Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/15/1993 03:00 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
           HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES                         
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                      
                         April 15, 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. Irene Nicholia                                                          
  Rep. Tom Brice                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  Rep. Bettye Davis                                                            
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  Confirmation Hearing - Board of Pharmacy                                     
  *HB 250:  "An Act relating to centralized correspondence                     
            study; 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                                                          
  (* First public hearing.)                                                    
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  DONNA EMERSON                                                                
  3 Crab Cove                                                                  
  Funter Bay, Alaska 99850-0140                                                
  Phone:  (907) 790-3888                                                       
  Position statement:  Testified in support of HB 250                          
  CLAUDIA WALTON                                                               
  P.O. Box 22116                                                               
  Anchorage, Alaska 99522                                                      
  Phone:  (907) 248-1323                                                       
  Position statement:  Testified in support of HB 250                          
  JUSTIN WALTON                                                                
  P.O. Box 22116                                                               
  Anchorage, Alaska 99522                                                      
  Phone:  (907) 248-1323                                                       
  Position statement:  Testified in support of HB 250                          
  DARBY ANDERSON, Superintendent                                               
  Centralized Correspondence Study                                             
  Department of Education                                                      
  3141 Channel Drive #100                                                      
  Juneau, Alaska 99801-7897                                                    
  Phone:  (907) 465-2835                                                       
  Position statement:  Testified in support of HB 250                          
  ALEXANDER DOLITSKY, Teacher                                                  
  Centralized Correspondence Study                                             
  801 W. 10th St.                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  Phone:  (907) 789-3854                                                       
  Position statement:  Testified in support of HB 250                          
  JACK PHELPS                                                                  
  Aide to Rep. Pete Kott                                                       
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  State Capitol, Room 409                                                      
  Juneau, Alaska 99811                                                         
  Phone:  (907) 465-3777                                                       
  Position statement:  Testified in support of HB 250                          
  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:  Answered questions on HB 250                            
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
  BILL:  HB 250                                                                
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BUNDE BY REQUEST                               
  TITLE: "An Act relating to centralized correspondence study;                 
  and providing for an effective date."                                        
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  03/24/93       760    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  03/24/93       760    (H)   HES, FINANCE                                     
  04/15/93              (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                      
  04/12/93              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                      
  04/15/93              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 93-66, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE called the meeting to order at 3:18 p.m.,                        
  announced the calendar, and noted members present.  He                       
  brought to the table the names of two appointees to the                      
  Board of Pharmacy.                                                           
  CONFIRMATION HEARINGS - BOARD OF PHARMACY                                    
  Number 020                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE invited committee discussion on the appointments                 
  of PAUL J. GIONET and SALLY M. (MAGGIE) SARBER to the BOARD                  
  OF PHARMACY, and hearing none, declared that the committee                   
  would PASS their names to the Speaker of the House for                       
  consideration by the body.  He then brought HB 250 to the                    
  HB 250:  CENTRALIZED CORRESPONDENCE STUDY                                    
  Number 039                                                                   
  DONNA EMERSON, a parent with children enrolled in                            
  Centralized Correspondence Study (CCS), testified via                        
  teleconference from Funter Bay in support of HB 250.  She                    
  said her children have used CCS for six years and that she                   
  liked the service.  While CCS formerly served mostly                         
  elementary students, half of the students are at the                         
  secondary level, she said, and need more money for                           
  counseling and vocational education.                                         
  (Rep. Brice arrived at 3:21 p.m.)                                            
  CHAIR BUNDE asked Ms. Emerson if any of her children were                    
  secondary students.                                                          
  MS. EMERSON answered no, but her son would enter middle                      
  school in the fall.                                                          
  Number 085                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY noted that her son had graduated through CCS and                 
  by the time he had gotten to secondary school study he did                   
  not need counseling.  She said that many students might be                   
  in a similar situation and that she would have to consider                   
  the bill carefully.                                                          
  (Rep. Kott arrived at approximately 3:26 p.m.)                               
  Number 111                                                                   
  testified via teleconference from Anchorage in support of                    
  HB 250.  She said she had testified on other bills dealing                   
  with CCS and she believed the program deserved to have                       
  funding for CCS secondary students based on the regular                      
  secondary student formula.  She said HB 250 was a good bill.                 
  She said she was proud of CCS, as it allowed students the                    
  option to work at their own paces and to have more                           
  jurisdiction about their own educations.  It also gets                       
  parents more involved in a role as volunteer teachers, she                   
  said, and accomplishes many of the goals of the Alaska 2000                  
  effort.  She said many parents have expressed a desire for                   
  more options in CCS programs, including full-time and part-                  
  time instruction, as it is a cost-effective program.  She                    
  noted the trend toward educational options, and said she had                 
  heard Alaska Pacific University was offering summer high                     
  school courses.  She asked the Legislature to make the CCS                   
  program more accessible, as it saved the state money.                        
  Number 198                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked a clarifying question as to whether Ms.                    
  Walton lived in Anchorage, but still enrolled her children                   
  in CCS.                                                                      
  MS. WALTON answered yes.                                                     
  CHAIR BUNDE noted that the state was providing duplicate                     
  educational services to her children, both the CCS and the                   
  available local school district, and that CCS therefore did                  
  not save state money.  He noted, however, that he did not                    
  mean to say CCS was not a good investment for the state.                     
  Number 210                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY asked if the state were to provide secondary                     
  school funding for CCS secondary students, and then face a                   
  need to cut the CCS budget, whether Ms. Walton thought                       
  funding would be cut to cities like Anchorage.                               
  MS. WALTON said it was possible.  She noted that about half                  
  of the approximately 1,000 CCS students were in the                          
  Anchorage-Eagle River area and she would hate to see the                     
  program cut.  Another 100 CCS students each lived in Juneau,                 
  Fairbanks and Kenai, all in areas with local school                          
  districts, which she said showed that many people were                       
  opting out of their local school districts.                                  
  Number 230                                                                   
  JUSTIN WALTON, A CCS STUDENT, testified via teleconference                   
  from Anchorage in support of HB 250, saying CCS, while not                   
  generously funded, provides courses not available in regular                 
  schools, such as Russian and Japanese foreign languages.  He                 
  said the bill would provide funds for extra courses,                         
  teachers and support materials.  He said he would like to                    
  see CCS get more money so he could take German, pilot ground                 
  school and guitar classes, which are not currently offered.                  
  He also said more funds would allow for more teacher visits                  
  to homes.                                                                    
  Number 251                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE noted that having several different language                     
  programs in one city duplicated costs.  He asked if CCS                      
  students could take classes part-time in local school                        
  MR. WALTON answered no, that a student must be enrolled full                 
  time in a local district in order to take electives such as                  
  German.  He said he could, however, take part-time college                   
  Number 262                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY noted that CCS programs started 40 years ago or                  
  more to provide education to Bush children with no access to                 
  local schools.  She said the program had, for good or ill,                   
  strayed from its original intent.  She encouraged Mr. Walton                 
  to seek a student loan for a summer German course at the                     
  University of Alaska-Anchorage.                                              
  Number 274                                                                   
  REP. G. DAVIS asked if it would not be nice, and simple, to                  
  amend HB 250 to allow CCS students to attend regular schools                 
  for vocational education or other courses.                                   
  MR. WALTON agreed.  He said the local school board would not                 
  allow that to happen.                                                        
  REP. G. DAVIS said that there might be simple solutions.                     
  Number 291                                                                   
  MR. WALTON said there were many people that would benefit                    
  from such legislation, and he offered to work with the                       
  committee members.                                                           
  CHAIR BUNDE invited Mr. Walton to give his address.                          
  MR. WALTON gave his address as P.O. Box 221166, Anchorage,                   
  Alaska 99522-1166.                                                           
  Number 314                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY asked if anyone was present from the CCS                         
  CHAIR BUNDE, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 250, said it might be                       
  better to present the bill before having department                          
  representatives speak to it.  He noted that HB 250 was                       
  introduced at the request of CCS, and dealt with funding of                  
  the program.  He said CCS was originally set up to provide                   
  educational services to Bush residents.  Originally,                         
  students went to school by mail until eighth grade, then                     
  families moved closer to regular schools.  He said the state                 
  did not fund CCS secondary students at the secondary level,                  
  but he acknowledged that secondary students cost more to                     
  educate.  He said he did not like the idea of having                         
  teachers visit CCS students at home, but said the bill might                 
  fund somewhat closer teacher contact.                                        
  Number 344                                                                   
  REP. OLBERG asked whether the committee had not earlier                      
  considered a bill requiring local school districts to                        
  provide home schooling for exceptional children.                             
  CHAIR BUNDE said that was correct, but HB 250 did not deal                   
  with exceptional students, but with normal students.                         
  REP. OLBERG asked whether students taking CCS classes                        
  received no services from local school districts.                            
  CHAIR BUNDE answered no; though, as Rep. G. Davis had said,                  
  it would be nice if local school districts could serve CCS                   
  Number 369                                                                   
  EDUCATION (DOE), testified in Juneau in support of HB 250.                   
  She said the DOE supported the bill as a way to fund                         
  secondary education equitably.  She said the program employs                 
  24 certified teachers.  She said the state funding plan for                  
  CCS assumes that all of the students are elementary                          
  students, and provides 65 percent of the educational unit                    
  funding for the 1,100 students in the program.  She said                     
  that since 1979 enrollment has increased by 70 percent, and                  
  that with 1,100 students, the program would rank as the 15th                 
  largest district among the state's 54 districts.  She said                   
  790 students are from areas represented on the HESS                          
  Committee; 51 percent from Anchorage, Mat-Su and Fairbanks,                  
  with half of the students at the secondary level.  She said                  
  the CCS spent $2,600 per student in FY93, making it a highly                 
  cost-effective program.  She said maintaining a quality                      
  secondary program would take more money to pay for lab                       
  equipment, textbooks, warehouse storage, counseling,                         
  academic student activities, printing and material                           
  development, telephone costs, and other expenses.  She said                  
  families selecting the CCS as a secondary school deserved                    
  equity.  The bill would make three basic changes:  1) It                     
  would formally acknowledge CCS as a school and rename the                    
  program the "Centralized Correspondence School."  2) It                      
  would allow the school to carry over funding from year to                    
  year.  3) It would allow the state to count secondary                        
  students under the secondary formula.  The bill carried a                    
  fiscal note showing the need for an additional $351,400 per                  
  year for the CCS program and would assume a 10 percent                       
  increase in enrollment each year.  She said the funding                      
  change was essential for maintaining the existing secondary                  
  program, and to provide options to help more students                        
  Number 418                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked clarifying questions about the growth in                   
  CCS enrollment.                                                              
  MS. ANDERSON answered that the student population grew by 17                 
  percent in FY93, but she could not break out the percent                     
  change for elementary and secondary.  She also addressed                     
  questions raised during the teleconferenced testimony.  She                  
  said local school districts could contract with CCS to                       
  provide extra or advanced courses to students, and that 24                   
  schools, plus the Mt. Edgecumbe boarding high school in                      
  Sitka, had such contracts.  She said she preferred that                      
  students attend their local school districts, but the CCS                    
  program tried to provide a good education if the students                    
  selected CCS.                                                                
  Number 432                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if local school districts allowed                          
  reciprocal arrangements, allowing CCS to contract with local                 
  districts to allow CCS students to take courses.                             
  MS. ANDERSON answered no, because CCS has not worked hard                    
  for that arrangement.  She said that funding for the program                 
  was tight, and CCS did not have as much flexibility as                       
  school districts, though she would like to find some way to                  
  make it possible.                                                            
  Number 441                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE said that while he supported the idea of CCS, he                 
  did not like the idea of funding duplicate services,                         
  especially when more students seemed to be opting out of                     
  local school districts.                                                      
  MS. ANDERSON said a CCS program study a year previous had                    
  showed that its students often included transients and                       
  dropouts, and that it was rare for a student to go from                      
  kindergarten to 12th grade in the CCS program.                               
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if the CCS administrators had demographic                  
  information on the students they served.                                     
  Number 456                                                                   
  MS. ANDERSON answered yes, but as they had only recently                     
  begun computerizing their records, it might take a few more                  
  years to get good demographic information.                                   
  REP. TOOHEY asked for a simple list of where the CCS                         
  students lived.                                                              
  MS. ANDERSON said that that information, current as of                       
  March, was included in the DOE position paper on HB 250.                     
  Number 473                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked Ms. Anderson about CCS graduation rates.                   
  MS. ANDERSON answered that 34 students graduated in 1992,                    
  and all but three of the students who left CCS in 1992                       
  either moved to private schools or returned to public                        
  schools.  She said she would provide more complete                           
  graduation information later.                                                
  Number 484                                                                   
  REP. G. DAVIS asked if the CCS had a central office.                         
  MS. ANDERSON said that the entire program was based in                       
  Juneau, where 24 certified full-time teachers worked and                     
  where the program stored its supplies.                                       
  Number 490                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY asked about enrollment.  She asked how the CCS                   
  program's $2,600 cost per pupil compared to that of other                    
  school districts.                                                            
  MS. ANDERSON answered that the statewide average expense per                 
  student was approximately $7,000.                                            
  Number 500                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY expressed fear that, because CCS was evolving                    
  into an optional program, it might find its budget severely                  
  MS. ANDERSON answered that that would be a legislative                       
  decision, but as long as Alaska was progressive and offering                 
  the option of home schooling, it was necessary to look at                    
  what would benefit such students.                                            
  Number 514                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY noted that the program had its roots in the                      
  University of Nebraska's correspondence schooling program,                   
  considered the best in the country.  She asked how much the                  
  University of Alaska would charge for such a home schooling                  
  program if the state did not fund it.                                        
  MS. ANDERSON said that it would be difficult to answer, as                   
  the University of Nebraska had switched to a computer-                       
  assisted program, making teaching costs about $90 per                        
  course, plus the material costs.  She said there were other                  
  university home-school programs.  She said the question was                  
  whether Alaska felt CCS was a relevant public school option.                 
  She said she found CCS helped students stay in school and                    
  Number 530                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE observed that the program was providing a                        
  remedial educational service.  He asked Ms. Anderson to                      
  address the fiscal note and what the extra money would be                    
  spent on.                                                                    
  MS. ANDERSON answered that the CCS program had earlier                       
  addressed secondary students by using materials and courses                  
  from out-of-state programs, such as the University of                        
  Nebraska program.  Over the years, however, Alaska has                       
  developed Alaska-based curricula and hired teachers, which                   
  has resulted in higher completion rates.  The CCS counselors                 
  provide the same type of career and curriculum counseling                    
  offered at local schools, she said.  With the increase in                    
  secondary students and the resulting demand for secondary                    
  school courses, the CCS program would face a shortfall of                    
  approximately $300,000 in running the existing program, she                  
  CHAIR BUNDE asked a clarifying question on what the                          
  additional funds would be applied toward.                                    
  MS. ANDERSON answered that the CCS would not hire more                       
  teachers and counselors.                                                     
  CHAIR BUNDE asked whether it had been less expensive to                      
  provide the CCS program through the University of Nebraska.                  
  MS. ANDERSON indicated yes, but a reporter had once said                     
  that while the program had begun as a way to provide                         
  schooling to those who needed access to any education at                     
  all, it had evolved into a program presenting a variety of                   
  means of access to education.                                                
  REP. OLBERG asked whether the CCS program spent $2,600 per                   
  MS. ANDERSON answered that the CCS program calculated that                   
  it spent $2,600 per student, both elementary and secondary,                  
  based on the current formula.                                                
  REP. OLBERG asked how much would be spent on each type of                    
  student under the changed funding program.                                   
  Number 575                                                                   
  ALEXANDER DOLITSKY, A CCS TEACHER, answered that the program                 
  would receive 35 percent more money for a secondary student,                 
  or about $3,000 per student.                                                 
  REP. OLBERG asked again how much would be spent on each type                 
  of student under the changed funding program.                                
  MS. ANDERSON clarified that the only change in funding would                 
  be that the secondary students would be counted as secondary                 
  students, but the CCS program only receives 65 percent of                    
  the amount allocated per student under the foundation                        
  formula program.                                                             
  Number 566                                                                   
  REP. OLBERG asked whether 24 teachers showed up for work in                  
  a building in Juneau each day.                                               
  MS. ANDERSON answered yes.  She said the home teacher was                    
  the primary teacher working with the certified teachers of                   
  the CCS program.  She said the 24 teachers' work includes                    
  responding to telephone calls, listening to reading                          
  cassettes from elementary students to check up on reading                    
  skills, and other such activities.                                           
  REP. OLBERG asked if the teachers traveled.                                  
  MS. ANDERSON answered that the teachers did not routinely                    
  travel, but they did travel to administer testing and to                     
  train home teachers.                                                         
  TAPE 93-66, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked how often CCS teachers traveled to train                   
  home teachers and testing.                                                   
  MS. ANDERSON answered that teachers performed testing once                   
  per year, and that the testing took place in Anchorage,                      
  Fairbanks and Juneau.  She said training was done in                         
  Anchorage and Juneau.  She added that state law required                     
  that students in the program that are tested must go to a                    
  local site where teachers can administer the tests in                        
  CHAIR BUNDE asked whether a student from Selawik would                       
  travel to Anchorage to be tested.                                            
  MS. ANDERSON answered no, a student from Selawik would not                   
  be included in the fourth, sixth and eighth grade testing                    
  sample because the state would only accept students who are                  
  tested on-site.  She said the tests were the Iowa Basic Test                 
  of Basic Skills.                                                             
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if it was necessary for someone from                       
  Juneau to go to Anchorage to administer the tests, and                       
  whether there were not qualified people in Anchorage and                     
  other cities.                                                                
  MS. ANDERSON answered that there were qualified people all                   
  over the state, and that the DOE was considering                             
  alternatives such as having such tests performed by such                     
  local people.  She said, however, that a parent outreach                     
  committee had advised the program administrators that the                    
  testing was one opportunity for students to meet with their                  
  teachers, and that the testing visit offered an opportunity                  
  for individual conferences with their teacher.                               
  CHAIR BUNDE pointed out that travel was a large target for                   
  budget reductions and the state was trying to get more work                  
  done by teleconference.                                                      
  MS. ANDERSON answered that the CCS tries to use electronic                   
  mail as much as possible, that parent outreach conferences                   
  are done by teleconference, except for one on-site meeting                   
  in Juneau for which the CCS tries to secure federal funds.                   
  CHAIR BUNDE commented that parents could visit their                         
  neighborhood teacher as well.                                                
  Number 042                                                                   
  REP. OLBERG noted that students in Anchorage had the option                  
  of visiting with their teachers every day if so desired.                     
  CHAIR BUNDE stated, "If it seems like we're obstreperous,                    
  it's only because we are.  I've found sitting on this side                   
  of the table it's more difficult to make decisions about                     
  state dollars than when I sat on that side of the table."                    
  Number 051                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY asked how many other state-approved                               
  correspondence study programs existed in Alaska other than                   
  the CCS program.                                                             
  MS. ANDERSON answered that 22 of 54 school districts offered                 
  local correspondence study programs, which were funded 100                   
  percent.  She said those 22 districts buy $100,000 worth of                  
  instructional material each year from the CCS.                               
  REP. VEZEY asked if there were other correspondence study                    
  MS. ANDERSON said that any local district has the option of                  
  using any other correspondence material, available either by                 
  satellite, or from the University of Nebraska or North                       
  Dakota, or other sources.                                                    
  Number 066                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY asked again if there were other correspondence                    
  study programs.                                                              
  MS. ANDERSON said that home schooling was a third option.                    
  REP. VEZEY observed that there were at least three                           
  correspondence study programs in the state.                                  
  Number 073                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY asked how much it would cost the state to make                    
  the funding changes outlined in HB 250.                                      
  MS. ANDERSON answered that the changes would cost $351,000.                  
  REP. VEZEY asked whether the CCS program currently funding                   
  level for secondary students was about $1.5 million per                      
  MS. ANDERSON answered that that was the approximate figure.                  
  REP. VEZEY observed that the difference was about 20                         
  MS. ANDERSON said the CCS total budget was about $3.2                        
  million per year, with half of that for elementary students.                 
  REP. VEZEY said that it was interesting that local school                    
  districts received full funding for both elementary and                      
  secondary students for their correspondence schooling                        
  programs, but the state CCS can only get 65 percent of the                   
  formula funds for the students it served.                                    
  MS. ANDERSON answered that local school districts receive                    
  full funding for correspondence programs because teachers                    
  visit correspondence students' homes more frequently than do                 
  the CCS teachers.  She said local school districts were                      
  looking for new ways to serve students in special                            
  Number 105                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY said he asked his questions because he was                        
  confused about unhoused students.  He said he believed that                  
  the state statutes allowed local school districts to include                 
  their correspondence students in their Average Daily                         
  Membership (ADM) tallies and, therefore, to collect full                     
  funding for those students under the foundation formula                      
  MS. ANDERSON said it varied by district, but some districts                  
  might have students in their school buildings for part of                    
  the year.                                                                    
  Number 119                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY asked what the practical effects would be on the                  
  CCS program if it were renamed as a school, as HB 250                        
  provided, and whether the extra money would be eaten up in                   
  MS. ANDERSON said changing the name from study to school                     
  would help clarify the program's purpose and nature, which                   
  would be helpful as the program applied for federal grants.                  
  She said the money would continue services and would not be                  
  eaten up in overhead.                                                        
  REP. VEZEY asked about the CCS program's status within the                   
  Department of Education.                                                     
  MS. ANDERSON answered that the CCS was a division of the                     
  Department of Education and was one of three state schools,                  
  the other's being the Mt. Edgecumbe boarding high school in                  
  Sitka and the VoTech Center in Seward.                                       
  Number 138                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY asked why 65 percent of the elementary funding                    
  level was better than 65 percent of the secondary funding                    
  MS. ANDERSON said that 65 percent of the elementary funding                  
  level was acceptable several years ago, but as more                          
  secondary students began to participate in the in-state                      
  program, it became necessary to spend more on secondary                      
  students to provide them the same opportunity for a good                     
  REP. VEZEY commented that it was interesting that the CCS                    
  program educated elementary students for 65 percent and                      
  secondary students for about 53 percent of the cost of                       
  educations in a normal schools.                                              
  CHAIR BUNDE noted that the bill was aimed at raising the                     
  secondary students to the 65 percent funding level.  He                      
  clarified that the bill would set funding for secondary                      
  students alone at 65 percent of the normal funding level for                 
  secondary students and set funding for elementary students                   
  alone at 65 percent of the normal funding level for                          
  elementary students.  He noted that public schools received                  
  more money for secondary students than for elementary                        
  students.  He further observed that the CCS spent less on                    
  education because they had no physical plants.                               
  REP. VEZEY said the foundation formula did not fund schools'                 
  capital needs, which were addressed through a separate                       
  funding mechanism.                                                           
  Number 175                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked about the pupil-teacher ratios in the CCS.                 
  MS. ANDERSON answered that the ratio of students to teachers                 
  was about 50-1 for elementary grades, and up to 300-1 for                    
  physical education, which had the highest ratio.                             
  Number 180                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY asked Ms. Anderson to amplify on her comments on                 
  the high pupil-teacher ratios for physical education (PE).                   
  MS. ANDERSON answered that the CCS program provided a PE                     
  course out of a believe that PE is an important part of                      
  being an accredited school.  She said the PE class was                       
  taught in conjunction with the home teacher, considering a                   
  student's home and physical education opportunities.  She                    
  said there are some video courses, on jumping rope and other                 
  activities.  She added that about 150 of the program's                       
  students were pregnant and the PE courses take that into                     
  account.  She said that Alaska's students rank low in the                    
  nation on scales of physical fitness.                                        
  (Rep. Nicholia departed at 4:13 p.m.)                                        
  Number 205                                                                   
  REP. OLBERG announced that he had calculated the average                     
  pupil teacher ratio as 42-1.                                                 
  Number 208                                                                   
  REP. KOTT asked what the financial benefit to CCS might be                   
  of being treated as a school district in terms of financing.                 
  MS. ANDERSON said she did not believe there would be any                     
  significant financial benefit because the program's funding                  
  was based on the foundation formula program.  She said the                   
  financial record-keeping, reporting and operations would                     
  become more like those of a regular school district.  She                    
  said the CCS would not be another single-site school                         
  REP. KOTT asked if the CCS program would be allowed to                       
  retain 10 percent of unreserved funds from its left-over                     
  operating funds at the end of the year, as do most school                    
  MS. ANDERSON answered yes; the bill would have that effect,                  
  although it had never before had such holdover funds.                        
  REP. KOTT asked if CCS would be in the position to create                    
  reserve accounts as are held by other districts.                             
  MS. ANDERSON said such reserves had been allowable, but she                  
  did not foresee that CCS would take advantage of that                        
  option.  She noted that the Mt. Edgecumbe school had the                     
  option for reserve accounts, but had not done so.                            
  Number 236                                                                   
  REP. KOTT referred to teacher salaries and that the CCS                      
  contract was up for renegotiation in June 1993 and asked the                 
  average pay for the 24 CCS teachers.                                         
  MS. ANDERSON answered that the average pay for the teachers                  
  was about $42,000 per year, about $10,000 per year less than                 
  other teachers.  She said the contract negotiations were                     
  almost completed.                                                            
  Number 260                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE thanked Ms. Anderson for her time and invited                    
  other witnesses to the table.                                                
  Number 263                                                                   
  TEACHER WITH THE CCS, testified in Juneau in support of                      
  HB 250.  He said the CCS program was an effective, credible                  
  program.  He said he was a correspondence student at the                     
  Kiev Pedagogical Institute in Russia and he was accepted at                  
  five Ivy League universities when he arrived in the United                   
  States.  He said CCS was not necessarily an alternative or                   
  supplement to normal schooling, but a valid educational                      
  system that could be appropriate to some students and                        
  parents.  He said he has traveled to Anchorage at his own                    
  expense and met with some of his 200 students, and welcomed                  
  the opportunity to meet in person with them.  He said the 24                 
  CCS teachers do a good job.                                                  
  Number 306                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked Mr. Dolitsky to describe a typical working                 
  MR. DOLITSKY said he worked from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., as any                 
  state worker.  He said he graded papers and lessons,                         
  answered phone calls, and had daily audio conference with                    
  his Russian language students.  He said he attended two or                   
  three meetings a week.  He said he and his colleagues worked                 
  and communicated together with ease when necessary.  He said                 
  different students and lessons took varying amounts of time                  
  and attention.  He said he achieved good success with his                    
  (Rep. Brice returned at 4:20 p.m.)                                           
  CHAIR BUNDE asked Mr. Dolitsky about his success rate in                     
  teaching Russian language.                                                   
  MR. DOLITSKY responded that all of his students completed                    
  their Russian courses, while the completion rates in other                   
  classes averaged about 78 percent.                                           
  Number 331                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY asked why the fiscal note for HB 250 projected                   
  the cost of the bill to be $351,000 in the first year, but                   
  $566,000 in the sixth year.                                                  
  MS. ANDERSON said the DOE assumes a 10 percent annual                        
  increase in enrollment.  While the program historically had                  
  not experienced such growth, in the last five years the                      
  department had seen a steady increase and believed the                       
  projected 10 percent annual growth was a conservative                        
  CHAIR BUNDE noted that the growth in secondary-age students                  
  was over 8 percent in 1992.                                                  
  Number 350                                                                   
  JACK PHELPS, LEGISLATIVE AIDE TO REP. PETE KOTT, testified                   
  in Juneau on correspondence schooling.  He said he had been                  
  involved in the home schooling community in Alaska for                       
  almost 10 years, and offered some comments on the CCS                        
  program.  He said CCS is an important part of the state                      
  educational program and is one way of fulfilling the state                   
  constitutional mandate to provide a quality education to                     
  every child in the state.  He said different students                        
  require different programs and it would be inappropriate to                  
  eliminate CCS as a redundant program.  He offered                            
  clarification of some issues.  He said that of the three                     
  correspondence school options in Alaska, only the local                      
  school district-provided correspondence program would allow                  
  its students to be counted in the ADM for foundation formula                 
  funding purposes.  He said it was a legitimate question as                   
  to whether the legislature should fund local district                        
  correspondence programs at 100 percent, while funding the                    
  state CCS at only 65 percent.  He suggested investigation                    
  into the relative costs of normal local district educations                  
  and local district correspondence programs.  He warned that                  
  reducing or eliminating correspondence programs would                        
  exacerbate the problems with unhoused students.  He also                     
  said that a cost-benefit analysis would reveal the                           
  advantages to the state of correspondence programs.                          
  Number 398                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY asked Mr. Phelps if his children had used the                    
  CCS program.                                                                 
  MR. Phelps answered no, that his children had used private                   
  correspondence programs.                                                     
  Number 407                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY noted that her son had graduated through CCS and                 
  attended the University of Washington, largely through his                   
  own motivation.  She asked Mr. Phelps why he had used a                      
  private correspondence school, instead of publicly funded                    
  MR. PHELPS said that he chose the private program for the                    
  type of education and its flexibility, and that he paid for                  
  his childrens' home schooling himself.                                       
  CHAIR BUNDE noted that it was unlikely that the committee                    
  would get to HB 85, and that Duane Guiley of the DOE could                   
  depart or remain if he wished.                                               
  MR. PHELPS said he had a hard time understanding the benefit                 
  of treating the CCS program as a school district, as called                  
  for in HB 250.  He also questioned whether that change was                   
  solely for status' sake, if, as Ms. Anderson testified,                      
  there would be no financial impact of such a change.  He                     
  said there was a potential for escalating costs.  He also                    
  said he had found a technical error in the bill on page 2,                   
  Section 5, line 23.  He said the language in HB 250 changed                  
  the way local district correspondence programs were dealt                    
  with in the state compulsory attendance statute by calling                   
  them a school.                                                               
  Number 453                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY asked a question on the calculation of ADM.  He                   
  said Title 14, chapter 17, paragraph 41, of Alaska statutes                  
  could be interpreted to mean that students who were in                       
  district correspondence programs and other students not                      
  regularly attending would be counted in the ADM of the                       
  largest funding community in that district.                                  
  MR. PHELPS said paragraph (D) of the statute which Rep.                      
  Vezey had cited specified district correspondence students,                  
  and said that the paragraph did not apply to CCS students,                   
  who are treated as being enrolled in a state, not program,                   
  district.  He said he believed the law was applied fairly                    
  Number 471                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY said he did not know, but he could read the                       
  statute, and that sometimes the numbers on unhoused students                 
  did not add up.                                                              
  MR. PHELPS said it was important to differentiate between                    
  students enrolled in CCS and in district correspondence                      
  REP. VEZEY said that his reading of the statute in question                  
  might also mean that students enrolled in private                            
  correspondence schooling programs might be counted in a                      
  local school district's ADM.                                                 
  Number 479                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE said that he read the statute to mean that CCS                   
  students were regularly attending school and by definition,                  
  therefore, were excluded from ADM calculation.  He invited a                 
  DOE staffer to clarify the issue for the committee.                          
  Number 488                                                                   
  testified in Juneau concerning HB 250.  He said that                         
  students enrolled in private school or in private                            
  correspondence could be included in a local school                           
  district's ADM calculation if they are enrolled in a class                   
  at that district.  He said there were many students enrolled                 
  in a few local district classes, but it was up to local                      
  district policy as to whether such students would be                         
  included in the ADM calculation.  He said the state could                    
  not deny any child free access to public education.  He said                 
  AS 14.17.022, providing for CCS funding, prohibits double                    
  counting if a student is also enrolled in a local district                   
  correspondence program.                                                      
  Number 508                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE ended the teleconference portion of the meeting.                 
  REP. TOOHEY asked a clarifying question on what Mr. Guiley                   
  had said, asking if there could be "double-dipping."                         
  MR. GUILEY answered that students enrolled in private school                 
  or home school programs received no state funding, but if                    
  such students were also concurrently enrolled in a local                     
  district, it was possible that the student could be included                 
  in that district's ADM calculation.                                          
  REP. TOOHEY asked a hypothetical question.  If a family in                   
  Talkeetna was home-schooling their child through the CCS                     
  process, but then enrolled the child in a local school for a                 
  few elective classes, would that child be counted in the                     
  local school district's ADM?                                                 
  MR. GUILEY answered that that was possible.  He said that,                   
  under statutes, a child could not be concurrently enrolled                   
  in both a local district correspondence program and the CCS                  
  program.  He said the law did not address whether a child                    
  could also be enrolled in a regular local district school.                   
  CHAIR BUNDE said it was not relevant to ask whether a                        
  student could be concurrently enrolled in a local school and                 
  the CCS.  He said he would encourage local districts to                      
  ferret out double-dippers.  Seeing no one who wished to                      
  testify further, he CLOSED public testimony on HB 250 and                    
  asked the will of the committee.                                             
  TAPE 93-67, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE MOVED to pass HB 250 from the HESS Committee on                  
  to the House Finance Committee.                                              
  Number 010                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY said the lack of response to the motion by the                    
  chair indicated that the other committee members shared his                  
  feeling that he had been presented with a lot of new                         
  information on the bill, and that it would be inappropriate                  
  to vote on the bill at that time.  He said he liked many                     
  aspects of the bill, but was uncomfortable with others.                      
  Number 030                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY said she did not want to jeopardize CCS, which                   
  she believed was a good program.  She said there were                        
  questions that required answers.                                             
  CHAIR BUNDE said the comments of the other two committee                     
  members had solidified his questions, and he withdrew his                    
  motion.  He announced that HB 250, along with HB 85, would                   
  come before the HESS Committee again at 3 p.m on Tuesday,                    
  April 15.                                                                    
  REP. TOOHEY asked if it would be possible for the committee                  
  to get together and discuss HB 250 before then.                              
  CHAIR BUNDE said that it would be more appropriate to                        
  discuss the matter in a committee meeting.  He then                          
  ADJOURNED the meeting at 4:45 p.m.                                           

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