Legislature(1999 - 2000)
03/27/1999 10:10 AM HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE March 27, 1999 10:10 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Fred Dyson, Co-Chair Representative John Coghill, Co-Chair Representative Jim Whitaker Representative Joe Green Representative Carl Morgan MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Tom Brice Representative Allen Kemplen COMMITTEE CALENDAR * HOUSE BILL NO. 85 "An Act relating to licensure and professional discipline of members of the teaching profession and providing for related penalties; relating to grounds for dismissal of a teacher; relating to the Professional Teaching Practices Commission; relating to limited immunity for procedures under the Educator Ethics Act; making conforming amendments; and providing for an effective date." - MOVED HB 85 OUT OF COMMITTEE * HOUSE BILL NO. 129 "An Act excluding school principals from collectively bargaining under the Public Employment Relations Act." - MOVED HB 129 OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 11(FIN) Urging the Congress of the United States to provide federal education funds as a block grant to the state. - MOVED CSSJR 11(FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 85 SHORT TITLE: TEACHERS' LICENSES, DISCIPLINE & ETHICS SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 2/10/99 186 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 2/10/99 186 (H) HES, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 2/10/99 186 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DOE) 2/10/99 186 (H) GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER 3/04/99 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 3/04/99 (H) 3/27/99 (H) HES AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 129 SHORT TITLE: COLLECTIVE BARGAINING; PRINCIPALS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) OGAN, Kohring Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 3/05/99 368 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 3/05/99 368 (H) HES, L&C 3/27/99 (H) HES AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 106 BILL: SJR 11 SHORT TITLE: EDUCATION BLOCK GRANTS SPONSOR(S): FINANCE Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 2/24/99 351 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 2/24/99 351 (S) FIN 3/11/99 (S) FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 3/11/99 (S) MOVED CS (FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE 3/11/99 (S) MINUTE(FIN) 3/11/99 474 (S) FIN RPT CS 5DP 1NR SAME TITLE 3/11/99 474 (S) DP: TORGERSON, PARNELL, PHILLIPS, GREEN, 3/11/99 474 (S) PETE KELLY; NR: ADAMS 3/12/99 493 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (S.FIN) 3/13/99 (S) RLS AT 1:30 PM FAHRENKAMP 203 3/13/99 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 3/15/99 544 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR AND 1 OR 3/15/99 3/15/99 545 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 3/15/99 545 (S) FIN CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 3/15/99 545 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 3/15/99 545 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSJR 11(FIN) 3/15/99 545 (S) PASSED Y19 N- E1 3/15/99 546 (S) ELLIS NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION 3/16/99 571 (S) RECONSIDERATION NOT TAKEN UP 3/16/99 572 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 3/17/99 488 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 3/17/99 489 (H) HES, FINANCE 3/27/99 (H) HES AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 106 WITNESS REGISTER SANNA GREEN, Executive Director Professional Teaching Practices Commission (PTPC) 344 West Third Avenue, Suite 127 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 269-6579 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 85. TERESA WILLIAMS, Assistant Attorney General Fair Business Practices Section Civil Division (Anchorage) Department of Law 1031 West 4th Avenue, Suite 200 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 269-5225 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information on HB 85. REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN, Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 128 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3878 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as sponsor of HB 129. TODD HESS, Principal Baxter Elementary School 3206 West 64th Avenue Anchorage, Alaska 99502 Telephone: (907) 243-8974 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 129. ANDRE' LAYRAL, Principal North Pole Middle School President Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals 720 Cardinal Court Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Telephone: (907) 479-0973 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 129. KEITH TATON, Principal Central Middle School of Science 4814 Malibu Road Anchorage, Alaska 99517 Telephone: (907) 243-8818 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 129. DON CHICARELL, Principal Iditarod Elementary School P.O. Box 873443 Wasilla, Alaska 99687 Telephone: (907) 376-5371 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 129. TIMOTHY DORAN, Principal Denali Elementary School 512 Windsor Drive Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Telephone: (907) 452-2456 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 129. SOPHIA MASEWICZ, Principal Romig Middle School President Anchorage Principals Association 2001 Shore Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99515 Telephone: (907) 344-3269 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 129. ERIC HENDERSON, Principal Wasilla Middle School President Mat-Su Principals Association P.O. Box 2501 Palmer, Alaska 99645 Telephone: (907) 376-7311 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 129. KYRA AIZSTRAUTS, Principal University Park Elementary School P.O. Box 233 Ester, Alaska 99725 Telephone: (907) 476-3035 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 129. MICHAEL GRAHAM, Assistant Principal East Anchorage High School Assistant Principal At-Large Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals, (AASSP) Assistant Principal Representative Anchorage Principals Association 4831 Ridge Top Circle Anchorage, Alaska 99508 Telephone: (907) 337-9913 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 129. CAROL KANE, Executive Director Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP) P.O. Box 2889 Palmer, Alaska 99645 Telephone: (907) 746-9300 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 129. VERNON MARSHALL, Executive Director National Education Association Alaska 114 Second Street Juneau, Alaska 9980 Telephone: (907) 586-3090 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 129. LEWIS SEARS, Principal Bartlett High School 13030 Admiralty Place Anchorage, Alaska 99515 Telephone: (907) 345-3367 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 129. FRED GIDDINGS, Principal Bayshore Elementary School 11500 Bayshore Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99515 Telephone: (907) 349-1514 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 129. MARY JOHNSTONE, Principal, Susitna Elementary School President Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals 7500 Tyone Court Anchorage, Alaska 99504 Telephone: (907) 337-1583 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 129. SENATOR DAVE DONLEY, Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 508 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3892 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as sponsor of SJR 11. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 99-26, SIDE A Number 0001 CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL called the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee meeting to order at 10:10 a.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Dyson, Coghill, Whitaker, Green and Morgan. HB 85 - TEACHERS' LICENSES, DISCIPLINE & ETHICS CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL announced the first order of business as House Bill No. 85, "An Act relating to licensure and professional discipline of members of the teaching profession and providing for related penalties; relating to grounds for dismissal of a teacher; relating to the Professional Teaching Practices Commission; relating to limited immunity for procedures under the Educator Ethics Act; making conforming amendments; and providing for an effective date." Number 0215 SANNA GREEN, Executive Director, Professional Teaching Practices Commission (PTPC), testified via teleconference from Anchorage. She said the PTPC asks that this bill be passed because it strengthens and facilitates the commission's actions and more accurately reflects what they actually do. They have had increased duties dealing with denial and background checks. Teresa Williams has helped them codify their policies and regulations. Number 0290 TERESA WILLIAMS, Assistant Attorney General, Fair Business Practices Section, Civil Division (Anchorage), Department of Law, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. She referred the committee to the sectional analysis attached to the bill. First of all, the State Board of Education asked that the name of the teacher's certificate be changed to license, so that necessitated a number of changes. MS. WILLIAMS referred to Section 2 of HB 85. Currently the power of the PTPC and the Department of Education (DOE) to obtain a criminal history background check is obscure in the statute. This would make it clear that the DOE has this power and would expand the power to include a person who was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Clearly, this is a necessary check to obtain on a person who wants to teach in the school. Number 0430 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN referred to page 2, Section 2 (c) and asked if someone could be removed if they were to have been found to be a problem during their tenure. MS. WILLIAMS said actually Section 2 only discusses the information that the DOE will have to review to determine whether or there are problems; whether action is taken, based on that information, would be under Section 3 and later in the bill under discipline. Section 2 just gives the DOE the power to obtain information in order to make an inquiry whether this person is fit to be a teacher. MS. WILLIAMS said the governor's office forwarded over the amendments and is requesting that they be offered as a committee substitute. In answer to Representative Green's question, she pointed out on the amendment, page 2, line 17, there will be a substitution to subsection (c) to specify exactly when a criminal background check will be requested at time of renewal. Number 0609 MS. WILLIAMS said Section 3 is new because there is no provision in statute that states when a teacher license will be denied. They have compiled different provisions that would warrant denial and put together a list of bases for denial. There will be permissive basis for denial which include if a person lies about their criminal history; if a person has surrendered a teacher certificate in another state and is under investigation there; or if their certificate was revoked or suspended in other jurisdictions. MS. WILLIAMS noted that Section 3 subsection (c) allows the DOE to suspend processing of an application for a license if a person has an unresolved criminal proceeding or a disciplinary proceeding in another state. Section 3, subsection (d) is new and allows for conditional licensing. If a person had problems in another state or has limitations this would allow a person to be licensed but only conditionally. Number 0754 REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER said he assumes that Ms. Williams has checked to be sure they are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in Section 3 subsection (d) (1) which states "The applicant is physically or mentally incapably of performing some, but not all, of the functions of the teaching profession;" MS. WILLIAMS said it would conform with the ADA because a person who might not be appropriate for a full license could get a certificate recognizing those physical limitations, so that they could accommodate that person. Number 0811 REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER wondered if she had verified this; that it was not solely her opinion. MS. WILLIAMS said she has discussed this other people in her office and clearly any enforcement of this provision would need to promote the ADA rather than in any way infringe the ADA. Number 0839 MS. WILLIAMS said Section 3, subsection (e) provides for restrictions on re-applications. This includes a problem which some of the other occupational licenses have had where a person is denied a license, and then the next day they reapply. This would put a restriction on reapplication and set standards for what would need to be done at the time of reapplication. Number 0876 MS. WILLIAMS said that Section 3 subsection (f) provides a statutory provision for what happens and what the process would be if the DOE denied a license; subsection (g) creates a statutory provision that clarifies that full reporting of final decisions on denying a license is required. Number 0910 MS. WILLIAMS said Section 4 makes the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) applicable to review of denial. Section 5 deals with teacher discipline by a school district; instead of duplicating the language, there will be a cross reference. Number 0962 CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if Section 5 limits the ability of the board to deal with a teacher on the basis of incompetency. MS. WILLIAMS said that is still in there; grounds for discipline, listed under 14.20.372, does include competency. Number 0986 CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked how the board ascertains or evaluates incompetency. MS. WILLIAMS said that is a difficult proposition to prove at the state level. They would rely upon the expertise of the district to determine whether a person is incompetent and put together the record showing incompetency. It would probably have been a discipline proceeding or termination proceeding at a district level, and then the PTPC would need to align that record to put together its own case. These are tricky and expensive cases to put together. CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if there have been cases in recent history of teachers being decertified for incompetency. MS. WILLIAMS said incompetency has been listed as a ground, but they have not had a license revocation on the sole ground of incompetency. Number 1067 CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if the term "moral turpitude" is defined in law or in state code. MS. WILLIAMS said "moral turpitude" is used in a number of places in state statutes. It is a term that is fairly ambiguous. The PTPC recently adopted regulations that specified crimes of moral turpitude, as have the Department of Corrections and the Division of Elections. The term "moral turpitude" means it would be a crime even if there weren't a statute that said it was a crime. It is something that society historically has said was wrong in itself. Number 1124 CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL referred to the said proposed regulations in 20 AAC 10.050 defining moral turpitude which lists about 28 things. MS. WILLIAMS said those were just adopted by the PTPC and go into effect April 5, 1999. Number 1144 CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if HB 85 strengthens the board's ability to deal with a teacher on the basis of moral turpitude. MS. WILLIAMS said it doesn't change it; it keeps the same level of authority. CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if the amendments change that at all. MS. WILLIAMS said no. Number 1173 CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked why the amendments were late in getting processed. Number 1188 MS. WILLIAMS apologized for the lateness; there was confusion between her office and the governor's office about who was going to get them down to the committee. CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if somebody will speak to and defend the board's draft as drafted, and why they didn't have the modifications that the amendments speak to. Number 1225 MS. WILLIAMS said the bill as drafted was circulated to the Alaska Association of School Administrators, the National Education Association and other teaching groups. Those groups made comments and then the PTPC went through the comments and made some changes. She commented on a question about the language on page 5 of HB 85, lines 17-18, which deletes the term as "as defined by the commission in regulation." Because the commission already has the overall power to define terms by regulation, it wasn't necessary to reiterate that here. CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if the PTPC has had a chance to look at these proposed amendments. MS. WILLIAMS said the PTPC met Monday and agreed with the amendments. CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if there was something formal from them saying that they endorse these amendments. MS. WILLIAMS answered that the minutes of the meeting were available. MS. WILLIAMS explained that Section 6, Grounds for discipline was formerly AS 14.20.030. Incompetency is still a grounds for discipline under Section 6, subsection (1). The definition for immorality in subsection (2) is the same definition currently in law. Section 6, subsection (3) and subsection (4) are the same. In subsection (5), they moved a regulatory provision to statute. In subsection (6), breach of contract is further explained by cross referencing the regulatory provisions. Number 1428 MS. WILLIAMS said Section 6 subsection (7) provides for discipline if a person has been disciplined in another state; subsection (8) surrender of a license in another state; subsection (9) failure to comply with a condition or limitation placed on a license. Section 6, subsection (b) is a provision that was put in by the legislature about five years ago and strengthened in the last session. They are changing it here because under the current language there was a suggestion that there would have to be an accusation at a hearing, even though this revocation should be automatic. They redrafted the language to clarify that this revocation would be automatic upon receipt of a judgement of conviction. The other part added here is if a person has had a license revoked as result of such a conviction, that person may not be employed as a member of the teaching profession, regardless of whether that employment requires a license. For example, counselors are not required to have a license, but they are members of the teaching profession. MS. WILLIAMS said Section 6 (c) makes it clear that judgment of conviction is conclusive evidence and includes a plea of nolo contendre; subsection (d) says in order to prove reciprocal discipline, all they need is the document from the other agency. Section 14.20.375, Disciplinary actions are clarified here. The commissioner has always had authority to revoke a license, subsection (a) makes it clear. MS. WILLIAMS mentioned they changed the named of the PTPC to the Educator Ethics Commission because it makes it clear about what they are and is easier to say. Number 1559 CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON commented that he appreciates the desire to eliminate the tongue twister. He wondered if ethics seems to preclude them dealing with competency. MS. WILLIAMS said she didn't think so. Clearly the statute gives authority to the issue of incompetency. CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON respectfully disagreed. As a layman, he doesn't think ethics denotes competency, but it sure is easier to say. MS. WILLIAMS said the title of the commission may not state all the functions of the commission, but the commission, under the bill and current law, clearly has the authority to deal with the issue of incompetency. Number 1603 CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON said he thought competency might include ethics, but he is not sure ethics includes competency. CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL said in the amendments the changing of the word chapter to section, it seems to him to limit within only the scope of that particular section rather than the overall chapter, and he asked what was the intent. MS. WILLIAMS said it was really a matter of fine tuning the language to be clearer. Number 1647 CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL said there was some disagreement with that, but for the record, it looks like it narrows the scope, but it also seems to confuse how any particular section might be applied throughout the whole chapter. MS. WILLIAMS said they tried to consolidate this particular section all under grounds for disciplinary action. For that reason they thought it should be here. If it is not here, then they have a problem. She added that the committee could come up with another appropriate name for the commission if they wished. MS. WILLIAMS referred to page 7 of HB 85 and said they used the occupational licensing board for a model in this section. CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL asked for clarification on the amendment, page 8, following line 17, which states: Insert a new subsection to read: "(E) At the teacher's request, the commission or the commissioner shall stay the proceedings on an accusation under this section if the teacher has requested a hearing before the school board or invoked grievance procedures under AS 14.20.180 from a dismissal or nonretention decision based on the same allegations as those made in the accusation. A stay under this subsection does not preclude the commission from summarily suspending a license under (d) of this section. The proceedings on an accusation are stayed until a final decision on the nonretention or dismissal is reached under AS 14.20.180. The commission or commissioner shall give deference to, but is not bound by, a final decision under AS 14.20.180. The commission or commissioner shall state good cause for rejecting a finding of fact made in a final decision under AS 14.20.180. the commission or commissioner may supplement the record with additional evidence on whether there are grounds for discipline under AS 14.20.372 and what discipline may be appropriate under his section." MS. WILLIAMS said this is an important section. This provision would parallel current practice to a large extent. The action would be stayed pending the conclusion of the school district matter. If the commission or commissioner were to reject the finding of fact made by the other body it would state good cause for rejecting finding of fact. The commission or the commissioner would have the power to supplement the record with additional evidence. Number 1851 MS. WILLIAMS continued that in subsection (c) under disciplinary actions, they made it clear that a teacher may not surrender a license without approval of the commission. People are anxious to surrender a license to somehow avoid a record when there are serious allegations. In subsection (d), she said the DOE has never had the power to summarily suspend a license, and certainly that is an important deficiency that needs to be remedied. The language parallels the language of the occupational licensing statutes. Subsection (e) is existing law. CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL asked for clarification on the amendment, page 7, line 7. MS. WILLIAMS said this was a change made by the Department of Law which makes it clearer. Number 1949 MS. WILLIAMS continued with subsection (f) which is existing law, but they added the power to impose a civil fine; subsection (g) is something that is already done, but this will clearly place it in statute. Section 14.20.378 is new and provides for reinstatement after suspension or revocation. CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL asked if it would be one year from revocation. MS. WILLIAMS said in the current law under APA, if a license is suspended or revoked, a person can apply for reinstatement after a year. This would change it so they couldn't apply until five years. MS. WILLIAMS said the rest of this section deals with the whole procedures on reinstatement. Sections 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 had technical changes or were simplified and clarified. Section 12 subsection (b) is new so the commission can adopt the hearing officer's proposed findings of fact in their entirety and increase or change the proposed disciplinary action. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if that can go in the other direction as well. MS. WILLIAMS answered yes, they can decrease as well. That is already provided in the APA. Number 2171 MS. WILLIAMS said Section 13 is new providing for confidentiality of the investigative file. Subsection (b) deals with confidentiality with reference to minors and how to handle that during a meeting. CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL said it was his understanding that this is broader than has been used. MS. WILLIAMS said this is the way the commission has been operating, so it would be nice to have the provision. Number 2194 MS. WILLIAMS said Section 14.20.478, Limitation of liability is new; Section 15 is new; this issue of forged certificates has come up twice in the last year. There is no current power to do anything other than looking through the criminal code and finding something that can be utilized. This section provides similar criminal penalties for persons who work as a teacher without a license. CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL noticed they are inserting one of the amendments here. Number 2246 MS. WILLIAMS said that is to clarify because there was a concern that this was making licensed teachers subject to criminal penalties. CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL said this section is dealing with teachers who may have lied about that. He asked if this should reflect that in saying who should be licensed. MS. WILLIAMS said yes it does say that here. MS. WILLIAMS said the other changes in the rest of the sections are all technical changes. Number 2306 CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL commented that it is his understanding that these amendments were something that was brought forward from the governor's office. MS. WILLIAMS said yes, the governor's office had requested that these amendments be adopted by the committee, and the commission has looked at these and ratified that these are appropriate amendments. TAPE 99-26, SIDE B Number 2327 MS. GREEN said that the commission has gone through this bill and the amendments, and they have approved them. They find them important, and they codified a lot of the things. Some of the things they need to have in statute, and this clarified a lot of those things scattered throughout policies and regulations. CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked what further referrals this bill has and found out it goes on to the Judiciary Committee. Number 2217 CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON made a motion to move HB 85 from the committee with individual recommendations. There being no objection, HB 85 moved from the House Health, Education and Social Services Committee without the amendments. HB 129 - COLLECTIVE BARGAINING; PRINCIPALS Number 2207 CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL announced the next order of business as House Bill No. 129, "An Act excluding school principals from collectively bargaining under the Public Employment Relations Act." Number 2174 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor, presented HB 129. He said it adds principals to AS 23.40.256 along with superintendents, thus making collective bargaining unavailable to both groups of administrators. The purpose of HB 129 is to keep principals clear of collective agreements. He feels that principals should serve as part of the management team of co-administrators; as one principal commented "not to make but enforce policy." REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated that boards are an extension of the public; superintendents are an extension of the board and principals are an extension of the superintendent. This bill was introduced to help keep this chain of administration clear and unbroken. He compared the relationship of superintendent and principals to that of the governor and commissioners, and he asked would the governor have them serve at the pleasure of the governor or have them be part of the collective bargaining process. The school board should set the policy; the school board hires the superintendent to carry out that policy; and principals simply need to be part of that management team. Number 2077 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN read a letter of testimony from Dr. Robert A. Lehman, Superintendent, Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, dated March 24, 1999, which states: Thank you for this opportunity to testify on House Bill 129. I am sorry that due to a prior commitment, I am unable to deliver my comments in person. I appreciate Representative Ogan reading this into the record on my behalf. I would like to recognize Scott Ogan for the foresight and awareness that led to his introduction of this bill, which would eliminate the unionization of school principals. To be candid, when I first reviewed this legislation I had mixed feelings about it. This bill proposes a change in the way that we do business as educators. As both an experienced superintendent and trainer of school administrators, I felt an obligation to consider how this legislation would affect the children of Alaska. Several hours of contemplating this and discussing it with colleagues failed to generate one single reason that the unionization of principals in any way enhances student achievement. In order to validate my findings, I surveyed professional research on principal unionization. I found that the elimination of principal unions and tenure is a national issue. Within the past few years several states, including Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Oregon have eliminated the unionization of school leaders. New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are moving in this direction. Is it coincidental that these are some of the same states that have made the most progress in moving toward standards based instruction and accountability? According to the National Association of Secondary School Principals, only in 16 states, Alaska included, do principals receive tenure or equivalent rights to a continuing contract. Why is the concept of collective bargaining for principals on the endangered species list? There are several reasons to eliminate unionization at this level. The first has to do with the core of the principal's job. Let's make no bones about the fact that schools fail primarily because of poor teaching. Textbooks may be outdated or in short supply, teachers may be underpaid, classes may be too large and parents may even be neglectful, but new books, affluent teachers, smaller classes and attentive parents alone do not insure students learning. We seem to have lost sight of the main reason for principals. They exist not to maintain the status quo, but rather to lead the development of an effective learning relationship between teachers and students. Principals must be empowered to produce results in this realm and then be held accountable for those results. Another reason that principals should be released from the constraints of unions has to do with the amount of authority delegated to them. They should have a great deal of authority. They need the freedom to organize their schools in a way that makes the best use of available resources for students. It is up to us as superintendents to foster the growth of principals and to determine how much power to delegate to each at any given time. Principals will end up with real authority and respect from the staff and community if they earn it through their actions. They cannot command it based on a union agreement, which by its nature has a ceiling defined by the limitations of the least qualified members. Rather than bargain collectively, they should actively be set free to compete to the ultimate benefit of excellence in schooling. Additionally, most districts employ a management team operation. This provides a structure for administrators to participate in management planning under the leadership of the superintendent. The elimination of unions will allow principals to be included in the team and to help shape the formulation of policy. Educational policy has to do with the specific things that make quality education happen. School boards set policy in terms of goals and purposes. They approve specific policies drawn by the administrative team. In this process, the first hand experience and perspective of principals is essential to the making of sound policies. Good policy is designed from diverse viewpoints, independent thinking, and objectivity. It also considered the minority viewpoint. Unions foster single points of view. The most compelling reason that principals should stay out of unions is the fact that principals are management. Success should be measured based on how well the job is done in comparison to others in similar roles. We want principals to continue to have a great influence on school systems in Alaska. We need to empower principals who unashamedly do the job better than anybody else and who want a reward system based on performance. These things are the bane and peril of unions. They also have little attraction for principals who are interested only in keeping the lid on and avoiding change. The passage of this bill will be a landmark in your efforts to stop the decline of our system and enable us to improve the quality of instruction. As Sitting Bull said, "It is time to put our minds together and see what we can do for our children." The children of Alaska deserve no less. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said he would like to associate himself entirely with those comments. CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL said he finds that a very refreshing, honest appraisal showing clear delineation between management and teachers. Number 1836 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN read another letter from the Association of Alaska School Boards which states: Collective Bargaining for Principals. The Association of Alaska School Boards supports House Bill 129, which exempts principals from collective bargaining under the Public Employee Relations Act as Class (a)(3) employees with the unlimited right to strike. This bill helps clarify that as educational leaders, principals are part of the management team. School boards do not believe it is appropriate to be negotiating with their front line people who articulate the district vision and mission within our communities and help implement strategies for effective public education. We need to empower our principals to act as leaders, and let them take the risks necessary to organize their schools using available resources in a way that best promotes student achievement. Ties to unions can sometimes hinder that progress. AASB believes that treating principals as management, while maintaining student contact, classroom instruction, and evaluating teachers, allows them to help shape the formulation of policy in a more meaningful way. Good policy is designed from diverse viewpoints. Let's give principals one more reason to think outside the box, to do whatever it takes to help improve student performance in the least restrictive environment. Number 1716 TODD HESS, Principal, Baxter Elementary School, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. He is not in favor of HB 129. He has worked in the education field for over 24 years. One thing he has not seen from his perspective was what the sponsor has characterized unionization of principals; he has seen the process of collective bargaining which provides a structure to the process that has worked very effectively for the public school systems in Alaska. It lays out expectations, ground rules and individual (indisc). He does agree that the principals are representatives of the superintendent and school board, and they do follow and implement district policy. Number 1645 ANDRE' LAYRAL, President, Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals, Principal, North Pole Middle School, testified via teleconference from Fairbanks. He has completed his 25th year as an educator in Alaska; the past 22 years have been in Fairbanks. He has been a principal the past seven years at North Pole Middle School. This bill adds principals to AS 23.40.250 (6) along with superintendents which makes collective bargaining unavailable to both groups of administrators. He stated that currently, superintendents are hired and supervised by elected bodies, and therefore they are not collective. MR. LAYRAL established under AS 23.40.070 (1), it recognizes the right of public employees to organize for the purpose of collective bargaining. Under the same statute, it requires "public employers to negotiate with and enter into written agreements with employee organizations on matters of wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment;" Principals are employed by the district so HB 129 fails to recognize this statute. The purpose of HB 129 is to keep principals clear of collective bargaining agreements, and in effect negating their status of public employees and will violate Alaska statute. Under the same statute, it states "public employees have been granted the right to share in the decision-making process affecting wages and working conditions, they have become more responsive and better able to exchange ideas and information on operations with their administrators." MR. LAYRAL said currently, school principals are subordinates who are evaluated by the superintendent and are not involved in joint decision making and are not part of a district office staff; rather, they lead and manage schools which are part of the district. Under HB 129, principals would lose this voice in determining their conditions of work paving the way for arbitrary reassignment, removal from their positions without just cause and would have no formal means of appeal of grievances in termination nor representation. MR. LAYRAL pointed out that the role of principal is a complex one. Not unlike superintendents, they operate in politically charged environments while focusing on student learning, school safety and bridging their community expectations for school and district goals, while building partnerships to sustain their efforts at achieving quality in Alaska. Whereas, a lack of job security ability has a voice and working conditions and no means of appealing decisions which affect their employment will further restrict the ability of school districts to recruit and retain qualified school principals and a market which predicts severe shortages of principals in the United States. Principals have been educational leaders during these frequent changes in superintendents, and they deserve credit for providing the necessary stability in district schools. The stability of schools in Alaska often calls on longevity and commitment of dedicated principals when there is high turnover of superintendents in Alaska. Nationally, superintendents turn over about every three years. MR. LAYRAL concluded that it is so plainly obvious to him that the impact of this bill will dramatically affect the quality of education in Alaska that he is surprised that the sponsor cannot see it as well. He hopes the committee will. He pointed out that the timing of this bill is a distraction from their ability to focus on the more serious educational issues before the state following the passage of SB 36, and this causes him to question the motives behind sponsoring such a divisive bill at this time. Number 1441 KEITH TATON, Principal, Central Middle School of Science, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. He has been in education for 31 years; 16 years have been in Alaska. He has served eight years on Alaska Board of Principals and now serves on the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). In his 16 years in the Anchorage School District, he has worked under several superintendents. There has been much better superintendent stability in Anchorage than in many districts across the state. The national average for a superintendent across this country is 2.2 years. The number of years for principals in districts far exceeds that. Part of the reason is collective bargaining. There is a severe shortage of principals in this country, and here in Alaska the problem will only be compounded if principals lose their right to collective bargaining. Times have changed. Salaries in Alaska no longer lead the nation. In fact, salaries for principals in the post populated parts of the state, Kenai, Matanuska-Susitna and Anchorage aren't even ranked close to the top when compared to other districts. They should be looking for ways to encourage principals to come and stay in Alaska, not create ways to drive them off. MR. TATON reported that according to NASSP, 70 percent of the principals in the United States are now eligible for retirement or will be in the next three years. He asked where are the principals going to come from to fill the jobs in Alaska. The principal provides stability to the district of this state. The principals really do what is best for children, and they do it everyday. He asked if they want turnover of principals like the turnover of superintendents. He is sure the communities do not want that. They want stability in their schools. MR. TATON asked how will they implement standards if there is a constant turnover of principals. "I can assure you that if you do away with collective bargaining in this state, you will see turnover in the principal ranks like you have never seen before. Why are superintendents given multi year contracts? It is because they are change agents that sometimes make decisions that in the short term are not popular. We must look at ways of encouraging principals not discouraging principals." MR. TATON said he called the NASSP office yesterday, and they felt there is not one state in the United States that does not provide collective bargaining for principals. Alaska would be the only one if this passed. He has talked to principals across the state, and he has yet to find one principal in favor of this bill. "Do not be misled, in closing let me clearly state that I oppose HB 129. Collective bargaining works; has worked well for school districts in Alaska and across the nation and should be in place to attract and maintain good principals dedicated to providing quality education for our students." Number 1282 DON CHICARELL, Principal, Iditarod Elementary School, Professional Rights and Responsibilities Chairperson representing Mat-Su Principals Association, Member, Executive Board, Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals, testified via teleconference from the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Legislative Information Office (LIO). He commented that there is not any money saving features in this bill. He said if they use Dr. Lehman as a resource, in a speech he gave last week at the Wasilla Chamber of Commerce, he informed the public that "when you remove principals from collective bargaining the salaries and benefits for them increase, as they did with other administrators out of collective bargaining." This is going to cost more money for the state in the future. MR. CHICARELL also added that to remove principals from collective bargaining and the protections that principals have if they advocate for their school community in order to keep administering quality schools, who will be left to advocate for the school communities. He said the bottom line of this bill is it can be considered really a method of regulating principals' loyalty for the top down mandate instead of having school community educators advocate for the needs of those schools. If principals are removed from collective bargaining, the protection they have to be able to provide open, honest, critical analysis of the decisions that are made throughout the state will also be removed. "If you believe Dr. Lehman's information presented in his letter, then why haven't the principals in Mat-Su been supported in working outside the box? Those words sound good but he's leaving here and we're left to maintain quality schools without him." Number 1175 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if Mr. Chicarell was the gentleman involved in a grievance that was arbitrated recently. MR. CHICARELL answered that is correct. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if it was a binding arbitration. MR. CHICARELL said that's right. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said they ruled in your [Mr. Chicarell's] favor. MR. CHICARELL said that's correct. He added it was because the administration used the evaluation procedure as a way of retribution for principals speaking out in an open, honest fashion. Number 1142 TIMOTHY DORAN, Principal, Denali Elementary School, testified via teleconference from Fairbanks. He has 18 years of educational experience in Alaska. He is opposed to HB 129 on several fronts. It arbitrarily removes a group of public employees from collective bargaining and employment rights; this is unlike superintendents who are sole members of their unit. Principals are building administrators who are not district office administrators, and therefore have a distinctly different role than the other excluded persons under this bill. Principals represent significant consistency in carrying out the educational efforts of the state and local district. As such, they should be assured of a consistency in their employment conditions. MR. DORAN went on to say collective bargaining by principal associations has a solid history of being beneficial to districts, principles and education; included under that are teachers, students and parents which should not be tossed aside in this regard. This bill raises major questions regarding good faith bargaining efforts on the part of both school districts and principal associations which include current negotiating plans and expectations of continuing collective bargaining under current contract and establishing understanding. MR. DORAN addressed two sponsor statements. The sponsor statement suggests that principals should be excluded if they "not make, but enforce policy." He pointed out that this is the same expectation of all school district employees, public employees including teachers in the classroom. They all share in the same responsibilities, and principals should not be singled out as a group in this regard. Further, the sponsor statement states that "Principals should serve as part of a management team of co-administrators." The fact is that principals are not district-level decision makers; they are significantly different than the superintendent and are merely advisory in influencing school district policy set by the board and district administrative regulations set by the superintendent. Therefore this assumption by the sponsor is not reflective of the role of principals and based on this, it underscores the fact that this bill should not become law. MR. DORAN concluded that the comments read earlier from Dr. Lehman and the AASB have several good points; none of which are hindered or ruled out by collective bargaining. They simply need to be implemented. He strongly opposes this bill as being disruptive to a proven process of addressing employment concerns, disruptive to a process which provides stability in educational efforts and has raised as many questions regarding current contract negotiations and employment rights which this amendment to state statute has not in any way addressed. He urged the committee to please defeat this bill. Number 0971 SOPHIA MASEWICZ, President, Anchorage Principals Association, Principal, Romig Middle School, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. She has been a teacher and administrator in Anchorage for the last 22 years. She is a representative of 119 association members, which is the largest organization representing principals in this state. She spoke against HB 129. She e-mailed 119 principals regarding the feedback on this bill and talked with a number of principals on this issue, and none were supportive of this bill. This bill would essentially eliminate a critical component of the checks and balance system in education. MS. MASEWICZ commented that principals are in a unique position compared to superintendents, central administrations and board members. They are on the front line of daily operation of the schools. They are the instructional leaders, the managers, the problem solvers, and the mediators in situations concerning parents, teachers and central administration. They are also in the position of protecting the rights of others because they have a bird's-eye view and perspective of the situation. Because principals have been able to collective bargain and negotiate concerns in their contracts, that affects their ability to effectively manage and be the instructional leaders in their schools. They have protected the rights of children and parents; they have been able to make decisions in the best interests of those they truly serve. MS. MASEWICZ said she has been in arbitrations involving teachers which the issues often would drastically change principals' abilities to make decisions that would be in the best interest of students. She thinks this bill would be very detrimental to the welfare of students and parents, and although they are an association, their purpose and ethics would cause them to make decisions in the best interest. MS. MASEWICZ concluded that for the many reasons that principals separated from NEA over 30 years ago, those similar reasons are the ones they should not be aligned today with superintendents, and she strongly urged the committee not to support this bill. Number 0797 ERIC HENDERSON, Principal, Wasilla Middle School, President, Mat-Su Principals Association, testified via teleconference from Mat-Su LIO. He said the Mat-Su Principals Association opposes HB 129. He quoted a couple of Representative Ogan's statements made on March 5 in a press release when this bill was introduced. "The public, our superintendent and our school boards need a balance between those who are representing collectively and those who are responsible for the day-to-day management. Parents tell me school principals are collectively working their own will outside of district policy. That disturbs me." MR. HENDERSON said if that is indeed the case, and Representative Ogan has been getting a lot of complaints, they are baffled why he hasn't reported those to the superintendent and the school board. This is a citizen's responsibility if principals are acting outside the school district policy, those principals need to be reported and action needs to be taken. Actions that can be taken with principals include the PTPC; superintendents can reprimand principals with those regards; and the fact that principals are tenured as a teacher and not as a principal, they have one year contracts, is also another method in which superintendents can remove principals who are not abiding by district policy. MR. HENDERSON said that collective bargaining offers principals the protection to do their job. This bill would take away that protection and place principals in a position to respond to the political whims of the superintendent, the school board and legislators. In his tenure of 20 years in the Mat-Su they have gone through eight superintendents. Each of those administrators have been involved in political turmoil, and yet the schools have managed to function and provide a quality education program in spite of that political turmoil. If principals had to respond to that political turmoil over the years, he doesn't think they would have the stable education system they have now. Number 0640 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN responded that he has addressed concerns to the school board, to the superintendent, to the borough assembly without satisfactory results. In fact, he got a letter from a school board member on her attorney stationary threatening him with litigation. Number 0592 KYRA AIZSTRAUTS, Principal, University Park Elementary School, testified via teleconference from Fairbanks. She has been in education for 14 years and an administrator for four years. She spoke in opposition to HB 129. As a principal, she believes she works as a public employee under the superintendent's direction. She believes there is a very clear chain of command and principals do not need to be eliminated from a bargaining unit; the chain of command would still be very clear. She reiterated her colleagues' previous comments in Mat-Su that they are truly under one year contracts, and that there is no tenure for administrators in this state; they are tenured by certified staff as a teacher. She stated that the stability they provide is because they are a strong, dedicated group of professionals. She has been an administrator for four years under three superintendents. She asked the committee to please reconsider passing this house bill out of committee. Number 0471 MICHAEL GRAHAM, Assistant Principal, East Anchorage High School, Assistant Principal At-Large, Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals, (AASSP), Assistant Principal Representative, Anchorage Principals Association. He has been an administrator in Anchorage for the past five years. He spoke against HB 129. He noted that most secondary and some elementary principals begin their administrative duties as assistant principals. Assistant principals do an incredible number of tasks to ensure that schools maintain a safe educational atmosphere. Students, parents, teachers, counselors, coaches, public agencies and community members work together and connect with staff and students in schools. As both teacher and administrator, he always considered himself to be a public employee. If collective bargaining is taken away from the administrators, they will be on their own to bargain individual contracts. This would be divisive and damaging in the district where they need to work closely together. MR. GRAHAM said newly appointed assistant principals largely do not hold the leverage or standing, and possibly not the experience necessary, to bargain their own contract. "This is disturbing because I fear that the loss of collective bargaining has kept the membership support and fairness it provides will openly be a barrier to attracting top educators to the profession." He loves his job and thinks he is good at it, but he doesn't know if he would have left the collective bargaining contract he had as a teacher if it meant setting out on his own with little protection. He is a public employee not an entrepreneur. Alaska needs to attract top educators to provide the educational leadership necessary for implementing state standards and providing the best education possible for the students. On behalf of himself and the other assistant principals in Anchorage, who will at some point probably continue on as principals, he urged the committee to stop HB 129 and keep it from moving forward. Number 0322 CAROL KANE, Executive Director, Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP), testified via teleconference from the Mat-Su LIO. The AASSP represents 235 administrative professionals throughout Alaska. The board of directors of AASSP is opposed to HB 129 as it is currently written. She quoted Dr. Gerald Terazi (PH), Executive Director, National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), as printed in the recent Newsleader, March 19, 1999 issue. She read: Education in America, public education in particular, is at a critical crossroads. There is a growing frustration and concern regarding quality of our public schools. It is against this backdrop that the drama of school reform is being played out in our nation's schoolhouses. I envision this as an opportune time for NASSP to ensure that the voice of the principals is heard and respected in various policy forums driving the engines of full reform. ... The need for greater, more intensive involvement takes on added significance and education environment where school-based accountability, state takeover of schools, reconstitution of schools and vouchers to private and parochial schools, are among the many issues taking center stage in the school reform debate. There must emerge a recognition that it is the principal of a school who is the instructional leader, the agents of change and the manager and facilitator of teaching and learning process. ... It is the principal who is the main architect of the instructional program serving as a leader, facilitator, manager staff and resources in the demanding and complex mission of ensuring equity and excellence for all children. MS. KANE said in legislation where this has been admitted in other states, they are now promoting that due process rights for administrators and hearing processes be included in legislation and therefore they are clearly against HB 129 and urged the committee to ask them for help in anyway to negate this bill. TAPE 99-27, SIDE A Number 0029 VERNON MARSHALL, Executive Director, National Education Association (NEA)-Alaska, came forward to testify. He said the NEA-Alaska submitted a written statement in opposition to HB 129. The NEA- Alaska does not represent principals, but they have a great deal of concern about the bill. Once the right to bargain is eliminated, it might as well be said they are eliminating collective bargaining agreements relative to principals. They feel that the agreements that do exist in school districts provide a standard of employment, provide a standard of treatment and they do provide a standard of security. "They are in writing; they work for management; they work against management; they work for labor; they work against labor." Removing the power that is prescribed under the collective bargaining agreement, and they do feel the right to bargain does in a sense level that playing field relative to management and labor. MR. MARSHALL said he feels in this case that principals are labor. They like to call them managers, but they are in the worst of all worlds as indicated in the testimony. They are at-will employees under a single year contract. Once that contract expires, for the most part, they have no rights whatsoever unless those rights are prescribed in the collective bargaining agreement. There is also a shift of power from the collective bargaining agreement, and power abhors a vacuum; it is going to be consumed by someone. That someone is very likely to be the superintendent and the board of education. There are relationships relative to superintendents and boards of education. Their question is "'should a principal, in a sense, be constrained by the whims and wishes of a superintendent?' and we've seen too many instances where ... I think we need a good nepotism law in Alaska, which we don't have, and hiring friends and relatives, we've seen that activity relative to teachers." The committee has their statement, and the NEA-Alaska opposes the bill. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked Mr. Marshall how collective bargaining enhances student achievement. Number 0239 MR. MARSHALL said he liked what Sitting Bull had to say: "It is time that we put our minds together and do what we can for children." Mr. Marshall thinks this is a classic case of a divisive action that is occurring when they ought to be talking about discipline, class size, how they're going to do a better job of educating children. He stated: Now, how does this help kids? I think any time that you have an opportunity to reduce to writing basically the relationship that would exist between management and labor I think that does help kids. I think another thing that helps children is the fact that principals are looking at the operation of school systems. They are on the line with teachers and those principals should be given the opportunity to go in there and talk about schedules and bargain those arrangements. I think, unfortunately, collective bargaining is a little weak. We don't get in there and talk about bargaining curriculum, bargaining the length of the day, bargaining opportunities to deal with discipline. You know, bargain some of those critical issues that occur in the classroom. We would accept more. CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if Mr. Marshall had just said that the bargaining unit ought to bargain the curriculum. MR. MARSHALL said "I think that's--yeah, definitely within the purview, I think it is critical to a school. I mean you've got teachers and principals that are working together and they see the needs of those children. They see the needs that you have stipulated relative to state standards." REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said "he has made the points for the bill." LEWIS SEARS, Principal, Bartlett High School, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. He spoke in opposition of HB 129 because he thinks it is essentially a step in the wrong direction. He has been a principal and educator in Anchorage since 1971. He has enjoyed a unique privilege of being able to work with local legislators, superintendents, school boards, the public (indisc--tearing paper) along with staff and making sure that they move continuously toward quality education. Along with that, they have had the opportunity to gain administrators directly from the teacher ranks in a way to that would ensure their safety and improve their working conditions, if they take on the challenge as public school administrator. MR. SEARS said he believes HB 129 hurts education overall; he doesn't know what the thought process was that went in to bringing this bill forward, but as he reads it, he would say it is not good for Alaska. It is certainly not good for him as he tries to encourage teachers to move into the administrative ranks and carry out the wishes and desires of parents, school boards, the general public as it relates to their business associates and those people who really care about education and the quality of life, as they move toward improving the standards in education, not only in Alaska but nationwide. He urged the committee to let HB 129 die in committee. FRED GIDDINGS, Principal, Bayshore Elementary, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. He has been in education as teacher and principal for 21 years; he has been in Alaska nearly 40 years. He is opposed to HB 129. He is a line administrator, and what that means to him is the policies that come out of school boards and superintendents' offices are enforced by him on the front line with students, parents and teachers. It is absolutely critical in the formation of these policies that he has voice at the table and an opportunity to express his opinion before that policy becomes final. MR. GIDDINGS said ultimately, he and other principals are going to be the ones that go forward to their neighborhoods and explain that policy. He believes that healthy organizations thrive when there are diverse opinions. He certainly understands the chain of command; he is a line administrator and the superintendent and the school board are his boss. He will work the policies that they have, but it is absolutely essential, before that policy happens, that he gets a chance to say how that will impact the children in his neighborhood. If at his school, he were to decide that there was not going to be a student, teacher or parent voice at the table, then his school would not be as dynamic, and the policies would not be particularly effective. It would be him saying this is what he wants to do, and he doesn't want to hear any diverse opinions. That is not how dynamics in organizations thrive. He is absolutely opposed to HB 129. He doesn't think it is good for kids, teachers or parents. Number 0690 MARY JOHNSTONE, Principal, Susitna Elementary School, President, Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals, testified via teleconference via Anchorage. She stated: The executive board of the Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals opposes HB 129 for the following reasons. First of all, the bill is written in such broad language and encompasses sweeping changes that delete collective bargaining for principals, it mentioned nothing of how, when, and if principals will be recognized as professional employees of the district. Will principals become at-will employees and be handed down policy from the superintendent to be carried out in their schools? What rights will principals be given? What happens to the value of participatory relationships and principal-liaison building between the school district and school community, or will information only flow in one direction? Even though superintendents are not covered under the PERA [Public Employees Relations Act], they come into the state and into new districts and perform under legal, binding contracts that clearly represent negotiated benefits and salaries with local school boards. Singling out professional school principals who are covered under PERA and have the right to collective bargaining as public employees, would be taking away the opportunity for them to bargain for working conditions, salary and benefits that superintendents now enjoy. Shouldn't we offer the same for principals? Research studies show that 50 percent of today's principals will retire by the year 2002. Presently there is a great shortage of qualified candidates for principal vacancies in the United States, including Alaska. Two million teachers will be needed in the next decade to serve the growing enrollment and a record number of vacancies as the first baby boomers retire. (indisc) three simplifications for school leaders and districts in terms of identifying and encouraging teachers and other administrators who have potential to become effective principals. Why the shortage of qualified candidates? Research suggests that long hours, too much stress, too little pay are some of the top reasons why the candidate pool has shrunk. Attracting and keeping great principals and encouraging teachers to aspire to become administrative candidates in light of new standards, assessment and graduation requirements and now opposition to collective bargaining (indisc--paper rustling) even further the recruitment of retention of the principals for the state of Alaska. HB 129 is perpendicular to the trends of leadership for 21st century schools. Finally I'd like to end with a quote from Larry Dethat (PH), Leadership and Effective Schools. "People follow effective leaders because they share the leader's dreams, not because they are afraid of what would happen to them if they do not follow." CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL closed public testimony. Number 0931 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said with all due respect to Vernon Marshall, he thinks it clarifies the need for the bill. Mr. Marshall had stated that principals are labor, and Representative Ogan thinks they are at a juncture to decide whether principals are labor or management. Another testifier talked about singling out professional principals, and Representative Ogan responded to that question: Well, professionals to me are management. We're professionals and the people who work for us are professionals; they don't have a union and a collective bargaining agreement; they serve at our pleasure. And as a manager, and I've been a manager and an owner of a business for a number of years, I need to be able to manage my employees the way I need to manage them. I need to be able to hire and fire at will. There was a talk about shift of power. Mr. Marshall said a shift of power to the superintendent and the board of education. That is exactly my point. The board of education should set the policy and have the power. The superintendent doesn't set the policy; he simply carries out the policy set by the school boards. The principals need to be subordinate to that. Under the collective bargaining process they can't be. There was talk about the average time for a superintendent is 2.2 years. If you can't manage your team, I think it seriously inhibits their ability to stay anywhere very long. I know I certainly wouldn't want to take the job if my management team had thumbed their nose at me; I couldn't even give them an evaluation. Right or wrong, the superintendent needs to be able to evaluate his employees. And if it's the perception of the superintendent that the employee is not doing a good job, that's his role. To me, to have an evaluation go to arbitration is ludicrous. If the superintendent is being vindictive with somebody for a political agenda, the school board's responsibility is to recognize that and get rid of the superintendent. We have a situation in our district where the principal association have voted a no confidence vote for our superintendent. It's not their business or their policy to thumb their noses at the superintendent. It is the school board's. If the school board doesn't have confidence in him, they should get rid of him. I feel pretty strongly about the bill as you can tell but I think there's probably few things we can do--this bill is probably one of the greatest things we can do to give the power back to the people. People elect the school board, and the school board represents the people. Right now, the way we're structured with collective bargaining for principals, the principals don't have to be subordinate at all to the school district, to the administration's policies. The idea of collective bargaining for curriculum and length of days and those kind of things, whoa, anyway that is all I have to say. Number 1129 CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL said he intends to move the bill out because their purview is education policy; it will go on to the Labor and Commerce Committee. To him it is a good policy that the accountability of the school principals be under the elected official which is more closely related to the people; there is more direct accountability there. Once they begin to bargain with a teachers' union, for example, there becomes an allegiance that goes beyond, and he thinks it is a little harder to reach. He recommends that they move this bill along. REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER commented that he has no objection to this bill moving from this committee, but he does have some questions that will have to be answered before he can support it on the floor. The committee took an at-ease from 12:02 p.m. to 12:04 p.m. Number 1267 CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON made a motion to move HB 129 from the committee with individual recommendations. There being no objection, HB 129 moved from the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee. SJR 11-EDUCATION BLOCK GRANTS Number 1299 CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL announced the next order of business as CSSJR 11 CS for Senate Joint Resolution No. 11(FIN), Urging the Congress of the United States to provide federal education funds as a block grant to the state. Number 1299 SENATOR DAVE DONLEY, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor, said SJR 11 is sponsored by the Senate Finance Committee. He said the people who have chaired the education budget subcommittees have realized it is almost impossible to streamline the federal funding for education programs. Over the last several years, there has been a movement in Congress to do something similar to what has been done with welfare, and that is to provide states with block grants, and let all the states restructure the programs more efficiently. That legislation passed the U.S. House in the last Congress but didn't quite make it through the Senate; it is once again before the Congress, and SJR 11 calls on Congress to pass that legislation and to provide block grants for education to the states. Number 1406 CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON made a motion to move CSSJR 11(FIN) with individual recommendations. There being no objection, CSSJR 11 moved from the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee. ADJOURNMENT Number 1422 There being no further business before the committee, the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 12:08 p.m.