Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/18/1993 03:00 PM House HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE February 18, 1993 3:00 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Rep. Cynthia Toohey, Co-Chair, arrived later Rep. Con Bunde, Co-Chair Rep. Gary Davis, Vice Chair Rep. Al Vezey Rep. Pete Kott Rep. Harley Olberg Rep. Irene Nicholia Rep. Tom Brice MEMBERS ABSENT Rep. Bettye Davis COMMITTEE CALENDAR *HB 84: "An Act implementing certain recommendations of Alaska 2000 to improve the state's education system; and providing for an effective date." HEARD AND HELD *HB 85: "An Act relating to the public school foundation program; and providing for an effective date." NOT HEARD - HELD TO A TIME CERTAIN (* First public hearing.) WITNESS REGISTER JERRY COVEY, Commissioner Alaska Department of Education 801 W. 10th St., Suite 200 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1894 Phone: 465-2800 Position Statement: Presented an overview of HB 84 PATRICIA GAKIN P.O. Box 871304 Wasilla, Alaska 99687 Phone: (907) 373-4717 Position Statement: Asked questions on HB 84 (Testified via teleconference) BILL MONROE 2950 Marianne Wasilla, Alaska 99687 Phone: (907) 376-4269 Position Statement: Asked questions on HB 84 (Testified via teleconference) DUANE GUILEY, Director Division of Education Finance and Support Services Department of Education 801 W. 10th St. Juneau, Alaska 99801-1894 Phone: (907) 465-2891 Position Statement: Answered questions on HB 84 MICHAEL MURPHY, Member Nome School Board P.O. Box 1062 Nome, Alaska 99762 Phone: (907) 443-2043 Position Statement: Commented on HB 84, opposed current tenure law (Testified via teleconference) MIKE LITMAN, Member Sitka School Board P.O. Box 1971 Sitka, Alaska 99835 Phone: (907) 747-3660 Position Statement: Supported HB 84 (Testified via teleconference) LARRY WIGET Legislative Liaison Anchorage School District 4600 DeBarr Road Anchorage, Alaska 99508-3195 Phone: (907) 269-2255 Position Statement: Supported HB 84, asked questions (Testified via teleconference) REVA SHIRCEL, Education Director Tanana Chiefs Conference 122 First St. Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Phone: (907) 452-8251 Position Statement: Asked questions on HB 84 (Testified via teleconference) CARL ROSE, Executive Director Association of Alaska School Boards 316 W. 11th St. Juneau, Alaska 99801 Phone: (907) 586-1083 Position Statement: Testified on HB 84 SUZANNE CYR P.O. Box 873663 Wasilla, Alaska 99687 Phone: (907) 376-1139 Position Statement: Testified on HB 84 (Testified via teleconference) ROSE SMITH 1140 Gail Drive Wasilla, Alaska 99687 Phone: (907) 376-2517 Position Statement: Testified on HB 84 (Testified via teleconference) ROBERT THOMPSON HC01 6875C Palmer, Alaska 99645 Phone: (907) 745-2019 Position Statement: Opposed HB 84 (Testified via teleconference) CLAUDIA DOUGLAS, President National Education Association-Alaska 114 Second St. Juneau, Alaska 99801 Phone: (907) 586-3090 Position Statement: Testified on HB 84 SHARON NORTON, President Ketchikan School District 8302 S. Tongass Highway Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Phone: (907) 225-2479 Position Statement: Opposed HB 84 (Testified via teleconference) PATSY AAMODT North Slope Borough School District P.O. Box 169 Barrow, Alaska 99723 Phone: (907) 852-5311 Position Statement: Opposed HB 84 (Testified via teleconference) ANDY ZAJAC, President Copper Valley Teachers Association P.O. Box 208 Copper Center, Alaska 99573 Phone: (907) 822-3018 Position Statement: Opposed HB 84 (Testified via teleconference) PAM DARNALL P.O. Box 55257 Fairbanks, Alaska 99705 Phone: (907) 488-9703 Position Statement: Opposed SB 61 (Testified via teleconference) CAROL EVANS 1212 Farmers Loop Fairbanks, Alaska 99705 Phone: (907) 479-5407 Position Statement: Opposed HB 84 (Testified via teleconference) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 84 SHORT TITLE: IMPLEMENT ALASKA 2000 RECOMMENDATIONS BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR TITLE: "An Act implementing certain recommendations of Alaska 2000 to improve the state's education system; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/22/93 135 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/22/93 135 (H) HES, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 01/22/93 135 (H) -FISCAL NOTE (DOE) 1/22/93 01/22/93 136 (H) GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER 02/18/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 85 SHORT TITLE: PUBLIC SCHOOL FOUNDATION PROGRAM BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR TITLE: "An Act relating to the public school foundation program; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/22/93 138 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/22/93 138 (H) HES, FINANCE 01/22/93 138 (H) -FISCAL NOTE (DOE) 1/22/93 01/22/93 138 (H) GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER 02/18/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-16, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIR BUNDE called the meeting to order at 3:07 p.m. and noted members present. Rep. B. Davis was ill, and Rep. G. Davis was on-line via teleconference from Soldotna. Chair Bunde announced that the meeting was being teleconferenced to Juneau, Anchorage, Barrow, Fairbanks, Glennallen, Mat-Su, Nome, Sitka, Soldotna, Tok and Valdez. He announced the meeting calendar, and noted that the committee would hear testimony, but would not take action at this meeting. (Rep. B. Davis arrived at 3:01 p.m.) HB 84: IMPLEMENT ALASKA 2000 RECOMMENDATIONS Number 047 JERRY COVEY, COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (DOE), began his overview presentation on HB 84, containing some of the ideas contained in the Alaska 2000 proposals. He stated the changes should be placed in statute, not in regulation, and as such, require legislative action. He proposed a brief presentation on the bill's five parts. The first was to increase the school year to 200 days from 180 days by the year 2000. Commissioner Covey said America rates behind other leading industrialized nations in terms of educational commitment, and only slightly less farther behind in students' science and math achievement. He said no fiscal note was advanced with the bill, but the bill was important and needed societal commitment. Number 100 CHAIR BUNDE interrupted and asked for preliminary questions. REP. NICHOLIA asked if the extended school year would bring more money. Number 110 COMMISSIONER COVEY responded that the longer year would require expansion of the foundation formula funding. REP. VEZEY asked if the 10 percent increase in school year would bring a 10 percent increase in funding. Number 120 COMMISSIONER COVEY answered that public schools cost $3 million to operate each day, and there would be some increase in funding. But instead of requiring a $60 million increase ($3 million multiplied by 20 days), it might be possible for some school districts to use the extra time in ways that might cost less than regular instruction, he said. Number 160 REP. VEZEY asked a clarifying question. COMMISSIONER COVEY responded that some districts might spend less than usual on the extra days, and some might continue normal instruction at normal cost. REP. VEZEY asked whether there was public support for an extended school year, given the comfortable salaries already paid to teachers for nine-month school years. COMMISSIONER COVEY answered that public support would depend on the results produced. He said he felt a responsibility not to merely add days and have business as usual, and to that end, the department was proposing many other simultaneous changes in addition to the extended school year, which he believed would help students get better educations, which would in turn bring greater public support. The current system was not producing sufficient quality of education. REP. VEZEY asked if other states were extending their school years. COMMISSIONER COVEY answered that the 180-day school year is the national average. He said some schools in Alaska were experimenting with extending their school years. Some districts in the nation are going to 200-day years, or year round school. Some states are proposing extensions of their school years. Number 218 CHAIR BUNDE noted that Ketchikan was on-line via teleconference. He said he considered HB 84 and HB 85 bare bones proposals, and urged committee members, witnesses and others to submit specific suggestions and amendments for the committee's consideration. He expressed the opinion that the longer school year would be an ideal time to allow smaller student-teacher ratios, and more instruction for both gifted and underachieving students. Number 236 REP. BRICE asked for an example of how the extra 20 school days could be used, and asked how the current educational programs were deficient. COMMISSIONER COVEY said the deficiency is that the school system is educating 30 percent of students at best to world class standards. He said the state does not propose dictating specific programmatic changes to local districts, but rather define expectations for students, teachers, parents and school boards, and make them make their own decisions. REP. KOTT asked for research demonstrating the benefits of extended school years. Number 260 COMMISSIONER COVEY said he would provide some research from the department on other states' experiences with longer school years. (Rep. Toohey arrived 3:24 p.m.) Number 294 REP. NICHOLIA asked if Commissioner Covey had considered how the extended school year would affect students and families practicing subsistence hunting or fishing. COMMISSIONER COVEY responded that he had, and the special priorities and scheduling concerns of urban and rural areas were considered. He said they would like to leave it to local districts to decide when to add the extra time. REP. NICHOLIA asked if Commissioner Covey would consider allowing classes in the middle of summer. COMMISSIONER COVEY answered that such scheduling decisions would be up to the local districts. He said some districts do start school in August, then close for a few weeks to allow fall subsistence activities. Number 328 CHAIR BUNDE invited those on teleconference to ask their questions on the extended school year. PATRICIA GAKIN, testifying from Mat-Su, asked how the Department of Education (DOE) would guarantee student attendance and learning during a 200-day school year. COMMISSIONER COVEY said local districts set attendance policies, though the state statutes requires attendance for students aged six to 16. The average state attendance is 93 percent, with districts ranging from a low of 83 percent to a high of 97 percent, he said. He stated he could not guarantee learning, but said the other changes in Alaska 2000 would set student performance standards. He noted it is up to the public to ensure compliance with the standards. BILL MONROE, testifying from Mat-Su, said the district is underfunded now, and asked how the extra 20 days would be funded. COMMISSIONER COVEY answered that the legislature, through the foundation formula, is ultimately responsible for funding the extra time. He said that increasing the state's educational effort relative to other countries would require some sacrifice in other areas. Number 385 REP. GARY DAVIS, testifying from Soldotna, expressed pride in the Kenai Peninsula School District, and asked whether students statewide were a year and more advanced than students from other states. COMMISSIONER COVEY answered that students around the state are both ahead of and behind students in other states. Number 417 COMMISSIONER COVEY continued his presentation on HB 84, turning to funding grants for school improvement. Interest earnings from the state's $125 million public education trust fund have been used to date to offset foundation formula program costs. The state proposes to put half of those earnings into a fund for school improvement, and to give grants to school districts for research into classroom improvement. The current funding system provides operating expenses, but not seed money for experimentation. He said it was reasonable to provide $4.5 million for research, out of more than $700 million in annual education costs. Number 446 COMMISSIONER COVEY mentioned advisory school boards, similar to those now required by Rural Education Attendance Areas, as a way to answer parent interest in increased participation in local school activities. The proposal would allow local school boards to designate existing groups, such as Parent-Teacher Associations, to serve as advisory boards. Number 460 COMMISSIONER COVEY discussed tenure review committees, an attempt to respond to concerns over the divisive issue by increasing attention on the tenure review process. The proposal would establish a tenure review committee including teachers, parents, and one student at lest 16 years old, who would review teacher evaluations and make non-binding recommendations to the local school board. Commissioner Covey said teachers have told him that undeserving teachers are winning tenure through insufficient attention to evaluations. Number 483 COMMISSIONER COVEY mentioned charter schools. He said the DOE proposes a three-year pilot charter school project, which could establish up to 40 charter schools in about 10 percent of the state's existing schools. He defined a charter school as an alternative education program, such as the alternative schools that already exist in some schools. They would operate entirely within the public education system, using public school resources, teachers, support staff, parents and students. They would have to be inclusive and follow state and federal equity regulations. They would be outcome-based programs, with local authority to operate differently and expend resources differently. Such schools are under consideration or operating in other states. He said fears over the concept are groundless, and the concept is an opportunity for new ideas and for parents teachers to come together. REP. TOOHEY asked if there is fear that charter schools will embrace religious teaching, and asked whether the school board has guidelines. Number 505 COMMISSIONER COVEY said the same state guidelines concerning teaching religion in regular public schools would also apply to charter schools. REP. NICHOLIA asked how regular local schools would be affected by charter schools. COMMISSIONER COVEY replied that charter schools, as public schools, would be funded through the same foundation formula that funds other schools. It would be no loss to the other district, as the charter schools would represent a sharing of both resources and students with regular schools. The district would receive and spend state money to educate students whether in a charter school or other school, he said. He added, though, that charter schools could work with Native corporations or nonprofit organizations which might provide additional resources, which is an opportunity already available to existing schools. Number 536 CHAIR BUNDE asked whether the charter schools, tenure review committee and school advisory boards would require a fiscal note. COMMISSIONER COVEY answered that charter schools and the tenure review committee would not require fiscal notes, though the cost of school advisory boards would vary widely, depending on how each local district chose to create them. Number 550 REP. VEZEY asked whether a law passed by a previous legislature made it impossible to fire teachers hired since 1991 or 1992 (he was not sure) if they had two or three years on the job, or whether such teachers could be hired if a district could not afford to pay them. COMMISSIONER COVEY invited another department official to answer the question. Number 600 DUANE GUILEY, DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF EDUCATION FINANCE AND SUPPORT SERVICES, responded by saying tenured teachers in Alaska can be released when there are too few students, but not when there is too little money. They can also be fired for cause. Under current law, in applicable cases, a teacher automatically wins tenure on the first day of the third school year. MICHAEL MURPHY, OF THE NOME SCHOOL BOARD, testified from Nome, saying that mandating school advisory boards for districts in which schools were closely placed would be redundant and slow school processes. COMMISSIONER COVEY responded that the proposal would allow him to exempt such districts to avoid duplication. MR. MURPHY said giving tenure to teachers after two years on the job was too soon. He stated it takes more time to prove worth. He opposed the current tenure law. CHAIR BUNDE voiced agreement that two years was not enough time to offer tenure, though tenure is worthwhile. Number 600 MIKE LITMAN, MEMBER OF THE SITKA SCHOOL BOARD, testified from Sitka, praising HB 84 as a comprehensive examination of the state school system, and urged the committee to support the bill. TAPE 93-16, SIDE B Number 000 LARRY WIGET, LEGISLATIVE LIAISON FOR THE ANCHORAGE SCHOOL DISTRICT (ASD), testified from Anchorage on HB 84. He said the ASD supports giving districts the option of a 200-day school year, contingent on an increase in the foundation formula. At the daily $1 million operating costs for the district, another 20 days would mean $20 million more. The ASD prefers school advisory boards be called school site councils, to be "developed as schools voluntarily participate in shared decision making site-based management." He said parent-teacher associations should serve as school site councils. MR. WIGET asked why school boards, as teacher employers, could not serve as a local tenure review committee. He expressed fears that dealing with up to 200 tenure requests might become too complex with too little benefit. He said the district already works to ensure high standards before granting tenure. Mr. Wiget said the ASD already offers alternative school programs and believes charter schools carry the concept further and raises questions. He said the decision on allowing charter schools should be a local decision, and there is no requirement that a charter school board have bylaws. He asked if teachers would be contract or district employees. He asked how charter schools would be dealt with in capital budgets. MR. WIGET said the ASD does not oppose HB 84, but does have questions about its provisions, and asked the chance to help flesh out the plans. Number 105 COMMISSIONER COVEY said he wanted to work with the ASD and other districts. He also addressed some of the points Mr. Wiget raised. Commissioner Covey said the State Board of Education could not grant charter waivers of local school district regulations. School boards would be parties to contracts between charter schools and the state board, and so would not lose control. Charter school teachers would be regular district teachers. Charter schools would be included in a district's regular capital funding plan. Number 140 REVA SHIRCEL, DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION FOR THE TANANA CHIEFS CONFERENCE, testified from Fairbanks on HB 84. She asked if there were any other bills dealing specifically with social and educational conditions in Alaska Native villages, and if not, why not. She expressed concern over the integration of a longer school year with subsistence activities, over the lack of provisions in the advisory school board proposal to allow complete control of village schools by Natives, over the brief two-year employment period prior to tenure, over the integration of charter schools with public school facilities, and funding of both. She said creation of more school bureaucracy was an effort to deny the inadequacy of public schools in villages and an effort to give responsibility for village schools to the villages, instead of keeping it with the state, where it belongs. Number 180 CHAIR BUNDE invited Ms. Shircel to submit her questions in writing so Commissioner Covey could provide more detailed answers. COMMISSIONER COVEY offered a correction of an earlier statement regarding fiscal notes. He said it would cost $6,000 to develop regulations for charter schools, advisory school councils, and the fund for school improvement. Number 235 CARL ROSE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OF THE ASSOCIATION OF ALASKA SCHOOL BOARDS, said Alaska 2000 helps address the dire need for more focus on education in the state. He said Alaska 2000 is a good start, but falls short of providing world class education. He referred to written recommendations on the bill, which are on file in the committee room, which contain seven components in which further improvement should be achieved to meet the Alaska 2000 project's goals. Those areas are: overall school environment, highest caliber professional staff, educational programs, school governance, funding, collaboration, and accountability. In addition, he noted two other components that cannot be addressed by legislation: parental responsibility, and the student's responsibility to work at learning. MR. ROSE referred to recommendations concerning several major areas of HB 84. Regarding increasing the school term, he said it is a good proposal for some settings, but the legislature should consider increasing funding of the foundation formula and lowering pupil-teacher ratios. On flexibility in funding school improvement grants, MR. ROSE said the association would want half of the grant money made available to teachers. On advisory school boards, MR. ROSE stated that while their aim is laudable, they may dim the enthusiasm of existing parent-teacher associations, and their identification as "boards" may raise confusion with the regular school boards. He said the association prefers "parent advisory committees." On tenure review committees, MR. ROSE noted that the association is concerned that review documents would be made public. He proposed issuing new teachers provisional teaching certificates good for two years, providing them with continuing education and mentoring, testing them at two years, then holding tenure review proceedings two years later. On charter schools, MR. ROSE said they are a good way to include alternative educational ideas that involve teachers and parents, though local determination is critical. MR. ROSE added that the association wanted to suggest four other components to the Alaska 2000 proposals, which are to designate a special certification for master teachers; to require instruction and equipment to teach the use of technology; to promote greater collaboration between schools and social and medical agencies; and to require accountability for all new reforms. Number 404 CHAIR BUNDE asked Mr. Rose's opinions of how school advisory boards would interact with school boards, and said he foresaw the potential of an adversarial relationship based on conflict over authority. Number 410 MR. ROSE commented that he did not see the need for advisory boards in urban areas, though such boards are valuable in Rural Education Attendance Areas (REAAs). Number 425 REP. VEZEY asked Mr. Rose the school board association's opinion of school vouchers. MR. ROSE responded that the association opposes vouchers because they would divert scarce money from the public school system. Number 434 SUZANNE CYR, A TEACHER IN THE MAT-SU SCHOOL DISTRICT, testified from the Mat-Su, questioning HB 84. She said a 200-day school year would hurt the subsistence lifestyle in rural villages. She asked how the state would ensure attendance in a longer school year, asked who monitored and funded advisory school boards, and whether they had legal powers. Number 459 CHAIR BUNDE asked Ms. Cyr whether rural students would be better prepared for college by taking time from schooling for subsistence activities. He also asked whether holding school on weekends would pose problems in subsistence lifestyles. MS. CYR said students now learn subsistence skills during the school year only on the weekends. Number 475 ROSE SMITH, A CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE OF THE MAT-SU SCHOOL DISTRICT, testifying from Mat-Su, asked whether the plan would help relieve class overcrowding that saw 32 students in some classes. She questioned whether a longer school year would address that problem. (Rep. Brice departed at 4:22 p.m.) Number 480 ROBERT THOMPSON, A TEACHER IN THE MAT-SU SCHOOL DISTRICT, testified from Mat-Su in opposition to HB 84. He expressed concerns about public willingness to fund a longer school year. He said the bill seems to represent an inappropriately bureaucratic effort to encourage parental involvement. He said the bill could cost the state an extra $100 million a year, which could be better spent for smaller classrooms, newer textbooks, newer facilities and maintenance. (Rep. Brice returned at 4:25 p.m.) Number 513 BILL MONROE testified from Mat-Su on HB 84. He said it would be difficult to win public support for an extended school year, and suggested instead passing a state law requiring 90 percent attendance as a condition of graduation. He said more emphasis on math and sciences would help Alaska schools improve to match those in other nations. Number 525 MR. MONROE said charter schools would disrupt state and local funding ratios, and would fractionalize community support for public schools. He said good managers should be able to make decisions on tenure in a few months, and that untrained people cannot decide on tenure. He also said the bill needed to be broken down further to facilitate closer and more deliberate attention. CHAIR BUNDE stated HB 84 was not on a fast track and he would be happy if the bill could be moved out this session. Number 549 CLAUDIA DOUGLAS, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION (NEA)-ALASKA, testified in Juneau, asking questions on HB 84. She said the NEA feels the bill falls short of its stated purpose, though she was glad an effort is being made to reform education. (Rep. Brice departed at 4:30 p.m.) (Rep. Olberg departed at 4:32 p.m.) Number 565 MS. DOUGLAS discussed the history of the Alaska 2000 process, which began 18 months ago with the State Board of Education's approval for the idea, followed by recommendations from 20 people from around the state, including four school board members, one teacher and two superintendents. A year ago the governor appointed 10 committees involving 100 people, five of them teachers, and 12 superintendents. Number 576 REP. TOOHEY asked whether superintendents hold teaching certificates. MS. DOUGLAS answered no, and resumed her testimony. She said the committees' final report of 100 recommendations resulted in public hearings on 49 recommendations. A public newspaper survey drew 700 responses, followed by a two-day Alaska 2000 summit in September 1992. She said the ideas repeated in public opinion gathered during this process was not reflected in HB 84, with an exception of the school improvement fund. She said the recommendations are narrow and do not come from teachers or the public. Number 587 MS. DOUGLAS expressed concern about funding a longer school year, saying the costs could add $6 million to the school budget by the year 2000, not including inflation-proofing. She said the NEA estimated the extended school year could cost $75 million to $100 million. She complained that there was no fiscal note or appropriations requests accompanying the bill. She stated no state laws regulate attendance or truancy and questioned the average attendance figures Commissioner Covey cited. She suggested new attendance laws should come before an extended school year. TAPE 93-17, SIDE A Number 000 (Rep. Brice returned at 4:37 p.m.) MS. DOUGLAS said the demands for paperwork and administrative duties do not leave enough time to teach. She said NEA-Alaska would like to see districts given incentives for increasing school years and more opportunities for advanced classes. She said NEA-Alaska supports the fund for school improvement, as long as districts know where the grants go. She expressed concerns about advisory school boards, asking how members would be chosen and how they would affect PTA operations. She mentioned current tensions between REAA advisory boards and district school boards, and asked if such problems might arise in other districts. Number 077 CHAIR BUNDE noted that the teleconference would be concluded by 5:00 p.m. MS. DOUGLAS discussed tenure review boards as a significant change in teacher evaluation law, but one based on misconceptions about tenure. She noted the NEA supports professional practices, and said current teacher evaluations are often done without care or resources. She supports strict evaluation guidelines, but opposes giving nonprofessionals more power in making tenure decisions. She questioned the proposed makeup of tenure review committees, whether tenure would be a popularity contest, whether principals' input would be considered in such decisions, and whether it would not open the door to parental reprisals against teachers. CHAIR BUNDE said the committee would welcome Ms. Douglas back to the committee to testify on Alaska 2000. He agreed that public school tenure review is a joke, but university level peer review at the university level is a much better procedure. He asked for a copy of her written testimony. He anticipated receiving lots of comments from the general public and from constituencies, then holding a work session, during which the committee would consider amending the bill. Number 248 SHARON NORTON, PRESIDENT OF THE KETCHIKAN EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, testified from Ketchikan against HB 84. She said the bill is a large mixed bag, and agreed it should be broken into smaller components. She spoke in favor of funds for school performance research grants, but had misgivings on most of the rest of the bill, which she said she would detail in a letter to the committee. Number 255 PATSY AAMODT, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE NORTH SLOPE BOROUGH SCHOOL DISTRICT, testified from Barrow. She asked Commissioner Covey what states do not have teacher tenure laws and how their students perform. She read resolution 93-02 from the borough school board calling for revocation of certain state laws concerning teacher tenure (Alaska statutes 14.20.150 a) and b). CHAIR BUNDE promised that Commissioner Covey would respond to her questions. Number 265 ANDY ZAJAC, PRESIDENT OF THE COPPER VALLEY TEACHERS ASSOCIATION, testified from Glennallen against HB 84. He said he opposed charter schools as competing with public schools and possible methods of circumventing employment contracts. He added that charter schools would take up limited public school capital and financial resources. (Rep. Bunde departed at 4:51 p.m.) MR. ZAJAC opposed longer school years as too costly, and stated that money could be better spent on early childhood education. He opposed tenure review committees as unqualified to judge teacher fitness for tenure, as another layer of bureaucracy, and as a vehicle for political interference in education. He opposed advisory school boards as an extra layer of bureaucracy that would delay decisions. (Rep. Bunde returned at 4:53 p.m.) MR. ZAJAC said the proposed cost of HB 84 could be better spent to lower class size, give administrators more disciplinary authority, give teachers more time on task, and provide more early childhood education. CHAIR BUNDE announced that, as there was not enough time to hear HB 85, the bill would be held over until Tuesday, February 23, 1993, when the committee meeting would again be on teleconference. Number 317 PAM DARNALL testified from Fairbanks. She stated she opposes SB 61 ("An Act implementing certain recommendations of Alaska 2000 to improve the state's education system; and providing for an effective date.") She said the tenure review committee would make tenure a popularity contest, or a contest between teachers for limited tenure positions. She stated she was opposed to allowing nonprofessionals to grant or deny tenure, and said it would discourage teachers from working in Alaska. Number 330 CAROL EVANS, A TEACHER, testified from Fairbanks in opposition to HB 84. She expressed pleasure with Alaska 2000 as a reflection of increased concern for education, but expressed vehement opposition to all of the provisions it contained. She asked the legislature to put every possible dollar to public education to provide every student with the means to provide for a productive future. (Rep. Toohey departed at 5:00 p.m.) REP. BRICE greeted Ms. Evans. CHAIR BUNDE asked Ms. Evans for a written copy of her testimony. He thanked all those who testified, and ADJOURNED the meeting at 5:03 p.m.