Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/16/1995 02:00 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                                      
                         March 16, 1995                                        
                           2:00 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Cynthia Toohey, Co-Chair                                       
 Representative Con Bunde, Co-Chair                                            
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 Representative Gary Davis                                                     
 Representative Norman Rokeberg                                                
 Representative Caren Robinson                                                 
 Representative Tom Brice                                                      
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 * HB 230:   "An Act making appropriations to the Department of                
             Education for support of kindergarten, primary, and               
             secondary education and for community schools programs            
             for fiscal year 1996 and fiscal year 1997; making                 
             appropriations from the constitutional budget reserve             
             fund under art. IX, sec. 17(c), Constitution of the               
             State of Alaska; and providing for an effective date."            
             PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
 HB 125:     "An Act relating to disclosures to school officials of            
             information about certain minors."                                
             PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
 HB 168:     "An Act relating to temporary permits for certain                 
             PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
 * HB 171:   "An Act providing that the commissioner of education              
             serves at the pleasure of the Board of Education; and             
             providing for an effective date."                                 
             HEARD AND HELD                                                    
 HHES - 03/16/95                                                               
 HB 228:     "An Act reducing payment levels for the program of aid            
             to families with dependent children and the adult                 
             public assistance program."                                       
             SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                           
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 CARL ROSE, Executive Director                                                 
 Association of Alaska School Boards                                           
 316 W. 11th Street                                                            
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 586-1083                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 230.                                
 BECKY RICHARDS, Parent                                                        
 Sitka School District                                                         
 713 Sirstad Street                                                            
 Sitka,  AK  99835                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 747-6850                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 MIKE McHONE, Superintendent, High School Principal                            
 Cordova School District                                                       
 P.O. Box 140                                                                  
 Cordova, AK  99574                                                            
 Telephone:  (907) 424-3265                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 CAROLYN EVANS, Vice-president                                                 
 Sitka School Board                                                            
 P.O. Box 902                                                                  
 Sitka, AK  99835                                                              
 Telephone:  (907) 747-8707                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 BRUCE BACHEN, President                                                       
 Sitka School Board                                                            
 713 Sirstad Street                                                            
 Sitka,  AK  99835                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 747-6850                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 WENDY CWIKLINKSI, Parent                                                      
 2981 Glacierwood Ct.                                                          
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 790-3472                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 DEBRA GERRISH, Parent                                                         
 9202 Emily Way                                                                
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 789-3236                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 STEVE McPHETRES, Executive Director                                           
 Alaska Council of School Administrators                                       
 326 4th Street, #404                                                          
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 586-9702                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 BECKY TURNER-BOGREN, President                                                
 Fairbanks Council of PTAs                                                     
 P.O. Box 342                                                                  
 Fairbanks, AK  99725                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 474-0235                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 LARRY WIGET, Director of Government Relations                                 
 Anchorage School Board                                                        
 4600 DeBarr Road                                                              
 Anchorage, AK  99510                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 262-2255                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 KAREN DOXEY, Parent Representative                                            
 Glacier Valley Site Council                                                   
 P.O. Box 32234                                                                
 Juneau, AK  99803                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 789-9762                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 KIMBERLY HOMME', Teacher                                                      
 Gruening Middle School                                                        
 2903 West 29th Avenue                                                         
 Anchorage, AK  99517                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 248-9980                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 KRISTINE HARDER, Chair                                                        
 Gastineau Parents Advisory Committee                                          
 1016 Wee Burn Drive                                                           
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 586-6179                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 CATHY CONNOR, Parent                                                          
 745 Fifth Street                                                              
 Douglas, AK  99824                                                            
 Telephone:  (907) 364-3772                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 NANCY DeCHERNEY, Parent                                                       
 P.O. Box 210573                                                               
 Auke Bay, AK  99821                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 789-5031                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 JUNE HALL, Parent                                                             
 8393 North Douglas                                                            
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 586-6790                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 MARTY LASTER, Superintendent                                                  
 Craig School District                                                         
 P.O. Box 800                                                                  
 Craig, AK  99921                                                              
 Telephone:  (907) 826-3271                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 MICHAEL ALLEN, Member, Gastineau School Site Council;                         
 Adjunct faculty member, University of Alaska Southeast;                       
 Member of Juneau Business Community                                           
 P.O. Box 240641                                                               
 Douglas, AK  99824                                                            
 Telephone:  (907) 463-4835                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 JACK KREINHEDER, Policy Analyst                                               
 Office of Management and Budget                                               
 Office of the Governor                                                        
 P.O. Box 110020                                                               
 Juneau, AK  99811                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4676                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 LIZ JOHNSON, Parent                                                           
 4004 Ridgeway                                                                 
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 780-4357                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 CATHERINE FRITZ, Parent                                                       
 4120 Birch Lane                                                               
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 789-1825                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 SALLY RUE, Parent                                                             
 7083 Hendrickson Road                                                         
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 789-5516                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 CLAUDIA DOUGLAS, President                                                    
 National Education Association - Alaska                                       
 114 Seward Street                                                             
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 586-3090                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 DUANE GUILEY, Director of School Finance                                      
 Department of Education                                                       
 Goldbelt Building                                                             
 801 W. 10th Street, Second Floor                                              
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-8679                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 JOHN HOLST, Superintendent                                                    
 Sitka School District                                                         
 P.O. Box 179                                                                  
 Sitka, AK  99835                                                              
 Telephone:  (907) 747-8622                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 KATE YOUNG, Parent                                                            
 P.O. Box 33122                                                                
 Juneau, AK  99803                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 780-6052                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 DON SCHULZ, Retired teacher                                                   
 4101 Abbott Road                                                              
 Anchorage, AK  99507                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 344-4929                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 DON FANCHER, Executive Director,                                              
 AVCP Housing Authority;                                                       
 Former School Board President,                                                
 Lower Kuskokwim School District;                                              
 Former member, State Board of Education                                       
 P.O. Box 2027                                                                 
 Bethel, AK  99559                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 543-5946                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 230.                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN                                                      
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Room 24, State Capitol                                                        
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4931                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided the sponsor statement for HB 125.                
 MELINDA GRUENING, Administrative Assistant                                    
 Representative Joe Green's Office                                             
 Room 24, State Capitol                                                        
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4931                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 125.                           
 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant to the Commissioner                        
 Department of Health and Social Services                                      
 Alaska Office Building                                                        
 350 Main Street, Room 317                                                     
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3347                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 125.                                      
 TOM ANDERSON, Legislative Assistant                                           
 Representative Terry Martin's Office                                          
 Room 502, State Capitol                                                       
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3783                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided sponsor statement for HB 171.                    
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB 230                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: APPROP: FY 96 & FY 97 EDUCATION PROGRAMS                         
 SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 03/03/95       566    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/03/95       566    (H)   HES, FINANCE                                      
 03/14/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/14/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/16/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 125                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN,Toohey,Bunde                              
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 01/26/95       143    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/26/95       143    (H)   HES, JUD                                          
 02/23/95              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 02/23/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 02/23/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 02/23/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/16/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 168                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 02/08/95       273    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/08/95       273    (H)   HES, L&C                                          
 03/07/95              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/07/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/16/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 171                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN                                          
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 02/10/95       301    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/10/95       301    (H)   HES, FINANCE                                      
 03/16/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 228                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 03/03/95       565    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/03/95       565    (H)   HES, FINANCE                                      
 03/14/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/14/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/16/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 95-22, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR CON BUNDE called the meeting of the House Health,                    
 Education and Social Services standing committee to order at 2:00             
 p.m.  Present at the call to order were Representatives Bunde,                
 Toohey, Davis and Vezey.  Co-Chair Bunde announced that a quorum              
 was present to conduct business, read the calendar, and announced             
 that the meeting was on teleconference.  Co-Chair Bunde requested             
 that testimony be limited to two minutes because of the large                 
 number of people wishing to testify.                                          
 HHES - 03/16/95                                                               
 HB 230 - APPROP: FY 96 & FY 97 EDUCATION PROGRAMS                         
 CARL ROSE, Executive Director, Association of Alaska School Boards            
 (AASB) stated that his association is opposed to HB 230 for many              
 reasons.  First, the AASB has a system it is dealing with that was            
 created in a period of wealth.  Now that there is a revenue                   
 downturn, no one is addressing that system.  The AASB feels it has            
 a responsibility for the oversight and accountability of the                  
 educational system.                                                           
 Number 171                                                                    
 MR. ROSE explained a sheet he had passed out to the HESS Committee            
 members.  This sheet contained what Mr. Rose views as some of the             
 "pillars of public policy."  Within the framework of legislation,             
 statutes and regulations, negotiated agreements, foundation                   
 funding, and "interpretations" are the framework of public policy.            
 Those factors comprise state policy.                                          
 MR. ROSE said those policies, regulations, etc., require an amount            
 of money to function.  HB 230 would affect the revenue side of the            
 equation without addressing the impact that will be created.  Mr.             
 Rose has great concern on behalf of the AASB because no one is                
 asking the policy question.  He asked, "What is the public policy             
 of the state going to be?"                                                    
 Number 230                                                                    
 MR. ROSE said basically, cutting revenue is the easy part of the              
 job, although the legislators may not think so.  The hard part of             
 the job is to redefine what the state's policy is going to be.  Mr.           
 Rose asked about the state's responsibility to children's education           
 in grades kindergarten through 12 (K-12).  Under the Constitution,            
 the state is supposed to provide free public education to all                 
 school-age children.                                                          
 MR. ROSE continued that the statutes and regulations that define              
 state policy require funding.  School districts are required to               
 provide retirement systems, provide medical coverage, honor labor             
 relations, adhere to tenure regulations, etc.  All of those bills             
 have represented state policy.  To cut an amount of money leaves              
 educators no ability to manage the system.                                    
 MR. ROSE felt it was irresponsible on the part of the legislature             
 to take the revenue away without addressing the need of redefining            
 the educational system.                                                       
 Number 296                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted if a person represents a group or                        
 organization, he or she may have three minutes to testify.                    
 MR. ROSE said he is concerned about the state's policy.  He wanted            
 to know what will be the policy of education in the state of                  
 Alaska.  He asked, "What is it that we want to do with our                    
 children?  What are we going to fund, and what do we value?"  Mr.             
 Rose said educators need some assistance in prioritizing to reduce            
 the funding at the state level and leave it to local control to               
 decide how an education is going to be provided under all the                 
 state's constraints.                                                          
 MR. ROSE said it is impossible to do this.  The state is reducing             
 funding while not giving educators the latitude to manage school              
 districts.  Mr. Rose felt issues of improvement in the quality of             
 education are critical.  Currently, those kinds of issues cannot be           
 Number 358                                                                    
 MR. ROSE added that educators are bound by the framework of the               
 state.  Mr. Rose asked legislators to also add to the previously              
 discussed framework issues of legislation, regulation, court                  
 decisions, foundation funding and negotiation.  He asked them to              
 also add the issues of fairness and equity.  That puts considerable           
 constraints on the K-12 system.  If educators were relieved of some           
 of those constraints, the fall could be cushioned.                            
 MR. ROSE stressed that educators need the money to continue to                
 function.  If educators cannot get the money, they need the                   
 Number 390                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE assured Mr. Rose that HESS Committee members                   
 understand more latitude is needed, and there is some movement in             
 that direction.                                                               
 MR. ROSE said more money is also needed.                                      
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced that Representative Robinson arrived at              
 3:06 p.m.                                                                     
 CO-CHAIR CYNTHIA TOOHEY agreed with Mr. Rose.  However, there is no           
 money.  Therefore, the other answer to the problem is cuts in other           
 areas to make budgets.  Co-Chair Toohey said the money is not                 
 there, and it is not going to be there.  If people think the cuts             
 are bad now, cuts are going to be even worse in the next ten years.           
 Everyone knows that.  Spending, therefore, must be redirected.  If            
 the legislature is mandating that education money be spent on                 
 benefits, salaries, etc., that is where changes must be made.                 
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY continued that changes must be made with no                   
 striking.  Everything will have to change.                                    
 Number 472                                                                    
 MR. ROSE added that there are two scenarios.  There is a fiscal               
 gap, and if that is going to be addressed and validated based on              
 revenue minus expenses, yes there is a fiscal gap if the state is             
 trying to get on a revenue cycle.  But in terms of wealth and                 
 expenses, Alaska is a very wealthy state.  The issue is a judgement           
 call.  Is the state talking about revenue cycles and expenses, or             
 is the state talking about the wealth of Alaska and the                       
 responsibility to K-12 education.                                             
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said that the state is looking at revenue cycles.             
 Number 530                                                                    
 BECKY RICHARDS, Parent, Sitka School District (SSD), said she came            
 to Juneau to testify because she has worked on the budget                     
 committees for the last ten years in Sitka.  Ten years ago, when              
 the foundation formula went into effect, the SSD cut $927,000 from            
 its budget.  Every year since then, it has cut another six-digit              
 figure.  The SSD is at the point now where it has reached the cap,            
 and there is no way to get around that cap.  HB 230 puts even more            
 of a strangle-hold on the district.                                           
 MS. RICHARDS continued that as a parent, she resents the fact that            
 she has to struggle for her child's education in this respect.  The           
 state needs to do more for its children.  The state is concerned              
 with cutting money from social services, etc.  But the state must             
 realize that if it continues to cut money from education, there is            
 no other place for these children to go but on the social services            
 lists and welfare rolls.                                                      
 MS. RICHARDS said there is a wall in Sitka where people on public             
 assistance sit because they cannot get a decent job because they              
 are not properly educated.  They cannot get the attention they                
 Number 597                                                                    
 MS. RICHARDS asked and begged HESS Committee members to reconsider            
 HB 230.  She understands there is no money.  But her district has             
 done a very fine job.  It has cut out custodial services,                     
 recontracted the lunch program, cut speech pathologists, cut a                
 swimming program and has cut numerous teachers.  The high school              
 had 29 teachers, and now there are 21.  The pupil ratio is                    
 MS. RICHARDS said the SSD is being punished because it has been               
 frugal.  She again asked HESS Committee members to reconsider.                
 Number 655                                                                    
 MIKE McHONE, Superintendent and High School Principal, Cordova                
 School District, testified via teleconference that he had listened            
 to the testimony given on March 14, 1995, on HB 230 and felt he               
 needed to respond.                                                            
 MR. McHONE said he has some great concerns.  He heard a comment               
 last week that stated that 65 percent of the people in the state do           
 not have children.  He has since found out that corresponds only to           
 the population of Anchorage.  He turned that around to say that 45            
 percent of the people in Anchorage do have children.  Mr. McHone              
 asked if there is a group of people in Anchorage, or anywhere else            
 for that matter, that, due to a higher percentage of the                      
 population, the state or municipality is obligated to provide a               
 service for them.  Mr. McHone does not believe there is.                      
 MR. McHONE asked how educators can be expected to finance an                  
 education system with less money than was available ten years ago.            
 He looks at the school district budget in Cordova that he is                  
 responsible for.  When he compares operating budgets from 1995 to             
 1985, he sees that the budget has gone up 35 percent.  The student            
 population has increased 40 percent.                                          
 Number 725                                                                    
 MR. McHONE continued by saying the starting teacher salary has                
 increased only 19 percent.  The cost of a textbook has increased              
 anywhere from 100 to 150 percent during the last 10 years.  In                
 1982, Cordova Junior/Senior High had 208 students, 23 certified               
 staff members and 3 custodians.  This year, there are 220 students,           
 17.5 certified staff members and 1.5 custodians.                              
 MR. McHONE has not included the cost increases in fuel, insurance,            
 electricity, etc., but he is willing to bet that the increases are            
 all above 35 percent.  He said the legislators are asking him to              
 run a school district with less than he had in 1985.  Any student             
 he has enrolled in the personal finance class can tell the                    
 legislators the reality of being able to do that is near                      
 Number 777                                                                    
 MR. McHONE said if the HESS Committee members want educators to               
 tell them where to cut the budget, they should look at where the              
 government is spending money in areas that are either not mandated            
 by the Constitution or which serves something other than an                   
 essential service.  He asked in what state does an individual pay             
 less taxes than in Alaska.  He asked what other state in the Union            
 gives every resident a personal check every year.  He asked what              
 state does these things and then cuts its constitutional                      
 responsibility to 20 percent of the population.  That is how many             
 people are enrolled in the public schools in Alaska right now.                
 Number 820                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said 65 percent of the people in Anchorage do not              
 have children in the public schools.  They may have children, but             
 they do not have them in the public schools.  In addition, the                
 legislators are looking at non-mandated entitlements.  Co-Chair               
 Bunde assured Mr. McHone that everyone feels as strongly has he.              
 Co-Chair Bunde announced that Representatives Brice and Rokeberg              
 joined the meeting at 3:15 p.m.                                               
 Number 850                                                                    
 CAROLYN EVANS, Vice president, Sitka School Board, testified via              
 teleconference that she is in her third year as vice president.               
 She currently has four children in the district.  She has also been           
 working on the district's budget committee for the last 10 to 12              
 years.  She pleaded with the HESS Committee members not to cut the            
 unit values.  The district cannot absorb any more cuts.  The                  
 district is currently looking at 17.8 percent dropout rate in the             
 last 4 years.                                                                 
 MS. EVANS said that something needs to be done about the dropout              
 rate.  Since 1987-88, the number of teachers has gone from 29 to              
 21, yet there is going to be an increase of 133 to 156 children               
 going into the high school in the coming school year.  However,               
 there are less teachers than was present in 1987.                             
 Number 908                                                                    
 MS. EVANS stressed to HESS Committee members that these children in           
 grades K-12 are the leaders of tomorrow.  They will be sitting                
 where the legislators are, but they will not be if they do not have           
 an education.  She asked HESS Committee members to please                     
 reconsider HB 230.  She asked them to look at other areas to help             
 out the educators.                                                            
 BRUCE BACHEN, President, Sitka School Board, summarized a few                 
 remarks.  HB 230 would cut the Sitka School District's funding from           
 the state about $200,000 to $300,000.  The continued erosion of               
 state support coupled with a local cap will destroy the quality of            
 education that the district has worked so hard to create.  In a               
 very real sense, the local school board and assembly are losing               
 local control over education simply because they lack the means to            
 determine the financial future.                                               
 Number 973                                                                    
 MR. BACHEN said there are a few options.  One relates to the                  
 priority that the state places on education.  Information from the            
 Alaska-Parent Teacher Association (PTA) suggests that 45 out of 50            
 states put a higher percentage toward education than Alaska does.             
 The second option relates to Alaska being ranked as the number one            
 tax haven by Money magazine.  Therefore, there is no excuse to cut            
 the quality of education.                                                     
 MR. BACHEN urged HESS Committee members to amend the bill to allow            
 education to be funded.  Educators are counting on them to do so.             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said Mr. Bachen's concern about the local cap is               
 being considered.                                                             
 Number 1026                                                                   
 WENDY CWIKLINSKI, parent, said she moved to Juneau in August from             
 Virginia.  Her husband is stationed in Juneau with the Coast Guard.           
 He is a Navy chaplain.  Her family will be stationed in Juneau                
 approximately three to four years.  In her life in the military,              
 her family must move from school district to school district.  It             
 is an accepted fact that families have to deal with the disparities           
 between the districts.                                                        
 MS. CWIKLINSKI said that the situation in Juneau, however, has been           
 overwhelming.  She has seen her children come from a wonderful                
 school district to Juneau where they are barely surviving.  She has           
 listened to the teachers and she has listened to the special                  
 services people, and they are all frustrated from a lack of time.             
 MS. CWIKLINSKI said that lack of time comes from a lack of                    
 personnel, and that is a result of a lack of funding.  In Juneau,             
 the negotiations for the new teacher contract are at a standstill.            
 Ms. Cwiklinski sees the issue from both sides.  The teachers are              
 going to ask for more money because the state is not giving them              
 the money for the supplies they need to teach.                                
 Number 1090                                                                   
 MS. CWIKLINSKI understood that there must be cuts someplace, but              
 cutting the education of children is "cutting our nose to spite our           
 face."  It is just not worth it, especially when the cuts are at              
 the elementary level.  Legislators cannot make these cuts and                 
 expect these children to know the basics.  The teachers do not have           
 enough time to prepare.  They do not have enough time to really               
 teach the children the way they should be taught.                             
 MS. CWIKLINSKI said HESS Committee members cannot expect these                
 children to become responsible, tax-paying citizens in the future.            
 This is the reason public education is in existence, to make                  
 children responsible citizens who are able to make their own way in           
 the world.                                                                    
 Number 1150                                                                   
 DEBRA GERRISH, Parent, said she has two children in the school                
 district.  One is a junior, and one is a third grader.  She is very           
 upset because she sees her third grader getting much less of an               
 education than her junior.  She is very happy her junior will be              
 coming out of the school system next year.  She asked HESS                    
 Committee members to look at a sheet sent out by the Department of            
 Education (DOE).  It showed the cuts that will occur across the               
 state if HB 230 passes.                                                       
 MS. GERRISH provided an example.  Anchorage will lose $4.1 million            
 next year (1996).  In 1997, Anchorage will lose $9 million.  In               
 Fairbanks, next year they will lose $1.4  million, and in 1997 they           
 will lose $3.2 million.  Ms. Gerrish was referring to fiscal school           
 years.  She said that Juneau will lose $500,000 this year, and $1             
 million in FY 97.  Kenai, which is also up against the cap, is                
 facing a loss of $1 million this year, and a loss of $2.2 million             
 next year.                                                                    
 Number 1208                                                                   
 MS. GERRISH said HESS Committee members have heard the parents                
 talk.  Ms. Gerrish's daughter in high school has books that are               
 ragged.  They are falling apart.  There is not enough money in the            
 Juneau School District to buy the books kids need.  There was a               
 child this year who went without a book for six weeks at the                  
 beginning of the high school year.  These students deserve better             
 than that.                                                                    
 MS. GERRISH said children are in crowded classes.  There was an               
 editorial in the newspaper this week about how classroom size does            
 not make a difference.  Ms. Gerrish read the HESS Committee members           
 an article from Parade magazine, January 8 edition, that states               
 class size does make a difference.                                            
 MS. GERRISH read the report from Bill Moyers, "In New York City, I            
 visited Landmark High, and the Coalition School for Social Change.            
 Two experimental high schools based on the notion that small is               
 better.  Enrollments are limited to fewer than 300 students to                
 prevent the violence that results from sheer overcrowding; and                
 teachers quickly summon parents if conflicts break out among                  
 Number 1257                                                                   
 MS. GERRISH knows that Juneau already has more than 300 students in           
 its schools.  However, they do not have to be overcrowded.  There             
 are already problems with violence in this state.  Those problems             
 do not need to be added to.  Ms. Gerrish said there used to be a              
 wonderful school tax when she came to Alaska 20 years ago.  That              
 needs to be reinstated.  In addition, the income tax needs to be              
 MS. GERRISH said, "Be brave, be the leaders that you were elected             
 to be, and pass the money that we need to run this state and give             
 our kids an education."                                                       
 Number 1287                                                                   
 STEVE McPHETRES, Executive Director, Alaska Council of School                 
 Administrators (ACSA), said his association has submitted written             
 testimony.  The ACSA is in opposition to this legislation.  It                
 believes the maintenance of the services and the offerings to the             
 young people of Alaska is extremely important.                                
 MR. McPHETRES said he would like to take another position.  Last              
 weekend he had the opportunity to work very closely with a dozen              
 high school students from across Southeast Alaska, Anchorage, and             
 Kotzebue in a leadership program that his organization plus the               
 University of Alaska Southeast co-conducted.                                  
 MR. McPHETRES was very encouraged by the quality of these young               
 folks and their futures.  He escorted the group to Camelot, a play            
 in Juneau.  As the group left the theatre, the members raved about            
 the quality of the production and the confidence of the players.              
 In addition, many students participated in the production, which              
 was wholesome, constructive and educational.                                  
 Number 1340                                                                   
 MR. McPHETRES said he had a very special kindergarten teacher (his            
 daughter) arrive home one night last week very excited because she            
 was doing assessments on her kindergarten students.  She asked one            
 boy a problem:  If she had 15 guppies, and she wanted to put 3 into           
 a container, how many containers would she need?  The young boy               
 quickly said, "five."  She asked how he figured that out, and he              
 said, "Three, six, nine, twelve, fifteen.  Five."                             
 MR. McPHETRES said HESS Committee members need to consider                    
 accomplishments such as these as budget cuts are addressed, and the           
 state looks at the maintenance of the opportunities for young                 
 people in the coming years.                                                   
 MR. McPHETRES said in the end, it will make Alaska a stronger                 
 place, and a better place to live. The ACSB hopes HESS Committee              
 members will reconsider this bill.                                            
 Number 1386                                                                   
 BECKY TURNER-BOGREN, President, Fairbanks Council of PTAs,                    
 testified via teleconference against HB 230.  The Fairbanks PTA and           
 PTAs statewide favor adequate and equitable funding for education.            
 While forward funding sounds attractive, it only meets the first              
 two criteria.  It is adequate and equitable.  However the largest             
 concern is that future years are being funded at current levels.              
 MS. TURNER-BOGREN said in Fairbanks, as throughout the state, there           
 has been steady growth.  Certainly, there will be many other issues           
 concerning growth.  Fort Knox gold mine will be opening, and the              
 district has had several calls just this week from families who               
 were concerned about the effect of Fort Greeley shutting down.                
 They wanted to know how many families will be moving up to                    
 Number 1452                                                                   
 MS. TURNER-BOGREN stressed that the growth issues are huge                    
 unknowns.  There is also potential for growth in other areas.  This           
 is not a good time to be freezing funding for education.  The net             
 effect is much lower funds per student.   She has heard a lot of              
 testimony from around the state, and she has not heard anybody say            
 this is a good idea.  In Fairbanks, there has been much effort put            
 into protecting the student-teacher ratio, and keeping class sizes            
 down to an adequate level.                                                    
 MS. TURNER-BOGREN said this has been at the expense of significant            
 and important programs.  They have to decide what to cut.  This is            
 not a good time to propose further cuts.  As class sizes increase,            
 and programs that meet educational needs are cut because of                   
 funding, the quality of education will decrease.                              
 MS. TURNER-BOGREN said the timing of this bill is unfortunate.                
 Educators in Fairbanks are on spring break.  There are many people            
 who would be extremely interested in this issue who are out of town           
 or who are away from their houses.  She has worked hard to contact            
 people, but she wanted to stress that a lack of public testimony              
 reflects a lack of public interest.  It reflects a lack of public             
 knowledge about this issue.                                                   
 Number 1526                                                                   
 MS. TURNER-BOGREN has talked to many people who also believe it is            
 time the state began thinking about a constitutional amendment to             
 start funding education through a tax or through the permanent fund           
 dividend.  When times are tight, education funding should not be              
 getting the same kind of review and cuts.                                     
 MS. TURNER-BOGREN supports responsible spending.  However, to cut             
 education just because everyone is being cut, is wrong.  Education            
 has a significant impact on the future of Alaska's economy and                
 society.  Alaska as a society must say that it will educate its               
 young, and educate them well.                                                 
 Number 1570                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE assured Ms. Turner-Bogren that the bill was not                
 timed to hit spring break.  Teachers are not on spring break in               
 Juneau, as is obvious by the large attendance at this meeting.  The           
 hearing was noticed at least a week ago.  If folks want to be in              
 Hawaii this time of year, that is their choice.  However, this bill           
 was not scheduled in a sneaky manner.                                         
 MS. TURNER-BOGREN did not mean to say there was underhanded                   
 activity.  She meant to say that many people would be very                    
 interested in communicating their concerns, and a lack of testimony           
 does not mean there is a lack of concern.                                     
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he knows it is spring break because his wife,             
 who is a teacher, is able to visit him in Juneau this week.                   
 Number 1604                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE assured all those testifying that the HESS Committee           
 is not the last stop for this bill.  After the HESS Committee, the            
 bill will travel to the Finance Committee, and then it may go to              
 the floor.  He knows there will be a great deal of debate in that             
 case as well.  If people have not had an ability to communicate               
 with HESS Committee members this afternoon, there will be other               
 MS. TURNER-BOGREN said that school starts up next week, and she               
 will be busy letting folks know.                                              
 Number 1640                                                                   
 LARRY WIGET, Director of Government Relations, Anchorage School               
 District, said for the record that according to the Anchorage                 
 mayor's statistics there are 248,296 people in the Anchorage bowl,            
 and 47,609 are enrolled in the Anchorage School District (ASD).  It           
 is believed this is the highest pupil-to-adult ratio of any                   
 population of anywhere in the country.                                        
 MR. WIGET said the ASD opposes passage of HB 230 and supports full            
 funding of education at the $61,000 level.  The statistics that               
 were passed out by the DOE shows that the ASD would lose $4.1                 
 million this year, and lose an additional $9 million next year.               
 MR. WIGET said education is a people-intensive business.  For                 
 example, ASD school buses drive 2.5 million miles yearly, and                 
 comprise the largest transportation system in the state.  The ASD             
 serves over 3 million lunches and 199,000 breakfasts annually,                
 which makes the ASD food service the largest restaurant in the                
 Number 1681                                                                   
 MR. WIGET said next year and the following year enrollment in the             
 ASD is expected to rise by approximately 400 students each year.              
 But the ASD is not satisfied with what is going on in the school              
 district.  The district is restructuring and it has put money into            
 next year's budget to expand the middle school program and for                
 schools for students at risk.  This is all within the confines of             
 the $61,000 instructional unit (IU).  This has not risen since                
 MR. WIGET noted that the average SAT scores in the ASD is 920,                
 while the national average is 902.  About 55 percent of ASD                   
 students take the test, and in some areas where the scores have               
 been higher, many less students take the tests.  The average ACT              
 score in the ASD is 22.6, and the national average is 20.8.                   
 However, the ASD is not satisfied and they want to see that higher.           
 This bill will make that difficult.                                           
 MR. WIGET added that paper costs have increased 45 percent,                   
 therefore he would not provide his testimony on paper, but rather             
 simply read it.  The ASD has cut, over the past years, millions of            
 dollars from its budgets.  This past year, the ASD has increased              
 its pupil-teacher ratio an average of one in the elementary schools           
 and two in the secondary.                                                     
 Number 1730                                                                   
 MR. WIGET said the ASD has all but eliminated library aides,                  
 restructured the elementary music program, eliminated aide                    
 positions, cut a million dollars in technology funds and has been             
 unable to keep up with instructional technology in the schools.               
 MR. WIGET added that the ASD has delayed the purchase of new buses.           
 In essence, this cut would be, at this point in time, a tremendous            
 blow.  The ASD has trimmed the fat from the budget, they are into             
 the meat.  It is the students that will suffer.                               
 Number 1756                                                                   
 KAREN DOXEY, Parent representative, Glacier Valley Site Council,              
 said parents are interested, and they are involved, they just often           
 don't know when to leap into the legislative process to testify.              
 She gets most of her contact with parents at school meetings,                 
 soccer games, etc.  Therefore, she has a fair idea of what a lot of           
 parents are thinking.                                                         
 MS. DOXEY said schools in Juneau and in the state have had their              
 funding cut and cut again.  Some positive things have come from               
 that.  Like a family, in hard economic times districts have come              
 together, decided what is important, and have become flexible and             
 resourceful.  However, no matter how flexible and resourceful they            
 are, districts still need the basic resources to function.                    
 MS. DOXEY wished she could take HESS Committee members into Glacier           
 Valley School for one day to see how those resources are spread               
 around.  There is a part-time reading specialist that travels from            
 class to class. There is also a half-time counselor who spends his            
 lunch time with children hoping he can open the door to them. The             
 children can look at his schedule and see when he will be there.              
 Number 1804                                                                   
 MS. DOXEY said there is a half-time music teacher, who miraculously           
 gets concerts put on.  Some children get the opportunity to feel              
 special.  She wishes that could be for all children.  HB 230 would            
 raise class sizes again.  The schools are already way above the               
 district recommendations.  On paper, children are only numbers.               
 However, if one could imagine his or her kindergarten student                 
 sitting in a class with 27 other children trying to feel special              
 and understand what is going on, that is where it becomes real.               
 MS. DOXEY said HESS Committee members may think parents do not want           
 to pay for education.   They want education but they do not want to           
 pay for it.  She has heard time and time again from parents that              
 they want the state income tax reinstated.  They did not mind                 
 paying it, and they don't know why it went away.  Let's do it                 
 MS. DOXEY said those are things that have to be looked at.  The               
 foundation formula, the education budget and the federal                      
 restrictions all have to be addressed.  However, that is not a                
 reason to penalize the students this year.  Therefore, she asked              
 that HB 230 be abandoned, and support be given to HB 101 which                
 provides for maintenance funding for the current year.                        
 Number 1860                                                                   
 KIMBERLY HOMME', teacher, Gruening Middle School, said she is in              
 Juneau on spring break on her own money, and she wanted to say that           
 maintaining the funding for the next two years would be detrimental           
 to education in Anchorage, particularly in urban areas.  Therefore,           
 there is no way the AD will make it with less considering that                
 projected enrollments are increasing.                                         
 MS. HOMME' is concerned that the large number of students in the              
 classrooms make it an unsafe environment.  The education                      
 environment is more of a crowd control issue than a fun place to              
 learn new things.  Ms. Homme' has a classroom that is not really a            
 classroom.  It is a converted rifle range.  It has cement floors,             
 no windows and hanging fluorescent lights.  It is not a traditional           
 classroom, and the reason it is there is because the physical                 
 education (PE) classes are too crowded at 122 percent of capacity.            
 Therefore, students need to come to her classroom for a quarter to            
 be without PE to take a class in study skills.                                
 MS. HOMME' said the students survive her class, but they are not in           
 PE with their friends.  The point is, in other areas of the school,           
 the eighth grade classes are at 35 and more students.  This makes             
 learning difficult.  The violence in those classrooms increases.              
 There is more detention and suspension.                                       
 MS. HOMME' worked on an after-school discipline committee with                
 other teachers on their own time in an attempt to figure out what             
 to do about this new wave of violence in the classroom and in the             
 school.  The teachers are working on this, but they cannot do it              
 alone.  She urged HESS Committee members to amend HB 230 to reflect           
 more of the Governor's proposal of an increase with an additional             
 $18 million to reduce the class sizes so teachers can educate the             
 students of Alaska more efficiently.                                          
 Number 1942                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he would like nothing better than to do what              
 Ms. Homme' asked, if he could.  Several people have said that                 
 parents are being united by these problems.  Co-Chair Bunde heard             
 from an Anchorage parent that day who was very resentful that money           
 is not being well-spent because some schools have a language-                 
 immersion program, polar school, all-day kindergarten.  The schools           
 have nice things, unfortunately, the time has come when only the              
 necessary is possible.                                                        
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the rifle range is a nice idea.  He said if it            
 had been constructed on a necessary basis, it would have been a               
 classroom.  Co-Chair Bunde said his wife started teaching                     
 kindergarten with 30 children.  When Co-Chair Bunde began teaching            
 in the district the educational fad was classrooms with no walls.             
 Last year the state funded the last walls for those wall-less                 
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Ms. Homme' to understand the frustration of              
 the public.  Money has not solved many of the problems.                       
 Number 1990                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS said he knows Ms. Homme' and he knows how           
 hard she works.  She puts a lot of dedication into her job.                   
 Representative Davis used to work with her at the city of Soldotna.           
 He asked her to not feel alone as someone who is still in the line            
 of fire.  Everyone feels the same.                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG asked if Gruening Middle School was            
 in the Eagle River/Chugiak area on the Capital Improvement Planning           
 request for the city of Anchorage.                                            
 MS. HOMME' answered that there is a school that is going to built             
 in South Anchorage that she is aware of.  It is on line for two or            
 three years from now.                                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked about Eagle River.                              
 MS. HOMME' said that two schools were going in, one in South                  
 Anchorage and one in Eagle River.                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said his colleagues from around the state             
 are looking into this squeeze problem.                                        
 Number 2023                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON appreciated the testimony from Ms.              
 Homme'.  Ms. Homme' brought up the fact that Governor Knowles has             
 been able to find a way to provide money.  Everyone sitting at the            
 HESS Committee meeting is saying the state does not have the money            
 and it cannot be done.  Representative Robinson wanted to know how            
 Governor Knowles found a way to put $18 million into schools while            
 leaving the IU at $61,000.                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said when committee members say funding               
 cannot happen, they are forgetting that it has happened in the                
 budget that has been presented to the legislature.                            
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE thanked Ms. Homme' for testifying in Juneau and                
 spending her own money to do so.  She said her husband works in               
 Number 2045                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE suggested that if Co-Chair Bunde's parent            
 in Anchorage does have those concerns that she address the school             
 board with those concerns because that is where those decisions are           
 made.  The school boards need to have the adequate funding.                   
 KRISTINE HARDER, Chair, Gastineau Parents Advisory Committee, said            
 she represents all of Douglas Island.  She asked her principal if             
 she was sure she really wanted Ms. Harder to testify at the HESS              
 Committee meeting.  There may be people in her school who would not           
 agree with what she is about to say.                                          
 MS. HARDER said she is in the very fortunate position of being able           
 to be a full-time parent.  Therefore, she volunteers in the schools           
 twice a week.  She thinks she has a very good grasp of what is                
 going on concerning the cuts that have taken place.   It all comes            
 down to the fact that these cuts are not going to affect her                  
 children.  And it is not going to affect the children who are in              
 the upper 25 percent of their classes.                                        
 Number 2100                                                                   
 MS. HARDER said her school's jurisdiction contains two housing                
 projects.  There are children who have been sexually abused and who           
 are suffering fetal alcohol effects, and whose parents drink to               
 excess.  There is really a sad state of affairs and the counseling            
 position had to be cut to half-time.  This means the teacher is               
 trying to deal with those children as well as the children with               
 Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), as well as the regular children,            
 like Ms. Harder's, who may only be a cut-up part of the time.                 
 MS. HARDER explained that the teacher therefore must deal with all            
 this.  Both of the teachers Ms. Harder works with are excellent.              
 One of them, Nina Massey, should be teacher of the year.  When Ms.            
 Harder is in the classroom helping students with math, there are              
 some children who simply cannot grasp how to carry numbers.  They             
 just do not get it.                                                           
 MS. HARDER said therefore, it is the children whose parents would             
 not come to testify, the kids whose parents do not help with their            
 homework, that are going to be going on the welfare rolls.  She               
 said it is her concern that this a way of adding to the                       
 disintegration of our society.                                                
 MS. HARDER announced that her principal would probably not want her           
 to say these next statements.  However, she asked HESS Committee              
 members to table HB 230 and help the schools deal with tenure                 
 before the cuts come along.  The district's hands are tied.                   
 Number 2140                                                                   
 MS. HARDER is from a union town, but this is the way she feels.               
 She is happy to pay income tax and give up her permanent fund.                
 However, she does not know how the schools can handle the cuts from           
 this bill unless the districts are provided with some other way to            
 deal with the cuts.                                                           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said Ms. Harder touched on a very important point.             
 Some parents do not help their kids with homework, and the state              
 cannot spend enough money to buy personal responsibility.                     
 Number 2172                                                                   
 CATHY CONNOR, Parent, commented on how she knows schools must carry           
 a large burden these days.  Teachers have to be parents and moral             
 counselors, and they must feed everyone.  They are asked to do a              
 lot more than in the past.  However, if they don't do it, it will             
 not get done, society is at that point.  Anyway parents can help              
 the state, they will do it.                                                   
 MS. CONNOR's young son, Colin, sat on her lap as she testified.               
 She patted him and said, "This is why we are all here."  She asked            
 HESS Committee members to remember that.                                      
 Number 2215                                                                   
 NANCY DeCHERNEY, Parent, said she used to be on the site council at           
 Auke Bay last year for the cuts.  The outcome of the cuts was                 
 pretty dramatic.  Now, for example, there is a half-time librarian            
 who is also a gym teacher.  Ms. DeCherney supports HESS Committee             
 members in trying to cut costs and trying to contain costs.  It has           
 also been mentioned that this does not leave the schools with many            
 ways to deal with expenses and situations.                                    
 MS. DeCHERNEY said the schools cannot lay off tenured teachers, but           
 there is the problem of how those teachers are going to be paid.              
 That is something that needs to be addressed.  Tenure is a pretty             
 touchy issue, and Ms. DeCherney understands both sides of it.                 
 MS. DeCHERNEY said Auke Bay is out of white construction paper.               
 There are 29 seven-year-olds in a room the size of the HESS                   
 Committee room.  It is really difficult there.  Ms. DeCherney                 
 spends a lot of her time volunteering at the school, and right now,           
 parents are raising money for playground equipment.  There would              
 not be playground equipment at Auke Bay School if there had not               
 been fund raisers.                                                            
 Number 2260                                                                   
 MS. DeCHERNEY said the quality of education in a community is what            
 attracts people.  As a state, there is a high level of educated               
 people and a high level of education.  She asked that the level not           
 be dropped.  It is an important investment in the state's future.             
 Education is an economic necessity.                                           
 Number 2277                                                                   
 MS. DeCHERNEY participated in the "Look to a Book" program fund               
 raiser, and she had no problem getting people to give money to                
 education.  It is across the board, people are willing to fund                
 projects that will increase the educational level of children.  The           
 money may not be in the budget, but people are willing to pay for             
 it.  She asked legislators to look for places to cut.                         
 MS. DeCHERNEY said Auke Bay school operates on a paper and glue               
 fund that is less than a state agency of 45 people.  There are 568            
 children making snow flakes on less paper than a state agency uses.           
 Ms. DeCherney asked the state to look at the operating budget at              
 Auke Bay more closely.  She thought education needs to be funded,             
 and educators need the tools to work with.  She wished the HESS               
 Committee members good luck.                                                  
 TAPE 95-22, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked Ms. DeCherney if the librarian/PE               
 teacher also gets no break.                                                   
 MS. DeCHERNEY said the only break that teacher gets is running in             
 between classes.                                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said tenure seems to also be an issue                 
 because of the serious cuts schools are having to take.  The bottom           
 line is that most people believe teachers are doing a good job.               
 She asked if Ms. DeCherney felt teachers have also become a victim            
 of funding loss.                                                              
 MS. DeCHERNEY said that everyone will experience "trauma" from the            
 cuts.  This is for both the kids and teachers.  Ms. DeCherney                 
 challenged anyone in the HESS Committee room to spend a day with a            
 class full of children.                                                       
 Number 074                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that the people most critical of education have           
 never spent a day in the classroom.                                           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE mentioned that Representative Davis has a bill that            
 addresses her concern.  The bill will reduce the state's use of               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said the fiscal note on Representative                
 Davis's bill is zero, therefore she does not think the state will             
 get much money from it.                                                       
 Number 143                                                                    
 JUNE HALL, Parent, said she has two children in the Juneau School             
 District.  A lot of good points have been brought up in the                   
 meeting, however, Ms. Hall sees that parents want their children to           
 be well-educated and safe.  They want this more than anything                 
 because that is their future.  It is the responsibility of the                
 state to help with that goal.  If it takes reorganization or new              
 taxes or whatever, that is more important than cutting the funding            
 for education.                                                                
 MS. HALL said it seems that Alaska is in a unique position.  Even             
 though the state is far removed from the Lower 48, it is not behind           
 the times and trends.  Actually, Alaska is in a good position to              
 see the future, because what has happened in the Lower 48 will                
 eventually happen in Alaska.                                                  
 MS. HALL said Alaskans can see the results of lack of funding for             
 education in the Lower 48.  Therefore, Alaska is well-positioned to           
 prevent a lot of things that have happened Outside from happening             
 here.  Cutting funding for education will bring Alaska a host of              
 unwanted problems.                                                            
 Number 259                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY handed out a sheet showing the level and                      
 composition of school revenue from 1991.  Alaska is the third                 
 highest in the nation, following New York and New Jersey.  Alaska             
 is very high in terms of funding.                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said the sheet does not take into account                
 certain extremely rural districts that have a very high cost-per-             
 student.  Whereas, when looking at Anchorage and Fairbanks, the               
 average cost per student drops to $5,000 to $6,000.  This chart               
 does not take into account the extreme circumstances that exist in            
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he remembers the cost-per-student is over                 
 $7,000 in Anchorage.  However, Representative Brice's point is                
 well-taken.  At Mt. Edgecumbe, the cost per student is $15,000.  In           
 the Bristol Bay area, it is over $30,000 per student.  Co-Chair               
 Bunde has a list of communities over three pages long that pay zero           
 local support to their public schools.  There are 21 schools in the           
 state that have 12 or fewer students.  Each of these schools costs            
 $160,000 a year to run.                                                       
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE, if allowed, would close all those schools and put             
 the money where the majority of students are.  It is not against              
 the law to close those schools.  The Molly Hootch decision was not            
 a law, it was an agreement that ran out two years ago.  It was an             
 agreement to spend state money.                                               
 Number 437                                                                    
 MARTY LASTER, Superintendent, Craig School District, knew the HESS            
 Committee members were expecting him to advocate schools.  However,           
 he is also a parent and a taxpayer.  Mr. Laster hoped to bring a              
 different perspective to the testimony.  People have spoken                   
 eloquently, and he knows HESS Committee members are concerned about           
 the reductions.                                                               
 MR. LASTER spoke in terms of a pledge school districts have made to           
 taxpayers.  The legislature has moved ahead the commitment to an              
 improved educational system and to raising standards.  Legislators            
 correctly want districts to be more accountable.  They want                   
 districts to take responsibility for their students.  The                     
 communities want the same thing.  The district staff wants to do              
 the same thing.                                                               
 Number 519                                                                    
 MR. LASTER believes schools are responding in good faith.  The                
 community demands no less.  Mr. Laster respects the comments of Co-           
 Chair Bunde.  All people in the state are in this together.  This             
 is a statewide issue.  Mr. Laster has been involved in education              
 for about 17 years.  It sometimes gets dangerous when people talk             
 about a librarian here versus the cost of education there versus              
 basketball costs here.                                                        
 MR. LASTER stressed that each district is very different, and local           
 choices must be made.  Mr. Laster said his school is small.  There            
 are currently 400 students.  He came from an assistant                        
 superintendent position in Mat-Su, where there was closer to 12,000           
 students.  However, the growth in Craig is probably the greatest in           
 the state.  They went from 141 students in 1984 to 400 currently.             
 MR. LASTER said Craig would benefit from a lower PTR (pupil-teacher           
 ratio) in the first through third grades.   However, they would not           
 want to have this at the expense of other schools.  Teachers are              
 working extremely hard.  They are taking that pledge in terms of              
 the work they do each day.  In addition, they are working to raise            
 the expectations in each of the content areas.  They are outlining            
 performance-based assessments so people can come into the schools             
 and see how well students communicate.                                        
 Number 657                                                                    
 MR. LASTER said people can see the kinds of operations that                   
 students perform in his school.  His staff works extremely hard.              
 They are honoring the investment that legislators make in the                 
 schools.  He echoed a former speaker.  While he fully supports full           
 funding, he would rather see late, adequate funding.  He                      
 appreciates the sincere struggle legislators have with the public             
 trust for Alaska's youth.                                                     
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said Mr. Laster's point on the local options and               
 local applications is well-taken.  The state is providing the                 
 money, therefore there will be strings.  In Tanana, the district              
 charters airplanes to send the basketball teams back and forth to             
 play neighboring areas.  In the meantime, in Sitka they had to give           
 up their speech therapist.                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the challenge faced is an awesome one.  While             
 he supports local control, when the state signs the check there               
 must be local involvement as well.                                            
 Number 723                                                                    
 MR. LASTER suggested that the infrastructure across the state is              
 different, and therefore it makes it difficult to compare having              
 access through different means like the ferry versus roads versus             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asserted that there must be priorities, such as                
 speech therapists and the A B Cs.  Somewhere down the line is                 
 MR. LASTER said he appreciates that and thanked the committee.                
 Number 781                                                                    
 MICHAEL ALLEN, Member of the Gastineau School Site Council,                   
 adjunct faculty member at the University of Alaska Southeast and              
 member of the Juneau business community, said he has listened to              
 the litany of whines, complaints, fears and legitimate issues that            
 everyone faces regarding education funding in Alaska.  He does not            
 want to add to the eloquently stated issues.  He wanted to                    
 challenge the Governor and the legislature to prove to parents that           
 education has a top priority in this state.                                   
 MR. ALLEN said for the legislature to sit and say there is no                 
 money, and nothing can be done, is wrong.  It is a reflection that            
 education has been a low priority.  Education needs to be placed in           
 the number one, top priority.  There is no single investment the              
 state can make that will provide Alaska with a better short and               
 long-term return on the money.                                                
 Number 840                                                                    
 MR. ALLEN said he went through a gruesome process of budget cutting           
 in Gastineau last year.  That did result in creative and flexible             
 resource use in the school.  However, there are incomplete computer           
 stations and not enough books and papers.  Teachers are spending              
 thousands of dollars of their own money just to supply pencils and            
 crayons in their classrooms.                                                  
 MR. ALLEN again challenged HESS Committee members, and he said he             
 would keep challenging them.  Parents will vote accordingly.  He              
 asked that education be made a priority, and that a way be found to           
 fund it.  He asked them to look at creative options and/or put in             
 an income tax and/or take away the permanent fund.  He asked them             
 to have political courage and not worry about whether or not they             
 are re-elected.                                                               
 MR. ALLEN said it is more important that Alaska's children get a              
 good education.                                                               
 Number 899                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE reminded Mr. Allen that the largest single                     
 expenditure in the state was education.  Some people would call it            
 political courage, and others would call it a dictatorship.                   
 Everyone must be involved to reach a consensus.                               
 JACK KREINHEDER, Policy Analyst, Office of Management and Budget              
 OMB), said he was representing the OMB in his remarks.  He wished             
 to speak about a different aspect of the bill, which is the fund              
 source.  It is an appropriation from the constitutional budget                
 reserve.  To sum up, the Administration has serious concerns about            
 the appropriation from the fund source.  The Administration is not            
 stating outright opposition to the bill, but would like to indicate           
 MR. KREINHEDER said the Administration felt the bill may be                   
 premature given those concerns.  Perhaps it should not be passed at           
 this point.  Firstly, the bill would take a large amount of money,            
 $1.4 billion, off the table and out of the state's largest source             
 of reserve fund.  The concern there is the reduction in the state's           
 reserves and the ability to offset any unexpected decline in oil              
 prices or production.                                                         
 MR. KREINHEDER said the second concern is that the Administration             
 feels this bill preempts the fiscal commission that was just                  
 established by the legislature less than one month ago.                       
 Appropriating $1.4 billion from the budget reserve fund would take            
 one of the major elements of any long-range fiscal or budget plan             
 out of the commission's purview.  If the legislature is serious               
 about letting the commission work, it would be a good idea to hear            
 what it has to say before that decision is made.                              
 Number 1018                                                                   
 MR. KREINHEDER continued that the Administration is concerned that            
 this action of depleting the state's reserves by $1.4 billion could           
 potentially jeopardize Alaska's bond rating.  The Department of               
 Revenue (DOR) has some concerns.  It believes the bond rating                 
 agencies look at the balance of that budget reserve fund as one of            
 the factors that gives them comfort that the state can pay its                
 MR. KREINHEDER said that is a bit of an unknown, but it does raise            
 MR. KREINHEDER added that the fourth concern is one of the most               
 serious problems.  It is that appropriating $1.4 billion from the             
 budget reserve may put Alaska in a cash flow deficit situation.  In           
 other words, even though the budget theoretically balances for FY             
 96 or FY 97, since so much of the state's money goes out in July of           
 the fiscal year in all the various grants and construction monies,            
 etc., if the balance of the budget reserve is brought down below a            
 certain point, the state may actually run out of cash.                        
 MR. KREINHEDER said in such a case, the legislature will start                
 hearing from a lot of state employees who are not getting their               
 paychecks, among other things.                                                
 Number 1088                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said there was $14 billion in the state savings                
 account, and asked why the OMB was worried about the bond rating.             
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked, "What bonds?"                                  
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked what the balance was in the budget reserve.             
 MR. KREINHEDER said the balance at the end of this year, short of             
 an appropriation such as this, would be about $1.6 billion.                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY thinks it is important for people to know that this           
 is a two year, forward funding budget for the schools.  Certainly,            
 this can be made a one-year appropriation, and then the legislature           
 can take the chance that oil prices go down.  In that case, the               
 funding would even be less next year.  People should realize that.            
 Number 1130                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG is concerned about the reasons Mr.                    
 Kreinheder stated.  He said he either does not understand them or             
 does not find them troublesome at all.  He is particularly not                
 concerned about the last item.  As was just mentioned, this is                
 forward funding.  In terms of cash flow, it can either be funded              
 today or funded 12 months from now.  Representative Rokeberg asked            
 what the difference was.                                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said the idea here is to provide the school           
 districts with some additional funding because, if he is not                  
 mistaken, the schools will receive the interest on that money for             
 the following fiscal year.  Therefore, there would be a cash flow             
 increase to the district, not to the budget reserve fund.                     
 Representative Rokeberg said he did not understand Mr. Kreinheder's           
 MR. KREINHEDER said he would be happy to have a representative of             
 the Department of Revenue speak to that.                                      
 LIZ JOHNSON, Parent, said her children attend Juneau-Douglas High             
 School (JDHS).  She can see that people are talking about public              
 education, but education continues into adulthood also.  She is               
 alarmed at the intent of HB 230 to control state spending at the              
 expense of students' education.  She strongly requested that the              
 funding at the very least be maintained at the current IU level of            
 MS. JOHNSON is aware that over the last few years salaries and                
 benefits have increased for staff across the state.  This is a                
 problem that must surely be addressed, but not in such a manner               
 that compromises educational quality.                                         
 Number 1210                                                                   
 MS. JOHNSON said a reduction in the foundation formula will                   
 directly hit the average student, who are the majority in the                 
 schools.  Many needs of special education students receive support            
 from federal funds or grants.  She speaks for many of the parents             
 in the high school and locally, and they request that any increase            
 that might be granted to the education budget or even a portion of            
 those that are left be directly tied in with restrictions for their           
 MS. JOHNSON said in this way, qualitative items such as curriculum            
 development, lower PTRs, etc., are more effectively achieved.                 
 Perhaps instead of talking budgets, and who or what should get how            
 much, the state should be discussing such issues as tenure laws,              
 and whether members of the public, as teachers and parents, are               
 meeting the future needs of the students.                                     
 MS. JOHNSON asked about the methods available for evaluating what             
 is going on in the schools.                                                   
 Number 1255                                                                   
 MS. JOHNSON continued that it is time to put the delivery of                  
 education at the top of the list.  The children as individuals, not           
 as crowded groups, should come first.  In the end, these efforts              
 will result in a more efficient and effective use for each dollar             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said there will be a work session next week on a               
 bill that would radically revise tenure and some other issues.  Co-           
 Chair Bunde said Ms. Johnson hit a very important point.  The                 
 largest state expenditure is education, and somewhere between 82              
 percent and 87 percent of that goes to salary and benefits.  It               
 does not end up in the classroom.  The bill will call for a lower             
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said the bill to which Co-Chair Bunde was referring           
 was HB 217.                                                                   
 Number 1295                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said Ms. Johnson hit an interesting point                
 about how the state should be treating its children as individuals            
 and not as crowded groups.  However, then she related back to the             
 need to repeal tenure laws.  Representative Brice believes the                
 repeal of tenure laws may result in the increase of the PTRs                  
 because many teachers have been cut.  This may be done to a point             
 where the state may be simply warehousing children.                           
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said that is a concern tenure helps to                   
 address.  It does provide some protection to teachers in that area.           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced that the working group on HB 217 would be            
 on March 29 at 3 p.m.                                                         
 Number 1345                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON noticed that Co-Chair Toohey is putting the           
 public school finance program out.  Maybe after everyone else has             
 testified, Duane Guiley,  Director of School Finance, Department of           
 Education, could come forward and compare Alaska with the Lower 48.           
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said she got that information from Mr. Guiley.                
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said it would still be helpful if he would            
 come forward and go through those figures.                                    
 Number 1375                                                                   
 CATHERINE FRITZ, Parent, said she has three children.  Two of them            
 are in the public school system and one is, very intentionally, in            
 a private school this year.  She said people have alluded to the              
 fact that we are all trying to do more with less.  Teachers work              
 long hours, and they somehow manage to be gym teachers and                    
 librarians.  Students work hard, both a school and at home.                   
 Parents are also working very hard.                                           
 MS. FRITZ said personally, she has been very involved with bringing           
 a private program, formerly a private education curriculum, into              
 the public Juneau School District.  This has been done very                   
 successfully this year.  Part of the reason the program was able to           
 be started is because 17 children were brought from the private               
 sector to the public schools.  This allowed an instructional unit             
 to come into the public school system.                                        
 MS. FRITZ said she is concerned that if the legislature starts                
 cutting away at the already existing funding, the opportunity for             
 bringing in alternative programs to provide choices to parents is             
 going to be even more reduced and more difficult than it is now.              
 Number 1428                                                                   
 MS. FRITZ said in order to even keep this program going this year,            
 the parents and the 27 children in the classroom have raised over             
 $11,000.  Ms. Fritz personally gave a portion of her dividend check           
 to Harborview school to be able to make this program work. There              
 are many, many people who are doing that.                                     
 MS. FRITZ thinks decreasing funding is going to make the situation            
 worse in the long run.  The state is at the point where many people           
 are barely hanging in there with public schools.  If the classrooms           
 are made larger, the choices diminished, if more problems are given           
 to a teacher in a classroom day, teachers are going to say they               
 have had enough and leave.                                                    
 MS. FRITZ said she is fortunate enough to afford options.  However,           
 many people cannot.  The state cannot get down to serving the basic           
 education needed for Alaska's children if funding is continually              
 diminished.  She asked HESS Committee members to at least let the             
 schools keep the status quo funding.                                          
 MS. FRITZ said ideally, the schools need more money.  She asked               
 that funding be constantly addressed, that options be kept open so            
 parents want their children in public schools.                                
 Number 1475                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said Ms. Fritz hit an important point, that the                
 funding does provide options.  Some want those options and some do            
 SALLY RUE, Parent, said she has two children and she has been an              
 involved parent ever since they started school in Anchorage.  Since           
 then, they have moved to Juneau.  The quality of her children's               
 education means more to her than keeping her permanent fund                   
 dividend high, or not paying income taxes, or not paying school               
 tax.  As a parent, she would be happy to pay those things because             
 education is important for Alaska's children.                                 
 MS. RUE said each child only goes through each grade one time.  If            
 the education is not right, you cannot go back and do it over                 
 MS. RUE also served on the Juneau Board of Education.  She would              
 like to present some information for the consideration of the HESS            
 Committee members.  She understands it is difficult, and                      
 legislators may feel they keep putting more money into education.             
 From the view of the Board of Education, the district already feels           
 like it has been tightening its belt for years.                               
 MS. RUE explained that over the last eight years, inflation has               
 been around 24 percent.  There has been a 1.6 percent increase in             
 the foundation formula.  That means for years, the Juneau School              
 District has had to chip away at programs.  It has gotten to the              
 point where non-personnel costs are down to 8 percent of the                  
 MS. RUE said everything that could be cut, has been cut.  Last                
 year, the district was forced to make a $2.5 million cut.  This was           
 out of what maintenance funding would be.  The only way the                   
 district could come up with that amount of money, out of a $35                
 million budget, was to cut all nontenured teachers.  This district            
 has worked very hard to keep class size low.  Last year, the                  
 district was forced to lay off all nontenured teachers because                
 there was no way to deal with that kind of cut.                               
 Number 1576                                                                   
 MS. RUE said the district is looking at a $1.2 million cut this               
 year, just to be able to balance the budget.  This is on top of all           
 the other cuts.  That is also taking even funding into                        
 consideration--the funding that the Governor proposed.  HB 230                
 would mean that the district would lose yet another $500,000 in               
 state funding, plus lose $109,000 in local funding.                           
 MS. RUE said many things can be said about Juneau, but Juneau pays            
 its fair share in education.  This year, 36 percent of the                    
 district's budget comes from local funding.  As the district is               
 proposing a budget for next year, the local contribution will                 
 increase to 38 percent.  Juneau is at the cap.  If basic need is              
 cut, it will take away the ability of the Juneau community to                 
 support education.  HESS Committee members heard testimony that               
 shows people are very supportive of education, and they are willing           
 to help pay for it.                                                           
 Number 1622                                                                   
 MS. RUE thought that was the direction the state is trying to go.             
 HB 230 means going backwards for Juneau in terms of local support.            
 Some of the results of cutting the nontenured teachers last year              
 was larger class sizes this year.  This is tough on teachers, it is           
 tough on children and parents also.  The district is trying to deal           
 with this in a number of ways.  The district is looking at some               
 very creative solutions.  However, it cannot be expected that a               
 service be provided when the funding goes down every year in real             
 dollars.  This is what is happening because of inflation.                     
 Number 1645                                                                   
 MS. RUE said that offerings at the high school had to be cut.                 
 Nurses, counselors and librarians had to be cut mostly back to                
 half-time.  Children need medicine, and receptionists and                     
 secretaries in the school offices are dispensing serious                      
 medications to students.  They feel very uncomfortable about that.            
 MS. RUE thinks the hardest thing is that the district is trying               
 very hard to improve education, not just keep it status quo.  When            
 class sizes are going up, it is very difficult to ask teachers to             
 perform more hands-on learning.  Everyone knows kids learn better             
 when they are doing things.  There has been a lot of research to              
 this effect.  This is better than the old model of a teacher                  
 standing at the front of a classroom.                                         
 MS. RUE said however, they have larger class sizes and less money,            
 and that makes it harder to do those things.  It is harder when               
 there are less materials.  When there is a lower nonpersonnel                 
 budget there are less materials for kids in a class and it is                 
 harder for teachers to do innovative things.  That is one of the              
 biggest binds. Ms. Rue invited all the HESS Committee members out             
 to the Juneau schools to see the good things that are going on.               
 Number 1700                                                                   
 MS. RUE said the Juneau district is trying very hard to do a better           
 job in a lot of different ways.  However, it is harder and harder             
 with higher class sizes.  She urged HESS Committee members to                 
 please keep the funding level.                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said that people are talking about HB 215             
 regarding tenured teachers.  Some people feel a bill such as this             
 will solve the problem, and that Alaska can continue with this                
 bill, maintain funding at the same level, not put any increase in             
 PTRs, and just deal with the tenured teacher problem and that will            
 solve the problem.  Representative Robinson sought Ms. Rue's                  
 opinion on this, and if she thought it would help the Juneau school           
 Number 1742                                                                   
 MS. RUE said she thought a bill concerning tenured teachers would             
 not solve Juneau's problem because Juneau's problem lies in the               
 fact that it does not have enough teachers in the classroom.                  
 MS. RUE said the Juneau district is looking at all sorts of ways to           
 contain costs.  As everyone is aware, the district is in the middle           
 of negotiating contracts.  The district is looking at all sorts of            
 significant ways to keep providing quality education.                         
 MS. RUE thought, however, that one of the things a tenure-related             
 bill would do would be to give the district some flexibility.  It             
 is not going to help to get rid of many teachers.  However, what              
 might help is to have more flexibility so the district can make               
 priorities and hire the teachers needed to teach certain subjects,            
 and to provide the programs necessary.                                        
 MS. RUE felt it was not a good thing to have a teacher who has                
 tenure shunted off teaching something they are not prepared to                
 teach and do not want to teach.  It is not good for them, and it is           
 not good for children.   Ms. Rue said therefore, tenure issues are            
 not entirely the solution here.                                               
 Number 1767                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he does not share the notion that getting rid             
 of tenure will solve the problems in teaching.  He is concerned               
 that school boards will simply fire expensive teachers, and budget            
 problems in those districts would be solved in that manner.                   
 However, that is a discussion that will take place this week.                 
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON thought there is sometimes an assumption              
 that the whole problem lies with tenured teachers instead of the              
 fact that there is not enough funding.  She is not saying that                
 people sitting in the meeting felt that way, but sometimes there is           
 a public perception to that effect.                                           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the problem lies with that 80-90 percent of               
 revenue goes to salaries and benefits.  It is a very challenging              
 Number 1800                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said if a district could hire 10 teachers for a               
 certain sum of money, or 20 teachers for that same sum, the                   
 district would certainly hire 20.  That is where everyone's hands             
 are tied.  There is no way to reasonably balance the money problem.           
 That is where the changes must be made.                                       
 MS. RUE said last year the district instituted a local retirement             
 incentive program.  Because of this program, the district was able            
 to hire about eight more lower cost teachers.                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked for the starting salary of a Juneau             
 school teacher.                                                               
 MS. RUE believed it is between $31,000 and $32,000.  It is right in           
 the middle of the state range.  This amount includes benefits.                
 Number 1849                                                                   
 CLAUDIA DOUGLAS, President, National Education Association (NEA) -            
 Alaska, said her organization is opposed to HB 230.  NEA Alaska has           
 attempted to present the case for funding of Alaska's public                  
 schools.  Preparation of children for the challenges of the coming            
 century is critical to the economic development of Alaska.  The               
 jobs of the future will demand that Alaska's people develop special           
 technical and academic skills to master new challenges.  Schools ar           
 attempting to teach those skills today.                                       
 MS. DOUGLAS said both parents and school employees recognize the              
 problems concerning children in 1995, and they do not compare to              
 the problems we experienced as children.  The school of 1995 has a            
 totally different set of challenges than the schools of 1975, 1965,           
 or 1955.  The reality is that the pressures and the expectations              
 demanded of our public schools for the most part go unfunded.                 
 Number 1883                                                                   
 MS. DOUGLAS had some prepared remarks, but she wanted to go on                
 record with only a few of them.  For the ten-year period between              
 1983 and 1993, school enrollment in Alaska grew by more than 25,000           
 students.  This is slightly less than 26 percent.  Alaska has                 
 historically ranked in the top ten states nationally in the                   
 percentage of increase in student enrollment from one year to the             
 MS. DOUGLAS said in 1983 Alaska ranked eighth nationally, and in              
 1993, Alaska ranked fourth in the percent change in public                    
 enrollment from the previous year.  From 1984-1993, public schools            
 in Alaska employed 762 new teachers to accommodate the growth and             
 to address new instructional priorities such as special education,            
 alternative programs and so forth.  Even though districts hired               
 more full-time equivalent of teachers, the PTR increased from 15.2            
 percent in 1983 to 17.1 percent in 1993.  During that period,                 
 teachers had more children while at the same time they implemented            
 new programs to address the needs of the changing student                     
 MS. DOUGLAS said teachers and staff were doing more with                      
 diminishing state support.  At the same time, the Administration              
 and the legislature sent ominous messages about the health and                
 welfare of public education.  Since 1986, public education has                
 suffered severe financial setbacks.  Correlated with the drop in              
 oil prices, state support for public education was severely cut               
 MS. DOUGLAS said between 1985-86 and 1986-87 school years, the                
 level of state support dropped by 15 percent.  During Alaska's                
 first year as a state, the appropriation for supporting public                
 education was 44 percent of the total operating budget.                       
 Number 1953                                                                   
 MS. DOUGLAS continued that ten years later, in 1970-71, that level            
 of support had dropped to 35 percent.  During the year of 1990-91,            
 the total share for K-12 education was 17 percent of the operating            
 budget.  Even when local financial commitments are taken into                 
 consideration, the total Alaska level of funding for public                   
 education is poor.  Again, this has not always been the case.                 
 During its first decade as a state, 30 to 38 percent of all the               
 state and local operating expenditures went into public education.            
 MS. DOUGLAS added that during the 1987-88 year, when the new                  
 funding formula was put into place, the IU value was at $60,000.              
 This level, in itself was 8 percent lower than the rate of the                
 state's support from the previous school year.  The unit has been             
 adjusted only one time.                                                       
 MS. DOUGLAS commented that children have not been the only ones to            
 pay a price for inadequate funding.                                           
 Number 1988                                                                   
 MS. DOUGLAS felt it was a misconception that Alaska's teachers have           
 continued to get these great increases in salary.  School                     
 employees, through cuts and freezes in compensations and benefits,            
 have subsidized the cost of public education in many places.  From            
 1983 to 1993, the national average for salaries increased by 62.9             
 percent.  In comparison, the average salary for Alaska's teachers             
 increased by 23.2 percent.                                                    
 MS. DOUGLAS said from 1992 to 1993, the percent change in the                 
 average salary for public school teachers was 1.2 percent.  In                
 comparison to what the total population has done, from 1982 to 1992           
 the percent of change in Alaska's per capita personal income was 30           
 percent.  Again, this is compared to teacher's salaries going up 23           
 Number 2020                                                                   
 MS. DOUGLAS made one final comment.  The NEA urges the HESS                   
 Committee members to not cut the funding level for students that              
 are currently in the schools and for students that are coming into            
 the system.  There is a going to be a large increase in enrollment            
 in Alaska in the next ten years.                                              
 MS. DOUGLAS said there has been wonderful testimony from parents              
 and people from all over Alaska.  She urged HESS Committee members            
 to reconsider HB 230.   Ms. Douglas said she would be providing a             
 copy of the position paper for HESS Committee members.                        
 Number 2047                                                                   
 DUANE GUILEY, Director of School Finance, Department of Education             
 (DOE), said the current Administration supports full and early                
 funding for education.  It recognizes the legislature is trying to            
 deal with this funding issue early, and that is appreciated.                  
 However, HB 230 does fall short of making revenue available for               
 growth in student population.                                                 
 MR. GUILEY said it has been currently estimated that in 1996 the              
 need for full funding of the foundation formula will increase                 
 anywhere from $14 to $16 million.  For FY 97, it may be as high as            
 $23 to $24 million.  Under current statute, this bill would require           
 the Administration to prorate the IU value to schools throughout              
 the state.  This would be done after the DOE first gives credit for           
 the increased student enrollment at those districts that are                  
 growing.  Then the DOE would prorate the unit value to all                    
 districts.  The estimated unit value of proration for FY 96 will be           
 in the neighborhood of $59,000, and it will be down to $58,000 in             
 FY 97.                                                                        
 Number 2087                                                                   
 MR. GUILEY said the current Administration and the Governor have              
 asked support for full and early funding for education.  While                
 Alaska used to enjoy the position statistically of having the                 
 highest adjusted expenditure per student in the nation.  In fact,             
 for the six years that ended 1988, Alaska was the highest in the              
 nation.  Alaska no longer enjoys that position.  The level of                 
 spending per child in Alaska has decreased over the last four years           
 with the lowest level of spending being the most recent year of               
 MR. GUILEY said therefore, the trend for spending on education in             
 Alaska has been declining on an adjusted basis.  Again, Mr. Guiley            
 asked HESS Committee members to support full funding for education            
 including an increment for student growth.                                    
 Number 2115                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY had asked her secretary to call Mr. Guiley to get             
 the running total.  The chart handed out to HESS Committee members            
 is what was given to the secretary.  Unfortunately, it is not up-             
 to-date and Co-Chair Toohey apologized for handing it out.                    
 MR. GUILEY clarified that the chart in the handout is unadjusted              
 expenditures.  This is raw dollars that do not account for the                
 effects of geographic differentials in spending.  The chart is an             
 accurate statement that in raw dollars for FY 90-91, Alaska                   
 expended approximately $9,057 per student.  On an adjusted basis,             
 using an area cost differential, most recently they are using                 
 approximately 1.30 for Alaska as compared to the national average.            
 On an adjusted basis, Alaska has dropped below many other states.             
 Currently, New York is spending the most per student on an adjusted           
 MR. GUILEY said therefore, there are two different comparisons.               
 The chart shows raw, unadjusted dollars.                                      
 Number 2157                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked where Alaska stands under raw dollars           
 in 1995.                                                                      
 MR. GUILEY answered that using raw dollars, the statewide average             
 expenditure now is somewhere below $8,000 per student.                        
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked where Mr. Guiley thought Alaska would           
 stand within the nation.                                                      
 MR. GUILEY said the most recent data he has available on a national           
 basis is for the period ending 1992.  On an adjusted scale                    
 (adjusted based on area cost differentials) the national average is           
 $5,452.  Alaska was $6,298.  Therefore, Alaska was still $800 above           
 the national average.  That compares to the time period of 1982-83,           
 when the national average was in fact $4,178 on an adjusted basis.            
 Alaska was spending $7,286, or almost $3,000 above the national               
 average.  Therefore, Alaska's position has declined significantly             
 over the last ten years in relation to the nation.                            
 Number 2197                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Mr. Guiley where the area cost                  
 differentials come from.  He asked who makes these calculations.              
 MR. GUILEY said the numbers he was quoting are from a recent report           
 that was published by the education commission on the state                   
 entitled, "How much are schools spending."  Mr. Guiley offered to             
 make copies of that document for HESS Committee members.                      
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the commission and their                     
 consultants made that calculation as far as creating the integers             
 for the Adjusted Cost Differential (ACD).                                     
 MR. GUILEY said the state cost of living indexes were based upon a            
 survey analysis of salary trends in 1990 published by a F. Howard             
 Nelson in July 1990.  Again Mr. Guiley offered to make copies for             
 HESS Committee members.                                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG confirmed that the numbers are created in-            
 Number 2224                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked what the impacts will be on property               
 taxpayers if school districts are funded at FY 95 levels.  His                
 concern is that if school districts pick up the slack, are they               
 going to have the room necessary to find other funds, and if they             
 are, where are those funds coming from?                                       
 TAPE 95-23, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 MR. GUILEY said under current statute, organized school districts             
 such as city and borough school districts, are allowed to                     
 contribute an amount of local contribution in excess of basic need            
 equal to 23 percent of adjusted basic need.  Therefore, if HB 230             
 is to pass and the unit value were to be prorated, the local                  
 contribution limit would also be prorated downward.                           
 MR. GUILEY recalled previous testimony that said in Juneau, the               
 district would absorb a reduction in state aid of a certain amount,           
 and the district would also absorb a reduction in local aid because           
 they are currently contributing at the maximum they can.  Other               
 districts in a similar situation would be Kenai and Ketchikan.                
 MR. GUILEY said some other districts may also be affected.  The DOE           
 is in the process of making a calculation of that now, and he will            
 present that to the committee with copies of Mr. Guiley's report so           
 he can give HESS Committee members the actual numbers district by             
 Number 075                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that is part of a challenge this legislature              
 will face, which is addressing that cap.  There was an earlier                
 briefing about the disparity funding and how the federal government           
 ties the hands of the state.  As Mr. Guiley pointed out, some                 
 districts are up to the cap, and those districts would be severely            
 affected.  Those districts may be very frustrated because they are            
 willing to do more and the law does not allow them to do more.                
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said there are many others who are not near the cap            
 and there are those who contribute zero.  That is also a                      
 frustration for the legislators.                                              
 Number 124                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE followed up on the previous comments to ask              
 about increases in the foundation formula and the function of                 
 disparity test.  He asked Mr. Guiley to clarify whether the 25                
 percent disparity between the districts is going to have a large              
 effect on the school districts, and will it jeopardize the state?             
 MR. GUILEY said the 25 percent disparity calculation is a measure             
 of relative wealth based on the adjusted unit value comparing the             
 most expensive unit value to the least costly unit value in the               
 state.  The DOE is able to eliminate the top and bottom 5 percent,            
 and the comparison is made on the 90 percent remaining.  The                  
 difference between the least expensive compared to the most                   
 expensive of that 90 percent cannot exceed 25 percent.  That is               
 controlled by federal law.                                                    
 MR. GUILEY said that relates the local contribution cap of 23                 
 percent, but it does not track exactly the same.  That has been               
 changed recently, however, in the federal government.                         
 Number 219                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said there are some districts that are growing           
 faster than others.  Because of that growth and the fact that the             
 state will be funding them at the same level in FY 96 as in FY 95,            
 he would assume those districts are going to experience a decrease            
 in unit funding.                                                              
 MR. GUILEY had stated earlier that the DOE first adjusts                      
 entitlement based upon actual enrollment.  Therefore, districts               
 that are experiencing a growth will actually get credit for that              
 increased growth.  Then, the DOE prorates all districts equally.              
 As an example, in an extreme case, Mat-Su Borough School District             
 is projecting that their state aid will grow by approximately $4.3            
 million from 1995 to 1996.                                                    
 Number 283                                                                    
 MR. GUILEY said therefore, their actual prorated entitlement will             
 increase $3 million in FY 96 over 95.  They will be down $1.2                 
 million from their full entitlement.  They will then have to absorb           
 this large growth of students with less money than they would have            
 under a full entitlement situation.                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said therefore, for Mat-Su it would be a $4.2            
 million reduction.                                                            
 MR. GUILEY said that can be argued.                                           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said discussion of the cap is another challenge that           
 can be faced on another day.                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked Mr. Guiley if he had an estimate of how            
 much revenue a $100 school tax would generate.                                
 MR. GUILEY said he has that in his office from a year or two ago,             
 but he does not have that information with him today.                         
 Number 350                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE observed that it was not a significant amount of               
 money, and the state faces the challenge that it cannot have                  
 designated revenues.  Co-Chair Bunde feels that $100 is too low to            
 make a significant difference.                                                
 JOHN HOLST, Superintendent, Sitka School District, gave HESS                  
 Committee members a petition brought to Juneau by Becky Richards.             
 The petition was signed by parents in Sitka.  He said the                     
 overwhelming testimony opposing HB 230 has been very encouraging to           
 him.  He asked HESS Committee members to listen to what they are              
 hearing.  People, especially in Juneau and Sitka and places where             
 the cap is affecting them, are up against the wall.                           
 MR. HOLST said what HB 230 is asking them to do is not just take              
 the cut but to also take the cut the cap will put on top of that.             
 Therefore, the legislators should add 23 percent to any cut being             
 made.  That is what the impact is going to be.                                
 MR. HOLST asked to be given some solutions for this problem.  Mr.             
 Holst thinks the solution lies in the statement earlier made by               
 Bruce Bachen.  Forty-five states in this country spend a larger               
 percentage of their budget on education.  Mr. Holst stressed that             
 number, and the fact that puts Alaska almost dead last.                       
 Number 467                                                                    
 MR. HOLST said the answer to this is, get the funding of education            
 to the right percentage of the total budget.  That means the                  
 funding should be increasing.  Everyone in the meeting today begged           
 HESS Committee members to just decrease funding by 3 percent this             
 year, and fund the $61,000 unit.   Because that is, in essence,               
 what legislators are doing if 3 percent is the cost of living and             
 cost of doing business has gone up every year.                                
 MR. HOLST continued that every year, district representatives keep            
 coming back to the legislature and everyone keeps talking about               
 holding education harmless and giving the schools $61,000.  But the           
 legislature gives education a 3 percent cut every time it does                
 MR. HOLST said those testifying are begging the HESS Committee                
 members to give education a 3 percent cut.  Not six or seven, or              
 cumulative eight or nine or ten over the next several years.  It is           
 going to be a disaster in the schools across the state.                       
 Number 528                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE observed that Alaska is statistically lower in terms           
 of its educational funding as part of the state funding.  However,            
 he has heard from people every day who tell him that the Alaska               
 state spending is three times higher than that of the nearest state           
 per capita.  Statistics are wonderful things depending on what they           
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said according to the chart handed out,               
 Alaska is ranked number four or five in the nation in percentage of           
 budget contribution.  Therefore, he thinks the last statistic is at           
 odds with the chart.                                                          
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked that statistics not be argued about.                     
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON pointed out that the chart was from 1991.             
 Number 580                                                                    
 KATE YOUNG, Parent, said she has three daughters.  She is very                
 involved in her children's education.  She knows what they are                
 learning and if they are meeting their goals.  She is not,                    
 therefore, testifying so much on their behalf.  She is testifying             
 for the children she sees in schools when she volunteers.  These              
 children do not have parents who are involved in education.                   
 MS. YOUNG thinks it is so important that the message be sent to               
 Alaska's children that education is a priority.  Ms. Young said               
 that those testifying previously had said many good things.                   
 However, up above the capitol building, in Capitol School, there              
 are 27 children to a kindergarten class.  That is probably as many            
 people that were present at the hearing at that time.                         
 MS. YOUNG asked HESS Committee members to imagine being one                   
 teacher, trying to teach all those children.  She has volunteered             
 there, and she has seen many extremes.  Some children go into                 
 school and they have basic skills and knowledge that they have been           
 introduced to prior to school.  There are other children, however,            
 that have never even seen the A B Cs.  There is a broad spectrum of           
 levels that teachers are expected to deal with.  Ms. Young said the           
 knowledge base levels out in the subsequent grades for the most               
 part, but in kindergarten there is a large disparity in knowledge.            
 MS. YOUNG encouraged HESS Committee members to visit Capitol School           
 and observe what a good job the teachers are doing with what they             
 have.  However, the people that are going to lose out are those               
 children whose families are living in cars or who live in a small             
 space with numerous family members.  These children do not have a             
 place to do their homework.                                                   
 Number 724                                                                    
 MS. YOUNG said that for some children, school is the only place               
 they get a lunch.  In Juneau they do not get a hot lunch, but they            
 get a lunch.  If cuts are made, it will be like taking the rug out            
 from underneath those children.  Ms. Young stressed that current              
 funding is needed.  With the increase in enrollment, even more                
 funding is necessary.  Alternatives must be studied.                          
 Number 755                                                                    
 MS. YOUNG said she has a second-grader and a fourth-grader.  Both             
 those children love school.  Ms. Young also has a 16-year-old who             
 has dropped out of school.  Ms. Young said her daughter cannot                
 stand 40 people in an algebra class.  She cannot learn anything.              
 MS. YOUNG said that is why she is here.  She volunteers in the                
 schools.  She is helping children who don't have parents who are              
 active in their education.  It is really important that education             
 be kept as a priority.                                                        
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE assured Ms. Young that he has been there.  His wife            
 teaches kindergarten, and he volunteers when he can.  He                      
 understands that disparity.  Some children are precocious, and some           
 are still wetting their pants.  Unfortunately, some parents look at           
 school as daycare.                                                            
 MS. YOUNG said that Juneau is trying to train parents to work more            
 with the school system.                                                       
 Number 850                                                                    
 DON SCHULZ, retired teacher, expressed concern about the overriding           
 preoccupation with cutting funding instead of raising revenues.               
 When Mr. Schulz came to Alaska in 1967, there did not exist the               
 problem in educational funding that Alaska now has.  Yet, there               
 were no oil revenues.  However, the people of Alaska supported                
 education and their schools.                                                  
 MR. SCHULZ said Alaska has a few things to look forward to should             
 HB 230 pass.  The conditions of the school buildings will get                 
 worse.   Subsequently, the maintenance costs will significantly               
 increase.  Already crowded classrooms will get more and more                  
 crowded.  Not only will they get more crowded, but they will be               
 crowded with children that have problems.                                     
 MR. SCHULZ said that children with fetal alcohol effects and those            
 with other learning problems will be in the classrooms.  With the             
 rise of increased teen-age pregnancies and the premature babies               
 that come with that, one out of four of those children develop into           
 a pupil with learning difficulties.                                           
 MR. SCHULZ said therefore, reduced funding not only adds children             
 to the classroom, it adds more children with more problems.  It is            
 not one more child.  It may be one more child that needs the                  
 equivalent of three or four children in terms of attention.                   
 Number 948                                                                    
 MR. SCHULZ said that additional funds will not make it all better.            
 But he guaranteed that things will get worse with less money                  
 available for education.  They will get worse in a state that was             
 once a state of great opportunity.  Alaska was a pioneer state, and           
 a leader.  Mr. Schulz asked, what kind of educational system do we            
 want, and what will be the future for Alaska's young people.                  
 Number 985                                                                    
 DON FANCHER, Executive Director, AVCP Housing Authority; former               
 school board president, Lower Kuskokwim School District; and former           
 member of the State Board of Education; said Mr. Guiley knows very            
 well that many schools do not spend their money equally.  Mr.                 
 Fancher applauds the desire of Co-Chair Bunde to make spending                
 priorities equal.  Mr. Fancher feels that general fund dollars                
 should not be used to fly children to ball games if funds are                 
 needed elsewhere.                                                             
 MR. FANCHER remembered that Auke Bay school has ran out of paper,             
 and he knows of teachers who buy their own paper.  The children in            
 his school district buy their own paper to help out the school.               
 Mr. Fancher and his wife also help out at the school.  A number of            
 bathrooms in his school have had to be converted to classrooms due            
 to space constraints.  HESS Committee members know that keeping the           
 money at the same amount means less money for districts.  If there            
 is no more money, the districts need less costs.                              
 MR. FANCHER said as the maintenance costs go up, so does deferred             
 maintenance.  Those costs are horrendous.  The problems are going             
 to go beyond control, and it puts children at risk.  The bill says            
 it is full funding for two years.  Mr. Fancher says the bill is               
 almost cruel.  It may result in the HESS Committee being much more            
 loaded with the needs of the Division of Family and Youth Services.           
 Number 1130                                                                   
 MR. FANCHER's region is one of the poorest in the United States.              
 There has been a lot of opposing testimony to HB 230.  He implored            
 HESS Committee members to heed that testimony.  Mr. Fancher thanked           
 HESS Committee members for studying this issue.  The children of              
 Alaska are held at the top, and they should be kept there because             
 they deserve it.                                                              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE closed public testimony on HB 230.                             
 Number 1181                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said in Sections 1 and 2, under "Additional              
 District Support," in both areas which is line 8, page 2 in Section           
 1 and line 24, page 3 in Section 2, the FY 96 numbers are given               
 from the Governor's DOE budget versus the FY 95 numbers.                      
 Representative Brice brought this up because the FY 96 numbers are            
 lower than the FY 95 numbers.  Representative Brice wanted to know            
 if that was done on purpose or was that an oversight by the                   
 drafters of the bill.                                                         
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said it was not an oversight.  FY 96 numbers were              
 chosen because that was the last level of state funding.                      
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said the last amount FY 95 authorized was $3.6           
 million.  In FY 96, the Governor's recommendation was roughly $3.2            
 million.  Therefore, the last amount authorized would have been               
 $3.6 million.                                                                 
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he would check on that fact.  He asked for a              
 five minute at-ease.  The time was 3:55 p.m.                                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE called the meeting back to order at 4:01 p.m.                  
 MR. GUILEY was asked to address Representative Brice's question.              
 He said the difference between the two numbers is a one-time                  
 appropriation that was approved by the legislature last year for              
 Sitka due to the closing of the mill in that community.  That was             
 a one-time appropriation that was included in the supplemental                
 bill.  That is the difference of the $447,000.                                
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked if it is FY 95, and felt if the HESS               
 Committee members are going to run along the line of FY 95                    
 appropriations it would be appropriate to keep that amount in,                
 considering the fact that Representative Brice is sure there are              
 other school districts that might be willing to use that money to             
 buy the construction paper and other supplies that are lacking in             
 schools.  Representative Brice said it might have been a one-time             
 appropriation for Sitka last year, but that money can be just as              
 easily dispersed throughout the state this year.  That amount then            
 would truly reflect the FY 95 amount for schools from the DOE.                
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked if that money could be used, and if the            
 DOE would not be limited to put that other $447,000 back into                 
 Number 1361                                                                   
 MR. GUILEY said that is correct.  The DOE would not be obligated to           
 give that money to Sitka.  The additional district support is                 
 further allocated in Section B of the bill to named recipients.  If           
 it is not further allocated, the DOE would not be able to use it              
 unless it were revised to another line item within the                        
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said in other words, to make that work, each one of            
 those figures would have to be adjusted.                                      
 MR. GUILEY added that another option would be to move that amount             
 to another line item, such as to the foundation program.                      
 Number 1393                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked the Chair's intention.  He asked if the            
 HESS Committee was going to adjourn and take up the bill later.               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced that the bill was going to be voted on               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE noted that if that was the case, he would like           
 to make an amendment to HB 230.  Representative Brice had the                 
 numbers for the bill, but said there was going to have to be some             
 working of the numbers and the wording.  He said the amendment                
 could be discussed orally.                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said his amendment was conceptual because it             
 was going to require some adjusting.  He moved conceptual amendment           
 number one.                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY objected to the movement.                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said that on page 1, line 7, the words,                  
 "budget reserve fund (art. IX, sec. 17, Constitution of the State             
 of Alaska)" would be struck and replaced with "general fund."  The            
 numbers, Representative Brice believed, were what was wanted.  He             
 then wanted Section 2 and Section 3 deleted.  He asked that Section           
 4 be renumbered as Section 2, and that Section 5 be deleted.                  
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said in other words, all he is doing is taking           
 the bill out of the budget reserve fund and fully funding for FY              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that amendment changed the bill 180 degrees.              
 He asked if the HESS Committee members understood the amendment.              
 Co-Chair Bunde noted that the major change was using general funds            
 rather than the constitutional budget reserve.  There would be                
 impacts from this.                                                            
 A roll call vote was taken.  Voting "yes" on the amendment were               
 Representative Robinson and Representative Brice.  Voting "no" were           
 Co-Chair Bunde, Co-Chair Toohey, and Representatives Rokeberg and             
 Davis.  Representative Vezey was not present for the vote.  The               
 amendment failed to pass.                                                     
 Number 1555                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON had a question but she was not sure that              
 any other committee members could respond.  In the press release              
 put out by the majority, it says a five-year plan for education is            
 being proposed.  This bill only takes care of the first and second            
 years.  Representative Robinson wanted to know what the plan was              
 for the third, fourth and fifth years.                                        
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE attempted to respond, and he asked Representative              
 Robinson to realize that this was his perception and he was not               
 necessarily speaking for the majority.  He thought they said from             
 a five-year spending plan for state spending, a portion of that was           
 the two-year forward funding of education at a certain dollar                 
 amount.  Co-Chair Bunde did not think the majority spoke to a five-           
 year plan for education.                                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON noted that the press release reads of a               
 five-year budget plan.                                                        
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said they may be referring to a five-year budget               
 plan for state spending, and education was only addressed for two             
 Number 1599                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if it was the opinion of the HESS               
 Committee members that the press release on education was only                
 supposed to be looked at for two years.                                       
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that the plan in HB 230 only addresses                    
 education for two years.                                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said at this point, therefore, the HESS               
 Committee members have no idea, if HB 230 is passed, what the plan            
 will be for the following three years.                                        
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that one legislature cannot bind the next.  It            
 would be his hope that money will be available to rewrite the                 
 foundation formula, make it equal and increase its significance.              
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said her hope is with Co-Chair Bunde.                 
 Number 1637                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked to propose one last conceptual amendment           
 considering the fact that HB 230 funds education at FY 95 levels.             
 Representative Brice thought it would be appropriate that the                 
 additional district support also reflect the FY 95 authorized                 
 level.  He also requested that the $447,060 dollars that are the              
 difference between the FY 96 level in the bill and the FY 95 level            
 which was passed last year be evenly distributed among the single             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if he meant the single-sites or the sites                
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said he meant the sites listed.  He said that            
 the amendment should take place in both Sections 1 and 2.                     
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked to summarize the conceptual amendment, called            
 amendment number two.  Representative Brice was basically                     
 increasing funding $447,000.                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said that the amendment would place amounts              
 back to the FY 95 level of authorized education funding throughout            
 the whole bill, versus whenever it is felt it is appropriate.                 
 Number 1704                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE understood what the vehicle is, but asked for the              
 bottom line.                                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said it was $447,060.  He moved the amendment,           
 and there was an objection.                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked for discussion of the amendment.                         
 Number 1720                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said if education funding was going to be held           
 at FY 95 authorized levels, it is important that it be done in all            
 categories, including additional district support.  To say that the           
 legislature is going to cut additional district support by half a             
 million dollars because that is a figure that Governor Knowles came           
 up with that was lower than the FY 95 level is inappropriate.                 
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE felt that if the bill is going to call for FY            
 95 funding straight through and hold funding constant for the next            
 two years, that should be done at all levels of education funding.            
 That includes additional district support.  He asked that the                 
 committee remain consistent in the philosophy of funding at FY 95             
 A roll call vote was taken.  Voting "no" were Representatives                 
 Rokeberg, Toohey, Bunde and Davis.  Voting "yes" were                         
 Representatives Brice and Robinson.  Representative Vezey was                 
 absent for the vote.  Co-Chair Bunde noted that he voted "no"                 
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked for further discussion of HB 230.  There was             
 none, so he asked for the wishes of the committee.                            
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE interjected that it should be held over.                 
 Number 1815                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted that he has met with a few of his               
 constituents who were observing the proceedings of this afternoon.            
 His constituents encouraged him to follow his heart and the                   
 reaction of about 3,000 constituents in his district.  That is what           
 he is going to do when he votes on HB 230.                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said that considering his constituents do not            
 like to have their property taxes go up because of unfunded state             
 mandates, his vote will reflect their wishes as well.                         
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said one of the testifiers, a retired school             
 teacher (Mr. Schulz), made an interesting comment about the 1960s.            
 This is when Representative Davis was in school.  It was indicated            
 that the people supported education, and there did not seem to be             
 a large question concerning support.  There has been some pretty              
 radical demands over the last number of years to cut the budget.              
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS felt there were statistics that show where the           
 budget has been cut over the last couple years from the 25 percent            
 general fund that is not encumbered by entitlements or formula                
 programs.  The public sentiment may be different.  Representative             
 Davis has heard it as different.  If anything is going to clear the           
 air as to where the public stands on education funding, this bill             
 will do that.  If there is any benefit from HB 230, it will be to             
 discover where the public stands on education funding.                        
 Number 1888                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE felt Representative Davis was correct.  Legislators            
 have been asked, at least for the three years Co-Chair Bunde has              
 served, to cut state spending.  He feels legislators will be                  
 continually asked to do that until the public feels it has been cut           
 far enough.                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said this was her first term.  However, she           
 has been around for a long time, and she feels that cuts have been            
 made to the bone.  She knows that her office has received, even on            
 the hold harmless bill, more Personal Opinion Messages (POMs) than            
 on anything else before, that said the public did not even want the           
 legislature to cut the permanent fund dividends away from the poor.           
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON's office is beginning to get POMs that say            
 not to cut education.  Representative Robinson felt the bill was a            
 bad thing, and education can be cut but the results will pop up               
 elsewhere.  When Alaska's children basically don't get a good                 
 education, and dropout rates continue, and as youth crime                     
 increases, those dollars are simply going to be transferred.  The             
 state is going to have to pick these kids up once they are put in             
 jail.  That is the wrong direction.  Any study will show that money           
 placed even into head start programs and education will result in             
 a better outcome at the end of the continuum.                                 
 Number 1946                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON stressed that however the issue is looked             
 at, the state is going to pay for it in the end.  She would just as           
 soon pay for it now on education to make sure that Alaska's                   
 children get the appropriate education.  Representative Robinson              
 noted that her constituents did not mind taxing themselves, and               
 they did also not mind paying an income tax.                                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that a motion was made to move the bill from              
 committee, and he would like to make a statement.  Co-Chair Bunde             
 did not agree, to some extent, with what Representative Robinson              
 said because that is somewhat like blackmail.  A child says, either           
 you give me more money in the form of the programs I want in school           
 or I will turn to crime.  There may be some children that do that.            
 However, that denies ambition and personal responsibility that the            
 state has every right to expect of its children.                              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said a good many people he has talked to are not               
 threatened by blackmail.                                                      
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted that in reference to the permanent fund                  
 dividend (PFD) hold harmless, his POMs say just the reverse.  His             
 POMs say, "Don't you dare take any of my PFD," and give it to those           
 they consider undeserving.  That is a value judgement, but Co-Chair           
 Bunde wanted Representative Robinson to know that it is out there.            
 Number 2002                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE felt this was the most difficult vote he has taken             
 during his short time as a legislator.  He is an educator, and he             
 still thinks he is, except now he cannot keep the grade book.  He             
 is not married to his PFD.  When he first came to Alaska, people              
 paid income taxes and he did not think it was onerous at that time.           
 He still felt Alaska was a good place to live.                                
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE added that many people testified who said they                 
 wanted to convince HESS Committee members about education.                    
 However, they are "preaching to the choir."  Those testifying do              
 not need to convince Co-Chair Bunde and other members of the                  
 committee about the importance of education.  They need to convince           
 the general public.  It is still a democracy and majority rules.              
 The overwhelming requests that he gets are to cut state spending              
 and not hold education harmless.                                              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE does not think this is the right way to go, and it             
 is difficult for him to do.  But his job is to do what the majority           
 of the folks in his district ask him to do.                                   
 Number 2050                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said HESS Committee members have been asked to                 
 exhibit leadership.  One way to exhibit leadership is to do it "my            
 way" and forget about the public.  That might be fine for a cause             
 like education.  However, once Co-Chair Bunde begins down that                
 slippery slope, many other people will ask for the same right, with           
 less than good results.  If the general public is not listened to,            
 and the legislators do not have their confidence and support in               
 both government in general and in the education system                        
 specifically, it will come back to haunt everyone.  The public will           
 be far more Draconian in their demands for revenge if nothing else.           
 Number 2084                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE continued that people are frustrated.  It is not the           
 schools' fault.  People see the mall rats, the gangs, the drive-by            
 shootings, and the semi-literate children.  Co-Chair Bunde is very            
 frustrated too because he thinks there is a great deal of parental            
 responsibility that has not been addressed.  The schools cannot fix           
 everyone.  Children spend 6 hours per day in school, and they spend           
 18 hours a day hopefully with their parents.  Where does the                  
 greater responsibility lie?                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE also noted that in the average American household,             
 the TV is on 8 to 12 hours a day.  Co-Chair Bunde asked again where           
 responsibility lies, and why some people feel they are not getting            
 their money's worth.  Co-Chair Bunde does not feel he has a choice            
 in his vote, and he wishes he had.  He thanked everyone who                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE stressed that legislators are not the enemy.  They             
 are doing a job that, for many, is distasteful.  However, it is               
 necessary to do.  They have seen their duty and they will do their            
 A roll call vote was taken.  Voting "no" on the passage of HB 230             
 were Representatives Robinson and Brice.  Voting "yes" were                   
 Representatives Toohey, Bunde, Vezey, Davis and Rokeberg.  HB 230             
 passed from the HESS Committee.                                               
 HHES - 03/16/95                                                               
 HB 125 - JUVENILE CRIMINAL RECORDS TO SCHOOLS                                
 Number 2177                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN presented the sponsor statement for his              
 bill.  He presented his staff member, Melinda Gruening, who would             
 carry HESS Committee members through the various details.  It has             
 become apparent to Representative Green that there is a breakdown             
 in the communication of information to Alaska's schools concerning            
 students who, if they had been adjudicated adults on some crimes,             
 they would have committed a felony.  These students should be known           
 to educators for the protection of the other students as well as              
 for their own well-being.                                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said that knowing the cause of the                       
 adjudication or arrest for such heinous crimes could help the                 
 juvenile through the school system.                                           
 MELINDA GRUENING, Administrative Assistant for Representative                 
 Green, asked HESS Committee members to recall that this bill was              
 discussed along with HB 105.  HB 105 was a general disclosure of              
 juvenile records.  Those bills were placed into a subcommittee.               
 Bill sponsors were awaiting a ruling from Washington, D.C.,                   
 concerning whether either or both bills would affect Title IV (e)             
 funds, which is social security funding for foster care.                      
 MS. GRUENING said the ruling came back that a general public                  
 disclosure would jeopardize those funds.  However, a limited                  
 disclosure to school officials would not.  That is why HB 125 is              
 being again presented to HESS Committee members.  A meeting was               
 held on Monday, March 13 over at the Division of Family and Youth             
 Services (DFYS).  A packet was put together.  There were                      
 representatives from the DFYS, DOE, NEA Alaska, Alaska Association            
 of School Administrators, AASB, the legislature and various                   
 staffers including HESS Committee aide Lynne Smith, the Department            
 of Law, the Department of Public Safety, State Troopers and the               
 Court System.                                                                 
 MS. GRUENING said this was a positive step to facilitate                      
 communication to find out from the people representing                        
 administrators, school boards and school officials what information           
 people feel they need that they are not getting.  It became clear             
 that those representing teachers, school districts and                        
 administrators felt information was not getting to them.  They need           
 to provide a safer school environment.                                        
 MS. GRUENING said in addition, those groups feel they need more               
 information in order to help the juvenile.  The desire was also               
 expressed to make disclosure of this information mandatory as                 
 opposed to discretionary.  They want to be able to count on that              
 TAPE 95-23, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 MS. GRUENING continued that ways were also discussed concerning how           
 the disclosure could be made easier.  The drafters of the bill have           
 no intent to put more work on an already burdened system.  It is              
 fully recognized that DFYS is understaffed, and they have a very              
 heavy workload.  No one, therefore, is trying to place a larger               
 workload on them.  This was also discussed with the representative            
 of the State Troopers.                                                        
 MS. GRUENING said it was a very interesting meeting.  The group is            
 going to meet again next week.  Carl Rose of the AASB agreed to do            
 a quick fax poll.  He has contacted all 54 school districts in the            
 state with a faxed questionnaire.  The results have not yet been              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked for the results when they come in.                       
 Number 082                                                                    
 MS. GRUENING added that Vern Marshall of NEA Alaska also is working           
 on a fax poll to find out if administrators and school officials              
 feel they are currently receiving enough information and                      
 disclosure.  Conflicting reports are being heard as to whether                
 disclosure is currently taking place.  They are being asked if they           
 are receiving disclosure currently, and what type of disclosure               
 information they need.                                                        
 MS. GRUENING said the disclosure content will probably be the name            
 of the juvenile, the offense and the date the offense was                     
 committed.  This is not intended to be a disclosure of a lot of               
 records.  The re-disclosure is limited in this bill.  There is a              
 section that deals with that.   The only additional disclosure                
 those officials can perform is with teachers and staff.  Therefore,           
 the scope of disclosure is really very limited.                               
 MS. GRUENING said therefore, the results of the polls are being               
 tallied, and the group will meet again on March 24 to discuss the             
 results.  Undoubtedly, there will be some information that comes up           
 that will cause some changes to the bill.  It is the desire of                
 Representative Green to move the bill out of the HESS Committee.              
 His staff, however, will continue to work with the various agency             
 representatives and the law enforcement officials to continue work            
 on the bill in the Judiciary Committee.                                       
 Number 197                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked that questions or discussion be held in order            
 to hear more public testimony on the bill.  He asked for public               
 testimony, and there was none.  Public testimony was closed.                  
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON thanked Representative Green and Ms.                  
 Gruening for organizing the meeting.  That is exactly what she felt           
 was the right thing to do.  When all the agencies can work together           
 for a common cause to settle conflicting information, it makes it             
 easier to accomplish tasks.  There may be more work to do, but                
 Representative Robinson wanted to personally thank them for taking            
 the time to bring all the groups together to make sure the                    
 legislation is going in the right direction.                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked if administrators can currently get this           
 information in one way or another.  He asked what the process may             
 be.  He has heard rumors that school administrators can access this           
 information.  He asked if someone from the Department of Health and           
 Social Services (DHSS) could explain the process.                             
 Number 325                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said there was a partial fix last year which             
 allowed the information to be made available.  The problem is that            
 the information has not been made available.  This legislation                
 seeks to make disclosure a "shall" instead of a "may."   In the               
 early part of this year there was still a fear that such disclosure           
 by the DFYS would endanger Title IV funds.  This was found to not             
 be the case.                                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON clarified that the reason this bill will              
 not endanger those funds is because the people who will receive               
 this information have been narrowed.  The disclosures will be to              
 the people who need that information, such as the school district,            
 and not just to the general public to chastise children.                      
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE was concerned that there might be administrators               
 who, in their wisdom, might decide that they are not going to tell            
 the teachers.  Co-Chair Bunde asked if Representative Green would             
 entertain the possibility of expanding the bill to say that                   
 disclosure information will go to school administrators and                   
 affected teachers.  He said Representative Green could use whatever           
 verbiage would make him comfortable.                                          
 Number 430                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said he had no problem with that type of                 
 expansion.  The concern he has, since he did not put in something             
 to that affect, would be that the legislature would somehow become            
 a micro-manager of the school system.  He felt they, better than              
 members of the legislature, would know best who should get the                
 information.  However, if there is not an objection voiced by the             
 supplier of the information, certainly Representative Green would             
 hope the information would ultimately get to the classroom teacher            
 who has the perpetrator in class.                                             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that is exactly his point.  Having worked in              
 the schools, he has experienced a type of person he calls a                   
 "professional apologist."  This is the person who always says the             
 child was in trouble with the law because of some trivial problem,            
 and he or she does not feel the teacher who works with the child              
 every day should know pertinent information.  The child could be              
 violent, and the teacher works with the child every day.                      
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that type of administrator feels they do not              
 want to "brand" the child.                                                    
 Number 485                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE shared an experience he had at the college level.              
 The people in Public Safety knew about one of Co-Chair Bunde's                
 students, and they did not provide any information to Co-Chair                
 Bunde.  The student was enrolled in a speech class taught by Co-              
 Chair Bunde.  As part of one of his speeches, he told the class how           
 he strangled his high school speech teacher to death because the              
 teacher put too much pressure on him.                                         
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE facetiously noted that he could have probably used             
 that information.  He may not have done anything differently, but             
 he thinks perhaps he would.                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said that was a classic example of the need              
 for disclosure.                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE assured Representative Green that he shared his                
 concern about micro-managing districts.  But to be an effective               
 teacher, a person should know as much about the child as possible             
 without breaching privacy.  A teacher does not need to know about             
 their religion, but he or she does need to know background.  Co-              
 Chair Bunde thinks it should be guaranteed that the teacher is in             
 the loop.                                                                     
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE fears that some teachers, even if it is only 10                
 percent of the time or teachers, will not be included in the                  
 information disclosure.                                                       
 Number 580                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said it is very clear that the                        
 administration and the teacher associations want this legislation.            
 She hopes that those groups will therefore take their education               
 forums and make sure that the appropriate people get that                     
 information.  However, she also asked if a letter of intent could             
 be drafted to state that the drafters encourage a system be set up            
 that would assist in making sure that the appropriate teacher is              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said unfortunately, letters of intent are often                
 ignored.  He told Representative Green that he would like to move             
 the bill today, and but he would also like to hold it for a                   
 Committee Substitute.  He asked if Representative Green had some              
 strong concerns about including "classroom teacher" along with                
 "school administrator" in the bill.                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said he would welcome that, and he thinks the            
 results of the survey will show that is the preponderance.                    
 Classroom teachers should know, but with limitations.  Obviously,             
 there needs to be limitations.  The janitor and the part-time aide            
 do not need to know.                                                          
 Number 688                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if wording concerning the teacher of the class           
 that the child attends would be more appropriate.  He hates to do             
 this type of work in the HESS Committee meeting, but he realizes              
 Representative Green wants to move the bill today.  He asked if the           
 next bill could be heard while wording is created to create a CS              
 that would make everyone comfortable.                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said he would certainly entertain that                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted that the bill goes next to the Judiciary                 
 Committee, and both he and Representative Green are on that                   
 committee.  He asked if that issue could be addressed instead in              
 the Judiciary Committee.                                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said that would be fine, and the chair of the            
 Judiciary Committee is not unfamiliar with comments and                       
 modification requests in that committee.                                      
 Number 757                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE encouraged Representative Green to simply have a               
 blank CS.                                                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she does not want to hold the bill up            
 either, but her preference would be to narrow the disclosure.  She            
 asked that the disclosure be through the principals or                        
 superintendents or whatever.  She asked for that to be the policy             
 in each district, instead of opening the disclosure information up            
 so widely.  In high school, a child may have 15 teachers.  Some of            
 these teachers may need this information, and some do not.  That is           
 her problem with widening the disclosure.                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she would have to put a no                       
 recommendation on the bill if it passes from committee because she            
 does not know what the final outcome is going to be.                          
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON she said she is also still hoping to hear             
 from the DFYS about their comfort level.  Representative Robinson             
 is still also confused about who will receive information other               
 than those already allowed for under the existing juvenile waiver             
 bill.   She does not want to pass another law if a law already                
 exists which does the same things if the regulations are put on the           
 Number 830                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE observed that the juvenile waiver deals with very              
 serious felonies such as kidnapping, murder, etc.  HB 105 deals               
 with children who have problems but have not yet gone to that                 
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she is not so sure that is true, and             
 although she could be wrong, she would like to make sure.  She was            
 under the impression that the juvenile waiver only deals with more            
 serious crimes.  But when it came down to being able to give                  
 information out on children, it was allowing for more cases than              
 just serious crimes.  She again stated that she could be wrong, but           
 it would be nice to hear more information before this bill is moved           
 forward.  She asked if Ms. Gruening had something to say to that              
 effect, and said it would also be good to hear from the DHSS.                 
 Number 875                                                                    
 MS. GRUENING said the difference between the current status quo and           
 HB 125 is that this bill deals with offenses that would be felonies           
 were the juveniles adult.  These are very serious offenses such as            
 homicide, assault, reckless endangerment, kidnapping, sexual                  
 offenses, robbery, extortion, offenses against property, controlled           
 substance offenses and possession or use of a deadly weapon.  Those           
 are the crimes being spoken of in HB 125.                                     
 MS. GRUENING continued that if those juveniles were 16, they would            
 automatically be waived up.  They would be publicly disclosed.                
 Number 923                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE added that it is not an automatic waiver.  If the              
 child proves that he or she is amenable to rehabilitation, they are           
 not tried as an adult.  It is possible to have a youthful murderer            
 in a classroom that has not been tried as an adult.                           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Representative Green to look at page 4,                  
 beginning on line 29.  It says, "...shall notify the principal...".           
 Co-Chair Bunde asked to add "and classroom teacher."  He asked if             
 that would solve the contention.                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN saw no problem with that amendment.                      
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if that addition would be asking the            
 state and municipal law enforcement agency to notify the teacher              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE changed the amendment.  On page 4, line 29, after              
 the word "principal", the bill was amended to say, "who will notify           
 the appropriate classroom teacher."                                           
 Number 1014                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON felt that the amendment would have to say             
 "teachers" because in many situations there would be more than one            
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that "teachers" would be included instead of              
 "teacher."  He then asked for objections to the motion.                       
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON objected because she feels it is better to            
 just stick with the principals and let them set up the policy.                
 A roll call vote was taken.  Voting "yes" on the amendment were               
 Representatives Toohey, Bunde, Davis and Rokeberg.  Voting "no" was           
 Representative Robinson.  Representative Brice was not present for            
 the vote.                                                                     
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced that now before the HESS Committee was HB            
 125 as amended.                                                               
 Number 1068                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked to clarify a point.  He asked if the            
 legal review that was undertaken in Washington, D.C., was                     
 specifically in reference to HB 125, or all four bills that                   
 pertained to disclosure.                                                      
 MS. GRUENING answered that the decision referred to juvenile                  
 disclosure and what was and was not permissible.  It was not                  
 addressing one particular bill.  It was a broad statement on                  
 juvenile disclosure and what was allowable under the Title IV funds           
 and what was not.  She has copies of that decision if HESS                    
 Committee members would like to see it.                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said the reason he asked is he wanted to              
 make sure the amendment was not tampering with something that had             
 already been approved by the federal government.                              
 Number 1104                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if she could ask a question to the              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted that the amendment is an attempt to address              
 the sensitivities of the other HESS Committee members.  He                    
 therefore wants to add the words "appropriate teachers"  rather               
 than just "teachers."                                                         
 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant to the Commissioner, DHSS, made            
 himself available to answer the questions of HESS Committee                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked how the DHSS now feels about the                
 amended bill, and also if the bill accomplishes anything different            
 than what is allowed for in existing law.  She asked if this bill             
 means there will be two sets of regulations.                                  
 Number 1163                                                                   
 MR. LINDSTROM does not believe that any of the type of disclosures            
 that have been discussed in the meeting are precluded under the               
 existing law.  The existing law to which he refers is the bill                
 passed last year, the automatic waiver bill.  The disclosure                  
 provisions have nothing to do with the automatic waiver.  They                
 simply made more permissive language that allowed the division to             
 share their information with other parties, specifically school               
 MR. LINDSTROM believes that all the discussion that has gone on in            
 the HESS Committee room concerning the kinds of information it is             
 believed should be provided to a school district could be provided            
 under existing law and regulations that will be developed by the              
 MR. LINDSTROM said, however, this is clearly different in that                
 while the existing language is permissive, HB 125 would require the           
 department to provide information.  However, Mr. Lindstrom believes           
 the CS that is before HESS Committee members at the present time              
 really speaks to the court providing information.  Perhaps that is            
 something that needs to be looked at in the Judiciary Committee.              
 MR. LINDSTROM did not know if that was still the intent of the                
 sponsor.  If the department is providing the information under the            
 bill, that is not the way the language is drafted at the present              
 time.  There is also language in the CS just adopted that HESS                
 Committee members should be aware of.  The language just amended              
 refers to a municipal or law enforcement agency providing                     
 information to school districts, not the DFYS.  Therefore, there              
 are several things going on here.                                             
 Number 1238                                                                   
 MR. LINDSTROM said he knew the Department of Public Safety, the               
 Department of Law and the DHSS will be addressing those concerns in           
 the Judiciary Committee.                                                      
 MR. LINDSTROM made a personal observation.  He believed that what             
 needs to happen is what started to happen earlier this week.  When            
 education representatives which include the school district                   
 administrators, the school board association and NEA Alaska                   
 representatives, the DHSS, the Department of Law, and the                     
 Department of Public Safety get together, what everyone wants is to           
 make a system that gets the information to where it needs to go.              
 This bill is not self-implementing.  It will require additional               
 MR. LINDSTROM thinks that everyone is heading in the same                     
 direction, and he appreciated the opportunity to work with                    
 Representative Green and others.                                              
 MR. LINDSTROM said the DHSS believes that it can take the                     
 legislators where they want to go in terms of the provisions of               
 this bill.                                                                    
 Number 1293                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted he supports the word "shall" instead of the              
 word "may."  He has grave concern about getting to the classroom              
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked to speak on two issues.  She asked if           
 it would make more sense to go back to the existing law instead of            
 making it permissive, that the existing law be changed to "shall."            
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON also asked who is going to draft the                  
 regulations.  It is not going to be DHSS.  She asked if it was                
 going to be the courts or the police department.                              
 Number 1330                                                                   
 MR. LINDSTROM answered the first question.  He thinks there will be           
 at least one additional meeting of the working group that seems to            
 be coalescing around this issue.  Perhaps some thought can be given           
 to what the language ought to be in the next committee of referral.           
 MR. LINDSTROM said he cannot speak for another department, and he             
 certainly cannot speak for another branch of government.  But he is           
 sure the court system is going to want to revisit the issue of who            
 will be providing the information.  Again, the draft before HESS              
 Committee members really puts the onus on the court system, and Mr.           
 Lindstrom knows that is not acceptable to them.                               
 MR. LINDSTROM said assuming that hurdle is overcome, he would                 
 further assume there would be regulations promulgated by DHSS by,             
 he thinks, the Department of Public Safety.  He does not know if              
 the Department of Law would also promulgate regulations.                      
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE called for the vote, closing public testimony.                 
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she will not object to the bill, but             
 she wants to strongly encourage the process that is going on.  She            
 does not personally think this legislation is needed, and she is              
 hoping that before it ever gets to the floor of the House that                
 there has been some sort of miracle solution.  She does not object            
 to the movement of the bill.                                                  
 Number 1400                                                                   
 MR. ROSE, AASB, said he could clarify some of the topics discussed.           
 He said the discussion is trying to solve who is the most                     
 appropriate person to contact.  Recognizing the disparity between             
 school districts, the AASB has put out a survey.  The AASB wants to           
 identify the communications link, how we communicate, what type of            
 information needs to be transmitted and who is the most appropriate           
 person.  From a school district point of view there is great                  
 exposure that will require school districts to address the policy             
 issue of how this communication is transmitted.                               
 MR. ROSE thinks, to the degree that you want teachers involved,               
 that has to be inclusive.   But the issue of confidentiality must             
 be recognized and how information is transferred.  Mr. Rose would             
 agree that departments will have to promulgate some sort of                   
 regulations and school districts will have to as well to protect              
 their interests.                                                              
 Number 1443                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE expressed a great deal of confidence in the sponsor            
 of the bill to continue the bi-partisan and collaborative effort.             
 There being no objection, CSHB 125(HES) was moved from the HESS               
 Committee with individual recommendations.                                    
 HHES - 03/16/95                                                               
 HB 168 - PERMITS FOR NONRESIDENT OPTOMETRISTS.                              
 Number 1483                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY moved the CS for HB 168.  It is 9LS0671-G.  There             
 were no objections.  The reasoning behind the CS was that there was           
 a problem in language that has since been approved by Dr. Roy Box,            
 an optometrist in Juneau, and by Catherine Reardon of the Division            
 of Occupational Licensing in the Department of Commerce.  There is            
 a zero fiscal note.                                                           
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY explained that the new language requires that the             
 training of the incoming optometrists be uniform.                             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said this is the locum tenus bill.                             
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said there was a question concerning optometrists             
 who come into Alaska from other parts of the country.  The question           
 regarded whether the new optometrist was licensed and had they been           
 trained in using medications for the eye.  This provision has been            
 included in the bill.                                                         
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked for and found no public testimony.                       
 Number 1537                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved that the CSHB 168 pass the HESS                 
 Committee with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal             
 notes.  Hearing no objection, CSHB 168(HES) passed the committee.             
 HHES - 03/16/95                                                               
 HB 228 - REDUCTION IN PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS                             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced that HB 228 would be held for further                
 discussion and it would probably be heard in the coming week.                 
 HHES - 03/16/95                                                               
 Number 1580                                                                   
 TOM ANDERSON, Legislative Assistant for Representative Terry                  
 Martin, provided the sponsor statement for HB 171.  He said                   
 Representative Martin was unable to attend due to a Legislative               
 Budget and Audit meeting.                                                     
 MR. ANDERSON said basically, the bill addresses a recent occurrence           
 regarding the commissioner of education.  There was an article                
 included in the bill packets from the newspaper which stated that             
 Commissioner Covey was given an "early-out payoff" of about                   
 $120,000 because of a contractual agreement he had made due to AS             
 14.07.145 in the statutes.  This basically allows a commissioner to           
 serve a term of office of five years.  This means a commissioner of           
 Education and also the commissioner of Fish and Game can remain               
 through one governor's term to another if there is a switch in                
 MR. ANDERSON continued that in essence, the current Governor of               
 Alaska, in the hopes of getting rid of Commissioner Covey, had to             
 essentially pay him off.  Representative Martin feels this is wrong           
 and should not occur.  Therefore he drafted HB 171, which says the            
 commissioner of Education serves at the pleasure of the Board of              
 Education, and may not be appointed by the board for a term of                
 MR. ANDERSON said therefore, that would exclude the five-year rule.           
 The five-year rule was put in place to bridge continuity in Fish              
 and Game for fish management issues and for education goals.  But             
 this is not necessary because currently the present commissioner is           
 extremely qualified to serve and can continue those goals.                    
 Number 1678                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that he was addressing "golden parachutes," and           
 certainly the commissioner of Education is not the only person that           
 has ever encountered a golden parachute.  Co-Chair Bunde asked if             
 Mr. Anderson had an amendment.  Mr. Anderson did have an amendment,           
 and Co-Chair Bunde moved it.  An objection was raised for                     
 discussion purposes.                                                          
 MR. ANDERSON said the amendment continues the concept of the bill             
 by prohibiting the use of state money for severance pay or other              
 separation bonus for certain public officials.  An example of the             
 need for this amendment is the former executive director of the               
 Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) was in the job for about            
 six months.  He had a golden parachute of $60,000 as a severance              
 payoff, as did the previous executive director.  Mr. Anderson said            
 this has happened at other levels, but he did not have any                    
 statistics handy at the moment.                                               
 MR. ANDERSON said the amendment prevents that type of severance               
 Number 1731                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the amendment was obviously expanding the bill,           
 and it did not seem like it fit under the current bill title.                 
 MR. ANDERSON said there is going to be a title change should the              
 amendment pass.                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said therefore, there are two different issues.  The           
 first is the five-year term, and the second is the golden                     
 parachute.  He asked the HESS Committee members if they understood            
 the amendment and the thrust of the bill.  A vote was called on               
 amendment number one.                                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG interjected that he had concerns.   In the            
 course of dealing with employee and executive compensation and                
 employment, in certain instances there might even be provisions for           
 severance in a hiring contract as part of a bargaining basis.                 
 Representative Rokeberg asked if this bill would affect such                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Mr. Anderson if he was right to assume that              
 this would be not retroactive.  It would only apply to future                 
 contracts.  He was right.                                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said that was not his question.  He asked             
 if a term or element of a bargain for an employment contract was              
 agreed upon with one of these stipulated officers, would HB 171               
 make that bargained-for provision illegal.                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY answered yes.                                                 
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE thought Representative Rokeberg previously meant the           
 bargain was part of a current contract.                                       
 Number 1804                                                                   
 MR. ANDERSON said on page 2, lines 6 and 7 say that the bill does             
 not affect an agreement entered into before a certain date.                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said it is not uncommon, when an executive            
 is approached to take a state job, that he or she will take a pay             
 cut.  There might be some consideration in the contract to do it up           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said this bill would preclude the state negotiating            
 a severance package.  It is not right for a person to work for six            
 months and then get $60,000 as a parachute when an education bill             
 was just passed that was quite heavy-handed.                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pointed out that in the private sector,               
 there are many activities like this that are preconditioned, pre-             
 existing bargains and agreements.  They have nothing to do with               
 golden parachutes.                                                            
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE responded that the private sector is the private               
 sector, and they can spend their money however they want.   This is           
 the state, and the people do not want their money spent on high-              
 dollar individuals passing through.                                           
 Number 1851                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he does not want to restrict the                 
 recruitment of good people from some top level corporations.  He              
 suggested an amendment would help the bill further.  He agrees with           
 the concept, but HESS Committee members should be careful and not             
 rush the bill through the committee.                                          
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE felt that you either allow severance pay or you                
 don't.  If the bill was amended to allow severance pay, then there            
 is no need for the bill.                                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said the bill says, "or other separation              
 bonus."  He has not had proper time to study the bill.                        
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the bill did not have to be moved that day.               
 Number 1881                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS sees some corporations, even though they are             
 under the Executive Budget Act, which are quasi-governmental                  
 organizations and as such, they need to operate as independently as           
 they can at times without the government looking over their back              
 before they make decisions.  The ability to provide severance pay             
 has a purpose, mostly in the private sector, but also in the public           
 sector.  Representative Davis said therefore, he would object to              
 the amendment and would rather discuss the issue more in detail               
 before it is voted on to possibly kill the amendment.                         
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE did not see an obligation of the state to make                 
 wealthy people wealthier.                                                     
 MR. ANDERSON added that generally, one can look at past occurrences           
 such as the building that the AHFC was intending to construct but             
 the legislature said "stop."  That would perhaps be a retort to the           
 statement that Representative Davis does not want to micro-manage             
 the quasi-entities.  Yet, situations like this can occur, in which            
 there was no vote by the legislature and now they are constructing            
 a building.  That is going to be prevented.                                   
 Number 1951                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said obviously, people need to study the issue more            
 closely.  A vote will not be called for on the amendment at this              
 time.  The bill and amendment will be heard at a later time.                  
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG felt that the bill should be studied more             
 closely.  The money enables one to be able to remove his or her               
 family and leave the state after his/her contract expired normally            
 or he/she was terminated under a termination clause.  This                    
 situation is very common, especially in jobs such as school                   
 superintendents and university presidents.  The amendment clearly             
 reads of a separation, but the amendment should be cleaned up.                
 Representative Rokeberg does not want to restrict hiring practices.           
 However, he agrees with Co-Chair Bunde conceptually about golden              
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG felt, however, that if it was a pre-agreed            
 bonus or provision going into employment, that is not the same                
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY referred to Section 2 of the bill, which regarded             
 severance pay.  The bill states unless they qualify under a general           
 law applicable to all qualified persons, "the following persons may           
 not be paid severance pay or other separation bonuses...."                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY noted that if that is the practice of the state to            
 do that for all separations, then that is fine.                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that time will be more productively served                
 after all HESS Committee members have studied the bill and the                
 issue more thoroughly.  He withdrew the motion to move amendment              
 number one pending further discussion.                                        
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE adjourned the meeting at 5:08 p.m.                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects