Legislature(2019 - 2020)CAPITOL 106

04/03/2019 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
08:02:25 AM Start
08:03:06 AM Confirmation Hearing(s): University of Alaska Board of Regents
09:02:53 AM HB24
09:04:36 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
University of Alaska Board of Regents
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                     ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                 
                HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                            
                          April 3, 2019                                                                                         
                            8:02 a.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Harriet Drummond, Co-Chair                                                                                       
Representative Andi Story, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Grier Hopkins                                                                                                    
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky                                                                                                 
Representative Josh Revak                                                                                                       
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
University of Alaska Board of Regents                                                                                         
     John Bania - Wrangell, Alaska                                                                                              
     Darroll Hargraves - Matanuska-Susitna, Alaska                                                                              
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
HOUSE BILL NO. 24                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to instruction in a language other than                                                                        
English; and relating to limited teacher certificates."                                                                         
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB  24                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LIMITED TEACHER CERTIFICATES; LANGUAGES                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KREISS-TOMKINS                                                                                    
02/20/19       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/19                                                                                
02/20/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/20/19       (H)       EDC, L&C                                                                                               
03/29/19       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/29/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/29/19       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/01/19       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
04/01/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/01/19       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/03/19       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JOHN BANIA, Appointee                                                                                                           
University of Alaska Board of Regents                                                                                           
Wrangell, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as  appointee to the University of                                                             
Alaska Board of Regents.                                                                                                        
DARROLL HARGRAVES                                                                                                               
University of Alaska Board of Regents                                                                                           
Matanuska-Susitna, Alaska                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as  appointee to the University of                                                             
Alaska Board of Regents.                                                                                                        
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:02:25 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HARRIET DRUMMOND  called the  House Education  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 8:02 a.m.   Representatives Revak,                                                               
Tuck,  Zulkosky,  Story,  Hopkins,  Johnson,  and  Drummond  were                                                               
present at the call to order.                                                                                                   
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S): University of Alaska Board of Regents                                                                 
 CONFIRMATION HEARING(S): University of Alaska Board of Regents                                                             
8:03:06 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND announced  that  the first  order of  business                                                               
would be  the confirmation hearings  on the University  of Alaska                                                               
Board of Regents.                                                                                                               
8:03:45 AM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  BANIA, Appointee,  University of  Alaska Board  of Regents,                                                               
introduced himself  and relayed  his experience  in the  field of                                                               
education in reference to his  resume and his personal journey to                                                               
Alaska.   He  stated that  he has  been a  "gypsy" in  the state,                                                               
having lived  in various  areas throughout  the state  of Alaska.                                                               
Mr. Bania said  he is interested in serving on  the board because                                                               
he "knows  the importance  of a great  education."   He commended                                                               
the research facilities of the University  of Alaska.  He said he                                                               
hopes to  bring a perspective to  the board that many  without an                                                               
education  do not  have.   He  related that  he  has master's  in                                                               
vocational technical  education.   He stated that  his experience                                                               
throughout the  state in various  fields has provided him  with a                                                               
viewpoint that most people do not have.                                                                                         
8:07:40 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY asked  Mr. Bania  what he  sees, after  his                                                               
experience as  superintendent, as important links  between the K-                                                               
12 system and the University of Alaska (UA) system.                                                                             
8:08:04 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BANIA  opined that there  should be more contact  between the                                                               
K-12 system and the university  in the area of teacher education.                                                               
He  opined  that  one  area  that needs  to  be  enhanced  is  in                                                               
awareness of  what life is like  in rural Alaska; people  come to                                                               
the Bush  [to work in  the school system] without  much knowledge                                                               
of what to expect.                                                                                                              
8:09:41 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS asked where Mr.  Bania sees UA in the next                                                               
20 years, particularly with regard  to the role of the university                                                               
in training and retaining Alaska teachers.                                                                                      
MR.  BANIA emphasized  the importance  of  sustainable socio  and                                                               
economic  development.   He said  teacher recruitment  outside of                                                               
the hub cities of Alaska has  become more difficult.  People used                                                               
to come  to work  in rural  Alaska for  adventure; now  they seem                                                               
more interested in amenities.   He suggested using the military's                                                               
strategy for recruitment - describing  the position as more of an                                                               
adventure than  a job.   He  said he thinks  programs need  to be                                                               
brought  in high  schools in  order  to recruit  people into  the                                                               
field  of education.    He said  the advent  of  cell phones  and                                                               
social  media  has made  teaching  more  difficult, because  "any                                                               
little  thing  that occurs  in  the  school is  immediately  made                                                               
public and made out to be,  perhaps at times, overly serious than                                                               
it really  is."  He said  a recruitment program has  to show what                                                               
it is  really like to  be a teacher.   He stated that  he thought                                                               
high school level  programs could assist in  the encouragement of                                                               
students to pursue the field of education.                                                                                      
8:13:32 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS asked how  Mr. Bania imagines his position                                                               
on the board  would assist with the accreditation  process of the                                                               
University of Alaska - Anchorage's (UAA's) education program.                                                                   
MR. BANIA  mentioned likely  budget cuts and  stated that  at the                                                               
moment, the  most prudent decision  may be to  have accreditation                                                               
come from the Fairbanks or Juneau branches.                                                                                     
8:15:08 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  stated that  on and  off over  the years                                                               
there has  been a teacher  mentorship program designed  to assist                                                               
new   teachers  in   acclimating   to  the   culture  in   remote                                                               
communities.  She asked for  Mr. Bania's impression of the future                                                               
of the program.                                                                                                                 
MR.  BANIA  responded  that  a couple  summers  ago,  the  Alaska                                                               
Humanities Forum  was involved  in a  program with  the Northwest                                                               
Arctic  Borough School  District, in  which there  was a  culture                                                               
camp on  the Kobuk River.   He characterized  it as similar  to a                                                               
cultural  immersion program  for new  teachers.   He mentioned  a                                                               
mentorship  program  at  the University  of  Alaska  -  Fairbanks                                                               
(UAF),  which  was  helpful to  students  originally  from  other                                                               
states in  becoming teachers and  principals.  He said,  "I think                                                               
it's a great program; I think  it needs improvement and should be                                                               
continued."   In  response to  a follow-up  question, he  said he                                                               
kept in  touch with many of  the students from the  culture camp.                                                               
He said most  returned for a second year  teaching, some returned                                                               
for a third year, and a few are still working in rural Alaska.                                                                  
8:18:39 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  asked whether,  during his short  time on                                                               
the  board, Mr.  Bania  has  thought about  ways  UA can  prepare                                                               
teachers for Alaska.                                                                                                            
MR. BANIA answered that he had  spoken with the chancellor of UAA                                                               
and offered to meet with those  who train future teachers to give                                                               
them  his perspective  of  what it  is like  [to  teach in  rural                                                               
Alaska].   He said  currently people  are "inundated  with budget                                                               
8:20:36 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  asked Mr.  Bania what  he thinks  the focus                                                               
should be for UA into the future.                                                                                               
MR.  BANIA answered  that he  wants to  support and  improve UA's                                                               
research  programs.   He  said  if there  are  budget cuts,  then                                                               
difficult decisions  will have  to be made  as to  which programs                                                               
may or  may not continue.   He talked about  recruiting students,                                                               
not just from Alaska, but from the Lower 48 and other countries.                                                                
8:21:52 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS asked  Mr.  Bania how  he has  interacted                                                               
with higher education in the last five years.                                                                                   
MR.  BANIA responded  that  he has  had  indirect interaction  by                                                               
keeping abreast of  what is going on in the  university and rural                                                               
school districts across  the state.  He said he  gets phone calls                                                               
from people with questions and requests for his advice.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  asked Mr. Bania  how he thinks  the board                                                               
may play into Title IX issues, especially at UAF.                                                                               
MR.   BANIA   stated   that   issues   should   be   dealt   with                                                               
"professionally,  lawfully,  ...  prudently,   and  in  a  timely                                                               
8:24:16 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  noted that Mr.  Bania raised a  child in                                                               
Alaska, who is  going to be a physician in  his current hometown.                                                               
She asked  whether Mr.  Bania had any  experience with  the WWAMI                                                               
Regional  Medical  Education  Program  [pronounced  "Whammy"  and                                                               
comprising   the   first   letters  of   the   states   involved:                                                               
Washington, Wyoming,  Alaska, Montana, and Idaho].   She inquired                                                               
whether Mr.  Bania knew of  Governor Mike Dunleavy's plan  to cut                                                               
the program.                                                                                                                    
8:24:46 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BANIA related that his son  was interested in the program but                                                               
ultimately chose  a different program.   He said he is  aware the                                                               
governor  has  advocated the  elimination  of  the program.    He                                                               
opined  that  the  WWAMI  program  is  one  of  the  university's                                                               
strengths, and  he said  he would be  surprised if  it ultimately                                                               
was eliminated.                                                                                                                 
8:26:49 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS referenced  Mr. Bania's  experience as  a                                                               
superintendent of the Tanana City  School District and asked what                                                               
experience he had with addressing large-scale budget cuts.                                                                      
MR. BANIA  talked about his  involvement getting the  Tanana City                                                               
School  District's  budget  from  red  to  black.    He  said  as                                                               
superintendent   in  Kotzebue,   he  dealt   with  a   budget  of                                                               
approximately $40 million.   He said he feels  he has experience,                                                               
but not at the larger scale being addressed by the governor.                                                                    
8:29:10 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ZULKOSKY observed that  Mr. Bania had spoken quite                                                               
a  lot about  his  experience  in rural  Alaska.    She said  the                                                               
governor's proposed  budget cuts could have  a significant impact                                                               
on UA's community  campuses throughout the state.   She asked Mr.                                                               
Bania  to speak  to his  "support and  position" regarding  those                                                               
8:29:51 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BANIA emphasized  that the  current proposed  budget is  not                                                               
final.  He  stated that the rural campuses are  an important part                                                               
of the communities  in which they are  located; however, "whether                                                               
or  not  they'll  all  be  able  to  remain  in  operation  is  a                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ZULKOSKY asked  what Mr. Bania would  do to ensure                                                               
equitable  access  to  UA  programs  if  the  proposed  cuts  are                                                               
MR. BANIA answered that local  communities will have to pitch in,                                                               
and  he suggested  that online  courses would  allow students  in                                                               
those communities to maintain their education.                                                                                  
8:33:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  stated that  there are issues  Mr. Bania                                                               
will become aware of as a  member of the Alaska Board of Regents,                                                               
such as  equitable broadband  access that  would be  necessary in                                                               
order  to make  the  cooperative effort  Mr.  Bania talked  about                                                               
feasible.  She thanked Mr. Bania for his service to Alaska.                                                                     
8:34:48 AM                                                                                                                    
DARROLL  HARGRAVES,  Appointee,  University of  Alaska  Board  of                                                               
Regents,  relayed   his  personal   background  and   time  spent                                                               
throughout Alaska.   He stated  he worked as an  administrator at                                                               
UAF and superintendent at schools,  including in Ketchikan, Nome,                                                               
and  Tok, during  which time  he did  some private  consulting as                                                               
superintendent.     He  continued   to  relay   his  professional                                                               
qualifications, including  a position as  a member of  the Alaska                                                               
Local Boundary Commission.                                                                                                      
8:40:18 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. HARGRAVES  stated that some  topics being discussed  now were                                                               
being discussed  back in the '70s.   For example, he  spoke about                                                               
credit hours and how they are  not the same across schools, which                                                               
creates problems  when students want  to transfer.   He mentioned                                                               
the  budget  issue and  the  issue  about accreditation  for  the                                                               
Department of  Education [at  UAA].  He  opined that  the Teacher                                                               
Preparation  Program is  important.   He  suggested an  extension                                                               
site from UAF for teacher certification.                                                                                        
8:45:25 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS asked  Mr. Hargraves  to speak  about his                                                               
experience  with  higher  education   in  the  last  five  years,                                                               
specifically with the UA system.                                                                                                
MR.  HARGRAVES answered  that although  he has  had an  extensive                                                               
history since 1970,  he has not had much involvement  in the last                                                               
five years.  He mentioned that  he tried an online course through                                                               
the  university.    In  response  to  a  follow-up  question,  he                                                               
estimated that took place five years  ago.  He noted that when he                                                               
had  been  involved  with  the   university,  there  had  been  a                                                               
correspondence study  in which  about 900  students participated.                                                               
He said he thinks he learned  more through his online course than                                                               
he  would  have   in  a  classroom  setting.     In  response  to                                                               
Representative Hopkins' question  about the role of  the board in                                                               
addressing  Title IX  issues, he  said the  UA administration  is                                                               
committed to addressing Title IX issues.                                                                                        
8:50:05 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  asked Mr.  Hargraves what  he sees  as "the                                                               
important link between the K-12 system and the university."                                                                     
MR. HARGRAVES  responded that the  Community College Act  of 1962                                                               
made it  possible for the school  districts and the UA  system to                                                               
cooperate, and he said he thinks "that should be solidified."                                                                   
He expressed  support for high school  students taking university                                                               
level classes.                                                                                                                  
8:52:35 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   STORY   stated   that   graduation   rates   are                                                               
increasing,  and students  should  be  prepared upon  graduation.                                                               
She  suggested  it  could be  productive  to  have  collaboration                                                               
between  high school  teachers and  UA educators  to ensure  that                                                               
high  school students  are prepared  and equipped  for a  college                                                               
education.  She asked Mr. Hargraves to comment.                                                                                 
8:53:35 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. HARGRAVES  responded that  he thinks more  of that  should be                                                               
8:54:40 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   HOPKINS  asked   how   Mr.  Hargraves   imagined                                                               
addressing the issue of deferred maintenance.                                                                                   
8:54:54 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. HARGRAVES answered that he  hopes the board would get reports                                                               
indicating  "what progress  is being  established in  that area."                                                               
He said he  thinks the budgeting process needs  to determine what                                                               
the priorities  are.  He  said, "You can't defer  the maintenance                                                               
on  the kind  of  facilities  that we  have  on campuses  without                                                               
eventually having to  pay the price."  He said  there should be a                                                               
dedicated fund rather  than the inefficient process  of having to                                                               
ask the legislature for funds.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS, in  reference to  a previous  comment by                                                               
Mr. Hargraves,  noted that President  Johnson, in a state  of the                                                               
university  address  last  week,  had remarked  that  the  credit                                                               
transfer process between the university campuses is seamless.                                                                   
MR. HARGRAVES  said he did  not want to contradict  the president                                                               
of  the university,  but  he  shared his  belief  that there  are                                                               
different  requirements for  the  same course  in Fairbanks,  for                                                               
example, than  in Anchorage.   He said  he thinks there  is still                                                               
work to be done on the issue.                                                                                                   
8:58:09 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   DRUMMOND   thanked   Mr.   Hargraves   for   his                                                               
willingness to serve the state.                                                                                                 
8:58:21 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HARGRAVES stated  that UA  is a  land grant  university, and                                                               
over the  years, that land  grant has  been "tossed around."   He                                                               
expressed hope that  the state would take the lead  in making the                                                               
land grant  "come to  fruition."   He opined  that the  amount of                                                               
lands needs to  increase, the bulk advance needs to  be paid, and                                                               
he would  like to see  student tuition cut  in half.   He stated,                                                               
"If the  university would  take care  of those  lands and  put it                                                               
into the University of Alaska  Foundation permanent endowment, we                                                               
could see  enough money generated  to help with the  tuition that                                                               
students have  to pay."   He named the land  grant as one  of his                                                               
top priorities.                                                                                                                 
8:59:38 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND affirmed his  concern. Then she mentioned                                                               
land-generated revenues  through mineral resources or  other land                                                               
use and pointed out that the land can only be sold once.                                                                        
9:00:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  STORY   stated  that   the  House   Education  Standing                                                               
Committee  had  reviewed  the qualifications  of  the  governor's                                                               
appointees  to the  University  of Alaska  Board  of Regents  and                                                               
recommends that the names of  John Bania and Darroll Hargraves be                                                               
forwarded   for  consideration   by  a   joint  session   of  the                                                               
legislature.   She said this  does not  reflect intent by  any of                                                               
the members to  vote for or against these  individuals during any                                                               
further  sessions  for  the  purposes   of  confirmation.    [The                                                               
confirmations were considered advanced.]                                                                                        
9:00:52 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 9:01 a.m. to 9:02 a.m.                                                                       
          HB  24-LIMITED TEACHER CERTIFICATES; LANGUAGES                                                                    
9:02:53 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND announced  that  the final  order of  business                                                               
would be HOUSE BILL NO. 24,  "An Act relating to instruction in a                                                               
language  other than  English; and  relating  to limited  teacher                                                               
9:02:58 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND opened public testimony on HB 24.  After                                                                
ascertaining that no one wished to testify, she closed public                                                                   
9:03:29 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STORY expressed her appreciation for an article                                                                  
included in the packet that related the strong record that                                                                      
immersion programs have shown.                                                                                                  
[HB 24 was held over.]                                                                                                          
9:04:36 AM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Education Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 9:05 a.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
UA Regent Darroll Hargraves Resume.pdf HEDC 4/3/2019 8:00:00 AM
UA Regent John Bania.Resume.pdf HEDC 4/3/2019 8:00:00 AM