Legislature(2019 - 2020)CAPITOL 106

05/08/2019 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                          May 8, 2019                                                                                           
                           8:04 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Harriet Drummond, Co-Chair                                                                                       
Representative Andi Story, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Grier Hopkins                                                                                                    
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky                                                                                                 
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 109                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to residency requirements for public school                                                                    
enrollment for certain children of active duty military                                                                         
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
HOUSE BILL NO. 136                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to public school funding for social and                                                                        
emotional learning; and providing for an effective date."                                                                       
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 109                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MILITARY CHILDREN SCHOOL RESIDENCY WAIVER                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) LEDOUX                                                                                            
03/25/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/25/19       (H)       MLV, EDC                                                                                               
04/09/19       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/09/19       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
04/11/19       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/11/19       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
04/16/19       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/16/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/16/19       (H)       MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                            
04/18/19       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/18/19       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
04/23/19       (H)       MLV AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
04/23/19       (H)       Moved CSHB 109(MLV) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/23/19       (H)       MINUTE(MLV)                                                                                            
04/24/19       (H)       MLV RPT CS(MLV) NT 6DP                                                                                 
04/24/19       (H)       DP: KOPP, THOMPSON, JACKSON, TARR,                                                                     
                         TUCK, LEDOUX                                                                                           
05/08/19       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
BILL: HB 136                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PUBLIC SCHOOLS: SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL LEARNING                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) HOPKINS                                                                                           
04/16/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/16/19       (H)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
05/08/19       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE GABRIELLE LEDOUX                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As the prime sponsor, introduced HB 109.                                                                 
DENEEN TUCK, Staff                                                                                                              
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  On behalf of Representative LeDoux, prime                                                                
sponsor of HB 109, provided information regarding the proposed                                                                  
committee substitute for the bill.                                                                                              
TAMMIE PERREAULT, Regional Liaison                                                                                              
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)                                                                                                
Washington, DC                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions related to HB 109.                                                                    
HEIDI TESHNER, Director                                                                                                         
Division of Administrative Services                                                                                             
Department of Education & Early Development (DEED)                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions related to HB 109.                                                                    
DEENA BISHOP, PhD, Superintendent                                                                                               
Anchorage School District (ASD)                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 109.                                                                          
MICHAEL GRAHAM, Chief Academic Officer                                                                                          
Anchorage School District (ASD)                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided testimony related to HB 109.                                                                    
JAMES ANDERSON, Chief Financial Officer                                                                                         
Anchorage School District                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 109.                                                                          
TANIA CLUCAS, Staff                                                                                                             
Representative Grier Hopkins                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  On behalf of Representative Hopkins, prime                                                               
sponsor of HB 136, provided detailed information related to the                                                                 
JAN DAVIS, SEL and Positive Behavior Coordinator                                                                                
Anchorage School District (ASD)                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Gave invited testimony related to HB 136.                                                                
JENNIFER KNUTSON, PhD, Senior Director                                                                                          
Department of Teaching and Learning                                                                                             
Anchorage School District (ASD)                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Gave invited testimony related to HB 136                                                                 
and spoke in support of the bill.                                                                                               
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:04:26 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  ANDI   STORY  called   the  House   Education  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order  at   8:04  a.m.    Representatives                                                               
Hopkins, Zulkosky, Drummond,  and Story were present  at the call                                                               
to order.                                                                                                                       
        HB 109-MILITARY CHILDREN SCHOOL RESIDENCY WAIVER                                                                    
8:06:24 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE   BILL  NO.   109,  "An   Act  relating   to  residency                                                               
requirements for  public school  enrollment for  certain children                                                               
of  active duty  military members."   [Before  the committee  was                                                               
CSHB 109(MLV).]                                                                                                                 
CO-CHAIR STORY drew attention to  the paper copy of [the proposed                                                               
committee  substitute  (CS)  for  HB  109,  labeled  31-LS0728\S,                                                               
Caouette, 4/24/19,] provided on the dais before each member.                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY  requested the sponsor  to explain  the background                                                               
and reason for the [proposed CS].                                                                                               
8:07:00 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GABRIELLE LEDOUX,  Alaska  State Legislature,  as                                                               
prime sponsor of HB 109, requested  her aide, Ms. Deneen Tuck, to                                                               
explain the background and reason for the [proposed CS].                                                                        
8:07:25 AM                                                                                                                    
DENEEN  TUCK,  Staff,  Representative  Gabrielle  LeDoux,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, on  behalf  of  Representative LeDoux,  prime                                                               
sponsor  of  HB  109,  explained that  after  CSHB  109(MLV)  was                                                               
reported  from   the  House  Special  Committee   on  Military  &                                                               
Veterans' Affairs,  it was suggested by  Representative Tarr that                                                               
the word "guardian" be added  where ever "parent" is mentioned in                                                               
the bill.   The word "parent" occurs in Section  1, page 1, lines                                                               
6 and 10, and page 2, line 3.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX stated that HB  109 comes from a request by                                                               
the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).   She explained that DOD is                                                               
trying to  get all states  to pass  bills which allow  parents or                                                               
guardians  of school-age  children  to enroll  their children  in                                                               
school before they arrive in  Alaska and become Alaska residents.                                                               
For example, if a parent  or guardian received transfer papers in                                                               
May  but would  not arrive  in Alaska  until September,  the bill                                                               
would  allow the  children  to be  enrolled  during the  school's                                                               
regular enrollment  period.   This is  important for  high school                                                               
students where courses for graduation  fill up relatively quickly                                                               
or where a  student has courses or electives that  are needed for                                                               
admittance to  the college  of their choice,  and if  the student                                                               
waited  until arriving  in Alaska  those courses  may already  be                                                               
filled.  It's also important for  when a parent or guardian wants                                                               
to enroll  a child into a  charter school, which is  done through                                                               
lotteries  and that  process  may start  prior  to [the  child's]                                                               
arrival in Alaska.                                                                                                              
8:10:09 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  requested clarification about  which bill                                                               
version the committee is working from.                                                                                          
CO-CHAIR STORY  replied the committee  is considering  Version S,                                                               
[the  proposed  committee  substitute  for HB  109,  labeled  31-                                                               
LS0728\S, Caouette, 4/24/19].                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  asked whether  other states  have already                                                               
passed this bill.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX offered her  understanding that some states                                                               
have passed it, but she doesn't know the number.                                                                                
8:11:09 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
8:11:35 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND   moved  to   adopt  the   proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB  109,  labeled  31-LS0728\S,  Caouette,                                                               
4/24/19, as the working document.                                                                                               
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX suggested that  Ms. Tammie Perreault of DOD                                                               
might be  able to answer  Representative Hopkins'  question about                                                               
how many other states have adopted this bill.                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND removed her objection  to adopting the proposed                                                               
CS as  the working document.   There being no  further objection,                                                               
Version S was before the committee.                                                                                             
8:12:32 AM                                                                                                                    
TAMMIE PERREAULT,  Regional Liaison,  U.S. Department  of Defense                                                               
(DOD), addressed  the question from Representative  Hopkins about                                                               
how many  states have adopted  this or a  similar law.   She said                                                               
that, currently, at least six  states have passed this.  Arizona,                                                               
California, Washington,  and Nebraska have already  passed bills.                                                               
It has been  introduced and is in the process  of being passed in                                                               
about  six other  states, including  Florida, Georgia,  and South                                                               
Carolina.  The DOD foresees a  wave of states passing a bill this                                                               
legislative  session.   The  DOD further  foresees  that over  20                                                               
states  will  have  passed  a  bill   by  the  end  of  the  next                                                               
legislative session.  This is a  very new initiative with DOD, so                                                               
Alaska is  early in  the process,  but it  is something  that has                                                               
been vetted  through the  next three states  and is  an important                                                               
part of  improving military child implementation  of education in                                                               
the state of Alaska.                                                                                                            
8:14:40 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ZULKOSKY  posed a  scenario  in  which a  student                                                               
enrolls after  the headcount has  been done for the  base student                                                               
allocation.   She inquired  whether resources  would be  there to                                                               
meet the needs of that student.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  deferred  to  the  Alaska  Department  of                                                               
Education & Early  Development (DEED) for an answer.   She stated                                                               
she  isn't sure  how  this  bill would  change  that because  the                                                               
students are going to be coming in one way or another.                                                                          
CO-CHAIR STORY  offered her understanding  that even  if students                                                               
not from the  military move from another district  or state after                                                               
the count  date they  are not counted  and therefore  she doesn't                                                               
believe this bill would correct that.                                                                                           
8:16:07 AM                                                                                                                    
HEIDI  TESHNER, Director,  Division  of Administrative  Services,                                                               
Department of  Education & Early  Development (DEED),  replied to                                                               
Representative  Zulkosky's question.    She explained  that if  a                                                               
student is enrolled in the  school district for the count period,                                                               
that student  will be counted.   If  a student enrolls  after the                                                               
count period  or anytime  during the  count period,  that student                                                               
would not be funded through the formula as it currently stands.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  ZULKOSKY surmised  that is  true for  any student                                                               
enrolling late,  not just students  with parents or  guardians in                                                               
military service.                                                                                                               
MS. TESHNER responded correct.                                                                                                  
8:17:07 AM                                                                                                                    
DEENA  BISHOP,  PhD,  Superintendent, Anchorage  School  District                                                               
(ASD),  testified  that the  Municipality  of  Anchorage and  the                                                               
Anchorage School District  are honored to serve  the families and                                                               
children of  the military.   Presently, [ASD] serves  about 8,000                                                               
[military]  students,  or 15  percent  of  [ASD's] total  student                                                               
population.   The functions and  people of Joint  Base Elmendorf-                                                               
Richardson (JBER) play a major role in the community and state.                                                                 
DR. BISHOP  said this bill would  allow and ensure that  a school                                                               
district  considers students  as  residents of  the district  and                                                               
offers the ability  to admit them into school  when their parents                                                               
or guardians  are serving as  active duty  members.  The  bill is                                                               
the least [the state] can do  for its highly valued men and women                                                               
of the U.S. military.                                                                                                           
DR. BISHOP  related that  ASD's goal is  to transition  the young                                                               
people  of military  families  effectively,  efficiently, and  as                                                               
easily as  possible.  The  district desires to make  its military                                                               
families'  station  in  Alaska  the  best it  can  be,  and  this                                                               
includes  schooling.   This bill  would  offer peace  of mind  to                                                               
military  families  with school-aged  children  as  they move  to                                                               
Alaska.  It  would also allow school districts to  plan for their                                                               
arrival by  planning for courses  and classes that will  be ready                                                               
and  waiting  for  them.     She  offered  the  Anchorage  School                                                               
District's full support and appreciation for HB 109.                                                                            
8:18:58 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND inquired whether  the Anchorage School District                                                               
has to-date  experienced any enrollment  issues with  children of                                                               
military families due to the lack of the language in this bill.                                                                 
DR. BISHOP  answered that ASD has  not, but she sees  the bill as                                                               
not  necessarily the  impetus on  the school  district doing  its                                                               
work.   The bill speaks to  what is being provided,  the customer                                                               
satisfaction, which is that military  families have peace of mind                                                               
in knowing that their school district will work with them.                                                                      
8:20:17 AM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL   GRAHAM,  Chief   Academic  Officer,   Anchorage  School                                                               
District  (ASD), seconded  Dr. Bishop's  statements and  said ASD                                                               
has not  had problems with  the military.   The district  has two                                                               
military  liaison officers  who  help families  navigate in  this                                                               
regard and  the bill would  provide peace  of mind.   The schools                                                               
and  principles of  the ASD  are aware  and will  do whatever  is                                                               
necessary to  make things work,  whether the students  are coming                                                               
in or transferring out.                                                                                                         
MR. GRAHAM  addressed the question  about funding when  a student                                                               
is not yet  there during the counts.  He  noted that military and                                                               
other students  leave the district  after the count time  and the                                                               
district doesn't  lose that money,  so things likely  balance out                                                               
8:21:44 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY referred to a  letter in the committee packet from                                                               
Patrick  Mayer,  President, Alaska  Superintendents  Association,                                                               
which  notes that  the  bill  seems to  be  written for  incoming                                                               
students.   Mr. Mayer  suggests that  clarifying language  may be                                                               
needed to  address the issue of  students who are leaving  and no                                                               
longer  in  Alaska.    Co-Chair  Story  asked  what  the  current                                                               
practice  is  for a  student  who  is  outgoing and  whether  the                                                               
student could stay in the district.                                                                                             
DR. BISHOP replied  that ASD disagrees with that  letter and does                                                               
not believe  the bill needs to  speak to outgoing students.   The                                                               
district treats outgoing  students as individuals, she  said.  If                                                               
a student  leaves during the middle  of the year, ASD  has always                                                               
worked  with the  families and  the commissioner  of DEED  to get                                                               
permission  for the  student to  continue  his/her education  for                                                               
graduation or  for a family  hardship, such  as when a  parent or                                                               
guardian is deployed and leaves the  state.  She said that as the                                                               
ASD superintendent  she would  not support  any kind  of language                                                               
that would  limit or  make it  more difficult  for ASD  to serve.                                                               
She pointed  out that ASD has  never had an abuse  of this issue,                                                               
it is simply about meeting graduation requirements or hardships.                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY offered  her understanding of this  issue for when                                                               
someone is  in a  current year  and must move  but wants  to stay                                                               
enrolled in the district.  She inquired about subsequent years.                                                                 
DR. BISHOP  responded that ASD does  not have that issue  and has                                                               
not had that request.  The  ASD is not a national correspondence,                                                               
it serves state students.                                                                                                       
8:25:37 AM                                                                                                                    
JAMES  ANDERSON,   Chief  Financial  Officer,   Anchorage  School                                                               
District, related that he spent 27  years on active duty with the                                                               
U.S. Army  prior to retiring four  years ago in Anchorage.   Each                                                               
of  his  daughters  attended  nine   different  schools  as  they                                                               
progressed  from kindergarten  through  graduation.   Both  times                                                               
when his family moved to  Anchorage his children were registered,                                                               
knew what  was going to happen,  knew they would get  the classes                                                               
they needed,  and felt  comfortable before  even hitting  the ASD                                                               
schoolgrounds.   This is not  necessarily the norm;  his children                                                               
attended  schools that  were not  as  welcoming and  were not  as                                                               
helpful, which  created chaos  for his kids  in trying  to figure                                                               
out  what they  would be  doing.   He said  he applauds  the bill                                                               
sponsor's  efforts  and the  national  efforts  to recognize  the                                                               
challenge  that  military  children  face.   He  added  that  his                                                               
daughters still call Anchorage home and  much of that is how they                                                               
were welcomed and embraced when coming into the school district.                                                                
8:27:45 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY  opened public  testimony on HB  109.   She closed                                                               
public testimony after ascertaining no one wished to testify.                                                                   
CO-CHAIR STORY observed the fiscal note for HB 109 is zero.                                                                     
8:28:19 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY held over HB 109.                                                                                                
        HB 136-PUBLIC SCHOOLS: SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL LEARNING                                                                    
8:28:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 136, "An  Act relating to public school funding                                                               
for  social   and  emotional  learning;  and   providing  for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
8:29:07 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS,   as  the  prime  sponsor   of  HB  136,                                                               
introduced the bill.  He said he  is honored to sponsor HB 136 as                                                               
part  of  the  ongoing  efforts   of  the  legislature  and  this                                                               
committee to  take a  detailed look  at ways  to improve  how the                                                               
state prepares young Alaskans for  life success through education                                                               
and job readiness.  He explained  HB 136 would help Alaska school                                                               
districts  to protect  funds for  social  and emotional  learning                                                               
(SEL) by  requiring a  percentage of the  funds distributed  by a                                                               
formula fund  to be  allocated to  social and  emotional learning                                                               
activities.     The  necessity  of  these   activities  has  been                                                               
recognized  by  the  legislature  and  would  be  protected  from                                                               
elimination during these  times of budget crisis  by the language                                                               
in HB 136.   The bill is not intended  to dedicate specific state                                                               
funds;  instead, it  would  be  one-half of  one  percent of  the                                                               
equivalent of how  much money goes from the state  to each school                                                               
district.   As  the  bill  is currently  written,  a  grant or  a                                                               
private donation could account for this money.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  noted the  committee has heard  from many                                                               
presenters over  the session about  the importance of  social and                                                               
emotional  learning  (SEL), otherwise  known  as  soft skills  or                                                               
people skills.  For example,  before the committee last week Mark                                                               
Foster noted that,  "Social skills tend to be  a better predictor                                                               
of success in  life."  Representative Hopkins  related that these                                                               
types  of   skills  include  motivation,   self-restraint,  self-                                                               
reflection, and  empathy.  Alaska  spends more than  $1.5 billion                                                               
annually  on education  and workforce  development, yet  research                                                               
shows that  the most  important indicator  for future  success is                                                               
thorough and  effective social and emotional  education, not just                                                               
concentrating on  reading, writing, and  math.  An  investment of                                                               
one-half  of  one  percent  is   a  very  small  amount  with  an                                                               
incalculable return.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  pointed  out that  nearly  every  school                                                               
district in  Alaska currently does  work on social  and emotional                                                               
learning  in some  way.   In  its  current form,  HB  136 has  no                                                               
additional cost  to the state.   The intent and goal  of the bill                                                               
is  to ensure  that the  districts continue  to concentrate  at a                                                               
minimum  level  of  their  budgets  on  this  important  type  of                                                               
curriculum  and program,  as well  as  to continue  to drive  the                                                               
conversation.    He  noted  the  intent is  to  hold  HB  136  in                                                               
committee and  work over the  interim with stakeholder  groups to                                                               
further refine the specifics of the  bill.  He related that there                                                               
was some concern about starting  to dedicate parts of the funding                                                               
formula and interrupting the work that the districts are doing.                                                                 
8:33:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND asked  whether  HB 136  would  create any  new                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS replied the bill  would not create any new                                                               
programs or specify  specifically how the districts  need to work                                                               
on  social and  emotional learning.   The  districts would  still                                                               
have flexibility to know what is  best for their students and not                                                               
be mandated by the legislature as to what lessons or programs.                                                                  
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND  inquired  whether  HB  136  would  place  any                                                               
restrictions on a district's ability to fund these programs.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS responded it would not.                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND asked  why social  and  emotional learning  is                                                               
necessary in Alaska's schools.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS answered  that  starting in  kindergarten                                                               
the state  tests standards  for playing well  in the  sandbox and                                                               
working well  with others, in  an understanding of what  it takes                                                               
to  be a  stronger functioning  member of  society as  opposed to                                                               
just  learning multiplication  tables  or the  periodic table  of                                                               
elements.   This look at social  skills goes all the  way through                                                               
high school  because they determine  future success.  There  is a                                                               
wide array of research that backs this up.                                                                                      
8:34:44 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ZULKOSKY  recounted that the committee  has talked                                                               
this  year  and  last  about  the  impact  of  adverse  childhood                                                               
experiences  and the  importance of  ensuring that  children come                                                               
into  the  classroom with  readiness  to  learn, which  sometimes                                                               
takes  focus   in  other  areas  beyond   reading,  writing,  and                                                               
curriculum.  She  pointed out that in rural  districts the larger                                                               
districts would  probably be better  able to absorb this  type of                                                               
dedication/expectation of  funds, but that it  might be difficult                                                               
for  the smaller  districts.   She asked  whether there  has been                                                               
vetting  and   conversations  with   the  smaller   rural  school                                                               
districts  that  may  have a  more  difficult  time  implementing                                                               
something  like this.   She  suggested  that, if  not, this  work                                                               
could happen over the interim.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS replied  "absolutely" and  explained that                                                               
the original  impetus behind the  bill was that  school districts                                                               
of all sizes are having to do  a lot of health and social service                                                               
work  with students  who come  to school  with adverse  childhood                                                               
experiences,  and  seeing  how   that  impacted  the  classrooms.                                                               
Districts are  working hard on  preparing the students  to learn.                                                               
A spreadsheet  in the  committee packet shows  how much  money it                                                               
would  be  for each  school  district  under the  bill's  current                                                               
structure  -  the  Anchorage School  District  is  obviously  the                                                               
highest amount, while Pelican is  the smallest at [$2,687], which                                                               
is not a  heavy lift.  Representative Hopkins said  he has talked                                                               
to  school districts  of all  sizes.   For example,  the Tok  and                                                               
Dillingham  school district  superintendents  were excited  about                                                               
the bill  and liked that  it would  remove some of  the political                                                               
dialogue and the  political pressure when they  are forming their                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  continued his reply.   He allowed  he has                                                               
heard concern  from the Alaska  Association of School  Boards and                                                               
former members of school boards  about theoretically getting "the                                                               
nose of the  camel under the tent" such  that future legislatures                                                               
might  want  to  also  dedicate   a  portion  of  funding  toward                                                               
something  else,  and then  something  else,  and then  something                                                               
else.  Because  he doesn't want to open that  door and because he                                                               
wants  to allow  flexibility for  the districts,  he is  going to                                                               
back off  mandating a certain amount  of money and work  with the                                                               
school  boards,  superintendents,  and school  district  business                                                               
officers  to find  out how  to  continue to  drive that  dialogue                                                               
instead of mandating funding levels.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE ZULKOSKY  said she  appreciates this answer.   She                                                               
noted  that  it would  require  $30,000  for  one of  the  school                                                               
districts  in her  region, which  is a  heavy lift  for a  school                                                               
district that serves three small villages.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS offered his  understanding that funding is                                                               
tight and said he doesn't want to put on pressure.                                                                              
8:39:28 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY  observed that the  bill on  page 1, line  7, only                                                               
says "state  aid" and nothing  about grant money.   She suggested                                                               
that this language be added.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS responded  he will look at  this to ensure                                                               
the language is specific on how that funding needs to be shown.                                                                 
CO-CHAIR  STORY  complimented  the sponsor  for  the  information                                                               
provided in the packet.  She  offered her belief that all members                                                               
of the  committee believe  in social  and emotional  learning and                                                               
wish they could be adding this  money to districts and putting in                                                               
a  fiscal  note  of  this   amount.    Superintendents,  parents,                                                               
teachers,  and  school board  members  have  talked to  committee                                                               
members about  how critical  this learning  is in  school climate                                                               
and the workplace in life.   She mused about investing this money                                                               
up  front and  how much  cost would  be saved  in the  future for                                                               
other tough situations the state might find itself in.                                                                          
8:40:59 AM                                                                                                                    
TANIA CLUCAS,  Staff, Representative Grier Hopkins,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  reviewed the  documents provided  in the  committee                                                               
packet  for  HB  136.    She brought  attention  to  the  sponsor                                                               
statement,  the fiscal  note of  zero, and  the spreadsheet  that                                                               
breaks out the one-half of  one percent for each school district.                                                               
She pointed  out that  school counselors  are considered  part of                                                               
social and emotional  learning and therefore in one  of the small                                                               
districts a school counselor would  cover what the cost would be.                                                               
She  drew attention  to the  examples  of what  already exist  in                                                               
Alaska for curriculum materials  and guidelines for the different                                                               
school districts.   The document with the header  "Pre-K" is from                                                               
the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School  District, and that it lists                                                               
the different  standards from  pre-kindergarten through  grade 12                                                               
that are  in the  Alaska educational guidelines  from DEED.   The                                                               
packet  also includes  a recent  report to  the Fairbanks  School                                                               
Board and materials  on what has been happening  in the Fairbanks                                                               
School District  with social and  emotional learning.   She added                                                               
that the Juneau School District  has provided examples of what it                                                               
uses  for  kindergarten  through  grade 12,  which  she  will  be                                                               
getting  to the  committee.   Another  item is  an article  about                                                               
social and  emotional learning in  the classroom and  its effects                                                               
on the  students in their  long-term success that  was referenced                                                               
by Mr. Mark Foster.                                                                                                             
8:44:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY opened invited testimony on HB 136.                                                                              
8:44:32 AM                                                                                                                    
JAN  DAVIS,  SEL  and Positive  Behavior  Coordinator,  Anchorage                                                               
School  District  (ASD), testified  that  in  2006 the  Anchorage                                                               
School District became the first  district in the nation to adopt                                                               
social and emotional standards.   She explained that the ASD's 15                                                               
standards for  kindergarten through  grade 12 are  organized into                                                               
four quadrants.  The first  is self-awareness, where students are                                                               
asked  to be  knowledgeable of  their emotions,  personal traits,                                                               
external supports,  and personal  responsibility.  The  second is                                                               
self-management,  where  students  are asked  to  be  capable  to                                                               
manage their  emotions, to demonstrate honesty  and integrity, to                                                               
use effective decision-making  skills, and to be able  to set and                                                               
achieve goals.   The  third is  social awareness,  where students                                                               
are asked to  care about other's perceptions, to care  to be able                                                               
to contribute  positively to their community,  to respect others'                                                               
differences,  and to  read social  cues.   The  fourth is  social                                                               
management,  where students  are  asked to  be  able to  interact                                                               
effectively with  others, to develop  constructive relationships,                                                               
and  can prevent,  manage,  and  resolve interpersonal  conflicts                                                               
MS. DAVIS noted  that ASD found an area it  missed in the initial                                                               
rollout of its standards - the  adult aspect.  She explained that                                                               
if students are being asked  to live within these four quadrants,                                                               
there must be  adults who have a mindset that  they truly see the                                                               
student in  front of them,  believe in the student's  capacity to                                                               
learn and to  change their behavior, care about  the students and                                                               
that  their  SEL  and  academic  needs are  being  met,  and  are                                                               
responsible  to  support the  students  in  any way  possible  to                                                               
ensure the students are having success academically.                                                                            
8:47:00 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DAVIS  stated ASD  believes  that  to  have a  cohesive  SEL                                                               
program there are three areas that  must be had - climate, direct                                                               
instruction,   and   integrating   SEL  into   other   curricular                                                               
activities.   Addressing  the integration  of SEL,  she explained                                                               
that this means integrating SEL  skills throughout the day in all                                                               
curricular  areas through  modeling  and instructional  practices                                                               
that promote  SEL skills practiced  in maximized learning.   "The                                                               
way  we teach  is  as  important as  what  we  teach," she  said.                                                               
Allowing  students  time  to  enhance   their  SEL  skills  while                                                               
addressing academic content allows  for students and for teachers                                                               
to know that SEL  is not just half an hour once  a week but needs                                                               
to be practiced  throughout the whole week of  school.  Hopefully                                                               
students will apply that ability in other areas of their life.                                                                  
MS. DAVIS  asked the question, "How  do we know what  we're doing                                                               
is working?"   She explained that this year ASD  developed an SEL                                                               
walkthrough rubric, a tool that  provides an external view at the                                                               
site to  see what is happening  during a short visit.   The three                                                               
areas of  the rubric  are:   schoolwide culture  and environment;                                                               
classroom  instruction; and  classroom climate,  environment, and                                                               
management.   The idea of the  rubric is to give  additional data                                                               
points to  the leadership teams  at the  schools so they  can use                                                               
them to make sound decisions on  what their next steps are and to                                                               
be used  as a department  to assess the  professional development                                                               
that is needed.                                                                                                                 
8:48:55 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY  requested Ms. Davis  to send the  SEL walkthrough                                                               
rubric  to the  committee.   She inquired  whether Ms.  Davis was                                                               
previously in Juneau  to give a training  on aggressors, victims,                                                               
and bystanders at one of the middle schools.                                                                                    
MS. DAVIS confirmed she gave the training.                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  requested Ms.  Davis to provide  the committee                                                               
with a  written copy of  her testimony.   She asked what  year it                                                               
was that ASD became first in the U.S. to adopt SEL standards.                                                                   
MS. DAVIS replied 2006.                                                                                                         
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  inquired whether there  was a trigger  to that                                                               
early adoption  or whether  it was  simply because  Anchorage had                                                               
already been providing SEL training and  thought the way to do it                                                               
would be to solidify it as standards.                                                                                           
MS. DAVIS  responded that  ASD was already  doing lots  of social                                                               
and emotional  learning within  the district  before it  knew the                                                               
term "SEL."   The district  worked with Search Institute  and the                                                               
institute's four-day Developmental Assets,  a foundation that was                                                               
then used by the  district to look at what is  needed in a school                                                               
so  that it  isn't just  hit  and miss.   The  district looks  at                                                               
climate, direct  instruction, and infusion  of SEL skills  to hit                                                               
all the needs of all students and adults.                                                                                       
8:50:44 AM                                                                                                                    
JENNIFER KNUTSON,  PhD, Senior  Director, Department  of Teaching                                                               
and  Learning, Anchorage  School District  (ASD), testified  that                                                               
the Anchorage School District has  been implementing SEL for over                                                               
20 years.   For the last  eight years ASD has  been participating                                                               
nationally  through a  collaborating districts  initiative.   She                                                               
said SEL  involves teaching skills  that students - and  adults -                                                               
need  to be  successful at  school  as well  as at  home, in  the                                                               
community, and in the workplace.                                                                                                
DR. KNUTSON noted  Ms. Davis talked about how the  ASD embeds SEL                                                               
throughout  the day  and  said  she will  discuss  the other  two                                                               
prongs of  how the ASD  looks at SEL.   She explained  that those                                                               
two prongs are through climate  in the schools and through direct                                                               
teaching  of those  SEL skills.   She  said social  and emotional                                                               
learning was first implemented in  ASD schools by creating a safe                                                               
and   respectful  learning   environment   where  students   feel                                                               
connected to the  schools, the adults who are  working with them,                                                               
and their  peers.  Examples of  the work done in  the district to                                                               
build a  positive climate include  teachers greeting  students as                                                               
they enter  the class  and creating social  contracts for  how to                                                               
treat each  other and work with  each other.  Also,  ASD has been                                                               
working on  reset zones, which  are places where students  can go                                                               
when they  demonstrate challenging  behaviors and where  they can                                                               
work on replacement behaviors  and have restorative conversations                                                               
so that  they can  interact in  a productive  way with  peers and                                                               
adults and  get back to  their learning.   A safe  and respectful                                                               
climate is an  essential piece for teaching  and learning because                                                               
without that  it is  going to  be hard to  get to  the academics.                                                               
For  example,  in  one  school  that  implemented  these  climate                                                               
practices  the suspensions  went down  from 286  last year  to 85                                                               
this year.                                                                                                                      
8:53:15 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. KNUTSON  said the third  piece around SEL that  is emphasized                                                               
by ASD  is using evidence-based  programs.  Specific  skills such                                                               
as problem solving, listening to  others, and being self-aware of                                                               
emotions and how other people  are feeling, must be intentionally                                                               
taught just like  reading and math skills  are taught, especially                                                               
at elementary  and middle school  levels.  Students who  might be                                                               
experiencing  more challenging  behaviors or  experiencing trauma                                                               
receive additional support and  individualized instruction on SEL                                                               
skills to help  them cope during the day.   When the three prongs                                                               
of  embedding  SEL  throughout   the  day,  climate,  and  direct                                                               
teaching  are  done  together,   changes  are  seen  in  academic                                                               
achievement, office  discipline referrals go down,  families feel                                                               
more  connected, and  students  feel  more connected.    It is  a                                                               
necessary part of the educational system.                                                                                       
DR. KNUTSON  specified that the  Anchorage School  District funds                                                               
all  its SEL  work  through multiple  funding sources,  including                                                               
grants, federal  title funds, and  general funds, because  SEL is                                                               
important.    Even  without  this  bill,  she  said,  all  school                                                               
districts  should  be  including  this as  a  foundation  to  the                                                               
education that they  are providing to students.   She stated that                                                               
ASD fully supports HB 136.                                                                                                      
8:55:06 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  asked how the Anchorage  School District could                                                               
adapt  if  class  sizes  suddenly   rose  should  the  governor's                                                               
proposed budget cuts occur.                                                                                                     
DR. KNUTSON  replied that  increasing the  number of  students in                                                               
the  classroom  has  two  issues.   The  first  is  a  space  and                                                               
management  issue  within the  classroom  and  fitting that  many                                                               
bodies in a classroom.  The  second issue is to individually meet                                                               
the  needs of  all the  students in  a classroom.   The  district                                                               
would have  to look at how  it educates kids and  how it provides                                                               
services to  them.  This is  where the district's SEL  work comes                                                               
into  play, because  it will  require  talking about  interacting                                                               
with  each other  and  how the  district  might move  classrooms,                                                               
share students,  and do different  ways of educating kids.   More                                                               
kids  in  a classroom  presents  a  real challenge  and  delivery                                                               
models would have to be looked at.                                                                                              
8:56:43 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  STORY requested  Dr. Knutson  to provide  the committee                                                               
with a list  of the evidence-based programs.   She suggested that                                                               
perhaps the  Alaska Association  of School  Boards could  let the                                                               
committee know if  there is such a list to  ensure that evidence-                                                               
based  programs  are being  practiced  for  social and  emotional                                                               
learning within the state.                                                                                                      
8:57:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY  opened public  testimony on HB  136.   She closed                                                               
public testimony after ascertaining no one wished to testify.                                                                   
8:57:34 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY held over HB 136.                                                                                                
8:58:16 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
8:58:42 AM                                                                                                                    
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Education Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 8:59 a.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB0136 Sponsor Statement 4.29.19.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 136
HB0136 Additional Documents MSBSD SEL Curriculum.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 136
HB0136 Additional Documents Leg Finance FY20-Foundation-report with calculation.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 136
HB0136 Additional Documents JSD K-8 SEL Curriculum el-g8-scope-sequence-ss.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 136
HB0136 Additional Documents FNSBSD CASEL Framework-C3.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 136
HB0136 Additional Documents Examples of Social and Emotional Learning.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 136
HB0136 Additional Documents AK SEL Kindergartner Assessments.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 136
HB0136 Additional Documents AK Education Challenge SEL Components.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 136
HB 109 Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 109
HB0109A.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 109
HB 109 Sectional.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 109
HB 109 S Version.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 109
HB 109 Fiscal Note.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 109
HB 109 Additional Documents AKSuperintendents Assoc 5.7.19.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 109
DoD HB109 Letter of Support.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 109
HB0109B.PDF HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 109
HB0136 ver M.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 136
HB 109 Letter of Support Bishop ASD.pdf HEDC 5/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 109