Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106

02/10/2005 11:00 AM EDUCATION


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Audio Topic
11:05:32 AM Start
11:07:40 AM HB1 || HB18 || HB73 || HB30 || HB65
12:34:58 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 1 INCREASE AMT OF BASE STUDENT ALLOCATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 1(EDU) Out of Committee
+= HB 18 INCREASE AMT OF BASE STUDENT ALLOCATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 73 INCREASE AMT OF BASE STUDENT ALLOCATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 30 APPROP: K-12 EDU OPERATING/DEBT EXPENSES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 30(EDU) Out of Committee
+= HB 65 APPROP: K-12 PUBLIC EDUCATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION                                                                            
                       February 10, 2005                                                                                        
                           11:05 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mark Neuman, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                       
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Woodie Salmon                                                                                                    
Representative Bill Thomas                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mary Kapsner                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 1                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to the base student allocation used in the                                                                     
formula for state funding of public education; and providing for                                                                
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 1(EDU) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 18                                                                                                               
"An Act increasing the base student allocation used in the                                                                      
formula for state funding of public education; and providing for                                                                
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 73                                                                                                               
"An Act increasing the base student allocation for state                                                                        
financing of public schools; and providing for an effective                                                                     
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 30                                                                                                               
"An Act making appropriations for K-12 education operating and                                                                  
school debt expenses; and providing for an effective date."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 30(EDU) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 65                                                                                                               
"An Act making special appropriations for the support of K-12                                                                   
public education in the state; and providing for an effective                                                                   
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB   1                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: INCREASE AMT OF BASE STUDENT ALLOCATION                                                                            
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GATTO                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
01/10/05       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 12/30/04                                                                              

01/10/05 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS

01/10/05 (H) EDU, HES, FIN

01/27/05 (H) EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 106

01/27/05 (H) Heard & Held

01/27/05 (H) MINUTE(EDU) 02/08/05 (H) EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 106 02/08/05 (H) Heard & Held 02/08/05 (H) MINUTE(EDU) 02/10/05 (H) EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 30 SHORT TITLE: APPROP: K-12 EDU OPERATING/DEBT EXPENSES SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) HARRIS

01/10/05 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 12/30/04

01/10/05 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS

01/10/05 (H) EDU, HES, FIN 02/03/05 (H) EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 106 02/03/05 (H) Heard & Held 02/03/05 (H) MINUTE(EDU) 02/08/05 (H) EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 106 02/08/05 (H) Heard & Held 02/08/05 (H) MINUTE(EDU) 02/10/05 (H) EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 18 SHORT TITLE: INCREASE AMT OF BASE STUDENT ALLOCATION SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) WILSON

01/10/05 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 12/30/04

01/10/05 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS

01/10/05 (H) EDU, HES, FIN

01/12/05 (H) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED

01/12/05 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS

01/12/05 (H) EDU, HES, FIN

01/27/05 (H) EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 106

01/27/05 (H) Heard & Held

01/27/05 (H) MINUTE(EDU) 02/08/05 (H) EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 106 02/08/05 (H) Heard & Held 02/08/05 (H) MINUTE(EDU) 02/10/05 (H) EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 73 SHORT TITLE: INCREASE AMT OF BASE STUDENT ALLOCATION SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR

01/18/05 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS

01/18/05 (H) EDU, HES, FIN

01/27/05 (H) EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 106

01/27/05 (H) Heard & Held

01/27/05 (H) MINUTE(EDU) 02/08/05 (H) EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 106 02/08/05 (H) Heard & Held 02/08/05 (H) MINUTE(EDU) 02/10/05 (H) EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 65 SHORT TITLE: APPROP: K-12 PUBLIC EDUCATION SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR

01/18/05 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS

01/18/05 (H) EDU, HES, FIN 02/03/05 (H) EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 106 02/03/05 (H) Scheduled But Not Heard 02/08/05 (H) EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 106 02/08/05 (H) Heard & Held 02/08/05 (H) MINUTE(EDU) 02/10/05 (H) EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 106 WITNESS REGISTER CARL ROSE, Executive Director Association of the Alaska School Boards Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Supports increased education funding. MIKE SIGLER Alaska Kids Count Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Supports increased education funding. PEGGY COWAN, Superintendent Juneau School District Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Supports increased education funding. JOY BEAVER Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Supports increased education funding. ANDI STORY, Member Juneau School Board; Alaska Kids Count Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Supports increased education funding. JIM NYGAARD, Superintendent Southeast Island School District Thorne Bay, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Supports increased education funding. CHARLENE OSTBLOOM Tanana Chiefs Conference Fairbanks, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Supports increased education funding. ERNIE MANZIE, Superintendent Valdez School District Valdez, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Supports increased education funding. DOUG JOHNSON Valdez School Board Valdez, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Supports increased education funding. JENNIE HAMMOND Nikiski, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Supports increased education funding. MARY FRANCIS, Executive Director Alaska Council of School Administrators Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Supports increased education funding. BILL BJORK, President National Education Association Alaska Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Supports increased education funding. TOM WRIGHT, Staff to Representative Harris Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Provided comments and responded to questions during discussion of the proposed committee substitute (CS) for HB 30. ACTION NARRATIVE CHAIR MARK NEUMAN called the House Special Committee on Education meeting to order at 11:05:32 AM. Representatives Neuman, Gatto, Lynn, Wilson, Gara, and Salmon were present at the call to order. Representative Thomas arrived as the meeting was in progress. HB 1 - INCREASE AMT OF BASE STUDENT ALLOCATION HB 18 - INCREASE AMT OF BASE STUDENT ALLOCATION HB 73 - INCREASE AMT OF BASE STUDENT ALLOCATION HB 30 - APPROP: K-12 EDU OPERATING/DEBT EXPENSES HB 65-APPROP: K-12 PUBLIC EDUCATION CHAIR NEUMAN announced that the committee would be hearing HOUSE BILL NO. 1, HOUSE BILL NO. 18, and HOUSE BILL NO. 73, which all address the base student allocation used in the formula for state funding of public education; as well as HOUSE BILL NO. 30 and HOUSE BILL NO. 65, which are both acts making appropriations for K-12 education operating and school debt expenses. CHAIR NEUMAN stated that there would be general testimony at this meeting. 11:07:40 AM CARL ROSE, Executive Director, Association of the Alaska School Boards, stated that he has submitted written testimony and therefore he would be brief in his comments. He said: On Wednesday January 26, [2005], I was on an audio conference from Washington D.C. with the large five school districts of the state. We talked about some of the inhibiting factors that we would face this year with the budgetary process. We talked about coming up with a reasonable number that we could put forward because the association had not resolved itself behind a set number. ... The reason we had this meeting was it was our impression that we were going to try to ... fund education early so our attempt was to get a number out there that we could all agree with. Kenai, Fairbanks, Anchorage, Mat-Su, and Juneau were present at this meeting. We decided on a number, and that number was [$]4,995. I put that number out online; ... I've visited with most of you here and I'm trying get hold of as many people as I can, to get that number out. Since that time these boards have gone back and they've met in their respective school districts, and they have needs that exceed this [$]4,995. [$]4,995 was the number we decided on, and we wanted to say that this number does not meet all of our needs, but it does create a positive investment trend line in education. ... Basically what happens is, since 1999, we've been held constant and ... since 2004 we've started a trend line increase in public education. The members who were present in this audio conference recognized the need to call us behind a number that was reasonable, that was responsible, defendable, and that we could be part of the budgetary process. I don't have to tell you some of the looming issues that you have to deal with, and we simply want to be part of that discussion. We decided that [$]4,995 was representative of a number that was responsible; it does not meet all the needs of the schools that were present. But they chose a number such as this to be able to move forward, and since then they've adopted some higher numbers and I appreciate the fact, and they'll be down here advocating for that number. The Association for Alaska School Boards [ASSB] is advancing [$]4,995 because we think it creates that positive investment stream in education. ... I'm being criticized for coming in with a lower number than many of us need. This was the determination that was made; I've shared it with my membership. This weekend we will be meeting down here in the ... Treadwell Room and we're going to be trying to get ourselves together to get up on a hill to give a number. [$]4995 is the number that ASSB is advancing. We understand that there is a need for more, and ... if we can stay on a positive trend line, over a period of time we can recover from the last decade and a half of being held constant with the exception of enrollment increases. MR. ROSE asked that the committee move the bill out of the committee so that it could move on to the House Finance Standing Committee. 11:11:10 AM REPRESENTATIVE SALMON asked if the $4,995 would fix the eroding floor or the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) and the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS). MR. ROSE replied that it would not; it would only address the basic student allotment. He commented that those other issues will probably be dealt with later. REPRESENTATIVE GATTO asked if this was a $420 increase. MR. ROSE answered affirmatively. REPRESENTATIVE GATTO remarked that a $420 increase translates into a "certain number of millions". MR. ROSE replied, "That is correct. The actual number on an increase is $23 million above the governor's $62 million." In response to Representative Gatto, he stated that this would result in a total increase of just over $85 million. REPRESENTATIVE GARA commented that the five school district [representatives] that met to determine the $4,995 [later returned to their home districts] and realized that in order to make any real progress in student achievement, they would have to come up with new numbers. He noted that Kenai's new number was $5,086 to make material progress, and Anchorage's new number was $5,120. He asked if Mr. Rose knew what the new numbers were for the other three districts. MR. ROSE responded that he did not have these numbers. He noted that many other districts are passing resolutions, but they do not meet at the same time. 11:13:33 AM CHAIR NEUMAN mentioned that his office has received several of those numbers and he will make sure that [Representative Gara] receives this information as well. REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked which of the five large school districts will still face cuts, and which ones will make material progress with a base student allotment of $4,995.. MR. ROSE commented that only one of the school districts has agreed to the $4,995, while the other districts have varying needs. He said that class size is a critical, costly issue. Regarding student achievement, he remarked: We're in an era of student accountability.... No Child Left Behind is creating a standard that we have to meet. Adequate yearly progress is a target that we're all trying to get to. ... Once we identify kids who are not meeting the standard, or not meeting adequate yearly progress, what kind of strategies and programs do we have in place to meet those needs, to have those kids be successful? We have to do this above and beyond, and inside of our current appropriation. ... We ... have a federal impact that we're dealing with. We are doing a lot of work that is being mandated on us, and we have very little investment to get it done. The number that I bring to you today is along an investment trend that will require additional investment next year. The question really is, "Do we go for all the money we can get in one year, or do we cause a trend that continues the investment so we can recover from the last 15 years of flat funding with the exception of enrollment increases?" REPRESENTATIVE GATTO commented that Mr. Rose's chart makes a very clear statement. MR. ROSE said that the chart shows a positive trend line from 2004 going up to 2007. He said that he is not talking about the 2007 appropriation; that will be in subsequent years. He reiterated that this number keeps [this topic] in the budgetary process as part of the discussion and not set aside. CHAIR NEUMAN reminded the public and the committee members that educational funding, by the governor's proposal, would increase by $1,021 from 2003 to 2006. 11:17:04 AM REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS stated that he had some information on how much some communities are contributing to hit their cap level, and he asked why some communities don't contribute more than they do. MR. ROSE replied that this is a very difficult question to answer. He said: The different thresholds that we have [are] based on property value across the state and what people are willing to contribute, and you're balancing that up against the local level with the taxable properties and what they will be. ... Our educational community which is the original education attendance area [pays] no local contribution because they don't have any taxable value. So that's a pretty broad spectrum. I think that these are local determinations that are not only made by the school board. As you well know, the school board is not fiscally autonomous. We're dependent on our parent bodies, which are our municipalities. And it's that relationship between municipalities and school boards that help to get that local contribution. What people choose to do at the local level is purely within their domain and I really can't comment on that. But I know of what you speak, and I've heard this concern elsewhere. REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS said, "I'm looking at a total here of [$]167,995,000 since '02, ... and if they're not [making the maximum] local contribution, we're not the only one at fault for not funding education." 11:19:12 AM REPRESENTATIVE WILSON commented that the schools in her district have been hurting for many years, and they've had to make cuts long before some of the bigger schools had to start making cuts. She said that in her area, the local municipalities were funding up at the cap as long as they could. She remarked: It's a little bit lower now because the revenue sharing has stopped, but up until that point many of them were at the cap. And when I look at some of the bigger districts and see that ... their communities are not doing that, that is very frustrating for me.... It's something that the local communities, ... especially those bigger ones, need to look at and see ... if they're giving their all, like some of the smaller ones are. MR. ROSE referred to a chart that "shows what was left to reach in the cap for some of these communities around Alaska". REPRESENTATIVE GARA stated that he wanted to be clear about the trend line, which he said could be misinterpreted by some people. He remarked that the schools don't use the money that the [state government] gives to them for PERS and TRS; that goes directly into a retirement account. In comparing state school funding to inflation over the last five years or over the last ten years, he said, school funding has lagged behind inflation, if you don't count in the PERS/TRS money. He stated: I don't want anybody to walk out of here thinking we've been giving schools more and more money; compared to their costs we've actually been giving them less and less money. Two years ago we actually cut their funding by ten million dollars, the total school budget. That doesn't even include inflation. Last year we had a good budget that put them a little bit ahead. Three years ago it was a hold-even budget, and four years ago, and going back from then, schools fell behind inflation. So the trend line only goes up if we add in all the money they can't use, like the money to count in inflation and the money to count in PERS and TRS. You back those things up, the trend line is going down. 11:21:30 AM MR. ROSE responded that this is the reason for the request for the additional $23 million. He commented that in the governor's proposed operating budget, the money that will be used for instruction and operation will be decreased from $46 million to $24 million. He said, "If we use the $62 million, after the PERS and TRS are paid, [it] is a $24 million increase up against the benchmark of $46 million last year." 11:22:17 AM MIKE SIGLER stated that he represents Alaska Kids Count, which is a parent-led, independent organization. He is also the parent of two school-age children in Juneau. He commented that in Juneau, the class sizes continue to grow and "as a result the quality of our children's education continues to erode." Harborview Elementary School, he said, has a kindergarten class of 26 children, 11 of which have special needs. He stated that there is a third-grade class with 30 children at Auke Bay Elementary School. He said: As parents, we see the need for smaller class sizes and know how fewer children in a classroom allow teachers more time for individual attention to meet each [child's] learning needs. Alaska Kids Count supports reducing average class size to reach the Juneau School Board's published class size goals. These are modest ratios and do not reflect an ideal. For example, current middle school class size ... is 32; the school district goal is 30. It's not a big change but it would help in the classroom. CHAIR NEUMAN reminded Mr. Sigler that there were many people who wished to testify and asked him to submit his testimony in writing. MR. SIGLER continued: Alaska Kids Count supports an increase in foundation funding of approximately [$]112 million statewide, which is [$]50 million more than the governor's proposed funding level, and requires a base student allocation of $5,120, which matches what the Anchorage School Board has proposed. The governor's proposal is [$]62 million, an increase of [$]38 million for retirement and [$]24 million to compensate for inflation. Even assuming a $900,000 local contribution, which in Juneau does go to the cap, the governor's proposal requires $600,000 in cuts to Juneau's schools. While Alaska Kids Count appreciates the governor's proposal, we ask the governor and the legislature to do more for Alaskan students. 11:25:13 AM PEGGY COWAN, Superintendent, Juneau School District, stated that the Juneau School District has the same concerns as the other districts. She noted that she can provide information regarding cuts in writing if the committee members would like. She remarked: Without the governor's proposal we'd have untenable cuts; with the governor's proposal ... it will require allocating all of our fund balance except for $150,000, which is way less than 1 percent. The state allows 10 percent in fund balance and we're going to be going down to a fraction of a percent. We will also have to make cuts: staff, in terms in some aides, councilors, teachers, and cut hazardous bus routes. The school board has not chosen a funding level. A budget advisory group that advised the school board and met and made some modest recommendations for increases in staff, textbooks, and technology, which would add $553, which would bring it up to [$]5,433 to the SA [student allotment]. At a minimum we would like to eliminate the cuts that we're making this year and help modestly with PTR {pupil-teacher ratio]. That number would be [$]5,090. As Mr. Rose indicated, ... we've also been talking to the ... school board's association, and our board will meet, and I imagine it will be a compromise of those numbers. The PTR that we're suggesting ..., the $5,090, would take our current primary, kindergarten [to] second grade, to 20 students from the 25. We'd have 25 students in our intermediates, and 30s in our middle school and high school, so these are not extravagant numbers that we're proposing. But they'd get back to what is manageable. ... MS. COWAN continued: We would like early funding if it is sufficient. ... Our borough has funded to the cap; I'm very proud of it and incredibly appreciative of their support. Last year they had the courage to raise taxes in order to provide the additional money that ... your legislative addition allowed them to add. ... We have 5,314 students. We have 328 teachers, but that's 234 classroom teachers, ... 53 [special education] teachers, 11 councilors, nine English as a Second Language teachers, librarians, and music, and PE specialists. 11:28:25 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARA said, "Just so I understand the [$]5,090 number, that would let you avoid cuts and let you make some progress on teacher ratios, or just avoid cuts?" MS. COWAN replied, "Avoid cuts and some progress on ratios." She said that it would allow the district to have an average of 30 kids in the high school and middle school classes. She noted that some of the shop classes have to have low numbers for safety reasons. She said that it would allow the elementary school classes to have average size of 25 students, and the kindergarten classes would have an average of 20 students. She noted that Mary Becker, the school board chair, supports the increase and is next on the witness list, but Ms. Becker wished to give her testimony time to another witness. 11:29:55 AM JOY BEAVER, [student at Juneau Douglas High School], said: I've talked to my English teacher today about the things that she thinks that should be changed. She says she agrees with me that we should reduce the class size and originally it's supposed to be 31.8 average for a class, but in reality there's ... 38 seniors in one class and 35 juniors in one class. I've talked to Mr. Hanley and he tells me that we should have more money for textbooks, desks, more Alaska Native teachers, and training on racism so kids won't be racist. ... I think we should explore more opportunities to save more money and make more money. So maybe we could get the school into ... having fundraisers for next year. CHAIR NEUMAN informed the committee that Ms. Beaver and some of her classmates visited him at his office earlier in the week and he had explained to the students about how base student allocation formulas work. 11:32:06 AM ANDI STORY, Member, Juneau School Board, and Alaska Kids Count, stated that she is the parent of two students in the Juneau School District. She testified in support of a base student allocation of $5,120, which is the Anchorage School Board's recommendation. She commented: Our superintendent spoke well of ... when we brought back the governor's number to our district about how it would still mean cuts for Juneau, and when I would go out in the public, parents would say, "Will this number that the governor has given help us with our class sizes and other improvements that we'd like?" And of course I'd have to say, "No, it didn't." School boards across the state wrestled with, "Should we go with the governor's number and use it in our planning?", because, if we don't use it, we would show massive cuts and it would really demoralize staff and get parents alarmed again, and they lobbied hard last year for more funding and [the legislature was] responsive. But the danger ... of going with the governor's number is people think, "Oh, this means things are taken care of, and we're going to have improvements," and they won't call you, and that's how things are going to happen, is if they call you. MS. STORY continued: As a new school board member, it's hard to put things into context because I hear that ... we give a lot of money to education, and we're asking for a lot more. And so what I have to do is ... look for resources. And I got a hold of a Education Week, which is put out by a nonprofit group ... in Washington D.C., ... [for] people who are interested in public education and professionals and the public to raise the level of awareness about what's happening across the state. ... They show ... that Alaska ranks 40th out of 50 in their education spending per student, adjusted for the area cost differential. ... Also they say Alaska's the only state with a negative average annual rate of change from 1992 to [2002], meaning increases in school spending did not keep pace with inflation during that period. ... We did make progress last year, so we are moving up and I appreciate that movement, but it tells me, in comparison to what other states are spending on education, that we can do better. 11:35:11 AM JIM NYGAARD, Superintendent, Southeast Island School District, Thorne Bay, noted that this is his first year in Alaska. He commented that he is shocked at the condition of PERS and TRS, and the impact the deficit has had on the budget in his district. He said, "I know that, proportionately when I compare this district to Juneau and Anchorage, it's just a scratch, but it's certainly a statewide challenge and I appreciate your support in addressing some of those issues." He explained that he is in the process of developing next year's budget, and in doing so he is looking at "where the district is at currently and where the district was at last year." He commented that last year's huge cuts in staff and programs are shocking, and "that's not even taking into account the additional hike in TRS and PERS for this year, as well as our health insurance that our teachers are dependent on." He said that a lot of his concerns have already been addressed, but he emphasized: We've become extremely dependent on federal money to complement some of our efforts, whether it's trying to address No Child Left Behind, [or] some of our higher needs children with some of the title programs. ... Those programs have all been cut back. ... The federal government promises to pay 45 percent of special [education] costs and the best I can recollect that they've ever paid was nearly 15 percent. So we have a lot of room that we're making up and, as our children get diagnosed with more and more difficulties, we are expected to step up to the plate on an annual basis. The other thing I'd like to address is: we are dependent on federal funding for programs such as E- rate, and without E-rate a rural district such as Southeast Island District will not survive. And once we're dependent on certain technologies, to pull the rug out from underneath us, with the loss of E-rate funding, for example, our district has yet to be approved for our current year. So planning for next year's program implementation, it really is a struggle. ... As you discuss the critical bills in front of you please remember the needs of Alaska's children. ... Appropriate funding of education will allow our kids to reach their greatest potential. ... 11:38:57 AM CHARLENE OSTBLOOM, Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC), stated that the conference represents 42 tribes. She said: Within our region, we have three single-site, one urban and four REAA [Rural Education Attendance Area] school districts. TCC has been a strong advocate for many years of increasing the foundation formula funding for public schools and will continue to testify on the best legislative bill that will accomplish this. We appreciate the governor and the members of the legislative body for starting the discussion of increasing the foundation formula early on in this legislative session. We also appreciate the governor's recommendation for an increase to the funding to Alaska's public school system. With so many bills that are before us today in support of increasing the foundation formula, it is difficult for us to decide which bill to support. In principle we support all bills that ask for an increase in the foundation formula but are unable at this early date to settle on any one. For the compelling reasons that were outlined in the Iditarod Area School District Superintendent [Joe] Banghart's testimony to the House Special Committee on Education on February 8, we would be remiss if we did not settle for the bill that gave the largest increase to Alaska's public system. MS. OSTBLOOM continued: We intend in the days ahead to give each bill our most serious consideration. At this current time we support [Anchorage School District Resolution 2004- 2005-10 entitled "Resolution in Support of Increased State Funding of the Alaska Public School Funding Program."] ... The school members are requesting that the governor and ... the legislature ... increase the base student allocation in the foundation formula to [$]5,120, which would provide an additional $112 million in state support. For us this would be the best-case scenario. We will continue to monitor the bills and will continue to testify for an increase. 11:41:20 AM ERNIE MANZIE, Superintendent, Valdez School District, remarked that Valdez is perceived as a very fortunate community with no funding issues or problems. He said: While I think Valdez has been fortunate, we too are struggling with funding issues. We presented to the school board just recently a balanced budget, but while that budget was balanced and it was based on current base student allocation, it was developed with educational cuts that are not in the best interest of the district here. ... We support an increase in the student base [allocation]. ... We also deal with a funding floor; we certainly hope that there's some discussion about addressing that issue for those districts that still have the floor. Especially when we talk about looking at PERS and TRS, fixes running through the student base allocation. There are issues with districts that have a funding floor with that. We are fortunate in Valdez; this is a community that funds to the cap and has a long history of being supportive of the education in the community. We also ... want to thank you for trying to address early funding. ... As a principal in the past, many times I would be looking at staff that would have to be let go in a building because of budget uncertainties, and then two months later watch those same people being rehired into different buildings. And it's just frustrating, and can be disruptive to the educational process. ... As we struggle with funding, [the Valdez school district's] success is being compromised as we continue to wrestle with these funding issues. So I would certainly encourage you to support the necessary increase for the school districts. 11:44:25 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked if Mr. Manzie would speak to [legislators] outside of this committee also regarding the funding floor issue. MR. MANZIE replied that he will be in Juneau next week and will do that. 11:45:08 AM DOUG JOHNSON, Valdez School Board, focused on the funding floor issue and said: It's not just us; it's a lot of other districts.... It's a big problem for a lot of people, and I ask this year, so we don't have to go through what we did last year with separate bills ,... it needs to go away. I think it was something that was set up for a reason in [1998] ... but it's taken a lot of hits for a lot of the districts ... and I would hope that if PERS and TRS relief is rolled over in the student dollars, at the minimum, as we do it, something will be taken care of so we do not have to just have the districts go with 60 cents on the dollar, or whatever it would be per district.... It is ... one of the bigger problems for some of the smaller districts here. For us doing a budget is not fun; we've lost six teachers in the last three years that we have not replaced. We went through a very tough negotiation that lasted two years that were quite strong and to get our teachers' contract back in line.... We're trying to cut dollars on other things. The city takes care of us here to the cap but the cap is depreciating here as far as taxes are concerned. ... I would hope that when it comes to the ... people that are running the funding floors there, I'd like to see it go away. I think it's something that needs to go away, and we're going to be trying to address that next week while we're down there. But I would at least hope that as we roll things over that we would not have to have people go back out and, as you do a bill, that the PERS and TRS part of it does not count towards the funding floor. ... And then we get a dollar-for-dollar of PERS and TRS relief without having to go back through and take the chance of losing it. 11:47:49 AM JENNIE HAMMOND stated that she lives in Nikiski and has a kindergartener and a prekindergartener. She commented: I am excited that with [the education funding] the Kenai School District will lower PTR. This is the number one concern of parents and community members in the district, which is why I can ask that you even add more into the foundation formula. With this, the commitment by the Kenai School District is to lower the PTR even more, bringing back some of the teachers we lost three years ago. Some of our schools have classes of over 30 students. The teachers are doing a terrific job but this is not fair to the kids or teachers. It is sending a mixed message to our children, that education is not the priority of the state. [$]5,200 is the amount the district says they need, if not more. School board members are there in Juneau; they have all the facts. Please listen to them. Parents have told them their concerns. MS. HAMMOND continued: Please support forward funding. This would allow school districts to plan their budgets and to not lose teachers due to pink slips. In order to make children first, we must put aside everything in order to truly do just that. I volunteer in my son's class, and I am the coordinator for the Box Tops and Campbell's Soups Labels For Education. I help with the parent preschool program at Nikiski Northstar and go the PTA and school board ... meetings. Plus I am on the instructional committee at Nikiski Northstar. I truly do not know what else I could do to let you know that the education funding for Kenai School District is lacking in adequate funding due to the cost of doing business in the Kenai Peninsula. 11:49:54 AM MARY FRANCIS, Executive Director, Alaska Council of School Administrators, had the following comments: I had a meeting on Tuesday with the ASA Board, which is the superintendent's association board of directors, and ... I wanted to speak to the issue that some of you have spoken to me privately about, and that is the frustration ... you feel about getting the districts and the superintendents in the districts and the school boards to settle on a particular number. My board, the superintendents' association board, discussed the reason that that's difficult. ... Each district has it's own unique circumstances ... Recently, with federal government budgets released, that is going to greatly impact vocational education at the state level and the local level.... [That] is another example of a moving target; people just learned about that this week. And so now all of a sudden districts that perhaps were relying on federal Carl Perkins money are suddenly saying, "...Now if we're going to have a decent vocational education program, we're going to have to cough up money in that area too." So I just wanted to share that information with the committee and of course we support increased base student allocation. 11:52:37 AM BILL BJORK, President, National Education Association Alaska (NEA-Alaska), commented that he has submitted a written testimony as well. He said that the committee members are seeing different requests from districts around the state which reflect the different needs among Alaska's school districts. He remarked, "This is going to continue until we finally agree upon what it will take to meet Alaska's constitutional mandates to ... establish and maintain a public education system open to all." He explained that the second issue he'd like to address is class size. He asked the committee not to divide the number of students by the number of certificated employees because that doesn't reflect true class size. He pointed out that the number of certificated employees includes councilors, librarians, and others who deliver essential services to students, but do so in smaller groups or with individuals. He said, "The class size question is, 'How many students are in each classroom as each grade level?' ... True class size is the critical information for you during your deliberation." 11:54:25 AM REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS asked Mr. Bjork if he or NEA would "support going into the permanent fund to fund education." BILL BJORK replied that last year [the NEA] supported a mechanism by which earnings from the permanent fund could be used in a way, "but it's a complicated issue and we don't think that this is an issue necessarily for this year. But ... the long-term funding for state government and the required services may require us to look at that hard choice into the future." 11:55:27 AM REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS commented, "I don't want to leave my children burdened with a big problem." BILL BJORK responded that the children of Alaska get one opportunity at a quality education and if they are going to be qualified for well-paying jobs into the future, they need the best public schools possible. He said, "We think of it as an opportunity rather than a problem." 11:56:18 AM CHAIR NEUMAN closed testimony with the reminder that those who wish to testify can do so at the next committees. 11:56:40 AM REPRESENTATIVE GATTO stated that as the sponsor of HB 1, he would like to offer Amendment 1, which changes the student base allocation to $4,896. REPRESENTATIVE WILSON asked to please clarify this. CHAIR NEUMAN explained that this amendment would make a $307 increase per student. 11:57:50 AM REPRESENTATIVE GATTO clarified that his Amendment 1 is actually a committee substitute. [He moved to adopt CSHB 1, Version 24- LS0001\F, Mischel, 2/9/05]. REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS asked if that was a motion to adopt the CS. 11:58:10 AM CHAIR NEUMAN replied, "I believe that was a motion to adopt. Any objections to this?" There being no objection, CSHB 1 Version F was before the committee. 11:58:34 AM The committee took an at-ease from 11:58 to 11:59 a.m. 11:59:48 AM CHAIR NEUMAN clarified that CSHB 1 Version F was adopted for discussion, and stated that the CS increases the governor's original proposal of $63 million to about $65 million; the governor's increase was a 6.5 percent increase over last year and the CS is a 7 percent increase over last year. 12:00:42 PM REPRESENTATIVE GATTO stated that the previous student base allocation was $4,576, and the allocation proposed in Version F is $4,896, a $320 increase. 12:02:09 PM CHAIR NEUMAN commented: Our main purpose today here is to try and make sure that we do as much as we can to move this process along. This is the first step in a long process. I think what we're going to try and do here today ... is to try and provided further incentive for a two-year funding for schools, extension of the 70/30 bonds for packages, possibly pay off the floor. We have not received yet the legislative budget and auditing findings that are related to the cost of education increases last year yet. ... There's a lot of unanswered questions out there yet.... I have talked to some of the school districts and some of the leaders of the educational communities, and a priority to them right now is to make sure that this does continue through the process. There will be further time to talk on this; it will be going to your committee and HHES [House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee] next. ... It is pretty important that we try and move this along as per their recommendations. 12:03:31 PM CHAIR NEUMAN turned attention back to the CSHB 1 Version F. REPRESENTATIVE GARA [made a motion to adopt] Amendment 1 labeled 24-LS0142\G.1, Mischel, 2/10/05. REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS objected. REPRESENTATIVE GARA explained that Amendment 1 erases the remaining years of the "falling floor" in the foundation formula. He said: Currently this year there still remain 13 school districts that will continue to lose funding. The community of Valdez will lose another $119,000 for their base student allocation money. Communities from Pelican to Iditarod to the Lower Kuskokwim school district will lose substantial sums of money. These are places that are grappling with rising fuel costs, ... some of which have lost even their basic fine arts curriculum, just to maintain the basic levels of services in their communities. And so for a cost of roughly $2 million we can eliminate ... the future impact of this, what's called the 'falling floor'. And the reason that's so important is if you tried to come up with a base student allocation number for these 13 school districts ... that would equate to the amounts of money that they're losing in the falling floor, that number would be something like $6,000 per student, and we obviously can't afford to do that. But for these 13 school districts we can protect them at a cost of about $2 million by just preventing the foundation formula from continuing to fall. 12:05:46 PM REPRESENTATIVE GATTO clarified that it is also referred to as the "eroding floor". In order to give the committee an historical perspective of this, he pointed out that when the funding formula was established, it seemed that some school districts were receiving too much money. He said: The way they made the adjustment on districts that received too much money was to say, "We will not cut the amount of money you're receiving. We will keep it there and we will call it a floor." But as we increase money for these schools that were receiving too much money, we will erode the floor until the floor is completely eroded and then the formula will become the same for everyone. ... The way they did that was to say, "We'll give you 60 cents on each increase dollar rather than a dollar for a dollar, until you have essentially finished eroding the floor." So there was a justification for doing this; if we were to at this moment wipe out the eroding floor, we would essentially be giving a bonus to some schools but not others, which, while it's a fine idea, ... that money has to come from somewhere, and that money would come from some other school districts that did not qualify for having the eroding floor present. ... It was justified back then; it was agreed to ... by the districts that had the eroding floor that simply avoided the immediate penalty of a drastic reduction in favor of the eroding floor. 12:07:49 PM REPRESENTATIVE GARA responded that he has heard from several of the districts "that are suffering from the eroding floor". He noted that Alaska Gateway is no longer able to provide any fine arts instruction, and that the Iditarod School District is facing a $500,000 deficit this year and this would help them with at least $100,000 worth of it. He stated that all of these communities are suffering; many are facing increased fuel costs. He commented, "For a very small amount of money we can protect some school districts that really aren't ... bathing in the luxury of excess funds but are ... suffering from the reality of inadequate funds." 12:08:50 PM REPRESENTATIVE SALMON remarked that all the school districts that the committee had heard testimony from had asked for more money. He pointed out that the legislature could spend $2 million to help these school districts "get out of their financial mess." He continued: The problem is not only with the big school districts; we're having real problems in the smaller school districts. ... It's a money problem, both of them are money problems, and we should look at that favor, that Senate Bill 36, never did the rural community any good to begin with. 12:09:57 PM CHAIR NEUMAN recognized the comments offered by Representatives Salmon and Gara. He recommended that they put together some type of bill that addresses the eroding floor issue alone. 12:10:18 PM REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS commented on the [eroding floor issue]: stated: People have different ideas of how it happened, and I was there, and I'm not going to go into the details of it but we didn't support it then and I don't support the idea now. I think with No Child Left Behind all you do is continue to open that gap in the areas. And if I knew for sure those were the problem districts I think we're remiss for not addressing this. But [I asked Representative Salmon] earlier about putting in a bill to address it separately. And I've been talking to people; I think we don't need a waiver in Alaska for No Child Left Behind as long as you continue to treat the rural districts and some of the school districts [fairlike]. And it was perceived ... that they were getting excess money; my understanding was, back then it was more about a bilingual problem and special needs. ... My memory of that ... and I'm trying to be very quiet on that because I know a lot of the history and I could get in trouble later on. 12:11:31 PM REPRESENTATIVE LYNN objected to Amendment 1. 12:12:14 PM REPRESENTATIVE WILSON commented that this problem [of the eroding floor] came about because some districts thought that rural districts were getting too much money. She said: It's ridiculous to think that some schools were getting too much money. ... I don't think that probably was really happening. ... But anyway we have to deal with what we have now. ... I agree that we should get rid of this problem. We should get rid of this ... I think it's a good amendment. [But] because we've got so many different things and so many issues that we're dealing with right now, I'm concerned about what we're passing on to finance. ... It is a problem though; there's no doubt about it. 12:13:21 PM REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS objected to Amendment 1 and reiterated that he has offered to be a cosponsor of a bill to address this issue rather than put it on HB 1. A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Gara and Salmon voted in favor of Amendment 1. Representatives Gatto, Neuman, Lynn, Thomas, and Wilson voted against it. Therefore, Amendment 1 failed by a vote of 2-5. 12:14:25 PM REPRESENTATIVE GARA moved [to adopt] Amendment 2. REPRESENTATIVE LYNN objected. REPRESENTATIVE GARA said: This is the education committee. We're the ones that have heard testimony from the school districts. At this point in the session, this is the committee with the most expertise on what the schools' needs are, what we need to do to enhance student achievement. If another committee decides at some point that under their purview there's something wrong with this bill, then they'll express those concerns in those committees. REPRESENTATIVE GARA continued: Frankly, I'm convinced by the [Alaska Kids Count] and the Anchorage School District testimony about the education funding number that they requested. I think this is a year where we have a chance to make real progress. This is a year where we shouldn't just be happy with the status quo [that] 50 percent of our low-income students fail the state's benchmark exams. This is a year we shouldn't be happy with the status quo that ... Alaska sends a smaller percentage of our students to college than 47 other states. REPRESENTATIVE GARA explained that Amendment 2 is an attempt at a compromise number for base student allocation based on the number requested by the Kenai Peninsula School District. He pointed out that their request was a base student allocation of $5,086, which is close to what the Anchorage School District and Alaska Kids Count had recommended of $5,120. He commented that a $5,086 base student allotment would add about $40 million to the governor's budget request. He said that the governor's request and the current committee substitute propose a very similar amount, and would require a K-12 school budget of about $820 million. He said: For $820 million, we've heard from school districts that will make essentially no progress; in very few school districts slight progress; in many school districts, large steps backwards. So we can spend $825 million to do very little, or we can spend ... $860 million to do something real. ... This number would allow the Kenai Peninsula School District to restore some teachers they've cut over the last three years. It would allow other school districts to add some teachers, to come up with a palatable teacher- student ratio. It would allow us to make some real progress. If we don't adopt a number like this ..., the impression among everybody is going to be [that] we've spent more money on schools, what do schools have to show for it. ... Their response, in fairness, is going to be: we didn't give them any money to hire more teachers. We gave them money to deal with their retirement problem; that money's going into a retirement account. We gave them money to deal with some of the problems of inflation. We didn't give them enough money to deal with increasing fuel costs, because we changed the law a few years ago in a way that doesn't give school districts full compensation for their fuel costs. ... This number builds a fair compromise. I'm hopeful that as the bill goes through the committee process, people will give more attention to the slightly higher number that some of the other school districts have asked for. ... I think this is a responsible way to deal with some of the educational problems in the state and to at least make some real progress. And I think that is the charge of this committee. REPRESENTATIVE GARA moved [to adopt] Amendment 2. 12:18:18 PM REPRESENTATIVE LYNN commented: I would have to disagree that this committee has the most expertise in education. Perhaps we have the greatest focus on education ... that's what we do here. But I wouldn't want to denigrate the expertise of other committees.... We have to take the proposed amount ... and put that into the larger picture. Everything else has to be funded in this state. 12:19:15 PM REPRESENTATIVE WILSON asked, "How much money are we talking about here?" REPRESENTATIVE GARA replied that the governor's proposal and Representative Gato's bill, if left unamended would spend roughly $825 million on K-12 this year. He stated out that his amendment would spend about $865 million; about $40 million more than the governor's budget. CHAIR NEUMAN noted that the amendment is to spend $200 per student more than proposed in the CS, which equates to about $40 million in revenue for the entire state. 12:20:16 PM REPRESENTATIVE SALMON commented that the experts and professionals who are testifying are the ones who advocate a higher number. He said, "We need to start listening to these people. We're not experts here but these people are professionals." CHAIR NEUMAN stated that this is just the tip of the iceberg and there are many other educational needs out there and they will be weighed in further committees, "but we do need make sure that we get this moving along so that they can have their time to do that. We've not received the numbers from the budget/audit committee on numbers that they're expecting back tomorrow." He noted that he has been in touch with some of the school districts and the leaders of the educational community; "that is their recommendation also." 12:21:27 PM REPRESENTATIVE GARA said: If we don't adopt Amendment 2 and we go with the bill as it reads, the testimony has been that the Copper River School District will have to engage in cuts, that the Anchorage School District will engage in cuts, that the Kenai Peninsula School District will engage in cuts, that districts representing more than have the people in the state will end up cutting staff, and thereby ... helping reduce the ability of students to achieve. 12:22:05 PM A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Gara and Salmon voted in favor of Amendment 2. Representatives Gatto, Neuman, Lynn, Thomas, and Wilson voted against it. Therefore, Amendment 2 failed by a vote of 2-5. 12:22:45 PM REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS commented that he doesn't think that the legislature or the state should be responsible for inflation. He said, "Has the local contribution gone up with inflation? ... I don't think it has, and I don't think that [legislators are] the only sole responsible people for every time inflation goes up." He advocated local contribution increases and noted, "I'm a property owner and ... I support education so it wouldn't hurt me to pay another $100 or whatever it would be." 12:23:35 PM REPRESENTATIVE GARA pointed out that local contributions have gone up, he said, however: that doesn't give the state the excuse not to have its contribution stay up with costs too. I'm not saying that the state has done a bad job. Last year ... all of a sudden we were faced with this massive PERS/TRS problem that nobody anticipated and we're faced with it again in the next few years. ... I think maybe we'll have to find a funding source to deal with PERS/TRS problem, maybe outside of the foundation formula or outside of this budget. ... But if you back out the money that we've put into retirement and ... the money that's gone to covering inflation, our contribution has resulted in cuts to school districts over the years. 12:24:31 PM REPRESENTATIVE GATTO commented, "When the [governor] first proposed these increases to education ... those numbers were met with great applause and this committee has increased those numbers somewhat, obviously not as much as some members would have preferred, but nonetheless, higher than the governor's original proposal." 12:25:07 PM REPRESENTATIVE WILSON remarked that the committee members have been talking about early funding for the schools, which would need to be moved through the Senate in the next 21 days. She said: I am willing to move this bill forward just ... for the sake of early funding. But I'm very upset with this; we haven't dealt with the eroding floor, ... we've got more to do to really figure out what we're going to do about PERS and TRS. ... There's a lot of things in education yet that we as a ... legislature have a responsibility to take of and I'm concerned that some of this isn't getting taken care of and I just want to carry that forward, that we need to deal with some of this. 12:26:04 PM REPRESENTATIVE LYNN commented: We've got to get on with this.... We've got to keep the lights on in our schools, we've got to keep the staff we need, we've got to avoid those pink slips for teachers, and we've got to educate our kids, which really is the highest priority of anything that we do here. ... We need to take action today; it may not be the figure that all of us would like, but it's a figure to get it started. ... 12:27:34 PM REPRESENTATIVE GARA pointed out that there has been no objection to moving the bill or any effort by any committee members to slow down the process. He stated that he agrees with early funding but also agrees with adequate funding. 12:27:59 PM CHAIR NEUMAN moved to report CSHB 1, [Version 24-LS0001\F, Mischel, 2/9/05] from the committee. There being no objection, CSHB 1(EDU) was reported from the House Special Committee on Education. 12:28:24 PM REPRESENTATIVE WILSON moved [to adopt CSHB 30, Version 24- LS0193\F, Utermohle, 2/9/05 as the working document]. There being no objection, Version F was before the committee. 12:28:42 PM REPRESENTATIVE GARA commented that he had not seen the bill yet. CHAIR NEUMAN explained that this is an allocation bill that goes along with CSHB 1. He said, "For the record, it does include funding for the amounts that were approved by the voters in Anchorage and around the state last year for their additional 70/30 grants, or debt bond reimbursements." 12:29:43 PM REPRESENTATIVE GARA stated, "I have no idea where these numbers came from. I don't know ... if they were tailored to match Representative Gatto's committee substitute or what the number in the foundation formula, the $762 million, reflects. I don't know how that relates to a base student allocation." CHAIR NEUMAN responded that the numbers were prepared by the administration. He said, "They have to follow certain formulas as to where the money goes, and this matches committee substitute 1." He noted that [Eddy Jeans, Manager of School Finance and Facilities, Department of Education and Early Development] helped prepare the numbers. 12:30:28 PM REPRESENTATIVE GARA commented, "There's an amount of money in the foundation program that must relate to a base student allocation we're choosing. How can we vote on the proper amount of money to put in the foundation program without knowing ... what base student allocation we're voting on?" CHAIR NEUMAN responded, "I believe the base student allocation that just passed on [CSHB 1] was a [$]4919." He deferred to the staff of the bill sponsor. 12:30:55 PM TOM WRIGHT, Staff to Representative John Harris, Alaska State Legislature, testified on behalf of Representative Harris, sponsor of CSHB 30. He explained, "The amount passed in HB 1 is found in Section 4 of the appropriation bill, which is contingency language based upon the passage of a bill to increase the student base allocation to an amount equal, or at least [$]4,896. And that's where these numbers are taken from." REPRESENTATIVE GARA objected and said: I'm not going to slow down this bill; I'm going to let it out so we can continue our discussion of the education budget. It seems to me that ... the number can't accidentally meet the number that was proposed in Representative Gatto's committee substitute; somehow it exactly matches that number. So it seems that members of this committee have decided upon it without discussion before this committee or during this committee. If this is going to be a collaborative process where all members have input, I would suggest this isn't the best way to go about things. It seems like both of these numbers were worked on with only some of the members involved in the discussions. 12:32:06 PM REPRESENTATIVE WILSON commented that this is the first time she had seen this [committee substitute]. She asked for clarification from Chair Neuman that the CSHB 30 matched [CSHB 1]. CHAIR NEUMAN answered affirmatively. REPRESENTATIVE WILSON commented, "So [CSHB 30] just takes care of other things that are covered in the formula anyway: the boarding home grants, the youth in detention, pupil transportation. This just has all that rolled into one?" MR. WRIGHT responded that this was correct. He said that the numbers correspond to what is being proposed for fiscal year 2006. Also included in CSHB 30, he explained, is $65.35 million based on the legislation that [the committee] had previously passed. He added that [later] there will be discussion of PERS/TRS, not just on the school district level but on a state level; he commented that it's going to be a major topic this legislative session. He said that this is the beginning of a process, and this probably isn't going to be the final number, but the committee has made an effort to come up with what they think is a reasonable number. Any committee has a purview of education, he remarked, and they'll be making assessments as well. 12:34:22 PM REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS moved to report [CSHB 30, Version 24- LS0193\F, Utermohle, 2/9/05] with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note. There being no objection, CSHB 30(EDU) was reported from the House Special Committee on Education. [CSHB 1, Version 24-LS0001\F, Mischel, 2/9/05, was reported from the committee as CSHB 1(EDU) earlier in the meeting. HB 18, HB 73, and HB 65 were held over.] ADJOURNMENT There being no further business before the committee, the House Special Committee on Education meeting was adjourned at 12:34:58 PM.

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