Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/12/1993 03:00 PM 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 April 12, 1993 3:00 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Rep. Cynthia Toohey, Co-Chair Rep. Con Bunde, Co-Chair Rep. Gary Davis, Vice Chair Rep. Al Vezey Rep. Pete Kott Rep. Harley Olberg Rep. Bettye Davis Rep. Irene Nicholia MEMBERS ABSENT Rep. Tom Brice COMMITTEE CALENDAR SB 71: "An Act relating to emergency medical service; and repealing obsolete references to the Statewide Health Coordinating Council and health systems agencies." PASSED WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS HB 85: "An Act relating to the public school foundation program; and providing for an effective date." HEARD - HELD TO TIME CERTAIN WITNESS REGISTER MARK JOHNSON, Chief Emergency Medical Services Section Division of Public Health Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box H Juneau, Alaska 99811-0616 Phone: (907) 465-3027 work Phone: (907) 463-5807 home Position statement: Testified in support of SB 71 ANNETTE KREITZER, Legislative Assistant Sen. Loren Leman Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 113 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Phone: (907) 465-2095 Position statement: Testified in support of SB 71 DONNA EMERSON 3 Crab Cove Funter Bay, Alaska 99850-0140 Phone: (907) 790-3888 Position statement: Testified in support of HB 85 MIKE WILEY Kenai Peninsula Borough School District P.O. Box 618 Seward, Alaska 99624 Phone: (907) 224-5563 Position statement: Testified in support of HB 85 DEBRA SHUEY P.O. Box 3867 Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Phone: (907) 262-9368 Position statement: Testified in support of HB 85, DUANE GUILEY, Director Division of Education Finance and Support Services Department of Education 801 W. 10th St., Suite 200 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1894 Phone: (907) 465-2891 Position statement: Testified in support of HB 85 HARRY ROGERS, Superintendent Valdez City Schools P.O. Box 398 Valdez, Alaska 99686 Phone: (907) 835-4357 Position statement: Questioned changes in HB 85 STEVE YEATS, Director Curriculum and Instruction North Slope Borough School District P.O. Box 169 Barrow, Alaska 99723 Phone: (907) 852-5311 Position statement: Questioned changes in HB 85 DENNIS WETHERELL, President Mat-Su Talented and Gifted Association P.O. Box 876862 Wasilla, Alaska 99687 Phone: (907) 745-2007 Position statement: Wanted TAG kept under special education FRAN TALBOTT, Supervisor Gifted and Talented Coordinator Anchorage School District 225-500 N. Muldoon Rd. Anchorage, Alaska 99506 Phone: (907) 337-4277 Position statement: Wanted TAG kept under special education LARRY WIGET Legislative Liaison Anchorage School District 4600 DeBarr Road Anchorage, Alaska 99508-3195 Phone: (907) 269-2255 Position statement: Wanted TAG kept under special education LINDA OKLAND 2702 McKenzie Dr. Anchorage, Alaska 99517 Phone: (907) 346-1964 Position statement: Wanted TAG kept under special education MAUREEN KNIGHT 10424 Loudermilk Circle Anchorage, Alaska 99517 Phone: (907) 346-1964 Position statement: Wanted TAG kept under special education PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: SB 71 SHORT TITLE: EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES SYSTEM BILL VERSION: SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S)LEMAN,Ellis,Taylor,Duncan, Donley,Kerttula,Little,Zharoff,Lincoln TITLE: "An Act relating to emergency medical services; and repealing obsolete references to the Statewide Health Coordinating Council and health systems agencies." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/27/93 170 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/27/93 171 (S) HES, LABOR & COMMERCE, FINANCE 02/26/93 503 (S) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS 02/26/93 503 (S) HES, LABOR & COMMERCE, FINANCE 03/08/93 (S) HES AT 02:15 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 03/08/93 (S) MINUTE(HES) 03/09/93 688 (S) HES RPT 3DP 2NR 03/09/93 688 (S) FISCAL NOTE (DHSS) 03/09/93 688 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DCED) 03/10/93 723 (S) L&C REFERRAL WAIVED 03/15/93 (S) FIN AT 08:30 AM SENATE FINANCE ROOM 518 03/22/93 895 (S) FIN RPT CS 7DP SAME TITLE 03/22/93 895 (S) LETTER OF INTENT WITH FIN REPORT 03/22/93 895 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE TO CS (S.FIN/DHSS) 03/22/93 895 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FN APPLIES (DCED) 03/22/93 (S) RLS AT 12:00 PM FAHRENKAMP ROOM 203 03/22/93 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 03/23/93 912 (S) RULES 2 CALENDAR 1NR 3/23/93 03/23/93 913 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 03/23/93 913 (S) FIN CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 03/23/93 914 (S) ADVANCE TO 3RD RDG FAILED Y11 N9 03/23/93 914 (S) THIRD READING 3/24/93 CALENDAR 03/23/93 916 (S) COSPONSOR(S): TAYLOR, DUNCAN, DONLEY, 03/23/93 916 (S) KERTTULA, LITTLE, ZHAROFF 03/24/93 929 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSSSB 71(FIN) 03/24/93 929 (S) RETURN TO SECOND FOR AM 1 UNAN CONSENT 03/24/93 930 (S) AM NO 1 ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 03/24/93 930 (S) AUTOMATICALLY IN THIRD READING 03/24/93 930 (S) (S) ADOPTED FIN LETTER OF INTENT 03/24/93 933 (S) COSPONSOR(S): LINCOLN 03/24/93 931 (S) PASSED Y20 N- CSSSSB 71(FIN) AM 03/24/93 934 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 03/26/93 775 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/26/93 775 (H) HES, FINANCE 04/07/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 04/12/93 (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 02/18/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 02/23/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 02/23/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/22/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/25/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/25/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 04/01/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 04/01/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 04/05/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 04/06/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 04/06/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 04/12/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-62, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIR BUNDE called the meeting to order at 3:07 p.m., noted members present and announced the calendar. He brought SB 71 to the table. SB 71: EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES SYSTEM REP. TOOHEY asked if there were a committee substitute (CS) version of the bill, but then withdrew her question. Number 047 REP. TOOHEY asked which fiscal note the committee would use in considering the bill. She noted that various fiscal notes listed had put the cost of the bill at no money, at $40,000 and at $100,000. Number 054 MARK JOHNSON, CHIEF OF THE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES SECTION OF THE DIVISION OF PUBLIC HEALTH IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, testified in Juneau on SB 71, saying his department supported the April 6, 1993, fiscal note and pointed out that the state Senate had passed the bill with a zero fiscal note. He said his division believed it needed money for the patient care information system, "which was changed from a shall to a may." He said the division would like money to pay the estimated cost for certification teams to visit Alaska hospitals to verify their qualifications as trauma centers. (Rep. Vezey arrived at approximately 3:11 p.m.) CHAIR BUNDE said there had been talk of removing the $40,000 from the grants line in the fiscal note and moving it to the general fund line. MR. JOHNSON said Ms. Kreitzer had made that suggestion. Number 081 ANNETTE KREITZER, LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT TO SEN. LOREN LEMAN, PRIME SPONSOR OF SB 71, said Sen. Leman had recommended the change in funding in order to pay for the emergency room nurses who did the abstracting for the patient information system. She also recommended adding $100,000 in the grants line. She said that the sponsor would feel comfortable with amending the fiscal note in the House Finance Committee. Number 099 REP. G. DAVIS MOVED that CSSSSB 71 as amended be passed from committee with the HESS fiscal note. REP. KOTT OBJECTED and asked for an at-ease at 3:15 p.m. CHAIR BUNDE called an at-ease and returned the meeting to order two minutes later. Number 110 REP. KOTT distributed copies of a proposed amendment, which would have the effect of ensuring that the Alaska Council on Emergency Medical Services would have three consumer members, and that no more than one member would come from the same one of the four federal judicial districts, to ensure geographical distribution. REP. VEZEY pointed out that the judicial districts were archaic political boundaries and asked why the state would want to perpetuate the use of such obsolete and arbitrary boundaries. REP. KOTT said he was offering the amendment on behalf of the sponsor, and invited the sponsor's representative to address the question. MS. KREITZER said use of the judicial districts was a simple way to ensure representation from different areas of the state to address concerns by regional EMS offices that the council might over-represent Anchorage and under-represent Bush areas. Number 159 REP. VEZEY pointed out that the Second Judicial District included 12,000 people in Nome and Kotzebue, and asked why that district should be guaranteed a seat on a board representing half a million people. He said he did not like to perpetuate the use of obsolete political boundaries in state law, and said there were other ways to ensure geographical diversity. MS. KREITZER said the amendment resulted from requests from EMT organizations and regional Native corporations. She said Sen. Leman was responding to constituent concerns, and she believed the amendment would ensure effective representation from across the sate. MR. JOHNSON said he believed the judicial districts were used because similar language was in an emergency medical services law passed in 1977, and that the continued use of those boundaries reflected constituent concerns. REP. OLBERG said that regional representation was appropriate in many instances. Number 196 CHAIR BUNDE said the issue was not regional representation, but how such regions would be defined. REP. TOOHEY noted the requirements for the board's makeup; including two physicians with emergency room experience; one registered nurse; three members active in pre-emergency hospital emergency care, at least one of whom lived off the land or marine highway; one emergency medical service administrator; and one Native health care facility administrator. She said the makeup of the board already included sufficient opportunity for representation from non- urban areas. Number 216 REP. VEZEY noted that the existing statute once called for four of the board's members to each come from separate judicial districts, but that provision had been deleted. He repeated his opposition to using judicial districts for purposes of ensuring broad geographical distribution of council membership. REP. TOOHEY noted that the bill, starting at page 5, line 29, required the governor to consider geographical distribution in making appointments to the council. Number 235 MS. KREITZER repeated that regional EMS corporations still feared that a governor might not appoint members representing rural interests. She said broad representation had been important from the start. REP. VEZEY suggested looking at maps of the judicial districts. MS. KREITZER said that the wording of the amendment allowed lots of leeway for many services within those districts to have members on the board. She repeated that she believed judicial districts were a suitable way to accomplish the diversity. Number 265 REP. OLBERG noted that it was possible to interpret the bill such that the governor could appoint all members of the board from one area if he so desired, and that the amendment would prevent that from happening. CHAIR BUNDE suggested an amendment to include three consumer members to the board, one each from an area not connected by land or marine highway, an area not connected by land highway, and an area not connected by marine highway. However, he did not formally make such a motion and abandoned the attempt. REP. NICHOLIA voiced support for Rep. Olberg's comments. She said there were Alaska Native hospitals in Anchorage and Fairbanks, and the Bush areas needed ensured representation. She voiced support for the amendment. CHAIR BUNDE repeated that the issue was not regional representation, but how such regions would be defined. REP. VEZEY repeated his opposition to the amendment. CHAIR BUNDE called for a roll call vote on the amendment. Those voting yes were: Reps. G. Davis, Kott, Olberg, B. Davis, Nicholia, Toohey. Those voting no were: Reps. Vezey, Bunde. The motion PASSED 6-2. He announced that the committee was now considering the bill as amended. REP. TOOHEY asked whether, if CSSB 71 were passed, it would pass with a zero fiscal note. Number 328 CHAIR BUNDE answered that that would be up to the committee. REP. TOOHEY MOVED passage of the bill with a zero fiscal note. REP. B. DAVIS said there was already a motion on the floor. Number 328 CHAIR BUNDE said the motion on the floor included "a fiscal note with numbers on it," and that if Rep. Toohey wanted to pass the bill with a zero fiscal note, it would be necessary to vote down the current motion and then propose a different motion. Number 330 REP. G. DAVIS asked the routing of the bill. CHAIR BUNDE answered that once the bill left the HESS Committee it would move to the House Finance Committee. REP. G. DAVIS said, concerning the issue of fiscal notes for the bill, that the Finance Committee would protect the state's financial interest when the bill went to that committee. CHAIR BUNDE noted that the motion on the floor was to pass the bill with a fiscal note from the Department of Health and Social Services indicating a cost of $99,200 for FY94. He called for a roll call vote on the motion. Those voting yes were: Reps. Toohey, Bunde, G. Davis, Vezey, Kott, Olberg, B. Davis, Nicholia. Those voting no: None. The motion PASSED 8-0. Chair Bunde noted that the bill passed to the House Finance committee along with a letter of intent from the Senate. He then brought HB 85 to the table. HB 85: PUBLIC SCHOOL FOUNDATION PROGRAM CHAIR BUNDE noted that the meeting was being teleconferenced to Anchorage, Kenai/Soldotna, Valdez, Barrow, Seward and Funter Bay. Number 340 DONNA EMERSON, A PARENT WITH CHILDREN IN CCS (CENTRALIZED CORRESPONDENCE STUDY), testified via teleconference from Funter Bay in favor of HB 85, and its provisions for funding for CCS. She noted that half of CCS students were secondary students, but were counted only as elementary students, and said the state must provide such students the best possible educational opportunities. Number 404 MIKE WILEY, A BOARD MEMBER OF THE KENAI PENINSULA SCHOOL DISTRICT, testified via teleconference from in support of HB 85. He said he was speaking for himself, but said he knew that the school board supported the bill. He said that five of the district's 35 sites were off the road system, and two could at times only be reached on foot. He pointed out that the district did not have the large economies of scale as larger districts did. He said that the district faced financial hardships because it was at its budget cap and needed relief. He said the district was interested in getting the Area Cost Differential (ACD) formula changed, as rural schools cost more to operate. He urged support of HB 85 as an issue of fairness. Number 430 DEBRA SHUEY, PARENT OF A CHILD IN THE CCS PROGRAM, testified via teleconference from Kenai in support of HB 85. She said she lives in a remote location on the Kenai Peninsula and her son has been receiving an excellent education through his four years in the CCS program. She spoke in favor of extra funding for secondary students. Number 452 REP. TOOHEY said her son attended CCS schools from eighth to twelfth grade. She asked what was the difference between elementary and secondary schooling in CCS. MS. SHUEY said she believed it cost more to teach secondary students. REP. TOOHEY said she did not know why it costs more. Number 462 MR. GUILEY said CCS secondary schooling cost more than elementary schooling because it required more courses and electives. He said the foundation funding formula equalled 13 secondary students per incremental unit, while the elementary school formula required 17 students. REP. TOOHEY asked why the request for more money for secondary CCS students was only coming now. Number 471 MR. GUILEY said funding through the foundation formula has always been higher for secondary schooling than for elementary schooling. He said CCS has been funded only at the elementary level since 1988. He said there was a significant change in 1988, when the educational unit value rose from $42,184 to $60,000, and other changes were made in state educational funding. CHAIR BUNDE said that, historically, students attended CCS schooling through their elementary years, then went away to cities with high schools when they attained secondary school age. Number 488 HARRY ROGERS, SUPERINTENDENT OF VALDEZ CITY SCHOOLS, testified via teleconference from Valdez on HB 85. He referred to Section 1, paragraph 8, of the bill concerning the ASPI. CHAIR BUNDE noted that the provisions for the ASPI did not change in the CS version of HB 85. MR. ROGERS stated that development of the ASPI began a year ago. He said most Alaska school districts would support the ASPI as it existed in draft form, but the validation process had resulted in changes which had not been approved by the original ASPI committee. The first change concerned the grouping of school districts. He said he had received data showing that the grouping was based on the 1988 McDowell study, but he said that it was actually based on non- personnel costs, which represented about 15 percent of budget for most school districts. He said personnel costs were already figured into the ASPI. He said in some cases the group average completely negated the effect of earlier data. The second change was the sparsity factor, which he said added a multiplier for multi-site districts of from two percent to 20 percent. He said it recreated the problems of single-site school districts. Number 530 STEVE YEATS, DIRECTOR OF CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION FOR THE NORTH SLOPE BOROUGH SCHOOL DISTRICT, testified via teleconference from Barrow on HB 85. He said he wanted to see the changes made in the ASPI be returned to the ASPI committee for consideration and concurrence. MR. GUILEY responded to Chair Bunde's invitation to answer questions raised by the two previous testifiers. He said the commissioner of the DOE had met with superintendents who were in Juneau the previous week, and he said he wanted the original committee to look at the final ASPI calculations, at the grouping, at the sparsity factor, and at averaging of the groups in an attempt to reach consensus and to determine a final ASPI index. He said groupings, according to the most recent version of the ASPI, were based on the 1988 McDowell study update, which led to some slight modifications to the groups. He said the rationale for averaging within the groups was to overcome the different levels of negotiated contracts and smooth out the labor cost differences within a certain geographical area. Number 551 REP. OLBERG asked what had prompted the DOE to make the change in the ASPI in a preliminary draft when there had already been a draft version. MR. GUILEY answered that the department had found that the committee had reached certain conclusions early in its work and was unwilling to endorse any further changes in the index until it could see how such changes would affect the final results of the index calculations on their local districts. The DOE therefore had to produce some figure showing the financial effect of the ASPI, he said, which resulted in the draft index. The ASPI committee would not endorse specific groupings of districts, he said. The DOE did, however, use some recommendations on grouping offered by an educational consultant working with the department on the committee to calculate the initial draft ASPI. The DOE then had a draft ASPI which could be used for comparison with the Area Cost Differential. The preliminary draft ASPI was the most recent calculation of the index, based upon specific grouping, which had not yet been endorsed by the ASPI committee, he said. Number 572 REP. OLBERG asked if the ASPI committee had yet had the chance to discuss the preliminary draft ASPI. MR. GUILEY said the committee last met in November, 1992, and had not had the chance to discuss the preliminary draft ASPI. TAPE 93-62, SIDE B Number 000 DENNIS WETHERELL, PRESIDENT OF THE MAT-SU TALENTED AND GIFTED ASSOCIATION, testified via teleconference from Anchorage in opposition to CSHB 85. He expressed disappointment that funds for TAG were cut and that the only change from the original bill was that the cuts were phased in over three years instead of being made immediately. He said the mandate for TAG was cut immediately by cutting the program free from special education. He said the bill removed from school districts the incentive to use money aimed at TAG for that purpose. He said the funding cap was unfair and appropriate, as some school districts might have more than 4.5 percent TAG students, and he suggested instead that the DOE should develop standard criteria to prevent abuses of the TAG designation. He questioned the reason for a change in the weighting formula and said the department's proposed 0.012 weighting formula, combined with the 4.5 percent cap, would result in less funds for school districts with more than 2.16 percent TAG students, and more funds for those with higher percentages. He recommended a weighting factor of 0.025. Number 061 CHAIR BUNDE invited Rep. B. Davis to question or comment on the points Mr. Wetherell raised. REP. B. DAVIS responded, "I have no question of him. I'd like for administration to speak to the questions that was asked. It was my understanding that I was not taking it out of the special-ed line. I'm looking at Section 12 now. It did say that it would repeal it. And, if that's what that does, I would be willing to change that, but I'd like to hear Mr. Guiley speak to that first." Number 070 MR. GUILEY said repealing Section 12 did not change the fact that gifted children would still be identified as exceptional children within the state definition of exceptional children. He said that the bill would merely separate TAG children from special-ed children in development of educational units. He said Individual Education Plans (IEP)s would still be required for gifted children, but plans of service would not. According to Mr. Guiley the state board was trying to reduce the administrative burden of TAG programs so as to allow more money to be spent on educational of the program, not on the administrative costs. He said most TAG programs were over- funded under the existing formula and most school districts spent less than two-thirds of their TAG funds on TAG programs. The State Board of Education believed that reducing the weighting factor would reduce the over-funding and was not aimed at eliminating TAG programs state-wide, he said. MR. GUILEY said that the rationale for establishing the 4.5 percent cap was that, in the last 12 years, no more than 4.3 percent of the state student population had ever been identified as gifted and talented. He said the board felt the cap was adequate and in line with the national average. He also pointed out that 38 other states did not fund TAG educational programs under special education and that Alaska would simply be following the lead of most other states by funding TAG students as a separate component within the revenue generation structure instead of classifying them as special-ed students. Number 109 REP. TOOHEY asked whether the TAG program would be able to provide funding in a case in which more than 4.5 percent of a school district was truly qualified as TAG students. MR. GUILEY said there were no current limits on the number of students that could be identified as TAG. While the identified TAG population ranged from none to 18 percent at various school districts, the state population in whole had not exceeded 4.3 percent, while the national norm was from 4.5 percent to 5 percent, he said. Mr. Guiley stated, "The money would flow based upon the specific formula of 4.5 percent of the K-12 population regardless of how many students were in fact identified and served. There is no categorical spending requirements in our formula, in our current statute, or proposed in any of the amendments to the statute that would require categorical spending of dollars, simply categorical revenue generation." Number 130 REP. G. DAVIS asked whether the cap would prevent a school district with 12 students from receiving any TAG funding, and asked how funding would be calculated for such a district under the formula. MR. GUILEY answered that the formula calls for each district to receive TAG funding based upon the assumption that 4.5 percent of all students in the district were TAG. TAG funding would become another type of instructional unit, modified by the ASPI, or weighted by the ACD to generate total revenue available to the district, multiplied by the $61,000 for the instructional unit. Number 148 REP. G. DAVIS asked how much money a 12-student district with two TAG students would get under both the current formula and the proposed new plan. He said it appeared to him that the new formula would bring a drastic reduction. MR. GUILEY answered that the plan reduced TAG funding to $7 million from $11 million, but it was not intended to be a drastic reduction. He said the vocational educational program would at the same time receive a $4 million increase. He repeated that the board's intent was to make as much money as possible available to school districts with the fewest strings attached. He said the money could be used with a maximum of local discretion to meet the performance standards under development by the State Board of Education. Number 166 REP. G. DAVIS asked a clarifying question whether the bill strengthened voc-ed at the expense of TAG programs, funding wise. MR. GUILEY said the two bills, taken together, had a zero fiscal note. Number 172 REP. TOOHEY said that if it cost more to train a TAG child, then the TAG child would not be trained properly if the district ran short on money. MR. GUILEY answered that under the current foundation formula program, TAG students were counted twice, both as normal students and as TAG students. The intent of secondary categories was to provide supplementary funding for extra educational costs, he said. He stated voc-ed students get $240 extra each, while TAG students get an extra $1,525 each. The state board decided TAG was overfunded and voc-ed was underfunded, based on analysis of local district expenditures and on testimony of how TAG funds were used in local districts, he said. He said the adjustment in funding was based on that belief. Number 196 REP. TOOHEY asked Mr. Wetherell if he had any indication that his gifted children would not be educated as gifted children. MR. WETHERELL said his four-year-old daughter was a high achiever, but the only extra schooling available to her as a TAG student in the Mat-Su School District was three hours of TAG instruction a week. He said that three hours of extra instruction a week was not adequate. He said the Mat-Su borough school districts spent all the TAG funding it received and allocated an equal amount from assembly funds as well, but still did not have enough for an adequate program, he said. FRAN TALBOTT, COORDINATOR OF THE GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAM AT THE ANCHORAGE SCHOOL DISTRICT (ASD), testified via teleconference from Anchorage in opposition to HB 85. She said she was disappointed that the bill eliminated TAG students from the definition of exceptional children and thus removed it from the state mandate for funding of special education programs. She said repeal of AS 1430.315 eliminated the need for school districts to have plans of service, which she said eliminated the need to identify TAG students. She stated that 3.7 percent of the Anchorage student population was identified as TAG. She expressed concern that there would be no requirement that such students be served as TAG. She said she and her program viewed the bill as an attempt to eliminate TAG educational services from the state. She said establishing a separate mandate for TAG would eliminate the administrative burden of including TAG students in special education and would still guarantee funding for the programs. She said she understood that the DOE was uncomfortable that each school district had its own means to identify and serve TAG students, but the answer was not to eliminate the program altogether. She said teachers were not taught how to deal with TAG students, and for the last five years hundreds of teachers have been happy to take her distance courses on how to deal with TAG students and they were excited to learn about such students. MS. TALBOTT commented, "... (unintelligible) ... educators aware of the needs of these students. We are fighting the Department of Education to serve them. We will all lose in the long run when these students shut down in class, as they do, and drop out of high school, as they do." She said TAG children are 10 percent of drop-outs, as were many of the nation's brightest criminals. She said that gifted people make up 13 percent of prison populations, represent a high suicide risk, and need attention from the educational system. Number 255 REP. B. DAVIS said that she was growing more confused as testimony proceeded. Before introducing the CS, she said, she asked officials at the Anchorage School District their feelings on the bill. She said she wanted to see the TAG program remain as it was, though she did not think she had the votes on the HESS Committee to accomplish that aim. She said that she then tried to develop a next-best response. She referred to a letter from the ASD saying that the CS version would be acceptable to the district. She wondered why Ms. Talbott said she opposed the CS. CHAIR BUNDE interrupted to note that Ms. Talbott was not necessarily representing the official position of the Anchorage School District on the bill. Number 271 REP. B. DAVIS said she assumed that the head of the TAG program at the ASD was representing the district's position. She said ASD was not at the 4.5 percent cap and therefore would receive even more money under the bill. She said some school districts receiving TAG funding for up to 16 percent of their populations would see their funding capped at the 4.5 percent level under the CS. She said she thought, based on the recommendation of DOE, that the CS version of the bill she had requested from bill drafters would still leave the TAG program under the exceptional guidelines for special education. She said that if that were not the case, then she did not support the CS. She said, however, that she believed that the repeal on page 6 dealt with funding sources and not the inclusion of TAG in special-ed. She asked Mr. Guiley if that was correct. MR. GUILEY answered that she was correct. REP. B. DAVIS asked if that meant that school districts would not have to use money they received for TAG programs for that purpose. MR. GUILEY said that was correct, just as it was true under the current standard. He said the CS contained no changes from current law in how school districts must use their TAG funds. REP. B. DAVIS asked a clarifying question, whether school districts had to spend TAG funds on TAG program. MR. GUILEY answered no, they did not. Number 292 REP. B. DAVIS said she did not understand the concern of those testifying against the bill. She said she was willing to delete from the bill the element to which those testifying had objected, but she wanted someone to explain what it was that those testifying did not like about the bill, other than the 4.5 percent cap. CHAIR BUNDE invited an official from the ASD to address her questions. Number 303 LARRY WIGET, LEGISLATIVE LIAISON FOR THE ANCHORAGE SCHOOL DISTRICT, testified via teleconference from Anchorage on HB 85. He said Mr. Guiley was correct. He said the ASD was concerned that there was no mandate for TAG funding and it might be hard to see to it that money would be directed to that aim. He said he could imagine a school board meeting at which parents of voc-ed and TAG students tussled over limited funding, and in which the parents of voc-ed students would point out that the foundation formula specifically identified money for voc-ed programs. He said that the state was undergoing a philosophical change in how it allocated educational resources, away from TAG education and toward voc-ed. He apologized for the confusing signals from the ASD. He said the district saw the change as a philosophical shift. He said that he had spoken with the district's chief financial officer, lobbyist and TAG program people and said that they supported having the TAG weighting factor remain unchanged and leaving TAG students included in the definition of exceptional children. Number 335 CHAIR BUNDE said it was obvious that the committee was not going to come to any consensus on HB 85 that day or possibly even in the session. He said he expected it would be necessary to place the bill in the committee's "to be addressed file." He invited testimony to continue. Number 341 LINDA OKLAND, A PARENT OF A GIFTED CHILD, testified via teleconference from Anchorage in opposition to HB 85. She said she felt strongly that TAG should be maintained in special-ed and not have its funding cut. She said people think TAG is extra instruction for elite children already doing well in school, but it is actually a necessary program of instruction for students with handicaps to effective learning. She said denying special treatment for TAG students was as unfair as denying it for dyslexic, hyperactive or physically handicapped students. MAUREEN KNIGHT, A PARENT OF GIFTED CHILDREN, testified via teleconference from Anchorage in opposition to HB 85. She said her oldest daughter had been gifted "ever since she was in utero," and that her youngest daughter had attention deficit disorder and dyslexia. She said the two have succeeded under the special education program. She said her gifted daughter would become bored and fall behind if not in TAG programs, and if the programs were cut, she would put her daughter in a special school. She said she did not believe those in Juneau knew how important it was for special students to grow to their potential through special- ed programs. Number 402 MR. WIGET continued his testimony, pledging to work with the committee for fair funding for TAG programs. He apologized to Rep. B. Davis for confusion from the ASD. He said a priority of the Anchorage School Board that year was to rewrite the foundation formula program to be fairer to the district, and said the draft ASPI was a good start. He said the ASD supported the ASPI with the school grouping provisions as a more fair plan than the ASPI without the grouping. With 38 percent of Alaska children, he said, the district received 3.27 percent of state education funds, or 30.6 percent under the grouped ASPI. Mr. Wiget remarked, "No, Mr. Chairman, or committee members or Department of Education, we do not expect 38 percent of the funding. But we do expect ... equity." He said the department opposed changes to TAG education, wanted TAG to remain under the definition of exceptional children, and wanted weighting factors for TAG programs to remain unchanged. Number 437 CHAIR BUNDE said the committee supported equity, too, as well as getting more money into classrooms. He asked if the problem of identifying and funding TAG students might be more effectively addressed by a separate bill mandating funding for TAG separately from special-ed. MR. WIGET answered yes. CHAIR BUNDE said he hoped that those in the ASD that might support that separation realized that they would have to lobby for funding for the separate mandate for TAG. Number 451 REP. B. DAVIS said she wanted to make sure to clarify a few points about the CS version of HB 85. She said that while DOE and Legal Services had assured her that her CS would not pull TAG out from under the special-ed program, everyone who had testified said that it would. She said she wanted the record to show that TAG had not been removed from the special-ed provisions and that the only change in the CS had to do with the funding source, which could be easily changed. She insisted that TAG would remain in special-ed and had never been removed from the CS. She said the first CS left it exactly as it was, and the second CS phased it in because she did not think she had the votes to leave it the way it was. She said the original bill would remove TAG from the special-ed line, and the CS would retain TAG in special-ed. Number 463 CHAIR BUNDE said that this was his understanding of the amendment's intent as well. Number 466 MR. GUILEY said Rep. B. Davis was absolutely correct. He then pointed out Section 6, line 19, of the bill, dealing with exceptional children to show how TAG children were included in the definition of exceptional children and therefore eligible for special-education programs. He said Section 7 just added a new type of instructional unit to the revenue generation formula, but did not remove TAG children from the definition of exceptional children in Alaska. He said each TAG student would have to have an IEP in place and there were no changes in the requirements in special education. He said the board felt that eliminating the plan of service might reduce the program's administrative burden. He stated Section 12 simply repeals the plan of service requirement, because nothing was done with them anyway. Number 488 REP. B. DAVIS said that she believed ASD would gain money, not lose money, under the CS version. She said it was not fair to say that the committee was pitting special-ed against TAG, and she said that voc-ed has not been given its fair share of money. She said allocation of money for programs would be a local issue to be decided at the local school board level. She added that even the first version of HB 85 would have given the ASD an additional $360,000, and that with the new adjustments the district would get an additional $5 million. She said for the record that there had never been any intent to take money away from any district. She said that, while she wished there could be enough funding for all areas she wanted, the changes made in the bill had been made for the best. She said the bill takes care of the single-site school district issues, clears up the legitimacy of some funding sources, and in general takes care of a lot of problems. She also pointed out that while much attention had been paid to the issue of TAG students, HB 85 contained many more provisions that were good for the state's educational system. She said it would be easy to pass an amendment to the 4.5 percent cap, if the committee so desired. Number 515 CHAIR BUNDE said that he agreed that whatever level TAG funding was set at, it was still up to local school districts to decide how to allocate that funding. REP. G. DAVIS asked which version of the bill the committee was considering. Number 523 CHAIR BUNDE said the committee was addressing the CS version, which had been adopted as the committee's working document. Number 532 CHAIR BUNDE said he would like to encourage the committee to consider the cost of HB 85. He noted that it would add $15 million to the education budget, and it was a major consideration for the committee as to whether it wanted to endorse such a plan. He said that while the bill would address the single-site issue, single-site school districts was only a $1 million issue. TAPE 93-63, SIDE A Number 000 REP. VEZEY commented that it was clear that students did not fit any one mold. He also commented that there was a need for further evaluation of the bill. He said there were many interesting comparisons of the ACD and ASPI and such comparisons might show that the differences were related to the relative efficiency of individual school districts. He was concerned that the ASPI seemed to codify inefficiency, and that there might be a need for an index placing funding levels somewhere between those set by the ASPI and ACD. Number 040 REP. OLBERG said that the Alaska 2000 proposal had originally carried the assumption of an associated income tax. He asked if there was still an income tax associated with the Alaska 2000 project as an income source. REP. TOOHEY said she believed it was a school tax. Number 056 REP. OLBERG asked why it took a fiscal note simply to clean up school funding. He said a fiscal note was necessary only if there were a reallocation of money. CHAIR BUNDE observed that the bill seemed to increase education funding by $15 million, over and above the nearly $800 million already invested. Number 066 REP. B. DAVIS said the committee was making a mistake to look only at the fiscal note of HB 85. She said the bill would save the state money, despite the fiscal note. She said increasing the instructional unit would cost much more than the $15 million in HB 85. She said the bill was reallocating the state's educational funding more appropriately. She said some school districts gained and some lost, but the process was aimed at instituting a more equitable funding system. She said the bill was a start toward resolving educational funding policies. CHAIR BUNDE said he was not recommending that the bill not be considered simply because it carried a $15 million fiscal note. He said he was making the point that the committee was not discussing philosophy, but the expenditure of actual dollars. Number 114 REP. G. DAVIS said he agreed with Rep. B. Davis in part. He said it had become apparent over time and through study that the ACD contained elements of inequality. More study had resulted in a new formula, the ASPI, he said. He predicted that in a few years similar reworking would have to be done on the ASPI, and that no funding system could be set in stone and disregard changes. He said HB 85 had many good elements, even with the $15 million price tag. He mentioned school districts like the Kenai Peninsula district, which were at a funding cap and needed relief. He said much good work had gone into the bill, and the work would need to be reviewed again. He said he wanted the Finance Committee to get the bill and work on it. CHAIR BUNDE said he wanted to point out that those on the ASPI committee had not yet seen the final numbers and they probably would appreciate the chance to do so. Number 165 REP. B. DAVIS stated, "I think I understood what your question was, and I think there's a way we could get around... I do believe that probably the committee that looked at this needs to have some time to look at it. And if we could pass the bill on and remove the statute part of it, and let them work on the regulation part is that, if you can, to get the other input that they need. And when it's all finalized we could come back and put it in statute. That might be one way of getting around that. I don't ... I'd like to hear you speak to this, Mr. Guiley, if you think that would be workable." Number 174 MR. GUILEY said that HB 85 gave the DOE the ability to establish the ASPI through regulation. If the HESS Committee were to pass out the bill, the DOE could begin to establish the index through regulations, he said. He said the next step would be to forward the regulations to the ASPI committee and have them meet to review the regulations in writing, and that it would be easy to call a meeting at short order to do so. CHAIR BUNDE asked how long it would take to convene a meeting of the ASPI committee. Number 191 MR. GUILEY answered that the committee could meet within days or in weeks, as the HESS Committee desired. CHAIR BUNDE asked if the HESS Committee could bring HB 85 back to the table by Friday (four days later) with response from the ASPI committee. He said he was seeking a ballpark time-frame. MR. GUILEY noted that there were 20 members of the ASPI committee, most of them school district officials, plus some private auditors and education businessmen. He said he could call a meeting in a week and get partial attendance, though some of the vacant slots might be filled by stand- ins. Number 201 REP. VEZEY objected to the provisions of the bill allowing DOE to write regulations for the ASPI. He said he had been waiting six weeks to get a copy of the ASPI, and he still considered the index to be in draft form only. He said he wanted to wait until the index was in a final form, and to perform some work on it and possibly propose an alternative. CHAIR BUNDE said he would like to hear the ASPI committee's reaction to the draft index. He noted that the session was running out of time. He asked the pleasure of the committee. He asked Rep. Vezey whether his concerns about the bill could be satisfied in the first session of the legislature. REP. VEZEY said he believed HB 85 needed a substantial amount of work, and that the committee was still waiting for the DOE to finish its work on the bill. Number 224 REP. OLBERG said that he was not sure he and Rep. Vezey would agree on what needed to be repaired, but that some fixing was necessary, especially as the bill called for one school district's funding to rise by 21 percent and another's funding to drop by 18 percent. He also said that his fiscal note showed a $12 million cost, and asked why the change required any expenditure requiring a fiscal note. If the bill was a means of eliminating single-site school districts, he said, that would be another question, but some of those answers were not available. CHAIR BUNDE said he wanted to poll the committee members for their views on the bill in light of the amount of time left to consider it. Number 244 REP. KOTT said the committee was up against a time crunch and he would like the ASPI committee to study the index. He said he would like to see the final numbers from the ASPI index in a week or 10 days to see which districts gained or lost. REP. G. DAVIS said he also would like to see the final numbers from the ASPI index. REP. TOOHEY said she agreed with Rep. G. Davis and Rep. B. Davis. Number 258 REP. OLBERG said he had earlier asked for a breakdown by district of the dollar impact of HB 85, and still wanted to see such a breakdown. He said he was not convinced the educational funding system was broken, but, if the ASPI was to be the vehicle of repair, it still needed some work. REP. B. DAVIS said she did not mind waiting on the numbers for the ASPI, but noted that the committee might profitably work on many other elements of the bill which the committee had not yet addressed and which could be easily addressed. She said she would like the committee to do more work on HB 85 while waiting for the final ASPI numbers. CHAIR BUNDE said the committee would continue to work on the bill. REP. NICHOLIA said that she agreed with Rep. B. Davis' comments on the need to address elements of the bill other than the ASPI. She suggested the possible need to form a (sub)committee to work on HB 85. CHAIR BUNDE asked a committee aide about the committee's schedule for the following week. LYNNE SMITH, COMMITTEE AIDE, said the committee's schedule was wide open next week, although the Speaker of the House had called for all committee business to be completed by April 20. CHAIR BUNDE asked Mr. Guiley when it would be possible to hear back from the ASPI committee. Number 291 MR. GUILEY said he could try to arrange a teleconferenced committee meeting to save time and could report back to the committee whenever the chair so desired. Number 294 CHAIR BUNDE said he would therefore schedule HB 85 to come before the HESS Committee on Tuesday, April 20, 1993. Noting the concerns and suggestions of committee members regarding other elements of the bill, he encouraged them to be ready to make some progress on those areas as well. REP. TOOHEY asked if the committee could possibly schedule the bill before April 20, as there was little other pending committee business. (Rep. Nicholia departed at 4:49 p.m.) CHAIR BUNDE said that was so, but it might be best to do all of its work on one day. REP. TOOHEY said it might be good to go through the bill line-by-line and have answers to some questions by the Tuesday meeting. CHAIR BUNDE announced that the chair of the meeting would work out those problems. He ADJOURNED the meeting at 4:50 p.m.