Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/31/1994 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 March 31, 1994 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 Rep. Tom Brice MEMBERS ABSENT None OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT Rep. Terry Martin COMMITTEE CALENDAR HB 210: "An Act relating to employment of chief school administrators." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE SB 225: "An Act relating to credits against certain insurance taxes for contributions to certain educational institutions; and providing for an effective date." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE HB 354: "An Act relating to identification required upon enrollment in a public school." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE WITNESS REGISTER DON RENFROE, Superintendent Dillingham City School District P.O. Box 170 Dillingham, Alaska 99576 Phone: (907) 842-5223 Position Statement: Testified in opposition to HB 210 (spoke via teleconference) STEPHEN T. McPHETRES, Executive Director Alaska Council of School Administrators 326 Fourth St., Ste. 404 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1101 Phone: (907) 586-9702 Position Statement: Testified in opposition to HB 210 CAROL CARROL, Legislative Aide Sen. Jay Kerttula Alaska State Legislature State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801 Phone: (907) 465-6600 Position Statement: Testified in support of SB 225 AL ALVAREZ, Vice-President University Relations Alaska Pacific University 4101 University Dr. Anchorage, Alaska 99508 Phone: (907) 564-8347 Position Statement: Testified in support of SB 225 SHEILA PETERSON, Special Assistant to Commissioner Covey Department of Education 801 10th St., Ste. 200 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Phone: (907) 586-1083 Position Statement: Testified in support of HB 354 LIEUTENANT DENNIS CASANOVAS, Commander Statewide Criminal Investigation Unit 5700 E. Tudor Rd. Anchorage, Alaska 99507 Phone: (907) 269-5757 Position Statement: Testified in support of HB 354 (spoke via offnet) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 210 SHORT TITLE: HIRING OF CHIEF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN,Kott JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/10/93 590 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/10/93 590 (H) HES, FINANCE 03/12/93 629 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KOTT 03/22/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/22/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/22/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 04/01/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 04/01/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 04/02/93 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 04/02/93 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/30/94 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: SB 225 SHORT TITLE: INSURANCE TAX CREDIT:GIFTS TO COLLEGES SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) KERTTULA,Halford,Phillips,Taylor, Salo,Sharp,Pearce,Duncan,Zharoff,Frank JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/03/94 2452 (S) PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/94 01/10/94 2452 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/10/94 2452 (S) HES, JUD, FIN 01/31/94 (S) HES AT 01:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 02/02/94 (S) HES AT 01:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 02/02/94 (S) MINUTE(HES) 02/04/94 2697 (S) HES RPT CS 2DP 3NR SAME TITLE 02/04/94 2698 (S) FISCAL NOTE TO SB & CS PUBLISHED (DCED) 02/04/94 2698 (S) ZERO FN TO SB & CS PUBLISHED (REV) 02/04/94 (S) HES AT 01:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 02/04/94 (S) MINUTE(HES) 02/23/94 (S) JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ RM 211 02/28/94 2989 (S) JUD RPT 2DP 2NR (HES)CS 02/28/94 2989 (S) PREVIOUS FN (DCED) 02/28/94 2989 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FN (REV) 03/12/94 (S) FIN AT 10:00 AM SENATE FINANCE ROOM 518 03/14/94 3183 (S) FIN RPT 5DP 2NR (HES)CS SAME TITLE 03/14/94 3184 (S) PREVIOUS FN (DCED) 03/14/94 3184 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FN (REV) 03/14/94 (S) RLS AT 00:00 AM FAHRENKAMP ROOM 203 03/14/94 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 03/15/94 3213 (S) RULES RPT 4CAL 1NR 3/15/94 03/15/94 3214 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 03/15/94 3214 (S) HES CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 03/15/94 3214 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 03/15/94 3214 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB 225(HES) 03/15/94 3214 (S) COSPONSOR(S):HALFORD,PHILLIPS, 03/15/94 3214 (S) TAYLOR, SALO, SHARP, PEARCE, DUNCAN, 03/15/94 3214 (S) ZHAROFF, FRANK 03/15/94 3215 (S) PASSED Y15 N3 E1 A1 03/15/94 3215 (S) EFFECTIVE DATE SAME AS PASSAGE 03/15/94 3215 (S) Kelly NOTICE OF RECONSID- ERATION 03/16/94 3247 (S) RECON TAKEN UP - IN THIRD READING 03/16/94 3247 (S) PASSED ON RECONSIDERATION Y16 N2 E1 A1 03/16/94 3247 (S) EFFECTIVE DATE SAME AS PASSAGE 03/16/94 3251 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 03/18/94 2861 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/18/94 2861 (H) HES, FINANCE 03/31/94 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 354 SHORT TITLE: I.D. REQUIRED TO ENROLL CHILD IN SCHOOL SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/10/94 2020 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/10/94 2020 (H) HES, JUDICIARY 03/07/94 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/07/94 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/30/94 (H) HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 94-63, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIR BUNDE called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m., noted members present and announced the calendar. He brought HB 210 to the table. HB 210 - HIRING OF CHIEF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS CHAIR BUNDE indicated that if it was the desire of the committee, he would like to move HB 210 out of committee that day. He asked REP. TERRY MARTIN to address the bill. Number 045 REP. TERRY MARTIN, Prime Sponsor of HB 210, stated that the intent of the bill would repeal a law that demands that each school district will have a superintendent. He felt that the smaller independent school districts are straddled with an unnecessary administrative burden. He said the bill would give these districts the opportunity to combine three or four school districts together with only one superintendent. He asserted the legislation would be a tremendous cost saving measure and conveyed a situation where a superintendent's salary was reduced by $22,000 as he only had 192 students and was earning $85,000 annually. Number 099 REP. TOOHEY asked if that superintendent was also teaching. REP. MARTIN said no. He further indicated that superintendents receive many other benefits; i.e., up to $750,000 in life insurance coverage, housing allowances or free housing, and car allowance ranging up to $900 per month. He indicated that the added benefits directly take away from the average daily membership (ADM). Number 133 REP. G. DAVIS asked Rep. Martin to expound further on the insurance as to what it relates to. REP. MARTIN explained that contracts vary for the superintendents, and they can negotiate for what they want. Packages of insurance can range anywhere from $50,000 to $750,000. REP. G. DAVIS asked if he was speaking of life insurance. REP. MARTIN replied yes and said they also have health benefits and annuities. REP. G. DAVIS referred to the car allowance and observed that each school district has the right to negotiate each contract differently. REP. MARTIN indicated that some salaries as high as $91,000 do not include the car allowance which can be as much as $800. He said housing expenses can total $6000 per year. He asserted that the money would be better spent in the classroom. CHAIR BUNDE directed the committee's attention to an amendment submitted by Rep. Martin which would increase the size of a district from 500 to 1000. REP. MARTIN stated that the amendment would help to facilitate the combining of school districts. The Prince of Whales Island has three school districts with slightly over 1000 students total. He said there should be one superintendent with staff instead of three superintendents, each with their own staff. CHAIR BUNDE said he supported combining school districts. He made a motion to adopt Amendment 1 for discussion purposes. He then asked Rep. Martin to explain specific savings regarding the increase from 500 to 1000 students. Number 247 REP. MARTIN explained that he raised the number because there are 17 school districts in Southeast alone. He asserted that at least five or six of those districts could combine into three. He indicated that Yukon Koyukuk and Nenana want to combine districts, and they have over 1200 students. CHAIR BUNDE asked if the figure could be left at 500 and still leave the option of combining. REP. MARTIN said 1000 was recommended and said he was being ultra-conservative. He asserted that at 1000 it would be more likely that districts will join together. CHAIR BUNDE asked if the figure was left at 500 could the districts still combine. REP. MARTIN said, "Then they'd have to." CHAIR BUNDE said, "Well, they don't have to, if it said they may if they have five hundred or more." REP. MARTIN explained in that case they would combine all four of the school districts. Number 324 REP. KOTT clarified that the amendment was dated 4/1/93. CHAIR BUNDE concurred. REP. VEZEY said he did not understand the last sentence of the amendment. REP. MARTIN clarified that a school district may combine with another school district and have one chief executive officer. They can combine their efforts to meet the guidelines for at least one chief administrator per 1000 students. REP. VEZEY said he was still confused. CHAIR BUNDE explained that if a district does not have 1000 ADM, they may employ a school administrator if the district shares with another district that also does not meet the minimum. The average combined daily membership would then meet the ADM as required by the amendment. REP. VEZEY said that is not what the amendment says. CHAIR BUNDE asked Rep. Vezey's interpretation of the language is. Number 397 REP. VEZEY offered that a district that doesn't meet the requirements can share an administrator with another district if the district meets the requirements. CHAIR BUNDE said, "If the combined average daily membership of the districts meet the 1000 requirement, two districts of 500 could go together or three districts of 350." REP. VEZEY said he understood. CHAIR BUNDE asked if there were any objections to Amendment 1. REP. G. DAVIS objected. CHAIR BUNDE asked Rep. G. Davis to speak to his objection. REP. G. DAVIS explained that there are many problems that school boards and school districts across the state are trying to manage. He felt that the legislation was micromanagement. He said he would not consider any amendments to the original bill until he heard further testimony. Number 470 CHAIR BUNDE called for the vote. Reps. Bunde, Kott, and Olberg voted Yea and Reps. Toohey and G. Davis voted Nay. The amendment was not adopted. REP. TOOHEY said she would have like to have held the vote until further testimony could be heard. CHAIR BUNDE asserted that he did not want to hear testimony first and then change the bill. He indicated that HB 210 as amended was before the committee. He asked for teleconference testimony. Number 498 DON RENFROE, Superintendent, Dillingham City School District, testified via teleconference in opposition to HB 210. He stated the bill shouldn't even be before the committee. REP. MARTIN asked which committee should address the legislation. MR. RENFROE asserted that the proposal should be a local decision, not the legislature's. He indicated that currently districts have the option of combining or combining other services. He felt that a district should not be forced to make the decision. He felt it would be very difficult for a superintendent to serve on two different school boards with two different educational plans. He further indicated that in small districts superintendents generally do not have staff. He explained that there generally is a superintendent, a secretary, an accountant, and perhaps a principle that serves more than one school. Mr. Renfroe asserted that superintendents wear many hats and they are curriculum directors, personnel directors, public relations directors, and contract negotiators. Number 609 CHAIR BUNDE asked if Mr. Renfroe was a superintendent. MR. RENFROE identified himself as being the superintendent for the Dillingham City School District. He further indicated that the Anchorage School Board chose to hire 62 nurses. He said the salaries of those nurses would pay for all superintendents' salaries in districts with 1000 or less ADM in the state. He said he does not fault the Anchorage School District for hiring those nurses and said Dillingham would hire a nurse if they could. He said the smaller districts should be able to hire a chief executive officer if they so choose. CHAIR BUNDE asserted that it is appropriate that HB 210 or any legislation that concerns education and state financing should come before the House HESS Committee. Number 665 REP. VEZEY asked Mr. Renfroe if he was opposed to the bill because it prohibits a district from hiring a superintendent or would he support it if it removed the requirement that a school district must hire a superintendent. He then indicated that current law requires a school district to hire a superintendent and the proposal would prohibit small districts from doing so. He said it could be optional. MR. RENFROE said he does not think a school district can operate without a superintendent or a chief executive officer under the present laws of the state. He felt districts should have the option of sharing a superintendent if they so choose. He asserted that a school board cannot administer to a district. There must be someone to carry out policy. Number 714 REP. MARTIN indicated that Mr. Renfroe has half the amount of children in the Dillingham City School District than he does in Mountain View Elementary School, just one of eight elementary schools in his area. He asserted that Mountain View Elementary would not want a superintendent for their school but would want more teachers. He suggested that local school districts can choose to combine with another nearby district and use the excess money for instruction. He then indicated that the administrative payroll for the Dillingham City School District is $464,000. MR. RENFROE said until someone defines how that figure is arrived at, he was unsure how it could be used as a comparison. He asserted that his central office consists of himself and his secretary. He said he reported principles in his report and asserted that most school districts did not. CHAIR BUNDE asked Mr. McPhetres to testify. Number 773 STEPHEN T. MCPHETRES, Executive Director, Alaska Council of School Administrators, testified in Juneau in opposition to HB 210. He stated that the proposed legislation does not reflect any cost savings for the state. He indicated that in current statute 14.14.130(d) it does not prohibit two or more school districts from sharing services of a chief school administrator. He felt there was no reason to change current law. He further indicated that local school board members are elected officials who are empowered to carry out policy and the operations of the districts. He felt part of their responsibility was to hire a chief school administrator and to negotiate a reasonable salary and benefits just as they do with teachers and their salaries and benefits. MR. McPHETRES reiterated that superintendents wear many hats. He stated that current statute already allows for what is being proposed in HB 210. He said the school boards should have the responsibility as elected officials to carry out their role in the operation of school districts. He felt the legislation was unnecessary. Number 836 CHAIR BUNDE asked if the state would be saved the cost of one superintendents' salary if for example Dillingham City School District combined with Lake and Peninsula School District. MR. McPHETRES asserted that the state would not incur any savings as the money would still go to the district. The school board would then decide how to spend the money. CHAIR BUNDE observed that funding education in Alaska is a challenge and asserted that it costs more to educate a first grader in the Lake and Peninsula School District than it does to send a student to Harvard University. He suggested that if administrative overhead could be reduced, perhaps the foundation formula could be changed. He argued that taxpayers and educators are tired of spending exorbitant amounts of money in the Bush. MR. McPHETRES referred to statements made by Rep. G. Davis and said that the state has to "look at the big picture." Number 879 REP. TOOHEY said that changing the make-up of the school district was not going to change the amount of funding. She maintained that it is up to the school district to either hire or fire a superintendent and according to current statute they can do that. REP. MARTIN said it was his intention that a school district not be straddled with the mandate that requires that a superintendent be hired. Number 900 REP. TOOHEY asked if, under current statute, a chief school administrator has to be hired. MR. McPHETRES said yes. REP. TOOHEY asked if the superintendent could also be a teacher. MR. McPHETRES said yes. REP. MARTIN reiterated that the district is burdened with having to have a superintendent of schools. He explained that Aleutians East Borough Schools finally combined with Aleutian Region Schools. He said together the school board has more flexibility as to how they're going to spend the money. Number 944 MR. McPHETRES said that flexibility is available to all school districts at this time. REP. MARTIN asserted that currently that flexibility is very limited. REP. G. DAVIS explained that one way to satisfy the concerns of the general public and legislators is to reduce the wages of the chief administrative officer. He said what needs to be addressed is what percentage of cost goes to administration. He felt that changing the name to chief school administrator would accomplish nothing. He asserted that the districts already have the option to combine districts and who to hire and what duties will be fulfilled. He reiterated that the legislation is micromanagement. He felt that if the state reduces the foundation formula, school districts will find ways to make cuts, and it will be the responsibility of the school board to either lay off teachers or reduce administrative costs. He argued that the state will continue to reduce ADM until districts and school boards become more responsible. CHAIR BUNDE said, "I would like to observe that if we take the hypothetical case that I had mentioned, and we saved $300,000 in administrative costs, they buy that much more in teachers, and then we find that we have a teacher pupil ratio of five or six to one. Then we find it much easier to change the ADM or the basic formula and say, `Wait a minute, you have way more teaching staff than any other part of the state. It's time that you become more economical.' At this point, it is very difficult to ask them to be more economical." REP. MARTIN maintained that the proposal would give local districts more freedom. He reminded the committee that every year single site school districts fight for more and more money. He said the bill directly relates to those areas, which he feels receive more than enough money for ADM. He reiterated that administrative costs need to be reduced and referred to contracts that include $750,000 life insurance coverage. He indicated that administrative salaries are much more than that of teachers. REP. TOOHEY said decisions regarding contracts are up to the districts, not the legislature. Number 047 REP. MARTIN asserted that the state straddles the smaller districts with having to have a superintendent. He said current law says that districts can combine, but they don't. CHAIR BUNDE disagreed with Rep. Toohey. He said school districts are spending state money and the state has an oversight responsibility. REP. TOOHEY asked if there should be stipulations in the bill that say a district will not pay more than a certain amount for an administrator, they will not have car allowance, and will not have life insurance. She asked if the legislation would tell them how to manage their school districts. REP. MARTIN said the legislation would say that schools would not have to have a superintendent. CHAIR BUNDE said, "I would just observe, Rep. Martin, after last night's House session, the single site problem may not exist any more." REP. MARTIN said, "Then they'd be glad to get rid of all these superintendents." Number 067 CHAIR BUNDE asked for further questions for Mr. McPhetres. He closed public testimony and opened the committee to discussion. REP. TOOHEY asserted that the bill is not needed. REP. MARTIN maintained that the legislation is needed so that some of the smaller districts will no longer be straddled with expensive administrative costs. He said the excess money could be spent on many other things. CHAIR BUNDE, hearing no further discussion, asked the pleasure of the committee. REP. VEZEY made a motion to pass HB 210 as amended out of committee. REP. TOOHEY objected. CHAIR BUNDE called for the vote. Reps. Bunde, Vezey, and Kott voted Yea and Reps. Toohey and G. Davis voted Nay. Chair Bunde declared that HB 210 as amended was so moved. He then brought SB 225 to the table. SB 225 - INSURANCE TAX CREDIT: GIFTS TO COLLEGES CAROL CARROL, Legislative Aide to Sen. Jay Kerttula, Prime Sponsor of SB 225, stated that presently there is a tax credit available to most of the industry tax payers in Alaska regarding gifts to colleges. She indicated that the one industry that does not have the ability to take the tax credit is the insurance industry. She maintained that the situation was an oversight when the bill was enacted in 1991. The legislation would extend that tax credit to insurance companies. She indicated that the bill provides that authorized insurance companies may take as a tax credit 50% of the first $100,000. She said the industry must be willing to donate an amount of money that they will not get credit for. She explained that Sen. Kerttula believes it is a good idea to support higher education. She then noted that WENDY REDMAN was on teleconference to answer questions. CHAIR BUNDE further noted that there were also people in Juneau waiting to testify. REP. TOOHEY asked when the idea for the bill was conceived. MS. CARROL said she was unsure, but it was revised in 1991. She deferred to WENDY REDMAN. CHAIR BUNDE indicated that due to technical difficulties, the committee was unable to hear teleconference testimony at that time. He asked for further testimony. Number 097 AL ALVAREZ, Vice-President, University Relations, Alaska Pacific University (APU), testified in Juneau in support of SB 225. He stated that a few years ago legislation was passed to allow credit on a portion of a gift to an institution of higher education within Alaska. He declared that the current legislation has been quite beneficial and indicated that the APU is very dependent on private gifts and grants for its support. He reiterated that the insurance industry was overlooked when the current law was written. He said it wasn't until APU approached local insurance companies for gifts to the university that it was discovered that insurance companies pay a premium tax under another section of the code. He urged the committee's support of SB 225. Number 205 CHAIR BUNDE asked if WENDY REDMAN was available for teleconference testimony. He was then informed that MS. REDMAN had to catch a plane from Fairbanks and could no longer wait to testify. He then asked for further testimony. Hearing none, he closed public testimony and asked the pleasure of the committee. REP. KOTT made a motion to pass SB 225 out of committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note. CHAIR BUNDE, hearing no objections, declared that SB 225 was so moved. He then brought HB 354 to the table. He indicated that LIEUTENANT CASANOVAS was available to answer questions via teleconference. HB 354 - I.D. REQUIRED TO ENROLL CHILD IN SCHOOL Number 276 REP. CYNTHIA TOOHEY addressed HB 354. She stated that the bill adds a new subsection to AS 14.30.710 that will require a person who initially enrolls a child in school to provide a birth certificate or other proof of identity to the school not more than 30 days after enrollment. The school will notify the missing persons information clearinghouse if a child is enrolled under a name other than what is indicated on at least one of the child's identifying documents. She further explained that law enforcement would be notified and requested to determine whether the child has been reported missing if a person fails to produce proof of identity and any previous school records. The school will use a form that contains written notice informing the person enrolling the child that enrollment under a false name is a criminal offense and that failure to comply is a violation. She asserted that passage of the bill could possibly help in locating exploited and missing children and it would be consistent with at least seven other states that require birth certificates upon enrollment. REP. TOOHEY indicated that there was a committee substitute (CS). She said the original bill as written requires the parents to produce any prior school records, which is not common practice. A school will send records forward to the next school, the records are not given to the parent. She indicated that the CS rectifies that issue. CHAIR BUNDE asked SHEILA PETERSON to come forward to answer questions. SHEILA PETERSON, Special Assistant to Commissioner Covey, Department of Education (DOE), testified in support of HB 354. She stated that the DOE is appreciative of the hard work that the HESS Committee staff has offered to the crafting of the CS. She said the CS provides a mechanism to help the Public Safety Division identify missing children. She indicated that one of the sections in the CS addresses a situation where a child is using two last names, citing that the birth certificate may be in the biological father's name, but the child currently is using the step-father's last name. She said the CS requires that at least one identifying document must have the name the child is currently using. Number 388 REP. TOOHEY made a motion to adopt the CS for HB 354. CHAIR BUNDE, hearing no objections, stated that the CS for HB 354 was so moved. He then asked LIEUTENANT CASANOVAS to testify. Number 490 LIEUTENANT DENNIS CASANOVAS, Commander, Statewide Criminal Investigation Unit, said he would be available for questions. CHAIR BUNDE asked if Lt. Casanovas was in favor of the bill. LT. CASANOVAS maintained that it was very possible that the bill would assist in identifying missing children and reuniting them with their rightful parents. CHAIR BUNDE asked for questions. REP. VEZEY said he failed to see the benefits of the bill as he felt that the children are in a safe environment at school. He thought the legislation would just create a tremendous amount of paperwork. CHAIR BUNDE responded that a child may be very young, kindergarten age, and it is very likely that a parent has kidnapped the child. He also indicated that some children have been abducted as early as three years old and are not inclined to protest. Number 460 REP. TOOHEY asserted that there would not be extra paper work because children need proof of identification and shot records anyway. She said the main thrust of the bill is to detect if there has been a kidnapping. CHAIR BUNDE observed that parents have been known to falsify children's birth records to enable them to enroll their children in all-day kindergarten because it is cheaper than daycare. REP. KOTT asked Ms. Peterson if schools in Alaska have problems obtaining records from schools in other states. MS. PETERSON said to her knowledge there is no problem. She indicated that statutes require a school that is receiving a transfer student to request within 14 days the records of the child from the previous school. She further indicated that if a child transfers to an Alaskan school from an Alaskan school, the transcripts must be submitted within 10 days after receiving the request. Number 522 REP. KOTT asked how the requesting of a birth certificate could assist in ascertaining whether or not a child has been kidnapped. CHAIR BUNDE observed that when the child is first enrolled in school, a birth certificate is needed as identification. Then once that proof of identification has been certified, the record would follow the child to the next school. He further explained that if records are coming from out-of- state, it can take a very long time to receive them and sometimes they are lost. He indicated that there have been cases in Alaska where a noncustodial parent has moved to rural Alaska with the child. MS. PETERSON clarified that if a person enrolls a child as Johnny Smith, and that is not his name or the name that he was enrolled under in the previous school, and the school was unable to obtain the records by request, it would be assumed that the current school would follow up and ascertain as to whether Johnny Smith is really Johnny Smith. She explained that the school would then contact the missing persons clearinghouse. Number 591 CHAIR BUNDE asked if the process would be most useful when the child first enters school and establishes a positive identity. Then the record of positive identity would follow the child. MS. PETERSON said yes. CHAIR BUNDE asked if a child must establish positive identity every time there is a change of schools. MS. PETERSON indicated that a child would need identifying documents or a birth certificate if the child has not previously been enrolled in school. REP. VEZEY said the legislation only applies to people who have not previously been enrolled in public school. CHAIR BUNDE indicated that a youth might register for the first time in high school because they were in a private school previously. He asked for further questions. He closed public testimony and asked for further discussion. REP. G. DAVIS made a motion to pass HB 354 out of committee with individual recommendations and accompany zero fiscal note. CHAIR BUNDE asked for objections. REP. VEZEY objected. CHAIR BUNDE called for the vote. Reps. G. Davis, Kott, Toohey, and Bunde voted Yea and Rep. Vezey voted Nay. Chair Bunde announced that HB 354 was so moved. Seeing no further business before the committee, CHAIR BUNDE adjourned the meeting at 4:07 p.m.