association   of  Elementary                                                              
School  Principals,  Principal,   Paul  Banks  Elementary  School,                                                              
Homer, Alaska,  said he has been  the principal of Paul  Banks for                                                              
six years  and before that  was in the  villages of  Quinhagak and                                                              
Nunapitchuk for 12  years. As the committee knows,  there is a lot                                                              
of  uncertainty  now.  Last  week  he  testified  for  timely  and                                                              
reliable funding  for education. This is the  most important topic                                                              
in  the  budget   discussion.  He  has  three   teachers  with  no                                                              
contracts for the  next school year. These teachers  need to be in                                                              
front of students.  As a principal, he invests a  lot in teachers.                                                              
He and his veteran  staff work to develop teachers  who are better                                                              
at their craft.  Without predictable funding, teachers  might move                                                              
to a different  state for the  next school year. If  funding comes                                                              
late, more  than likely he  will be forced  to hire in  the summer                                                              
months.  At that  time of  the year,  the hiring  pool of  quality                                                              
teachers  is shallow.  This is  a common  scenario throughout  the                                                              
MR.  PEDERSON said  that  some of  his students  have  challenging                                                              
needs. When they  know their funding in a timely  manner, they can                                                              
staff  their school.  That allows  them  to build  classes in  the                                                              
spring.  Best  practices  in school  is  being  intentional  about                                                              
building  relationships  between teachers  and  students who  need                                                              
more support or  enrichment. These relationships  are started with                                                              
the  classroom  teacher  before  the  school  year  is  out.  When                                                              
funding  comes  late, they  are  unable  to build  these  explicit                                                              
relationships.  He  also fortunate  enough  to have  an  intensive                                                              
needs  preschool in  his  building.  These are  some  of his  most                                                              
fragile  students. Every  spring  they have  a transition  meeting                                                              
made up  of an  IEP [Individualized  Educational Plan]  team. They                                                              
do a lot  of relationship building  with these students  and their                                                              
parents and the  teacher for the next school  year. Without timely                                                              
funding,  these  teams  cannot  execute  their  purpose.  It  also                                                              
creates an  uneasy feeling for his  community members as  they are                                                              
unable  to  answer specific  questions  about  the future  of  the                                                              
community's  most  precious  resource,  their  children.  Everyone                                                              
thinks school  starts in the  fall, but  in reality, it  starts in                                                              
the spring.                                                                                                                     
MR. PEDERSON reviewed two ACSA joint position statements:                                                                       
     Early Childhood Education                                                                                                  
      "ACSA   believes   equitable   access   to   fully   funded,                                                              
     sustainable  preschool  programs   provide  a  foundation  of                                                              
     excellent  social,  emotional  and cognitive  instruction  to                                                              
     Social, Emotional and Mental Health                                                                                        
     "The  State must  provide financial  support  so schools  can                                                              
     partner  with local communities  to implement  comprehensive,                                                              
     culturally  appropriate school-based  mental health  programs                                                              
     that  support  and  foster  the  health  and  development  of                                                              
MR.  PEDERSON said  that  many Alaskan  students  attend an  early                                                              
education program,  which leads to greater achievement  in school.                                                              
Paul  Banks  also  has  a  Title  I  preschool  program.  Students                                                              
qualify  for  this  program  by  showing  they  have  preacademic,                                                              
social, or behavioral  needs that require more  support than their                                                              
peers do.  Year after year, these  20 students in his  program are                                                              
consistently   the   kindergarteners    who   are   leaders   both                                                              
academically  and  socially. This  goes  along with  the  research                                                              
that demonstrates  that early intervention and instruction  is one                                                              
of the  best ways  to increase student  achievement, thus  leading                                                              
to  a greater  chance of  students reading  proficiently by  third                                                              
grade.  All Alaskan  children deserve  the  opportunity to  attend                                                              
preschool. In  his 18 years of  education in the state  of Alaska,                                                              
there is  a disturbing  trend--the increase  in students  who have                                                              
adverse childhood  experiences (ACES). By age six,  one quarter of                                                              
Alaskan students  have at least two adverse  childhood experience.                                                              
The state's  opioid crisis  plays a large  role in this  data. The                                                              
schools are  serving the children  of this drug epidemic.  Many of                                                              
their  schools do  not  have counselors,  and  it  falls upon  the                                                              
teacher  to  provide   the  much-needed  support.   The  rates  of                                                              
homeless  and   Office  of   Children's  Services  [reports]   are                                                              
increasing  from prior  years. Funding  for  school counselors  is                                                              
one  way  to  support  students  who  experience  ACEs.  The  most                                                              
important  factor contributing  to  student success  is a  quality                                                              
teacher.   The  second  more   important   factor  is  a   quality                                                              
MR. PEDERSON  said that  they, as an  organization, invest  in the                                                              
professional  learning of  their  members every  October with  the                                                              
Alaska  Principals'  Conference  that  provides  national  caliber                                                              
professional development.  They discuss the issues  he spoke about                                                              
today. Through  these conversations  they are  working on  ways to                                                              
support all Alaska's students, parents, and teachers.                                                                           
8:16:58 AM                                                                                                                    
DAN CARSTENS,  President, Alaska  Association of Secondary  School                                                              
Principals,  Principal,   Nikiski  Middle/High   School,  Nikiski,                                                              
Alaska,  said  he and  his  wife  were  both  born and  raised  in                                                              
Alaska.  Three  of  their children  graduated  from  Nikiski.  All                                                              
three attend  or graduated from  the University of  Alaska system.                                                              
He has two  children still at  Nikiski. As Mr. Pederson  said, the                                                              
most  important  factor  contributing to  student  achievement  is                                                              
quality teachers.  The second most  important factor is  a quality                                                              
principal.  Each year  one in four  principals  is replaced  at an                                                              
average  of cost  of $75,000.  That number  is further  compounded                                                              
the  further one  goes  from urban  areas.  He  presented a  slide                                                              
showing that rural  remote schools had the highest  turnover among                                                              
principals  and teachers in  2018/19. The  $75,000 number  is from                                                              
the  National  Association  of   Secondary  School  Principals  in                                                              
conjunction  with  the  Learning  Policy  Institute.  Many  things                                                              
contribute  to the  principal  turnover, but  the  bottom line  is                                                              
that it is a difficult job with high demand and high stress.                                                                    
MR. CARSTENS said  that as mentioned before, 26  percent of Alaska                                                              
principals  turn  over every  school  year.  It is  difficult  for                                                              
schools to provide  the needed stability with that  turnover rate.                                                              
ACSA  and the  elementary and  secondary principals'  associations                                                              
have  taken it  upon themselves  to  reduce this  rate. The  state                                                              
used to  offer the Alaska  administrator coaching project.  It was                                                              
instrumental   for  many  principals'   growth  and   development,                                                              
including his  own. The  program was  cut a few  years ago  due to                                                              
funding.  This  year  ACSA  has developed  a  similar  program  to                                                              
support new  principals in  the state.  He foresees the  Principal                                                              
Academy growing  and improving every  year. The Principal  Academy                                                              
is  based  on  three components.  First  of  all  is  professional                                                              
development  away from the  principal's school  because the  place                                                              
of  work  has many  distractions.  They  hold  three  professional                                                              
development  conferences: the Principals'  Conference  in October,                                                              
the Response  to Instruction  conference  in January or  February,                                                              
and  the Alaska  School  Leadership  Institute  in late  May.  The                                                              
second component  is online  professional support and  development                                                              
through  ASDN's Professional  Learning Network  and the  Anchorage                                                              
School District's  ECHO project. The third component  is mentoring                                                              
with practicing principals.                                                                                                     
MR.  CARSTENS  said  that  many  of the  ASCA  and  the  principal                                                              
associations  board  members  have assumed  these  leadership  and                                                              
mentoring roles. He  is mentoring a new principal  and talked with                                                              
her during the  state basketball tournament about  many aspects of                                                              
the job.  Sometimes  the new principals  simply  need to sit  down                                                              
without  distractions  to  discuss  their  successes,  challenges,                                                              
goals, and futures.                                                                                                             
8:21:59 AM                                                                                                                    
CARL  HORN,  President,  Alaska  Association  of  School  Business                                                              
Officials (ALASBO),  Nenana, Alaska, said  he has been  a licensed                                                              
CPA in  Alaska for  37 years.  After graduating  from Haines  High                                                              
School, he  went to the University  of Alaska Fairbanks  (UAF) and                                                              
is proud to report  that his son will graduate from  UAF this May.                                                              
He  started his  career  in Fairbanks  as  a  CPA auditing  school                                                              
districts and small  cities and has been with Nenana  for the past                                                              
16 years.                                                                                                                       
MR. HORN  presented the  ALASBO mission,  "To promote  the highest                                                              
standards in  school business  practices," and vision,  "educating                                                              
stakeholders  in the effective  use of  resources for  the benefit                                                              
of Alaska's  children." He said  the ALASBO membership is  a broad                                                              
rainbow  of  school  business  officials,   accountants,  business                                                              
managers,  bookkeepers and  everything done  behind the scenes  to                                                              
support instructors  on the front  line. The first theme  of their                                                              
strategic plan  is professional  development. They offer  one-hour                                                              
power  lunches  teleconferences   for  training,  School  Business                                                              
Academy,   which  is   an  intensive   one-day  training,   annual                                                              
conferences,  summer leadership  training,  and  the New  Business                                                              
Manager Institute.  The second theme is best  practices. They have                                                              
an  informal and  formal  mentoring  program. They  have  standard                                                              
operating  procedures available  to  any district  and many  other                                                              
resources on their web site.                                                                                                    
MR. HORN  said he wanted  to discuss the  cost of Alaska's  public                                                              
education system. He  asked how much is spent  on instruction, how                                                              
does Alaska  compare  to other states,  and what  unique costs  do                                                              
they incur  in Alaska.  Using DEED's  methodology, which  has been                                                              
used for  many years, Alaska  spends an  average of 76  percent on                                                              
instructional costs.  Alaska defines instruction as  the classroom                                                              
teacher  all  the way  to  the  principals.  Those are  all  costs                                                              
incurred within the school building.                                                                                            
MR. HORN  presented the  slide, "2016  Public School Spending  per                                                              
Student by  State." Many  states, mostly  in the Northeast,  spend                                                              
more nominal  dollars than Alaska  on a per student  basis. Alaska                                                              
is among the top  states, but that is not surprising  as Alaska is                                                              
in a high-cost  area. But there  is nothing out of  line. Alaska's                                                              
numbers are not way over the top or so unusual.                                                                                 
MR.  HORN presented  the  slide,  "Combined All  School  Districts                                                              
State  of Alaska."  He  said the  chart takes  DEED  data for  the                                                              
school districts  in Alaska  and shows the  entire Fiscal  Year 19                                                              
budget for  the total education  system of Alaska. To  frame this,                                                              
Alaska's  classroom  teacher count  has  dropped  over the  years.                                                              
Currently,  there are  7,889 teachers.  In 2011,  that was  8,468.                                                              
That  number  is  trending  down.  Classroom  size,  students  per                                                              
classroom, is trending  up. Now it is 16.35. In 2011  it was 15.6.                                                              
The  student count  over  the last  year  dropped  949. The  total                                                              
number of  students funded by DEED  was 129,005. As he  said, that                                                              
dropped by almost a thousand students from the prior year.                                                                      
MR.  HORN said  the  total  is $2  billion  for the  general  fund                                                              
(school  operating  fund)  K-12  budget.  To provide  a  sense  of                                                              
scale,  the third  column shows  the  per pupil  costs. The  first                                                              
line is for regular  education instruction. That is  43 percent of                                                              
the total. The  second line is special education.  The other lines                                                              
for  instruction  show  the  detailed  support  functions  in  the                                                              
building,   which   includes  things   like   student   evaluation                                                              
services, Internet,  and school principals. That is  how they came                                                              
up  with  the  75.8  percent  figure   for  instruction.  That  is                                                              
everything  happening in  the  school. Then  there  are lines  for                                                              
what he  calls supportive  instruction functions,  such as  school                                                              
administration support  services. That includes the  front office,                                                              
like the school  secretary, who are vitally important  to schools.                                                              
The  next  two lines  are  district  administration  and  district                                                              
administration  support services.  Those two  combined are  just 6                                                              
percent   of  the  total.   That  includes   school  boards,   the                                                              
superintendents,   and  businesspeople   like   him  who   support                                                              
functions  like payroll.  Six percent is  an extremely  reasonable                                                              
number.  Any  business  would  be   challenged  to  do  all  those                                                              
functions and  funnel all the rest  of the resources to  the other                                                              
94  percent. The  other lines  are operations  and maintenance  of                                                              
plant, student activities, and community services.                                                                              
MR. HORN presented  the slide on DEED's uniform  chart of accounts                                                              
by function.                                                                                                                    
8:31:14 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. HORN  said some unique  costs are higher  in Alaska.  The cost                                                              
of  health  care  is  high.  They   are  amortizing  the  unfunded                                                              
liability of  the pension plan.  They are required to  report that                                                              
costs on their  financial statements. Utility costs  are very high                                                              
in the  remote areas. Workers'  compensation is very  high. Alaska                                                              
pays  their  teachers  a fair  salary,  but  Alaska's  competitive                                                              
compensation  is  eroding.  Teacher   salaries  and  benefits  are                                                              
rising  nationwide.   Alaska  has  the  unique  cost   of  housing                                                              
teachers in remote areas.                                                                                                       
MR. HORN  presented a slide showing  the composite cost  of living                                                              
index. Like  the Northeast  and the West  Coast, Alaska is  in the                                                              
in red zone, which indicates the highest cost of living.                                                                        
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND   noted  that  Representative  Dan   Ortiz  was                                                              
present  and that  he  was the  Finance  chair  for the  education                                                              
budget subcommittee  that met over  the last several weeks.  He is                                                              
also a former teacher.                                                                                                          
8:33:49 AM                                                                                                                    
SAM  JORDAN,   Grants  Administrator,  Alaska   Staff  Development                                                              
Network  (ASDN),  Juneau,  Alaska,  said  he  has  been  a  public                                                              
educator for 18  years and has two daughters in  the Juneau School                                                              
District. ASDN is  a private, nonprofit organization  in existence                                                              
for  25  years.  ASDN is  the  largest  provider  of  professional                                                              
development to  educators in Alaska  outside of school  districts.                                                              
ASDN brings world-class  professional development to  educators so                                                              
they can finetune  their instructional practices.  As budgets have                                                              
tightened and  travel for  professional development  opportunities                                                              
have  become  complicated,   they  have  responded   by  designing                                                              
courses  using   distance  technology,   so  educators   can  have                                                              
professional development  delivered onsite,  wherever they  are in                                                              
the state.  They ensure  they anticipate  new trends in  education                                                              
and bring those  to Alaska so educators can have  opportunities to                                                              
be on the cutting edge of innovative practices.                                                                                 
MR. JORDAN said  they are providing multiple pathways  for general                                                              
professional   development.  They   serve  over  2,000   educators                                                              
annually   using  online   courses.  They   offer  50   self-paced                                                              
professional development  courses. They  serve over  700 educators                                                              
annually with webinars.  Currently they have eight  webinar series                                                              
focused  on a  variety of  topics. They  also have  a network  for                                                              
educators  to connect and  discuss best  practices and  challenges                                                              
through the  Alaska Professional  Learning Network (AKPLN).  AKPLN                                                              
currently serves over 1,500 educators.                                                                                          
MR.  JORDAN  said  that  for  in-person  professional  development                                                              
opportunities,   they   hold   the   annual   RTI   [response   to                                                              
intervention] or  Effective Instruction Conference.  In January of                                                              
this year,  they served  1,151 educators.  It  is the largest  in-                                                              
person  educator  conference  in   Alaska.  That  1,151  educators                                                              
represent  14 percent  of all  educators  in Alaska.  Registration                                                              
was  from 49  of  54 school  districts.  They  sponsor the  Alaska                                                              
School  Leadership  Institute  that   happens  in  late  May.  The                                                              
conference  focuses on  building  leadership  capacity for  school                                                              
leaders and their  teams from small and rural  communities, but it                                                              
is open to all.                                                                                                                 
MR.  JORDAN  said that  ASDN  is  the lead  professional  learning                                                              
partner for  four Alaska  Native Education  Grant Projects  in the                                                              
Bering Strait, North  Slope, and Lower Kuskokwim  School Districts                                                              
and the  lead partner  for two  large federal  grants for  Gaining                                                              
Early   Awareness  and   Readiness   for  Undergraduate   Programs                                                              
(GEARUp)  in  the   Lower  Kuskokwim  and  Bering   Strait  School                                                              
Districts.  GEARUp   is  hyper-focused   on  college   and  career                                                              
readiness activities.                                                                                                           
MR.   JORDAN   said   ASDN   identified   computer   science   and                                                              
computational  thinking as the  largest job  market right  now for                                                              
young  people  moving into  the  workforce.  They sought  out  and                                                              
partnered with  Code.org, an international nonprofit  that focuses                                                              
on   computer   science   and    computer   science   professional                                                              
development.  Their  partnership   provides  teacher  training  in                                                              
computer  science.  It  is  a  relatively  new  field,  so  it  is                                                              
training  that many  teachers  have  not had.  They  have held  13                                                              
workshops  since  the beginning  of  the  school year.  They  have                                                              
professionally  developed 207 educators  representing  111 schools                                                              
and 30  out of  54 Alaska school  districts. That  shows a  lot of                                                              
interest  from the  educational  community.  Fifty-six percent  of                                                              
the 207  educators work in high-needs  schools and 80  percent are                                                              
in  rural  or  remote  areas.  They   are  estimating  that  those                                                              
teachers  will impact  1,341  students. Alaskan  labor  statistics                                                              
shows there  are 764 open  computing jobs  right now. That  is 2.8                                                              
times the national  average. The average salary for  those jobs is                                                              
$72,000.  They  are  laser  focused  on  that.  He  thanked  their                                                              
industry partners who are helping to provide that training.                                                                     
MR.  JORDAN said  that  a  passion project  for  ASDN  is the  Our                                                              
Alaskan  Schools  blog. As  practitioners  in educator,  they  see                                                              
amazing things  happening  in classrooms  around the state.  Those                                                              
stories  don't  always  make  it into  the  public  discourse.  In                                                              
January they  created Our  Alaskan Schools  blog to highlight  the                                                              
positive things that  are happening in public schools.  Their goal                                                              
is  to share  stories form  all  54 school  districts. Today  they                                                              
have 22 blog posts  up since the end of January.  They are written                                                              
by Alaskan educators  on a wide range of topics.  They are excited                                                              
about  this  work  because  it   brings  the  magic  happening  in                                                              
classrooms into the public sphere.                                                                                              
DR. PARADY  said that  was the  end of  the official  presentation                                                              
and her members were prepared to answer questions.                                                                              
8:44:47 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
8:44:58 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS  suggested  taking questions  in  order,  beginning                                                              
with Mr. Mayer's presentation.                                                                                                  
8:45:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS said  many of the  presenters spoke  about                                                              
the  turnover in  superintendents,  principals,  and teachers.  He                                                              
agrees that stability  is critical. He asked what  are the drivers                                                              
that make people  leave a district or profession and  how does the                                                              
defined contributions retirement system affect that turnover.                                                                   
MR. MAYER  replied that the retirement  system is partly  an issue                                                              
because people are  able to extract their contribution  after five                                                              
years and move out  of the state. That is a  factor, among others.                                                              
They often see  movement from rural to more urban  districts. That                                                              
revolving door  from rural to  urban creates challenges.  The same                                                              
is   true   of   superintendents.   The   national   average   for                                                              
superintendents  is three  years in  a position.  That is  true in                                                              
Alaska as well.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  asked what some  of the local  drivers are                                                              
that might drive someone out in three years or less.                                                                            
MR. MAYER  responded that Alaska  salaries are not  as competitive                                                              
as they used  to be. In uncertain  budgetary times like  this, his                                                              
fear  is   that  people   will  leave   proactively  rather   than                                                              
reactively. That is speculation on his part.                                                                                    
DR. PARADY  said that there is  a national shortage and  the pools                                                              
are  very  thin.  When  they  are  not  able  to  sign  contracts,                                                              
teachers can  go elsewhere  to get a  contract. When  they provide                                                              
instability when  they are trying  to plan for their  families and                                                              
their  futures, they  do what  any  normal human  being would  do,                                                              
which is  to secure  their situation.  Alaska is  losing a  lot of                                                              
quality educators  because of  the inability  to rely  on funding.                                                              
She  wanted to  compliment  the legislature  for  their effort  to                                                              
provide predictable,  reliable funding for education  last year so                                                              
they  could   secure  those  contracts   and  give   assurance  to                                                              
educators.  Timely, reliable,  and predictable  funding is  a high                                                              
priority  for  their  organization.   Another  reason  is  working                                                              
conditions  in many situations.  Research out  of Penn  shows that                                                              
of  3.6 million  teachers  in  2015,  over 500,000  teachers  left                                                              
because of working  conditions. The job has become  harder. In the                                                              
same  year  they  replenished  that   number  with  200,000.  This                                                              
trajectory  of deficit continues  to grow.  And Alaska  is reliant                                                              
on recruiting from the lower 48.                                                                                                
MR. MAYER said that  this year, 80 teachers were  at the job fair.                                                              
Ten  or 15  years ago  there were  250 or  300. They  had to  give                                                              
prospective teacher  candidates instructions not to  rush the door                                                              
for  interviews.  He read  that  enrollment in  teacher  education                                                              
programs nationally is down 35 percent.                                                                                         
8:50:42 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  PARADY  said that  to  give  a sense  of  scale of  how  many                                                              
teachers  can't   be  offered  contracts,  30  percent   of  their                                                              
teachers are nontenured.                                                                                                        
8:51:07 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES said  they have the most important  job and mission                                                              
in the  state. One  thing that is  concerning all  of them  is how                                                              
students  score   in  reading  and   math.  They  have   room  for                                                              
improvement. She is  thrilled to see the bright spot  with ACT and                                                              
SAT  scores, but  that  is  not the  full  cohort  that starts  in                                                              
kindergarten.  She  asked if  they  know  what percentage  of  the                                                              
cohort  that would  start in kindergarten  take  the ACT or  SATS.                                                              
She thinks  of those students as  more the high achievers.  It's a                                                              
great bright  spot, but it  doesn't alleviate the  problem overall                                                              
with improving learning K-12.                                                                                                   
MR. MAYER deferred to Dr. Goyette.                                                                                              
8:52:22 AM                                                                                                                    
MONICA GOYETTE,  Superintendent, Matanuska-Susitna  Borough School                                                              
District,  Palmer,  Alaska,  said  she  can  only  speak  for  her                                                              
district.  Last year her  district partnered  with the  University                                                              
of Alaska and  they paid for their  juniors to take the  ACT. They                                                              
had  850 juniors  take it.  They were  63 percent  in the  nation.                                                              
They have  about 1,500 per grade  level, so it was  probably about                                                              
55  percent of  their students.  Usually she  would say  20 to  25                                                              
percent  of their kids  take a  college entrance  exam. In  Mat-Su                                                              
they could do  a better job with preparation  for college entrance                                                              
exams. In the  lower 48, it is  very common to pay for  ACT or SAT                                                              
prep. Schools  offer courses  or classes. Many  of their  kids had                                                              
no preparation, so they are very proud of the 63 percent.                                                                       
MR.  MAYER said  there is  an increased  use  of assessment  data,                                                              
like  MAP [Measures  of Academic  Progress], to  look at  subskill                                                              
deficiency. They  are doing a  much better job tracking  students'                                                              
areas of need.                                                                                                                  
DR. PARADY  said sometimes they  fixate on one metric  or measure.                                                              
As  educators,   they  look  at   everything,  ACT,   SAT,  PEAKS,                                                              
graduation rate, and everything in between.                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND  said  that  Senator  Hughes  asked  about  the                                                              
percentage of  the cohort from kindergarten  who takes the  ACT or                                                              
SAT.  At the  rate  the  legislature  keeps changing  the  testing                                                              
structure, she  understands why  they are sticking  to the  ACT or                                                              
SAT because  that seems to be  the most consistent  testing regime                                                              
that they  have. On  the other  hand, the  outcomes database  that                                                              
that  the  Alaska Commission  on  Postsecondary  Education  (ACPE)                                                              
maintains  for pre-K  to postsecondary  and workforce  development                                                              
is the place where  this data may be be collected,  but if they do                                                              
not continue funding  the ACPE, they may never know  the answer to                                                              
Senator Hughes' question.                                                                                                       
MR. MAYER  said they will  try to mine that  data and get  back to                                                              
the committee.                                                                                                                  
8:56:23 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BIRCH  said  that  the turnover  rate  for  teachers  and                                                              
principals  for remote  schools  is very  troubling.  He asked  if                                                              
there  are exit  interviews or  other ways  to find  out what  the                                                              
issues are.  He asked,  for example,  whether it is  unfamiliarity                                                              
with  the community.  He  asked what  is  driving those  decisions                                                              
with people who have  had spent a lot of time to  make education a                                                              
career. He asked  how many left of their own choice  or were asked                                                              
to move  on. He has  slept on  many gymnasium floors  in a  lot of                                                              
rural  schools  and  recognizes  how vital  they  are  across  the                                                              
MR. MAYER replied that they do not have that data yet.                                                                          
DR. PARADY  answered that  they are in  the process  of collecting                                                              
that exact  data. They  have the  same questions  and worked  with                                                              
the  Northwest  Regional  Educational   Laboratory,  which  has  a                                                              
contract with  the federal government  to do research  for Alaska,                                                              
to answer that question. They should have that data soon.                                                                       
SENATOR BIRCH said  that as a former employer, he  knows that exit                                                              
interviews  would  function as  an  assessment about  what  caused                                                              
someone to transition somewhere else.                                                                                           
DR. PARADY  said that  the jobs have  become much more  difficult.                                                              
Layers  of requirements  have been  added to  the normal  teaching                                                              
day  over  the  last  several  years.   Working  conditions  is  a                                                              
simplified way to  say that. But going under the  skin of that, in                                                              
many cases educators  are receiving students who are  not ready to                                                              
learn,  thus their  laser-like focus  on the  importance of  early                                                              
childhood education  for every student.  They take  every student.                                                              
That is  the beauty of  public education.  It is all  children and                                                              
bringing them  forward, addressing  every need. That  personalized                                                              
learning takes  a level of commitment  and energy like  never seen                                                              
before. They  are committed  to providing  every student  the best                                                              
learning opportunities  available, but with reduced  resources and                                                              
additional  pressures and  requirements, unfunded  mandates are  a                                                              
real  consideration.  Every  time  legislators  ask  teachers  and                                                              
educators to  add one  more thing to  their load, their  educators                                                              
say there  is a  breaking point.  They must  provide stability  to                                                              
the education  system. It is funding,  but it is also  relief from                                                              
regulation  and  support  in terms  of  addressing  mental  health                                                              
issues  that they  are seeing  every  day with  students who  have                                                              
high  Adverse  Childhood  Experiences  scores.  There  is  such  a                                                              
culmination of issues  and Alaska has become far  less competitive                                                              
than it used to be. It is a culmination of many of those things.                                                                
9:01:24 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   ZULKOSKY   clarified  that   the   superintendent                                                              
turnover rate has been 61 percent since 2016.                                                                                   
MR.  MAYER answered  since 2014  and  that it  actually is  higher                                                              
than  that. They  had five  retirements  or folks  moving on  with                                                              
their  lives last night.  It is  an issue  at the  superintendent,                                                              
principal,  and teacher  level. He  comes back  to the 35  percent                                                              
reduction  in  enrollment  in  schools   of  education,  plus  the                                                              
additional expectations at all levels. It is a challenging job.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  ZULKOSKY  said  that  Dr.  Parady  said  that  the                                                              
legislature's decision  to forward fund assisted  with stabilizing                                                              
retention through  school districts in  the state and  that Alaska                                                              
competes nationally  to hire educators.  She asked Dr.  Parady how                                                              
other states  are dealing  with education funding  and if  she had                                                              
any recommendations for best practices                                                                                          
DR.  PARADY replied  that Alaska  needs to  remain competitive  in                                                              
salary  and retirement  benefits. That  is really  key. They  need                                                              
need  to forward  fund reliable  funding  every year  and not  put                                                              
them  in a position  every  year of fighting  to  be able to  sign                                                              
contracts  in a  timely  way, which  is  required  by statute  and                                                              
ordinance.  More importantly,  their  neighboring  states who  are                                                              
experiencing  a   shortage  as  well  are  being   proactive.  The                                                              
legislature last  year passed retiree  rehire. That is  one sliver                                                              
of a  tool to open  the door for  folks to hire professionals  who                                                              
may  be   living  in  the   community.  Expanding   bandwidth  and                                                              
broadband  to  enhance  virtual   education  delivery  is  another                                                              
recommendation. From  her six years in the North  Slope, she knows                                                              
that connectivity  is often  a retention issue  as well. It  is an                                                              
educator's link to  family who may live across the  country. It is                                                              
the  link to  buy  groceries. Most  importantly  it  is a  teacher                                                              
tool, it is also a retention tool.                                                                                              
DR.  PARADY  said  that  they  need   to  continue  to  invest  in                                                              
Education Rising  so they can grow  their own teachers.  They know                                                              
through  research that  those  who  are raised  in  the state  who                                                              
choose to  become educators  stay longer. They  need do  the kinds                                                              
of  support  her organization  has  put  in  place for  the  first                                                              
years, which  are the most  difficult. Mentoring  programs through                                                              
DEED have been cut  and are being picked up in  the private sector                                                              
because  the  need  is  so  great,   to  wrap  arms  around  those                                                              
professionals to help  them succeed. The answer is  going to be in                                                              
looking  at   alternative  pathways   or  at  least   streamlining                                                              
certification  to  make  it  as   easy  as  possible  to  work  in                                                              
education and  not compromise the  quality of educators.  There is                                                              
that  important  balance. She  knows  that DEED  and  Commissioner                                                              
Johnson are  interested in  working on that  with them.  The state                                                              
Department  of  Education  said  they  are  going  to  review  the                                                              
regulations to  make sure they have  what they really need  on the                                                              
DR. PARADY said  the list goes on  and on. At the end  of the day,                                                              
it is  about stabilizing  the environment.  There will  be natural                                                              
retirements,  but  they  are  seeing   people  leave  because  the                                                              
environment in  which they are trying  to teacher students  is not                                                              
stable.  They  need to  stabilize  the  environment and  send  the                                                              
message  to  educators  at  every  level  that  what  they  do  is                                                              
important,  that teaching  their  students, their  future, is  the                                                              
highest priority.                                                                                                               
9:07:09 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND   asked  that   the  slide  showing   the  K-12                                                              
instability  equation,  superintendent, plus  principal  turnover,                                                              
plus teacher  turnover, equals  instability, be displayed  because                                                              
it  was  an   important  graphic  to  show  as   the  conversation                                                              
9:07:25 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  STORY noted that  superintendents  are the one  employee                                                              
that  school  boards   hire,  and  school  board   members  are  a                                                              
reflection  of their  communities and  the hopes  and dreams  they                                                              
have for  their students. The  state adopted higher  standards for                                                              
math  and  language  arts.  She wondered  how  teaching  to  those                                                              
higher  standards   is  going.   They  spoke  about   professional                                                              
development  several  times  during   the  presentation.  Embedded                                                              
professional development  is what increases student  learning. She                                                              
asked if  they could share a  few things about what  is supporting                                                              
teaching to those higher standards.                                                                                             
9:08:54 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MAYER  answered they are mapping  the K-12 curriculum  to make                                                              
sure standards  are being  taught in  the classroom and  providing                                                              
professional  development  to  do  so and  looking  at  the  state                                                              
assessment as  it changes. This  year text-dependent  analysis was                                                              
a new  component of PEAKS. They  use assessment data  of different                                                              
sorts  in   order  to   target  subskills   areas.  They   provide                                                              
opportunities  for students  to be  career and  college ready.  It                                                              
becomes  a more  personalized approach  than  they saw  ten or  15                                                              
years  ago to  prepare students  to  exit into  the workforce.  He                                                              
looks  at the  book ends.  The secondary  teachers  have a  vested                                                              
interest  in  seeing who  is  coming  their way  and  kindergarten                                                              
teachers have  a vested  interest in  seeing where their  students                                                              
went. How  they meet those standards  in the middle  is important.                                                              
Districts have their eyes on the ball on that.                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND asked  someone to talk more about  the slide "FY                                                              
19 Total Expenditures by Type."                                                                                                 
MR. HORN  said that  the chart shows  the instructional  costs for                                                              
the entire state.  The largest cost is for direct  instruction and                                                              
then  there  is   the  support  functions  that   directly  affect                                                              
instruction,  including Internet  and  any of  the  people who  do                                                              
assessments  on students. The  last category,  the light  blue, is                                                              
the  school principal.  This  is  based on  DEED's  classification                                                              
system, the  uniform chart of accounts.  It is a  methodology they                                                              
have used for years and years.                                                                                                  
SENATOR HUGHES  said she was concerned  when she heard  the Office                                                              
of Management  and  Budget figure  of 54 percent  based on  census                                                              
data. She  went through the  spreadsheets and divided  the overall                                                              
spending  by  the per  pupil  spending.  She  did  not do  all  50                                                              
states, but from  what she could tell, Alaska was  the lowest. New                                                              
York was  70 percent  for classroom  instruction. She  understands                                                              
how they  made adjustments, but  if they made adjustments  for the                                                              
other states  the same  way they  did for  Alaska, it would  shoot                                                              
their percentages  up. She is still  concerned because as  much as                                                              
she loves  them as  administrators, she  loves the kids.  Spending                                                              
in the  classroom does  correlate with  academic achievement.  She                                                              
appreciates the  adjustment compared with the census  data figure.                                                              
Perhaps they  left some things out,  but when compared  across the                                                              
states, Alaska is  still at the bottom. She asked  what the census                                                              
data  from ten or  20 years  ago would  show for  Alaska. She  had                                                              
four kids who  went through the public education  system in Alaska                                                              
and it served  them well. When she  sees that based on  the census                                                              
data that  New York  is putting 70  percent into their  classrooms                                                              
and their  achievement is  excellent and Alaska  is at  54 percent                                                              
based  on census data  and Alaska  is struggling,  she wonders  if                                                              
the state can  make some adjustments. She wonders  what looking at                                                              
the historic census data would reveal.                                                                                          
9:15:44 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. HORN  replied that  one thing  about the  census data  is that                                                              
each state has a  unique way of defining the data.  He referred to                                                              
the  slide "2016  Public  School Spending  by  State." That  slide                                                              
shows  the  per student  cost  with  the narrowest  definition  of                                                              
instructional  costs.  In  Alaska  that  is  called  Function  100                                                              
[Instruction]  and  Function  200,   which  is  special  education                                                              
instruction.  This   is  nominal   dollars.  Every  state   has  a                                                              
different cost  of living. It is  useful information, but  more of                                                              
an analytic.  It is not comparing  apples and oranges.  Each state                                                              
has   different   nuances.   In   Nenana,   for   operations   and                                                              
maintenance,  the  boilers  at   50  below  zero  burn  a  lot  of                                                              
expensive fuel, and  they are on the highway  system. Compare that                                                              
to the North  Slope or other areas  of the state. He  has not done                                                              
an  historical analysis.  They could  try  to pull  that data.  He                                                              
thought  district budgets  were  available on  DEED  for the  past                                                              
decade.  Even  in Alaska  there  is  tremendous variation  due  to                                                              
different  costs,   but  that's  why   the  formula  has   a  cost                                                              
differential  to equalize  the fact  that a district  in a  remote                                                              
area has  very high  costs. The  75.8 percent  represents  all the                                                              
expenses happening  directly in  the school building  that support                                                              
instruction. The  telecom costs to  get Internet into  schools are                                                              
high. Many  schools do  get E-rate,  but it is  still a  cost they                                                              
report.  The census  bureau  definition,  probably  from 30  years                                                              
ago, does not  include that in the 100 Function.  Alaska correctly                                                              
has shown that.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR  HUGHES said  that  had  the other  states  listed in  the                                                              
census  done these  same  kinds of  adjustment,  New York's  would                                                              
have shot  up. The census is  trying to compare apples  to apples,                                                              
even  though every  state is  unique. Her  point is  that if  they                                                              
were to  make readjustments like  this, all states would  bump up.                                                              
That is  her concern.  She wants  as many  dollars as  possible to                                                              
get  into the  classrooms. Teacher  salaries are  probably on  the                                                              
low  end  and  that  is concerning.  If  they  could  become  more                                                              
efficient with administration, that is important.                                                                               
DR. PARADY  said they  will do  the research  on the census  piece                                                              
that  she requested.  That  is apples  to  oranges,  but they  can                                                              
account  for some  of that  in getting  that  information to  her.                                                              
What is  critical to  understand today, this  is the  current year                                                              
from  the  Department  of Education  and  Early  Development.  The                                                              
department,  from forever,  has  defined this  as instruction  and                                                              
based on  definitions that Alaska  uses, they are at  75.8 percent                                                              
statewide  going  into  instruction. She  appreciates  the  census                                                              
data, but  at the end to  the day, it  is not the number  they use                                                              
in  Alaska to  define  instruction.  This is  the  formula by  the                                                              
charter  of accounts  that they  are required  to report and  have                                                              
historically.  It  is unfortunate  that  they  have been  using  a                                                              
number that  does not  reflect practice in  Alaska with  regard to                                                              
instruction. Their  effort was to lay it out  for the legislature,                                                              
to be  very transparent and show  exactly what those  numbers are.                                                              
She is  so happy  that ALASBO  is part  of their  team. She  would                                                              
volunteer  them for  anyone who  would like to  talk further.  She                                                              
would  like the  legislators' real  concerns  answered. They  have                                                              
the experts who  are prepared to do it. She wants  everyone at the                                                              
committee to leave  with the confidence that they  are putting the                                                              
vast  majority of  dollars into  instruction and  that 76  percent                                                              
number is way closer to any mark that has been shared.                                                                          
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND asked  if that 76 percent is linked  to the 7[0]                                                              
percent  rule  that  required  waivers  from  small  rural  school                                                              
districts because they couldn't meet that.                                                                                      
MR.  HORN  replied that  this  was  the  definition used  in  that                                                              
statute,   which  was   repealed  because   rural  Alaska   school                                                              
districts'  high  cost  of  operations   and  maintenance  and  no                                                              
economies of  scale. They would  get waivers from the  rule, which                                                              
was  a long  process.  For  the most  part,  that  waiver was  for                                                              
districts  with small  budgets in  the  scheme of  the $2  billion                                                              
budget. Most  of that goes to large  urban areas in Alaska.  It is                                                              
good to  look at the  total system. Two-thirds  of this  is funded                                                              
by  the state  legislature through  appropriations  and the  other                                                              
third   is  through   E-rate  and   federal,   state,  and   local                                                              
contributions and other revenues.                                                                                               
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  said that  if they were  still looking  at that                                                              
requirement,  they  would be  at  76  percent average  across  the                                                              
state, so  they are doing better  across the state, on  an average                                                              
MR. HORN  answered on an  average basis,  yes. They are  above the                                                              
70 percent that was the floor set.                                                                                              
DR. PARADY  said the Mat-Su number  is close to 78 or  79 percent,                                                              
Kenai is around  79 percent, and the Anchorage  School District is                                                              
in  that  high  70s.  It  is  an  average.  It  demonstrates  that                                                              
districts  are committed  to putting the  dollars into  classrooms                                                              
to support students.  Businesses would be hard pressed  to meet an                                                              
administrative cost of six percent.                                                                                             
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND said  that she  agreed.  She wanted  to make  a                                                              
point  from  her experience  as  a  school  board member  for  the                                                              
Anchorage School  District school  board, the largest  district in                                                              
the  state. When  her  term ended  in  2003,  they had  considered                                                              
joining  the Great  City Schools  Conference, made  up of  the 100                                                              
largest school  districts in  the nation.  At that time  Anchorage                                                              
was  approximately  number 80  in  that ranking.  That  is how  to                                                              
compare apples  to apples.  It is  very hard  to compare  a large,                                                              
urban district  like Anchorage to  small, tiny single-site  school                                                              
districts.  Anchorage was  in line with  what other  similar-sized                                                              
school districts  were spending.  One of these  days she  wants to                                                              
see the  54 percent chart  that is being  bandied about.  This set                                                              
of statistics  has been  very valuable  to her.  She has  not seen                                                              
one  like the  pink chart  before [COMBINED  ALL SCHOOL  DISTRICTS                                                              
STATE OF  ALASKA]. She would like  the teacher statistics  and the                                                              
classroom size statistics that he spoke about in the narrative.                                                                 
9:26:43 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY said  that all communities are interested  in these                                                              
numbers  and want their  instructional  dollars to  be as  high as                                                              
possible. She  asked how  often they  do community outreach,  such                                                              
as speaking  to Rotary  clubs and  Chambers of  Commerce,  to give                                                              
them this  data so that they  understand. When Mr. Horn  said that                                                              
six percent is  for administration, she thought of  how often they                                                              
hear that administration is top heavy.                                                                                          
MR. HORN  replied that  they could do  better engagement  with the                                                              
community.  He  presents  this   to  his  board  as  the  business                                                              
manager. One  is always concerned  about administrative  costs and                                                              
being efficient  as they  can. For example,  the per  student cost                                                              
is $267  for the district administration,  which is the  office of                                                              
the superintendent,  the school board,  legal costs. That  is like                                                              
one  trip to  Costco once  a year  for leadership  administration.                                                              
Business services  is a bigger category.  That is payroll  and all                                                              
those things.  There is  all the  effort people  have to  put into                                                              
reporting state  and federal  data. Six percent  is lean.  Even he                                                              
was pleasantly  surprised when  he did  the analysis.  Those other                                                              
areas besides  the six percent  that are supportive  functions are                                                              
mostly   the    buildings,   student   activities,    and   school                                                              
secretaries. That  is not some big administration.  That is people                                                              
right with the kids.                                                                                                            
DR.  PARADY said  it is  the primary  job  of superintendents  and                                                              
principals to  speak with their  community organizations  not only                                                              
about their  lean and efficient  operations but to tell  about the                                                              
great things happening  in education. All their  education leaders                                                              
own that as a  responsibility and do a good job  of getting out to                                                              
communities. In  these times, sharing  these numbers is  even more                                                              
important. They can redouble their efforts to talk about this.                                                                  
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  asked Mr.  Pederson to talk  about the  Title I                                                              
preschool  in  his   school  and  his  observations   about  early                                                              
intervention and instruction at the preschool level.                                                                            
MR. PEDERSON said  that every year they do a  community screening.                                                              
They use  the DIAL  [Developmental Indicators  for the  Assessment                                                              
of Learning]  assessment to screen  students. With DIAL  they rank                                                              
students  and   take  the  students   who  have  the   most  needs                                                              
academically  and  socially. They  have  a morning  and  afternoon                                                              
preschool. The  focus depends on  the cohort. Traditionally,  when                                                              
those  students  become  kindergarteners,  they  know  how  school                                                              
works and so do the parents.                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  asked if they  are able to follow  the progress                                                              
of those preschoolers through his school.                                                                                       
MR. PEDERSON  said that he  can get that  for her. The  school has                                                              
data from AIMSweb.                                                                                                              
9:32:04 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS said they  were talking about  identifying                                                              
issues early. There  has been a lot of discussion  in the building                                                              
and  in the  administration  about holding  students  back at  the                                                              
third grade  to make sure they  have reading proficiency.  When he                                                              
has  talked to  educators  and school  board  members about  this,                                                              
they talk  about the  wraparound services  that would  be integral                                                              
to making  sure that would be  successful instead of  just failing                                                              
kids  at  third  grade. He  asked  what  wraparound  services  Mr.                                                              
Pederson  would need at  his school  to make  a program  like that                                                              
successful and how does early childhood fit into that.                                                                          
9:32:52 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  PEDERSON said  that  with early  childhood,  the longer  they                                                              
have  them,  the more  time  they  can provide  those  wraparounds                                                              
services.  At his  school  they have  intervention.  AIMSweb is  a                                                              
diagnostic  assessment  they use  to  pull  out students  who  are                                                              
struggling  or  not  making  gains.   They  monitor  the  rate  of                                                              
improvement. They  address the student's specific  needs and watch                                                              
for nine  to 12 weeks  to see if  intervention is working.  If the                                                              
intervention  isn't  working, they  have  to try  something  else.                                                              
They  have to  meet students  where  they are.  Many students  are                                                              
coming  in  with trauma.  This  month  he  had two  students  with                                                              
significant  OCS reports.  Getting those  kids to  read right  now                                                              
focus  is  not their  focus.  Their  focus  is  can they  make  it                                                              
through the day,  can they get them ready to learn.  Those are the                                                              
wraparound  services  they  are  providing. When  looking  at  the                                                              
school administrators  as part of the 76 percent,  he thought that                                                              
he  is definitely  a teacher  throughout  the day.  He is  written                                                              
into most  behavior plans.  They are short  on subs all  the time.                                                              
He  was  teaching  music  last  week.  Those  are  the  wraparound                                                              
services they provide.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  asked if  children  need  an  IEP to  get                                                              
wraparound services.                                                                                                            
MR. PEDERSON  answered not  at that point.  They are trying  to do                                                              
whatever  they  can prior  to  that.  Usually  the process  to  be                                                              
placed  on an IEP  is first  weeks of  intervention and  switching                                                              
things  up.  If  that  doesn't   succeed,  then  they  do  a  more                                                              
intensive approach, which could be an IEP.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  clarified  that  it avoids  the  IEP  and                                                              
special education designation  early on. He asked if  an IEP would                                                              
be  for third  grade or  later and  that is  how it  cuts back  on                                                              
special education  designation, because it is caught  earlier, and                                                              
students have had those services.                                                                                               
MR.  PEDERSON said  that in  his district  they use  RTI. They  do                                                              
have students  getting IEPs  before third grade,  but they  try to                                                              
hold off on putting a label like learning disabled on students.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS   stated  that  some  students   need  the                                                              
designation  early  and  quickly  to get  services  and  preschool                                                              
certainly helps get those students the services they need.                                                                      
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND  asked  if  the Title  I  preschool  is  funded                                                              
through the Title I program, not through Head Start.                                                                            
MR. PEDERSON said it is a federal grant, Title I funds.                                                                         
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND  said  the  ASDN  presentation  referred  to  a                                                              
webinar  series  on  trauma-informed   and  engaged  practice  and                                                              
positive  behavior  intervention  and supports.  Schools  are  not                                                              
simply  teaching any  more. She  asked  if that  training was  not                                                              
provided  on  trauma-informed  and engaged  practice,  what  would                                                              
school be like.                                                                                                                 
MR.   PEDERSON   answered   that   he  just   went   through   Dr.                                                              
Chamberlain's  course that  the district  brought to  them. It  is                                                              
almost  a mindset.  A kid  is not  being defiant  because the  kid                                                              
wants  to ruin  his day.  There  are significant  needs that  they                                                              
need to address. They would probably be working in triage mode.                                                                 
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND said  it's not  the what did  you do  question,                                                              
it's what happened  to you. She is starting to  understand how all                                                              
this  works. It  is incredible  that  they are  having to  provide                                                              
services  like this,  but if  they didn't,  teaching and  learning                                                              
would not happen.                                                                                                               
DR. PARADY said  that ASDN introduced Linda Chamberlain  to Alaska                                                              
about  ten years  ago  because their  educators  have needed  that                                                              
support with  trauma-informed and  trauma-engaged practices.  They                                                              
have offered  that for years and will  continue to do so.  It is a                                                              
basic  need.  Those skills  are  required  today to  best  support                                                              
CO-CHAIR  STORY said  they hear  the  job of  teaching is  getting                                                              
harder. She  asked if  the association  has data  that the  job is                                                              
harder and if the number of special kids is increasing.                                                                         
DR. PARADY  answered that they do  not have those  trendlines, but                                                              
maybe DEED does. They will be working on getting that to her.                                                                   
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND  said  the  remote  schools  have  the  highest                                                              
turnover  among teachers  and  principals in  2018  and 2019.  She                                                              
asked Mr.  Carstens if  they have any  idea how Alaska's  turnover                                                              
rate compares to other states.                                                                                                  
MR.  CARSTENS replied  that  Alaska does  have  a higher  turnover                                                              
rate. He  is not  sure what  it is in  the lower  48. At  times he                                                              
gets phone  calls from principals  in rural areas. They  are often                                                              
from out  of state. They  come to Alaska  after they  have retired                                                              
in  the lower  48  and are  looking  for an  adventure.  A lot  of                                                              
people come  and end up leaving.  Some people make it.  It is such                                                              
a different  animal  than what  they are  used to,  being able  to                                                              
drive to the store  to buy a gallon of milk for  a couple of bucks                                                              
instead of going  to the store and buying a gallon  of milk for 15                                                              
bucks. Unique challenges.                                                                                                       
DR. PARADY  said  that they  are in a  cohort with  the states  of                                                              
Washington,  Oregon,   Idaho,  and  Montana  with   the  Northwest                                                              
Regional Lab  to study what  that looks  like. All the  states are                                                              
experiencing an  extreme shortage.  They are trying  to understand                                                              
all sides of  that. What the shortage looks like.  What strategies                                                              
are  working. What  are the  reasons  for the  turnover. She  will                                                              
share the preliminary data with the committee.                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR STORY said  she appreciated the efforts  and partnerships                                                              
to grow their own educators.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  said  that  they  spoke  about  Educators                                                              
Rising, the teacher  mentorship program, and the  teacher job fair                                                              
with only 80  some candidates instead of hundreds.  He pointed out                                                              
that  those are  run  through the  K-12  Outreach  program at  the                                                              
university.  Educators  Rising,  teacher mentorship  program,  the                                                              
Alaska teacher  placement program, and the  place-based curriculum                                                              
office are  all within the K-12  Outreach program. It is  not well                                                              
known  and utilized,  but  it does  good  and  important work.  He                                                              
asked how ACSA partners with that K-12 office.                                                                                  
DR.  PARADY  responded  that  ACSA  does  partner  with  the  K-12                                                              
office.   They  are  often   presenters   at  meetings  to   share                                                              
opportunities  that are available  to members.  She sits  on their                                                              
advisory board  and is  in regular contact  with Dr.  Atwater, who                                                              
works closely with  them, and their director. Her  members help to                                                              
shape the  services they provide  because they  do a great  job of                                                              
doing  needs  assessment.  There  has been  a  lot  of  discussion                                                              
around  Alaska Teacher  Placement and  what is  the future  of the                                                              
job fair  in terms of  return on investment.  They have  gone from                                                              
thousands of  applicants to  80. Last year  it was 211.  They have                                                              
to look at  ways to enhance  those numbers. They will  continue to                                                              
work with  them to  answer those  questions.  While K-12 is  doing                                                              
wonderful things,  her members recognized  services that  were not                                                              
being   provided  to   principals,   superintendents,  and   other                                                              
administrators  and   took  it  upon  themselves,   through  their                                                              
association,  to   provide  those.  Mentorship   and  professional                                                              
learning  in  those early  transition  years  can help  to  retain                                                              
them. They  know anecdotally, from  talking to new folks,  that it                                                              
does make a  difference when they  get that call from  a mentor or                                                              
have  that  opportunity  to  call someone.  She  could  tell  many                                                              
stories about  a superintendent flying  on his or her own  dime to                                                              
fly to  another district  to help  that first-time  superintendent                                                              
with the  budget. There  are incredible  stories. These  folks are                                                              
helping  each  other.  There  isn't  a  person  in  the  room  who                                                              
wouldn't  pick  up a  phone  to  do  so. It  is  remarkable.  They                                                              
understand  that they  are in crisis  and everyone  is doing  what                                                              
they can.                                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  said he has heard almost  identical issues                                                              
with  teacher  turnover. Mentorship,  support,  and  understanding                                                              
how  the world  works  are  things  shared throughout  the  school                                                              
MR. CARSTENS  said that  no one  knows what  the future  holds for                                                              
the  teacher  job fair.  One  of  the  reasons  is that  the  fair                                                              
happens in  April and  school districts  don't know their  budgets                                                              
and so  no one is  hiring there either.  No positions  are posted,                                                              
which  contributes to  losing teachers  to  the lower  48, so  the                                                              
teachers they do produce, they will lose.                                                                                       
9:47:48 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH  said  the  elephant  in  the  room  is  that  the                                                              
legislature  forward funded  education  last  year. That  included                                                              
the  base  student  allocation   amount  plus  $30  million  extra                                                              
dollars.  It would  take  an act  of  the legislature  to  reverse                                                              
that,  and he  encourages  his colleagues  not  to,  but there  is                                                              
discussion in  the majorities  in the House  and Senate to  do so.                                                              
If  they did,  he asked  what impact  that would  have on  teacher                                                              
MR. CARSTENS replied  that it would have a huge impact  if the $30                                                              
million  is repealed.  That  would  force them  to  go into  their                                                              
reserves  more, almost zeroing  those reserves.  He would  presume                                                              
that  many  of the  nontenured,  the  younger,  dynamic  teachers,                                                              
would  leave and  not  come  back. By  the  time they  know  their                                                              
budgets, they  will be swimming in  the shallow end of  a depleted                                                              
candidate pool.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR BEGICH  said that his follow  up is that it would  take an                                                              
act  of  legislature.  Both bodies  would  have  to  affirmatively                                                              
reject  the act  that passed  last  year. He  wanted to  encourage                                                              
them  to remind  his  legislative  colleagues of  the  devastation                                                              
this would  cause when they have  meetings to discuss  things like                                                              
improved  graduation   rates  and  how  they  are   on  the  right                                                              
trajectory. What  Mr. Carstens  just said is  that they  will slip                                                              
backwards  and begin to  fail students  again. He  asked if  he is                                                              
correct in that assumption.                                                                                                     
MR. CARSTENS  replied that  yes, he is  exactly right.  He thanked                                                              
him for  reminding them that that  is something they  can advocate                                                              
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  said asked  Mr. Horn  to explain the  community                                                              
services  category on the  slide, "COMBINED  ALL SCHOOL  DISTRICTS                                                              
STATE OF ALASKA."                                                                                                               
MR. HORN said  that is not even  a tenth of a percent.  It relates                                                              
to activities provided  to the community. There  are some staffing                                                              
costs. In the past  a lot of costs were going  into this category,                                                              
so this community  service line was created. Only  a few districts                                                              
incur those minimal costs.                                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND  noted  that   Nenana  had  the  funeral  of  a                                                              
renowned  Alaskan  in  the  school  gym  recently  and  there  was                                                              
probably not another facility that could have handled that.                                                                     
MR. HORN said that was right.                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND said  that he  mentioned  that in  a number  of                                                              
communities, school districts pay for teacher housing.                                                                          
MR. HORN  said yes.  That is under  Operations and Maintenance  of                                                              
Plant.  There  is often  a  capital  component of  purchasing  the                                                              
properties.  They  could  be  rentals,  and  then  there  are  the                                                              
utilities. Some  school districts charge  rent but at  a favorable                                                              
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND said  she was  sure that  was something  school                                                              
districts in the lower 48 don't do too often.                                                                                   
MR. HORN said he was not aware of any.                                                                                          
9:55:51 AM                                                                                                                    
There  being no  further business  to come  before the  committee,                                                              
Co-Chair Drummond  adjourned the joint  meeting of the  Senate and                                                              
House education committees at 9:55 a.m.