Legislature(2021 - 2022)DAVIS 106

04/12/2021 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
08:01:46 AM Start
08:03:02 AM Presentation(s): Alaska Performance Scholarship, Program Review, and Recommendations
08:49:29 AM HB48
09:06:03 AM HB19
09:08:38 AM HB25
09:38:20 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: Alaska Performance Scholarship, TELECONFERENCED
Program Review, & Recommendations by McKinley
Research Group (Formerly McDowell Group)
*+ HB 48 AK PERFORMANCE SCHOLARSHIP; ELIGIBILITY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+= HB 25 PUBLIC SCHOOLS: SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL LEARNING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 19 LIMITED TEACHER CERTIFICATES; LANGUAGES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 12, 2021                                                                                         
                           8:01 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Harriet Drummond, Co-Chair                                                                                       
Representative Andi Story, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky                                                                                                 
Representative Grier Hopkins                                                                                                    
Representative Mike Prax                                                                                                        
Representative Mike Cronk                                                                                                       
Representative Ronald Gillham                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION(S):     ALASKA   PERFORMANCE  SCHOLARSHIP~   PROGRAM                                                               
REVIEW~ AND RECOMMENDATIONS                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 48                                                                                                               
"An  Act  relating  to eligibility  for  the  Alaska  performance                                                               
scholarship program."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 19                                                                                                               
"An  Act  relating  to  instruction  in  a  language  other  than                                                               
English;  and  establishing  limited language  immersion  teacher                                                               
certificates."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 25                                                                                                               
"An Act  relating to the duties  of the state Board  of Education                                                               
and  Early  Development;  relating  to  statewide  standards  for                                                               
instruction in  social-emotional learning;  and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION(S):  ALASKA PERFORMANCE SCHOLARSHIP~ PROGRAM                                                                       
REVIEW~ AND RECOMMENDATIONS                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  48                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AK PERFORMANCE SCHOLARSHIP; ELIGIBILITY                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) STORY                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/8/21                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
04/12/21       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM DAVIS 106                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  19                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LIMITED TEACHER CERTIFICATES; LANGUAGES                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KREISS-TOMKINS                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/8/21                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       EDC, L&C                                                                                               
04/09/21       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM DAVIS 106                                                                               
04/09/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/09/21       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/12/21       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM DAVIS 106                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  25                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PUBLIC SCHOOLS: SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL LEARNING                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) HOPKINS                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/8/21                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       EDC, STA                                                                                               
03/29/21       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM DAVIS 106                                                                               
03/29/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/29/21       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/12/21       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM DAVIS 106                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REBECCA BRAUN, Consultant                                                                                                       
McKinley Research Group, LLC                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Co-presented a  PowerPoint  presentation,                                                             
entitled  "Alaska Performance  Scholarship,  Program Review,  and                                                               
Recommendations."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HEATHER HAUGLAND, Consultant                                                                                                    
McKinley Research Group, LLC                                                                                                    
Bellingham, Washington                                                                                                          
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Co-presented a  PowerPoint  presentation,                                                             
entitled  "Alaska Performance  Scholarship,  Program Review,  and                                                               
Recommendations."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MARY HAKALA, Staff                                                                                                              
Representative Andi Story                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB  48 on behalf of Representative                                                             
Story, prime sponsor.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SANA EFIRD, Executive Director                                                                                                  
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education                                                                                    
Department of Education and Early Development                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided invited  testimony in support of HB
48.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ABBY O'NEILL, Educator                                                                                                          
National Education Association Alaska                                                                                           
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided invited  testimony in support of HB
25.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MALLORY VANREENAN                                                                                                               
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided invited  testimony in support of HB
25.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
KATIE BOTZ                                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 25.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE HUTCHINSON                                                                                                            
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 25.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MIKE COONS                                                                                                                      
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 25.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
NORM WOOTEN, Director of Advocacy                                                                                               
Association of Alaska School Boards                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 25.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KELLY NASH                                                                                                                      
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 25.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ALYSYN THIBAULT, Teacher                                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 25.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
LISA SKILES PARADY, PhD, Executive Director                                                                                     
Alaska Council of School Administrators                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 25.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:01:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  ANDI   STORY  called   the  House   Education  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order  at   8:01  a.m.    Representatives                                                               
Hopkins, Prax,  Cronk, Gilham, Drummond,  and Story  were present                                                               
at the  call to  order.  Representative  Zulkosky arrived  as the                                                               
meeting was in progress.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION(S):     Alaska  Performance   Scholarship,  Program                                                               
Review, and Recommendations                                                                                                     
   PRESENTATION(S):  Alaska Performance Scholarship, Program                                                                
                  Review, and Recommendations                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
8:03:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be  a  presentation  entitled, "Alaska  Performance  Scholarship,                                                               
Program Review, and Recommendations."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:03:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REBECCA  BRAUN, Consultant,  McKinley  Research  Group, LLC,  co-                                                               
presented  a  PowerPoint  presentation  [hard  copy  included  in                                                               
committee  packet],  entitled  "Alaska  Performance  Scholarship,                                                               
Program  Review, and  Recommendations," which  was completed  for                                                               
the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary  Education.  She presented                                                               
slide 2, "Presentation Outline," which read as follows [original                                                                
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
       Overview and Study Purpose                                                                                               
     ? APS Eligibility and Use Trends                                                                                           
     ? Survey and Interview Findings                                                                                            
     ? Literature Review                                                                                                        
     ? Key Findings                                                                                                             
     ? Recommendations                                                                                                          
     ? Q&A                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN presented slide 3 about the Alaska Performance                                                                        
Scholarship (APS), entitled "APS Background," which read as                                                                     
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Approved in  2010 "? to  provide scholarships  for high                                                                    
     school graduates  who are Alaska residents  to attend a                                                                    
     qualified postsecondary  institution in the  state" (AS                                                                    
     14.43.810)                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Goals:                                                                                                                     
      ? Drive increased K-12 rigor                                                                                              
      ? Keep high-achieving students in state                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
      Separately established $400 million Higher Education                                                                      
     Investment Fund                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
       Administered by Alaska Commission on Postsecondary                                                                       
     Education                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:05:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN presented slide 4 entitled "APS Overview," which read                                                                 
as follows [original punctuation provided, with some formatting                                                                 
changes]:                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Two award types                                                                                                            
        Degree (academic)                                                                                                       
      ? Certificate (career and technical education)                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Three award levels                                                                                                         
      ? Level 1: $4,755/year                                                                                                    
      ? Level 2: $3,566/year                                                                                                    
      ? Level 3: $2,378/year                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Three eligibility criteria                                                                                                 
      ? Grades                                                                                                                  
      ? Standardized test score                                                                                                 
      ? Coursework                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Other considerations                                                                                                       
        Students can receive award for 8 semesters                                                                              
      ? Must be used within 6 years of graduation                                                                               
      ? Continuing eligibility requirements apply                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN presented slide 5  entitled "Study Purpose," which read                                                               
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ? Annual awards are about half what was anticipated in                                                                     
     dollars awarded and students served.*                                                                                      
     ? After peaking in 2016, overall use has declined.*                                                                        
      ? Low use of the APS means missed opportunities for                                                                       
     Alaskans and Alaska.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     KEY QUESTIONS:                                                                                                             
     ? Why are APS eligibility and use low and falling?                                                                         
     ? What changes would improve the program?                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     *2020 is an outlier.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN  commented that the group  was lucky to have  a variety                                                               
of  qualitative   and  quantitative   sources  when   asking  the                                                               
questions  that  drove  the  study.   She  said  it  used  annual                                                               
outcomes  reports   that  are  required  in   statute,  executive                                                               
interviews focused  on post-secondary  institutions in  Alaska, a                                                               
survey of high  school graduates, a 2020  school district survey,                                                               
and a literature review.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN  presented slide 6,  entitled "Methodology:  Review and                                                               
Synthesis of Multiple Sources,"  which read as follows: [original                                                               
punctuation provided, with some formatting changes]:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     APS Outcomes Report 2021                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
      Executive interviews: Postsecondary institutions and                                                                      
     others                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     High school graduate surveys (classes of 2015-2020)                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska Performance Scholarship Eligibility Survey 2020                                                                     
     (school districts)                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Literature review                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:08:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN  presented slide 7,  entitled "APS Eligibility  (set in                                                               
statute)," which  she explained was  an eligibility matrix.   She                                                               
commented  that  it was  complex  for  students to  navigate  the                                                               
different eligibility  levels and types.   She directed attention                                                               
to  slide   8,  entitled  "APS  Eligibility:   2011-2019."    She                                                               
explained that  this slide  showed the  percent of  Alaska public                                                               
high  school graduates  each  year who  met  all the  eligibility                                                               
criteria  for  APS   from  2011-2019.    She   pointed  out  that                                                               
eligibility has fallen in recent years.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BRAUN directed  attention  to slide  9,  entitled "APS  Use:                                                               
2011-2019."    She  said  this slide  showed  the  percentage  of                                                               
students  who are  eligible for  APS and  use it  the fall  after                                                               
their high  school graduation.   She said generally  students not                                                               
using  it either  decided to  go out  of state  for training  and                                                               
education  or did  not  pursue training  and  education the  fall                                                               
after graduation.   She noted that in the first  year, 36 percent                                                               
of eligible  students for a  total of  844 students used  it, the                                                               
number peaked in  2016 with 39 percent at 902  students, and then                                                               
dropped to 33 percent with  644 students using the scholarship in                                                               
2019.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BRAUN   directed  attention  to  slide   10,  entitled  "APS                                                               
Eligibility  and Use  by Region:  2019." She  suggested that  the                                                               
takeaway from  this slide  was the big  regional variation.   She                                                               
also pointed  out that students  in Southcentral,  Southeast, and                                                               
the Interior tended to qualify  at higher rates than in Southwest                                                               
and  the  far  North.    She  said  use  patterns,  however,  are                                                               
different,  with Interior  students  using the  scholarship at  a                                                               
higher  rate compared  to the  lower  rates of  use in  Southwest                                                               
Alaska and Southeast Alaska.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:11:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BRAUN   directed  attention  to  slide   11,  entitled  "APS                                                               
Eligibility   by  Race/Ethnicity:   AVERAGE   2015-2019."     She                                                               
explained that the  average eligibility rate was  27 percent, but                                                               
Native  Hawaiian, Pacific  Islander, Alaska  Native, and  African                                                               
American students qualified  at lower rates.  She  moved to slide                                                               
12,  entitled, "Increase  in APS  Eligibility by  Race/Ethnicity,                                                               
2019-2020," which  showed an average  increase in  eligibility of                                                               
63  percent in  2020 over  2019's  numbers.   She explained  that                                                               
because of  COVID-19, testing requirements  were waived  in 2020,                                                               
so students  only had to meet  the grade point average  (GPA) and                                                               
curriculum requirements.   She said the groups  with the greatest                                                               
gains  in  eligibility  when  the test  was  waived  were  Native                                                               
Hawaiian, Pacific  Islander, Alaska Native, and  African American                                                               
students, which  she suggested said  something about the  role of                                                               
the test.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:13:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BRAUN   presented  slide   13,  entitled   "District  Survey                                                               
(Principals/Counselors)."  She said  districts reported that test                                                               
scores  were  the  top  barrier   to  eligibility  for  students,                                                               
followed  by  curriculum requirements.    In  terms of  use,  she                                                               
shared that  funding instability was  a key concern,  and pointed                                                               
to both the  scholarships being vetoed in a  previous fiscal year                                                               
and funding instability for the University of Alaska (UA).                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:14:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ZULKOSKY referred  to slide 12 and  asked if there                                                               
was a noted increase in the utilization of the program in 2020.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN  replied that  use in terms  of raw  numbers increased,                                                               
but in  terms of percentage  decreased.  She commented  that 2020                                                               
data is  an outlier  because many students  opted to  defer their                                                               
education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:15:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY  asked how  many years a  student could  defer and                                                               
still be eligible for the award.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BRAUN answered  that  students are  eligible  for six  years                                                               
following graduation.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:16:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HEATHER HAUGLAND, Consultant, McKinley Research Group, LLC, co-                                                                 
presented   a    PowerPoint   presentation,    entitled   "Alaska                                                               
Performance  Scholarship, Program  Review, and  Recommendations."                                                               
She presented  slide 14, entitled  "High School  Graduate Survey:                                                               
APS-Eligible."  She shared that  McKinly Research Group, LLC, did                                                               
an online survey of about  6,000 high school graduates from 2015-                                                               
2020.  She said about half  were eligible for the scholarship and                                                               
half  weren't,  so  each  group   received  a  different  set  of                                                               
questions.  The  survey asked APS-eligible students  who went out                                                               
of  state for  further  education  why they  did  so.   She  said                                                               
"quality   of  academics"   was  mentioned   by  53   percent  of                                                               
respondents in  2015 but increased  to 77 percent  of respondents                                                               
in  2020.   She stated  that this  pointed to  a decrease  in the                                                               
confidence of in-Alaska options.   She pointed out an increase in                                                               
respondents   citing  both   "scholarship"  and   "financial  aid                                                               
package" as  additional reasons for continuing  education outside                                                               
of Alaska,  which she  argued pointed  to the  competitiveness of                                                               
out-of-state financial aid options.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. HAUGHLAND presented slide 15,  entitled "High School Graduate                                                               
Survey:  APS-Ineligible."   She  said about  half of  respondents                                                               
said  they were  aware of  APS.   Of  those who  were aware,  one                                                               
quarter  said they  were very  interested in  qualifying when  in                                                               
high  school, and  another  46 percent  said  they were  somewhat                                                               
interested.   She said this  points to unmet demand  and suggests                                                               
many graduates  would be taking  advantage of the  scholarship if                                                               
they qualified.   When  asked why  graduates didn't  qualify, the                                                               
number one  answer was test scores,  she shared.  She  said these                                                               
surveys corroborated with other data.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:18:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BRAUN directed  attention to  key points  slide 16  entitled                                                               
"Postsecondary  Institution  Findings,"  which  read  as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     UA reports APS students are more successful than their                                                                     
     peers in postsecondary education                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     ? Higher readiness, persistence, and completion rates                                                                      
     Factors contributing to decline in APS eligibility and                                                                     
     use:                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
       ? Complexity and burden of eligibility and program                                                                       
     design                                                                                                                     
      ? Timing of award notifications                                                                                           
      ? Declining real value of awards                                                                                          
      ? Continuing eligibility requirements                                                                                     
      ? Lack of flexibility between CTE and academic awards                                                                     
      ? Unequal access                                                                                                          
      ? External factors                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BRAUN explained  that students  aren't  notified of  whether                                                               
they qualify for the award  until after graduation, so many don't                                                               
factor it into  their choice of school,  since other scholarships                                                               
are awarded  as soon as  fall of  a high school  student's senior                                                               
year.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:21:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS asked  if  the "declining  real value  of                                                               
awards" was the amount of  the scholarship that was decreasing or                                                               
if it  was relative to  the increase in  tuition cost for  the UA                                                               
system.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN answered that the  actual number was not declining, but                                                               
the relative value because of inflation is eroding.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:21:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BRAUN returned  to  the presentation  on  slide 17  entitled                                                               
"Literature Review," which read  as follows [original punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Grades are more predictive than ACT/SAT.                                                                                   
     ?  U  Chicago:  GPA  5x  better  predictor  of  college                                                                    
     success than ACT.                                                                                                          
     ? U California system:  GPA better predictor of college                                                                    
     success than tests.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     SAT/ACT  tests have  inequitable impacts  and serve  as                                                                    
     barriers                                                                                                                   
     to underrepresented groups.                                                                                                
     ? Brookings  Institution: SAT scores  highly correlated                                                                    
     with family income.                                                                                                        
     ?  National  College  Access Network  (NCAN):  Removing                                                                    
     test  requirements   boosts  diversity  in   higher  ed                                                                    
     without reducing student quality or success.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     The  role  of  the   SAT/ACT  is  declining  in  higher                                                                    
     education admissions and financial aid decisions.                                                                          
     ? NCAN: More than  300 schools went test-optional since                                                                    
     2005.                                                                                                                      
     ? COVID is accelerating this trend.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BRAUN  presented  slide  18,  entitled  "Key  Findings:  APS                                                               
Eligibility,"  which   read  as  follows   [original  punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     ? There  is a high level  of interest in the  APS among                                                                    
     ineligible students  this indicates unmet need.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     ? Standardized  test requirements  are the  top barrier                                                                    
     to APS eligibility.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
      ? Eligibility fell after 2016 when the state stopped                                                                      
         requiring and paying for all students to take                                                                          
     standardized testing.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
       ? The program's complexity serves as a barrier to                                                                        
     eligibility.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
       ? The distinction between academic and CTE awards                                                                        
     limits some students' aspirations.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     ? There are significant disparities in eligibility by                                                                      
     race/ethnicity, and by region.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     ? Evidence increasingly shows that the SAT/ACT is less                                                                     
     predictive of student success than other factors.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:24:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX referred  to the last bullet on  slide 18 and                                                               
asked how "student success" is defined.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN  replied that  there are more  details provided  in the                                                               
report, but it depends on the  study.  She said the University of                                                               
Chicago study looked at all  Chicago public school graduates from                                                               
a graduating class and found that  high school GPA was five times                                                               
as predictive as ACT score  in terms of the students' first-year-                                                               
of-college  success.    She offered  that  some  other  long-term                                                               
studies looked at  college graduation rates and  found no overall                                                               
difference in  graduation rates  from schools  with test-optional                                                               
admission.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX asked if success meant completing college.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BRAUN clarified  that  in  this case,  it  is determined  as                                                               
success in the student's post-secondary program.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX commented  that  then  success according  to                                                               
colleges is completing a college curriculum.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BRAUN  added additional  clarification  that  the state  has                                                               
incentive for its investment to  pay off; therefore, if a student                                                               
were to receive  an award for post-secondary  school or training,                                                               
the state would  hope the student completes it.   She agreed that                                                               
the word success was "kind of loaded."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  STORY   offered  her  understanding  that   one  reason                                                               
Governor Sean  Parnell implemented this  program was to  fill the                                                               
Alaska workforce with graduates, as well as to keep students in                                                                 
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:28:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN proceeded to slide 19, entitled "Key Findings: APS                                                                    
Use," which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     ?   Evidence  suggests   the   APS   is  declining   in                                                                    
     competitiveness   compared  to   other  financial   aid                                                                    
     packages.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     ?  Reduced   appeal  of  in-state  institutions   is  a                                                                    
     contributor to declining interest in the APS.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     ? The late  timing of APS award  notifications means it                                                                    
     is  not  a  factor   in  many  students'  postsecondary                                                                    
     decisions.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     ? Continuing  eligibility requirements are out  of step                                                                    
     with   student  needs   and   with  other   scholarship                                                                    
     requirements.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN presented slide 20, entitled "Recommendations: Broad                                                                  
Principles," which read as follows [original punctuation                                                                        
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The  Education  Commission  of  the  States  recommends                                                                    
     states  redesigning   financial  aid   programs  ensure                                                                    
     programs are:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     ? student-centered                                                                                                         
     ? goal-driven and data-informed                                                                                            
     ? timely and flexible                                                                                                      
     ? broadly inclusive                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:29:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN presented slide 21, entitled "Recommendations," which                                                                 
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     1. Simplify program eligibility.                                                                                           
        ?  Eliminate  distinction between  academic and  CTE                                                                    
     awards.                                                                                                                    
        ?   Offer   alternative   pathways  to   demonstrate                                                                    
     academic rigor.                                                                                                            
        ?   Use 3  years  of  high  school  for  eligibility                                                                    
     determinations.                                                                                                            
        ? Consider round numbers for award levels.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     2. Simplify and increase flexibility of awards.                                                                            
        ?  Revise  continuing  eligibility  requirements  to                                                                    
     better match student needs.                                                                                                
        ?   Consider  aligning  with  Satisfactory  Academic                                                                    
     Progress or University Scholars standards.                                                                                 
        ? Extend 6-year window for APS use.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.    BRAUN   presented    slide   22,    a   continuation    of                                                               
"Recommendations,"  which read  as follows  [original punctuation                                                               
provided, with some formatting changes]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     3. Increase access and commit to equity.                                                                                   
     ?  Eliminate testing requirement.  This also eliminates                                                                    
     distinction between CTE and academic tracks.                                                                               
     ? If testing continues to be required                                                                                      
          ? require and pay for all students to take test                                                                       
          ?  consider replacing  statutory  cut scores  with                                                                    
     regulatory criteria (technical)                                                                                            
     ?  Ensure all students get early and ongoing counseling                                                                    
     to meet requirements.                                                                                                      
     ?   Include  subgroup   analysis  in   annual  outcomes                                                                    
     reports.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     4.  The dollar  values of  APS awards  will need  to be                                                                    
     amended.                                                                                                                   
     ?   Consider introducing  statutory  flexibility  or  a                                                                    
     trigger mechanism.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:32:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  STORY offered  her  understanding  that the  curriculum                                                               
limited the  award between career  and technical  education (CTE)                                                               
and  academic  tracks,  rather  than  testing.    She  asked  for                                                               
clarification  on Ms.  Braun's  suggestion regarding  eliminating                                                               
the testing requirement  or having the schools  require, pay for,                                                               
and offer  the testing.   She commented  that some  districts did                                                               
not offer an  ACT or SAT and  students had to travel  to take the                                                               
test.    She  cited  cost barriers  and  said  [college  entrance                                                               
testing]  has gotten  to  be  a big  industry  across the  United                                                               
States, which creates a barrier for some students.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN  confirmed Co-Chair Story's  assertation and  said that                                                               
is  what  the  McKinley  Research  Group,  LLC,  has  heard  from                                                               
districts, students,  and universities and what  national studies                                                               
are showing.   She said that  this feeds into unequal  access and                                                               
the recommendation to remove the  test as part of the eligibility                                                               
criteria.  She  reiterated that the tests  aren't good predictors                                                               
of whether a student is college ready.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY pointed out that  students lose the scholarship if                                                               
they don't maintain  their GPA while attending  university, but a                                                               
student could regain the scholarship by righting his/her GPA.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:36:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN  finished her presentation  with slide 23.   She opined                                                               
legislators had a  lot of vision when  creating this scholarship,                                                               
and  now with  ten years  of experience  there is  opportunity to                                                               
refine and improve it.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:37:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  referenced slide  10  and  asked if  the                                                               
availability of the required course  load effected eligibility in                                                               
the Southwest and Northern regions of the state.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN  cited a  2020 survey which  found that  the curriculum                                                               
requirements  were a  challenge for  rural districts.   She  said                                                               
rural districts had difficulties with  access to testing and test                                                               
preparation,  as well  as access  to the  necessary support  that                                                               
allowed  students  access to  every  course  needed, which  often                                                               
required online classes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS asked  if  the  McKinley Research  Group,                                                               
LLC,  specifically looked  at the  SAT and  ACT for  standardized                                                               
test  scores,  and  whether the  group  had  any  recommendations                                                               
regarding the credit criteria.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN replied that the group  was just passing on feedback it                                                               
had   received   that   the   curriculum   criteria   should   be                                                               
reconsidered.    She commented  that  it  would take  some  work,                                                               
because  of  the  desire  to  keep  the  scholarship  at  a  high                                                               
standard.   She agreed  that there  should be  enough flexibility                                                               
that students across the state had access.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:41:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND referred  to slide  4 and  asked if  the award                                                               
levels had stayed the same over the life of the scholarship.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN confirmed  that the awards were set in  statute and had                                                               
not changed.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND  asked  Ms. Braun  if  the  McKinley  Research                                                               
Group, LLC, had looked at  the investment fund which produced the                                                               
revenue for  the scholarships.  She  said it would be  helpful to                                                               
understand the amounts available  for scholarships but noted that                                                               
there is not as much  money available to produce the scholarships                                                               
as there was  at the start of  the program.  She  opined that the                                                               
legislature had made a mistake in not allowing for inflation.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN  replied it was not  part of the group's  scope of work                                                               
to look at  how much money the higher education  fund is earning,                                                               
but the  group is  aware of it.   She said  about $9  million has                                                               
been paid  out a year  in scholarships,  which is below  what was                                                               
anticipated and  below what could  be afforded.  She  referred to                                                               
legislative spending  practices and said,  "If we don't  use this                                                               
asset, it may be ripe for poaching."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  observed that on  slide 8 there are  no actual                                                               
numbers,  only  percentages,  and  on  slide  9  there  are  some                                                               
numbers,  but she  would like  to know  the totals.   She  asked,                                                               
"What is 36  percent of the 29 percent on  slide 8, which doesn't                                                               
have an actual number?"                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BRAUN responded  that the  group  had debated  what sort  of                                                               
numbers  and  how  many  to share  during  the  presentation  but                                                               
offered that  the numbers are  in the full  report.  She  said on                                                               
slide 8 the number of eligible  high school graduates in 2011 was                                                               
2,338, which was 29 percent of  the class.  She explained that 36                                                               
percent of the eligible students  decided to use the scholarship,                                                               
which came out to 844 students.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:46:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX asked  if he  was  correct in  understanding                                                               
that the full amount of funds available wasn't being utilized.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRAUN  answered the  high education fund  is not  a dedicated                                                               
fund, so  the amount  that is  available is  the amount  that the                                                               
legislature appropriates.   She commented that  legislators first                                                               
anticipated  $20 million  annually in  awards, but  thus far  the                                                               
awards have not exceeded $9.4 million per year.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX  asserted that the underlying  capital in the                                                               
fund is  underutilized, to which Ms.  Braun said that was  a fair                                                               
conclusion.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:48:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  STORY took  an  at-ease  from 8:48  a.m.  to 8:49  a.m.                                                               
[During the at-ease, passed the gavel to Co-Chair Drummond.]                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
         HB 48-AK PERFORMANCE SCHOLARSHIP; ELIGIBILITY                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:49:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND  announced that  the  next  order of  business                                                               
would be  HB 48, "An Act  relating to eligibility for  the Alaska                                                               
performance scholarship program."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:49:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY,  as prime sponsor,  presented HB 48.   She stated                                                               
that career and  technical education (CTE) is a  valuable part of                                                               
post-secondary education.   She said that research  shows that it                                                               
motivates students, keeps them engaged  in school, and gives them                                                               
a meaningful path towards their  future work and education goals.                                                               
She shared  that she introduced  the proposed  legislation during                                                               
the previous  session, and it  had been received  with enthusiasm                                                               
from the CTE community but given  the late start and the COVID-19                                                               
early  shut  down,  the  bill  did not  move  far  enough.    She                                                               
explained  that  she   sees  HB  48  as  a   first  step  towards                                                               
recognizing the value  of CTE in a  well-rounded, rigorous course                                                               
of  study.    She  commented  that she  would  be  interested  in                                                               
integrating  some  of  the   recommendations  from  the  previous                                                               
presenters' report into the proposed legislation.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY  explained that HB  48 offers students  options to                                                               
apply  CTE  coursework  towards  Alaska  Performance  Scholarship                                                               
(APS) eligibility.   She said it broadens the range  of courses a                                                               
student  can count  towards APS  eligibility  and recognizes  the                                                               
value  of CTE  for  all students  and for  meeting  the needs  of                                                               
Alaska's future workforce.   She opined that APS  is an important                                                               
financial resource that more students  should have access to, and                                                               
said  she  wanted to  be  sure  that  CTE  options count  in  the                                                               
scholarship.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:52:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY  HAKALA,  Staff,  Representative Andi  Story,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, presented  the bill  packet for HB  48 on  behalf of                                                               
Representative Story,  prime sponsor.  She  directed attention to                                                               
the  fourth paragraph  of  the sponsor  statement  which read  as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          HB 48 offers three avenues for a student to                                                                           
     incorporate CTE courses in their APS application:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
        ? Replace one credit of social studies with one                                                                         
     credit CTE under the math/science track;                                                                                   
      ? Replace one credit of social studies with one                                                                           
     credit CTE under the social studies/language track; or                                                                     
      ? Replace two  years of world language  with two years                                                                    
     of  CTE,  with  one  year  of  CTE  in  a  sequence  of                                                                    
     increasing rigor within a career cluster.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
        Note - A credit is equivalent to one year or two                                                                        
     semesters of course work.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. HAKALA noted that this was  similar to the summary of changes                                                               
and  continued with  the  bill packet.    She directed  attention                                                               
towards the "APS  Checklist," and offered this as an  easy way to                                                               
understand  what  HB  48  does.    She  referenced  the  previous                                                               
presentation  and noted  that one  of  the institutional  factors                                                               
that  discourage  APS  use  is   the  complexity  and  burden  of                                                               
eligibility.   She said [the chart  in the bill packet]  is based                                                               
on the  Alaska Commission  on Postsecondary  Education's (ACPE's)                                                               
format and  maps out for a  student and guidance councilor  how a                                                               
credit  option of  CTE  or two  credit options  of  CTE could  be                                                               
integrated  into the  required curriculum.   She  noted that  the                                                               
categories  were  defined  by  ACPE  to  better  guide  students,                                                               
although this isn't  how the tracks are defined in  statute.  She                                                               
said one year of  CTE is required to be a  sequence of courses in                                                               
a career cluster.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:55:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HAKALA  moved on to  the fiscal notes.   She said  the fiscal                                                               
note  from   the  Alaska  Department   of  Education   and  Early                                                               
Development (DEED)  has a $6,000  cost to  promulgate regulations                                                               
for these changes.  The second  fiscal note is from the ACPE, she                                                               
shared, and  is a zero  fiscal note.  She  said the hope  is that                                                               
the  proposed  legislation's  impact  would be  to  increase  the                                                               
eligibility and  use of  APS by  students, so  there would  be an                                                               
increase in cost  against the higher education fund,  but at this                                                               
point the cost is unknown.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HAKALA  directed  attention  to   a  graphic  from  the  CTE                                                               
community, entitled "Who  Are Alaska's CTE Students?"   She noted                                                               
that 73  percent of CTE concentrators  continue to post-secondary                                                               
training and pointed out the  95 percent graduation rate [of high                                                               
school students who have taken  CTE courses].  She mentioned that                                                               
the  proposed legislation  has  two letters  of  support at  this                                                               
point.   She shared that  in Juneau,  97 percent of  students who                                                               
take two credits  in a career pathway graduate  from high school.                                                               
According  to ACPE  provided data,  65 percent  of Alaska's  best                                                               
jobs  in  2025  will  require a  post-secondary  credential,  she                                                               
noted.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:55:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SANA   EFIRD,   Executive    Director,   Alaska   Commission   on                                                               
Postsecondary  Education   Department  of  Education   and  Early                                                               
Development,  provided invited  testimony  in support  of HB  48.                                                               
She  stated  that  HB  48, which  would  expand  the  eligibility                                                               
requirements for  APS to  include a high  school CTE  pathway, is                                                               
important to the commission.   She emphasized that the commission                                                               
is aware  of the need to  expand CTE opportunities in  Alaska and                                                               
support CTE as  an integral part of the future  success of Alaska                                                               
students.  She  stated that the change places equal  value on CTE                                                               
career tracks  as an option  for postsecondary education,  and if                                                               
passed would  allow more  Alaska students  the opportunity  to be                                                               
eligible for  the APS  and would expand  options for  high school                                                               
CTE  students.   She  said  this  pathway  would align  with  the                                                               
existing APS CTE award, which is needed for Alaska's workforce.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:00:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  commented that this  seemed to be  meeting the                                                               
recommendations of  the McKinley  Research Group,  LLC, regarding                                                               
an increased availability of CTE awards.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:01:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY  commented that as  shown by the grid  that charts                                                               
what is involved  in APS, there is great academic  rigor, even if                                                               
the testing requirement were removed.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:02:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ZULKOSKY   directed  attention  to   [Section  1,                                                               
subsection  (a),  paragraph (3),  subparagraph  (C),  on page  2,                                                               
lines  6-9]  of   HB  48,  regarding  the   different  scopes  of                                                               
curriculum of the  proposed legislation, and she  asked if making                                                               
the scholarship  more equitable across  Alaska was  the intention                                                               
of this section.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  STORY   replied  that  the   intent  is  to   open  the                                                               
scholarship to  the CTE  opportunities that  Alaska is  trying to                                                               
offer more  of in high  schools.  She  commented that one  of the                                                               
equity pieces  was the  curriculum availability  across different                                                               
school   districts,  because   some   districts   did  not   have                                                               
opportunities  to offer  certain courses.   She  said she  thinks                                                               
this will make more courses available to students.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:04:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  recalled the  presentations from  the previous                                                               
week  had  highlighted the  popularity  and  availability of  CTE                                                               
classes  and the  success of  students  who took  CTE in  various                                                               
districts.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND announced that HB 48 was held over.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:05:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  took an  at-ease from 9:05  a.m. to  9:06 a.m.                                                               
[During the at-ease,  Co-Chair Drummond passed the  gavel back to                                                               
Co-Chair Story.]                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
         HB 19-LIMITED TEACHER CERTIFICATES; LANGUAGES                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:06:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be HB  19, "An Act  relating to  instruction in a  language other                                                               
than  English;   and  establishing  limited   language  immersion                                                               
teacher certificates."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:06:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  STORY  opened  public  testimony   on  HB  19.    After                                                               
ascertaining that  there was  no one who  wished to  testify, she                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
[CO-CHAIR STORY announced HB 19 was held over.]                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
        HB 25-PUBLIC SCHOOLS: SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL LEARNING                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:08:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be HB  25 "An Act  relating to the duties  of the state  Board of                                                               
Education and Early Development;  relating to statewide standards                                                               
for instruction  in social-emotional learning; and  providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:09:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS, as  prime sponsor  of HB  25, overviewed                                                               
the proposed legislation's fiscal notes.   He said there would be                                                               
a  one-time  increment  for  creating  social/emotional  learning                                                               
(SEL) standards  that would include  $30,000 for 20  educators to                                                               
come together for  one year to create the  standards, $35,000 for                                                               
a  contract  for  an  expert to  help  facilitate  the  standards                                                               
process,  and $6,000  in legal  fees to  implement the  necessary                                                               
regulatory changes.  He noted  that stakeholder meetings would be                                                               
held virtually in order to save cost.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:11:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ABBY  O'NEILL,  Educator,  National Education  Association  (NEA)                                                               
Alaska,  provided invited  testimony in  support of  HB 25.   She                                                               
said that  children successful  when they have strong connections                                                               
with people who care about them.   She explained that this allows                                                               
them to take  risks safely, work with  others, regulate emotions,                                                               
and recognize their  strengths.  She said this is  the epitome of                                                               
SEL.    She  argued  that   when  taught  in  the  classroom  and                                                               
relationships  are   strengthened,  SEL  provides   for  academic                                                               
success and personal growth both socially and emotionally.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  O'NEILL argued  the pandemic  highlighted  that teachers  do                                                               
much more than teach academics.   She said teachers are educating                                                               
children on how  to interact, how to calm down  and reset, how to                                                               
work past  a challenge,  and how  to be their  best selves.   She                                                               
stated that  SEL has allowed  her to instill  self-regulation for                                                               
those with high needs behaviors  and has also encouraged teamwork                                                               
and an appreciation  of differences.  She stated  that SEL builds                                                               
a bridge between life's obstacles  and a student's learning.  She                                                               
opined that adding  SEL standards at the state  level would allow                                                               
for students  to be  supported on a  level other  than academics.                                                               
She  offered that  SEL  can help  bring  in more  trauma-informed                                                               
teaching practices and can provide  students the skills that will                                                               
help them be  more successful in the classroom  and more prepared                                                               
for the future.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:13:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MALLORY VANREENAN  provided invited  testimony in support  HB 25.                                                               
She shared that her daughter  has received support for SEL during                                                               
her time  in a  special education program,  which has  helped her                                                               
overcome  shyness and  given her  the skills  to advocate  in the                                                               
classroom.   She shared her  belief that this sort  of curriculum                                                               
would benefit all  students.  She said simple  skills like naming                                                               
and recognizing  emotions can help  to process feelings  and help                                                               
kids function in  the classroom and the world as  they grow.  She                                                               
stated that these skills also  help them interact with both their                                                               
teachers and  their peers.   She opined that  statewide standards                                                               
for this  curriculum would  benefit every  Alaska child  and help                                                               
hold the school system to a high standard.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:15:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY opened public testimony on HB 25.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:15:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATIE BOTZ testified  in support HB 25.  She  shared that she was                                                               
sexually abused when  in the sixth grade, and  she wasn't allowed                                                               
to talk about her experience  or the investigation that followed.                                                               
She said her teacher noticed  she was falling behind academically                                                               
in the eighth  grade, and a teacher asked that  she be held back.                                                               
Ms.  Botz asserted  that  she fell  behind  because she  couldn't                                                               
process the  social and  emotional aspects  of her  trauma, which                                                               
has since affected her work as an adult.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:19:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE  HUTCHINSON testified  in  opposition to  HB  25.   She                                                               
called the  proposed legislation "mission creep  of the Education                                                               
Department."  She said [public  education] was to be [limited to]                                                               
reading, writing,  and arithmetic.   She suggested that HB  25 be                                                               
modified  to   include  interaction   and  permission   from  the                                                               
student's family.   She said [emotional  and behavioral] problems                                                               
and solutions start in the home,  which is where she opined these                                                               
things  should  be  addressed.    She  saw  HB  25  as  an  added                                                               
governmental expense.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:21:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE COONS testified  in opposition to HB 25.   He said this bill                                                               
addressed  learning  that  children  should  receive  from  their                                                               
parents,  and that  he  disagreed with  spending  $71,000 on  the                                                               
proposed legislation.  He said  families were more concerned with                                                               
reading, writing, and arithmetic, and other social issues.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:24:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NORM WOOTEN,  Director of Advocacy, Association  of Alaska School                                                               
Boards (AASB), said the association  strongly supports HB 25.  He                                                               
shared that AASB has a  full-time position that works with school                                                               
districts and  families to support  SEL.  He explained  that AASB                                                               
doesn't intend to  supplant parent teaching within  the home, but                                                               
to supplement it.  He  argued that children's problems don't stop                                                               
when they attend school, and  it is necessary that teaching staff                                                               
address  student's  problems  and  also  help  families  overcome                                                               
problems that children may be having.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:26:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KELLY NASH testified in opposition to  HB 25.  She stated that HB
25  was "funded  by the  Bill and  Melinda Gates  Foundation, ...                                                               
Chan  Zuckerberg,  and  it also  has  affiliations  with  Chinese                                                               
corporations,"   and  she   opined   that   it  is,   "absolutely                                                               
disgusting."   She argued this  legislation would be  a violation                                                               
of  privacy and  was unconstitutional.   She  reiterated previous                                                               
testifiers' sentiments  that schools  should [stick  to] teaching                                                               
reading, writing,  and arithmetic.   She  expressed that  she was                                                               
displeased  with  the  legislature's   response  to  COVID-19  in                                                               
schools, and  that it was  bad for  children's stress.   She said                                                               
she was considering removing her  daughter from the public school                                                               
system.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:28:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALYSYN THIBAULT, Teacher, testified in favor  of HB 25.  She said                                                               
there  is much  more  to  schools than  just  the academics  that                                                               
teachers cover.   She shared that as a teacher  she has witnessed                                                               
the challenges  young people  have in  coping with  and surviving                                                               
struggles.   She argued  that Alaska  can and  must do  better to                                                               
support students and  families.  She said HB 25  would be a small                                                               
step  forward by  providing a  framework of  SEL standards.   She                                                               
argued  that SEL  is  no longer  [comprised  of] soft-skills  and                                                               
called  SEL "twenty-first  century skills"  that business  owners                                                               
look for in their workforce.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:31:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA SKILES  PARADY, PhD, Executive  Director, Alaska  Council of                                                               
School Administrators  (ACSA), testified in  support HB 25.   She                                                               
related   that    ACSA   is   an   umbrella    group   supporting                                                               
superintendents,  elementary  and  secondary  principals,  school                                                               
business officials,  and administrators. She said  as an umbrella                                                               
organization working  with multiple members, ACSA  develops joint                                                               
position   statements   annually,    which   reflect   collective                                                               
priorities in  public education.   In addition  to the  issues of                                                               
student achievement and adequate  funding, ACSA's members support                                                               
SEL.   She  shared  that Alaska  students  endure extremely  high                                                               
rates  of  trauma and  adverse  childhood  experiences, which  is                                                               
reflected in  the fact that Alaska  has the highest rate  of teen                                                               
suicide attempts  in the nation.   She said ACSA urges  the state                                                               
to  implement comprehensive  SEL programs  and supports  targeted                                                               
funding  to  enable  schools to  recruit,  retain,  and  increase                                                               
students'   access   to   school  counselors,   social   workers,                                                               
psychologists,  nurses,  and  mental health  specialists  and  to                                                               
provide  additional professional  development  for  all staff  to                                                               
meet student's social and emotional needs.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR.  SKILES  PARADY said  ACSA  also  supports the  Alaska  Staff                                                               
Development  Network  (ASDN).   She  shared  that for  almost  40                                                               
years,  ACSA  has  been  providing  professional  development  to                                                               
educators  across  Alaska,  including   in  SEL  instruction  and                                                               
support.  She  opined that with the pandemic, this  has become an                                                               
even more critical need for the state.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:34:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY,  after ascertaining  that there  was no  one else                                                               
who wished to testify, closed public testimony on HB 25.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:34:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX expressed  concern  with  the state  setting                                                               
standards for skills "normally taught  ... by parents and through                                                               
Sunday  school,  churches,  and organizations  like  that."    He                                                               
argued  that   the  proposed  legislation  dove   into  religious                                                               
freedoms.  He opined that children  may not be ready to deal with                                                               
these things, and  the legislature may be  creating more problems                                                               
than it is solving.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
[HB 25 was held over.]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:38:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Education Standing Committee* meeting was adjourned at 9:38 a.m.                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Report-ACPE APS Program Review & Recs 2021.pdf HEDC 4/12/2021 8:00:00 AM
AK Performance Scholarship
HB 48 Bundled documents.pdf HEDC 4/12/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 48
APS Program Review PPT 4_8_21.pdf HEDC 4/12/2021 8:00:00 AM
Alaska Performance Scholarship
APS Program Recs Matrix 4.9.21.pdf HEDC 4/12/2021 8:00:00 AM
Alaska Performance Scholarship
HB 25 FN EED.SSA.pdf HEDC 4/12/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 25
HB 25 Letters of Support (2) 4.12.21.pdf HEDC 4/12/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 25
HB 25 Do Not Support, Articles (3) 4.12.21.pdf HEDC 4/12/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 25