Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/20/1999 03:05 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
         HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL                                                                                     
            SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                         
                   April 20, 1999                                                                                               
                     3:05 p.m.                                                                                                  
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                                 
Representative Fred Dyson, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative John Coghill, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Jim Whitaker                                                                                                     
Representative Joe Green                                                                                                        
Representative Tom Brice                                                                                                        
Representative Allen Kemplen                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                  
Representative Carl Morgan                                                                                                      
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                              
SENATE BILL NO. 98                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to teacher tenure."                                                                                            
     - MOVED SB 98 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
HOUSE BILL NO. 113                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to a program of postsecondary education for high                                                               
school students."                                                                                                               
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
* HOUSE BILL NO. 191                                                                                                            
"An Act relating to charter schools; and providing for an effective                                                             
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
* HOUSE BILL NO. 115                                                                                                            
"An Act relating to the University of Alaska; and providing for an                                                              
effective date."                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
* HOUSE BILL NO. 195                                                                                                            
"An Act relating to school construction grants and to municipal                                                                 
school construction debt reimbursement."                                                                                        
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
(* First public hearing)                                                                                                        
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                                 
BILL: SB  98                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: TEACHER TENURE                                                                                                     
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) GREEN                                                                                                    
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 3/10/99       463     (S)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 3/10/99       463     (S)  HES                                                                                                 
 3/22/99               (S)  HES AT  1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                       
 3/22/99               (S)  HEARD AND HELD                                                                                      
 3/22/99               (S)  MINUTE(HES)                                                                                         
 3/29/99               (S)  HES AT  1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                       
 3/29/99               (S)  MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                              
 3/29/99               (S)  MINUTE(HES)                                                                                         
 3/30/99               (S)  RLS AT 11:50 AM FAHRENKAMP 203                                                                      
 3/30/99               (S)  MINUTE(RLS)                                                                                         
 3/30/99       735     (S)  HES RPT  2DP 2NR 1DNP                                                                               
 3/30/99       735     (S)  NR: MILLER, PETE KELLY; DP: WILKEN,                                                                 
 3/30/99       735     (S)  PEARCE; DNP: ELTON                                                                                  
 3/30/99       735     (S)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DOE)                                                                              
 4/07/99       805     (S)  RULES TO CALENDAR AND 1 OR 4/7/99                                                                   
 4/07/99       807     (S)  READ THE SECOND TIME                                                                                
 4/07/99       807     (S)  ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN                                                                      
 4/07/99       807     (S)  READ THE THIRD TIME  SB 98                                                                          
 4/07/99       807     (S)  PASSED Y14 N6                                                                                       
 4/07/99       807     (S)  ELLIS  NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION                                                                    
 4/08/99       828     (S)  RECONSIDERATION NOT TAKEN UP                                                                        
 4/08/99       829     (S)  TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                  
 4/09/99       698     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 4/09/99       699     (H)  HES                                                                                                 
 4/20/99               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
BILL: HB 113                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: POSTSECONDARY EDUC FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS                                                                        
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) MASEK, Dyson                                                                                     
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 2/24/99       301     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 2/24/99       301     (H)  HES, FIN                                                                                            
 4/08/99       694     (H)  COSPONSOR(S): DYSON                                                                                 
 4/13/99               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
 4/13/99               (H)  HEARD AND HELD                                                                                      
 4/20/99               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
BILL: HB 191                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: CHARTER SCHOOLS                                                                                                    
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) DYSON, Kohring                                                                                   
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 4/13/99       794     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 4/13/99       794     (H)  HES, FIN                                                                                            
 4/20/99               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
BILL: HB 115                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: USE OF UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA APPROPRIATION                                                                          
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) BUNDE                                                                                            
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 2/24/99       301     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 2/24/99       302     (H)  HES, FINANCE                                                                                        
 4/20/99               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
BILL: HB 195                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: SCHOOL GRANT/DEBT REIMBURSEMENT                                                                                    
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) DYSON                                                                                            
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 4/13/99       795     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                                                                   
 4/13/99       795     (H)  HES, FIN                                                                                            
 4/20/99               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                                
JEANETTE JEAN, Legislative Administrative Assistant                                                                             
   for Senator Lyda Green                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 125                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 465-6600                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented sponsor statement for SB 98.                                                                     
CARL ROSE, Executive Director                                                                                                   
Association of Alaska School Boards                                                                                             
316 West 11th Street                                                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 586-1083                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 98.                                                                             
JOHN CYR, President                                                                                                             
National Education Association (NEA) Alaska                                                                                     
114 Second Street                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 586-3090                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 98.                                                                                        
EDDIE GRASSER, Legislative Assistant                                                                                            
   for Representative Beverly Masek                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 432                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 465-3306                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented sponsor statement on HB 113.                                                                     
BRUCE JOHNSON, Director                                                                                                         
Teaching and Learning Support                                                                                                   
Department of Education                                                                                                         
801 West Tenth Street, Suite 200                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 465-8689                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 113.                                                                              
EDDY JEANS, Manager                                                                                                             
School Finance Section                                                                                                          
Education Support Services                                                                                                      
Department of Education                                                                                                         
801 West Tenth Street, Suite 200                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 465-2891                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 113.                                                                                       
HARRY ROGERS, Superintendent                                                                                                    
Valdez City Schools                                                                                                             
P.O. Box 398                                                                                                                    
Valdez, Alaska  99686                                                                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 835-4357                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 113.                                                                                       
ROBERT SEWELL, Student Resources Coordinator                                                                                    
University of Alaska Southeast                                                                                                  
11120 Glacier Highway                                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 465-6359                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 113.                                                                                       
DARROLL HARGRAVES, Executive Director                                                                                           
Alaska Council of School Administrators                                                                                         
326 Fourth Street, Suite 404                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 586-9702                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 113.                                                                                       
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                                
TAPE 99-39, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON called the House Health, Education and Social                                                                 
Services Standing Committee meeting to order at 3:05 p.m.  Members                                                              
present at the call to order were Representatives Dyson, Coghill,                                                               
Whitaker, Green.  Representatives Kemplen and Brice joined the                                                                  
meeting at 3:06 p.m. and 3:07 p.m. respectively.                                                                                
SB 98 - TEACHER TENURE                                                                                                          
Number 130                                                                                                                      
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON announced the first order of business as Senate                                                               
Bill No. 98, "An Act relating to teacher tenure."                                                                               
Number 0142                                                                                                                     
JEANETTE JEAN, Legislative Administrative Assistant for Senator                                                                 
Lyda Green, came forward to present the sponsor statement for SB
98.  In 1996, HB 465 was passed pertaining to acquisition of tenure                                                             
rights, and it created somewhat of a problem with making tenure                                                                 
portable.  As it turns out, sometimes districts are not hiring                                                                  
people who would be good teachers in their districts.  Because of                                                               
their ability to carry their tenure from another district in                                                                    
Alaska, teachers are not being hired under the current law, because                                                             
the districts only have from as late as October 15 to March, when                                                               
letters of intent of hire have to go out.  That is not enough time                                                              
for evaluation, for development of a plan, and for the teacher to                                                               
meet the guidelines set in that plan of improvement.                                                                            
MS. JEAN reported that statistics on a survey done by the                                                                       
Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB) show that barely over 10                                                             
percent of teachers hired last year were teachers with tenure.                                                                  
According to what they hear from the districts, that is largely due                                                             
to those teachers having tenure already.  It ties the hand of the                                                               
district having such a little bit of time to evaluate and meet any                                                              
deficiencies.  This legislation takes away the portability of                                                                   
tenure.  Tenure goes back to a three-year-time period so that if                                                                
the teacher is hired on the fourth year, he would have tenure with                                                              
the new district.  If they have a break in service and go back to                                                               
the same district, it is only a year to wait for tenure.   That is                                                              
reasonable because the district knows the teacher.                                                                              
Number 0376                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN wanted to be sure that this only affects the                                                               
tenure issue.                                                                                                                   
MS. JEANS answered that it only addresses the tenure portability.                                                               
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON commented that he wondered if the reason the                                                                  
districts were not hiring the tenured teachers was because they                                                                 
have too many years of service, and their salary schedule is                                                                    
MS. JEANS answered that that is possible, but that would also                                                                   
include tenure which gets them that higher salary.  She is sure                                                                 
that is a factor.                                                                                                               
Number 0462                                                                                                                     
CARL ROSE, Executive Director, Association of Alaska School Boards                                                              
(AASB), came forward to testify.  When they looked at tenure in the                                                             
entire context of improving the quality of education back in 1996,                                                              
they think they came up with a pretty comprehensive bill.  However,                                                             
on the floor of the Senate, they included an amendment that                                                                     
included the portability of tenure.  Very little time was taken to                                                              
see how this would impact the system, and he believes their survey                                                              
shows that the portability of tenure is a hindrance to teachers                                                                 
wanting to move into urban areas.  There is a large turnover in                                                                 
rural Alaska, and this issue of tenure portability is a hindrance                                                               
for them because there is only one year to evaluate them in the new                                                             
MR. ROSE noted that as they dealt with HB 465, they wanted to give                                                              
as much time and provide some fairness so they said that teachers                                                               
hired on or before October 15, would be treated as a full year's                                                                
experience.  October 15 coupled with March 15, which is when                                                                    
teachers have to be notified, leaves less than six months.  The                                                                 
decision to grant tenure has to be made in that short time.  The                                                                
reality is that before school districts take the time to try to                                                                 
compress this time line, they will simply say, "If this person has                                                              
tenure, and we're unsure, then perhaps we will look elsewhere."  It                                                             
is having an impact on teachers.  The opportunity for teachers to                                                               
be employed is being restricted.                                                                                                
MR. ROSE referred the committee to the survey in their packet which                                                             
shows only about 11 percent of the hires over the last two years                                                                
have had tenure.  These numbers exclude Anchorage, which in the                                                                 
last three years has hired 1,100 teachers, and less than 2 percent                                                              
of those people had portability.  If that is factored in to 523                                                                 
respondents, it drops that number of 11 percent down below 5                                                                    
percent.  He doesn't believe that teachers are being served by this                                                             
provision and urged the committee to support SB 98.                                                                             
Number 0644                                                                                                                     
MR. ROSE clarified the record on a letter he sent.  He                                                                          
inadvertently put down that they had to notify tenured and                                                                      
non-tenured teachers by March 16.  That is not true; they don't                                                                 
have to notify non-tenured teachers.  They do have to notify                                                                    
tenured teachers by March 16.                                                                                                   
Number 0671                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE understands that administrators will have to                                                               
be "on their toes" with a new teacher, but he believes that after                                                               
three or four years, the amount of time is less for the building                                                                
administrator to evaluate whether the teacher is competent.  He                                                                 
asked why the building administrator would need another three years                                                             
for an experienced teacher; it seems he could make that                                                                         
determination in a much shorter length of time.                                                                                 
Number 0783                                                                                                                     
MR. ROSE indicated that Representative Brice raised an important                                                                
issue.  In many cases, fine teachers get recruited, and the issue                                                               
of portability is not a concern in those cases, but it is when they                                                             
don't know the people they are hiring.  Because of the diversity in                                                             
the state, the time spent in one school district successfully does                                                              
not necessarily give them an indication of the level of success in                                                              
another.  A teaching experience in a larger school district is very                                                             
different than in a rural school district.  To assume that a                                                                    
positive evaluation in one school district translates to another                                                                
doesn't follow.  The question has to be whether the administrator                                                               
is prepared to take that risk; to take that amount of time to                                                                   
ensure that this teacher is qualified.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE commented that it is the building                                                                          
administrator's job to take the time and that risk.  He also                                                                    
believes that the administrators do know who they are hiring; that                                                              
is why they are hiring them.                                                                                                    
Number 0880                                                                                                                     
MR. ROSE noted that four years ago no one asked if a teacher had                                                                
tenure in the previous community, but now they ask, and as a result                                                             
of that, he believes it is restricting the ability of teachers to                                                               
get hired.  There is a teacher shortage, and they want the ability                                                              
to be able to hire people.                                                                                                      
Number 0917                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if there is any pressure on districts to be                                                             
less than candid in a reference to another district.                                                                            
MR. ROSE agreed that is a delicate area.  "Suffice it to say, you                                                               
find a number of good references on paper with a tag line 'If you                                                               
have any concerns, please call me.'  At that time they may divulge                                                              
more information.  I think what happens when we go out--in fact                                                                 
when this portability issue first came up, there was a tag line                                                                 
that came along that says, 'If portability is going to be allowed                                                               
to happen, can we have access to the personnel files?' because that                                                             
was a real issue."  That creates other concerns.  If they are going                                                             
to hire someone with tenure, and they are looking for positive                                                                  
references, they want to be able to see exactly what their                                                                      
background has been.  That is a cloudy area.  The issue of                                                                      
portability because of the conflict that comes with it is a                                                                     
deterrent in terms of giving a teacher an opportunity to be hired                                                               
in another district.  It is a difficult area to get a positive                                                                  
response that is honest because of legal aspects that could come                                                                
into play on a bad reference.                                                                                                   
Number 1081                                                                                                                     
JOHN CYR, President, National Education Association (NEA) Alaska,                                                               
came forward to testify.  He has given the committee quite a bit of                                                             
material and their position statement.  Previous testimony said HB
465 doesn't allow administrators long enough to look at employees.                                                              
It is standard now for districts to ask whether or not people mind                                                              
having their personnel file released.  He suggested that people                                                                 
have a look at the personnel files and see the person's evaluation.                                                             
MR. CYR referred to AS 14.20.149 which covers school board's                                                                    
evaluation system for teachers and administrators and noted there                                                               
are statewide performance standards in Alaska, and the evaluation                                                               
procedures are standardized.                                                                                                    
MR. CYR pointed out that if someone has four or five years of                                                                   
experience and attempts to transfer to another district, that                                                                   
district really has from the date of hire until the end of that                                                                 
school year to evaluate the teacher.  Teachers are not tenured that                                                             
first year.  They can do two or more formal evaluations, they can                                                               
do informal evaluations, and they can get a good look.  If                                                                      
administrators aren't taking that look, then he submits that they                                                               
are not doing their job.  They are being paid to evaluate                                                                       
personnel.  Before HB 465, there were three criteria used to let                                                                
someone go:  Moral turpitude, substantial non-compliance, and                                                                   
incompetency as defined by case law.  To dismiss a teacher under                                                                
incompetency is hard.  That is gone.                                                                                            
MR. CYR believes the reason tenured teachers are not changing                                                                   
districts is economic.  Some districts like Juneau, Anchorage and                                                               
Matanuska-Susitna have no steps.  To move into Anchorage with four                                                              
or five year's experience, could cost a teacher $15,000 to $20,000.                                                             
Very few tenured teachers are willing to do that.                                                                               
Number 1333                                                                                                                     
MR. CYR suggested that if it is true that one year isn't enough,                                                                
then go back to what it was.  They get tenure at the beginning of                                                               
the third year whether they change districts or not.  As an aside,                                                              
he referred to copies of the agreements of other government                                                                     
contracts, and pointed out that the longest probationary period any                                                             
of them have is one year.  Teachers have the longest probationary                                                               
period of any public employee.  He asked the committee to at least                                                              
be fair here.                                                                                                                   
Number 1417                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN wondered if teachers ever get glowing                                                                      
recommendations just to get rid of them.                                                                                        
Number 1468                                                                                                                     
MR. CYR said if administrators are giving glowing recommendations                                                               
to people who are leaving, he doesn't know if it is the case, and                                                               
he hasn't seen it.  One of NEA's job is the duty of fair                                                                        
representation, and they sometimes represent people where there is                                                              
some question as to their ability.  In those cases, if they just                                                                
resign and move on, they don't have a glowing recommendation; they                                                              
have a clean file which basically says "This person worked here."                                                               
He believes that with 1,500 to 2,000 people at the job fair in                                                                  
Anchorage looking for jobs, people are hiring the cream of the                                                                  
crop.  They don't need to take a chance.  He doesn't know of a                                                                  
tenured teacher who has come from one district with a good                                                                      
recommendation and good evaluation who has been unsuccessful.  He                                                               
isn't saying it hasn't happened, but he can't think of one.  They                                                               
are doing a much better job policing their ranks.  It is much                                                                   
better since HB 465 was enacted.                                                                                                
Number 1630                                                                                                                     
The Committee took an at-ease from 3:34 p.m. to 3:35 p.m. to offer                                                              
a moment of silence to remember those involved in the tragic                                                                    
shooting at a high school in Colorado.                                                                                          
Number 1697                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE made a motion to adopt a conceptual amendment                                                              
to reduce tenure from three to two years.                                                                                       
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked him what line it would be on.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE indicated that it would be a new Section 2.                                                                
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked Ms. Jean how the sponsor, Senator Green,                                                                
would respond to that amendment.                                                                                                
Number 1820                                                                                                                     
MS. JEAN noted that it is important to have the very best working                                                               
with our children, so it doesn't seem valid to compare teachers                                                                 
with other public employees.  She believes that the district and                                                                
the teacher need the three years for tenure, and that being granted                                                             
at the end of the third year or the beginning of the fourth year.                                                               
She doesn't believe that Senator Green would see this as a friendly                                                             
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked Mr. Rose how the AASB would see this                                                                    
Number 1907                                                                                                                     
MR. ROSE stated that the issue of extending tenure three years was                                                              
hotly debated in 1996, but he thought they were dealing with the                                                                
issue of portability.  The issue of portability has been reduced to                                                             
one year, in fact, less than one year, depending on when the hire                                                               
takes place.  They look at the issue of portability as being highly                                                             
restrictive in terms of allowing a teacher to have an opportunity                                                               
to seek employment outside their own district.  In the context of                                                               
portability, he believes that three years is not part of the                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE responded that portability was discussed in HB
465 as well.  He suggested the title of the bill includes teacher                                                               
tenure so there is not any type of limitation that they are                                                                     
discussing here.  This way it would be the same for new teachers as                                                             
well as tenured teachers moving along.                                                                                          
Number 2015                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL objected to the amendment.                                                                                  
A roll call vote was taken.  Representatives Brice and Kemplen                                                                  
voted for the amendment.  Representatives Whitaker, Green, Coghill                                                              
and Dyson voted against it.  Therefore, the conceptual amendment                                                                
failed by a vote of 4-2.                                                                                                        
Number 2024                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL made a motion to move SB 98 from the committee                                                              
with individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal note.                                                                  
Number 2033                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE objected.                                                                                                  
Number 2055                                                                                                                     
A roll call vote was taken.  Representatives Brice and Kemplen                                                                  
voted against moving the bill.  Representatives Whitaker, Green,                                                                
Coghill and Dyson voted for it.  Therefore, SB 98 moved from the                                                                
House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee by                                                               
a vote of 4-2.                                                                                                                  
HB 113 - POSTSECONDARY EDUC FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS                                                                            
Number 2087                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON announced the next order of business as House                                                                 
Bill No. 113, "An Act relating to a program of postsecondary                                                                    
education for high school students."                                                                                            
Number 2090                                                                                                                     
EDDIE GRASSER, Legislative Assistant for Representative Beverly                                                                 
Masek, came forward and presented another proposed committee                                                                    
substitute, version I.                                                                                                          
Number 2108                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL made a motion to adopt the proposed committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for HB 113, version 1-LSO461\I, Ford, 4/20/99, as                                                               
a work draft.  There being no objection, Version I was before the                                                               
The committee took an at-ease from 3:46 p.m. to 3:47 p.m.                                                                       
Number 2128                                                                                                                     
MR. GRASSER reviewed the changes in the proposed CS.  Page 2,                                                                   
Section 14.30.760 was changed so all high school students would be                                                              
eligible to participate in this program, rather than just students                                                              
in the eleventh or twelfth grade.  On page 1, line 10, the CS                                                                   
changes the "shall" to "may" which the committee had adopted                                                                    
previously.  On page 2, Section 14.30.770, it was changed to allow                                                              
dual credit in both the high school and college.  Several other                                                                 
changes were made throughout the bill to reflect that language.                                                                 
His office has discussed with Representative Brice's office about                                                               
adding a grade point average (GPA) requirement.  The companion bill                                                             
in the Senate has a 2.25 GPA required to participate in this                                                                    
program.  Representative Masek didn't incorporate a GPA because                                                                 
there are areas in the state where there are postsecondary                                                                      
opportunities that aren't necessarily academic in nature and                                                                    
provide vocational training.  Her thought was that some of the high                                                             
school students who may have their basic requirements out of the                                                                
way, could opt to go to one of the vocational schools.  They may                                                                
not need a real high GPA because it is not an academic endeavor.                                                                
Number 2249                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE indicated that his school district suggested                                                               
that there should be some type of assurance that the student is                                                                 
capable of taking college-level courses.  There are several ways to                                                             
address that issue; his approach was a 3.0 GPA which was                                                                        
recommended by his school district.  He agrees they don't want to                                                               
prohibit the vocational education programs.  His alternative                                                                    
instead of a 3.0 GPA, would be a 3.0 GPA with the ability of the                                                                
building administrator to waive that requirement, or a dual track:                                                              
Have one GPA for academic classes and another for vocational                                                                    
MR. GRASSER had discussed those thoughts with Representative Masek,                                                             
and she would entertain a dual track GPA.                                                                                       
TAPE 99-39, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 2332                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if they had an amendment for the GPA.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE answered that he had an amendment for the 3.0                                                              
GPA, but the dual GPA idea just came up right before the meeting.                                                               
He will work on it.                                                                                                             
CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL asked for clarification on whether Section 2,                                                               
AS 14.03.080(b) is affected by Section 14.30.760(b).                                                                            
Number 2244                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON replied he didn't believe they were linked.                                                                   
CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL asked if the school districts make counseling                                                               
services regarding the risks and possible consequences would be for                                                             
the academic courses.                                                                                                           
MR. GRASSER replied yes.  He understands that portion provides                                                                  
counseling services, but it also lets the student know that taking                                                              
a class at the university is not quite the same as taking a class                                                               
in high school.  The idea there is to make sure that the students                                                               
understand the differences, risks and problems involved of leaving                                                              
the high school structure and entering the university system.                                                                   
CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL asked if they would compute a ninth grader's                                                                
GPA from elementary school.                                                                                                     
Number 2085                                                                                                                     
MR. GRASSER replied that their GPA would be based on their middle                                                               
school GPA.  In the bill, the district and the university could                                                                 
decide whether a student would be capable of attending at the                                                                   
university level through the counseling process.                                                                                
CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL believes that individual recommendation by a                                                                
teacher and/or the principal would go a lot further than a GPA in                                                               
recognizing ability.                                                                                                            
Number 2029                                                                                                                     
BRUCE JOHNSON, Director, Teaching and Learning Support, Department                                                              
of Education (DOE), came forward to testify.  He read from a                                                                    
prepared statement:                                                                                                             
     The State Board of Education supports this bill and                                                                        
     supports the expansion of educational opportunities for                                                                    
     students.  In our estimation, this is a positive concept                                                                   
     that can benefit many students and clearly there is lots                                                                   
     of evidence to suggest that some high school students                                                                      
     clearly are capable of enjoying a positive university                                                                      
     experience while still in high school.                                                                                     
     While the initial reading of the bill is obvious where we                                                                  
     have large university campuses in Alaska.  We also                                                                         
     believe that this will spur some real creative                                                                             
     opportunities for rural students who may have a more                                                                       
     limited curriculum available to them when they rely only                                                                   
     on local district programming.                                                                                             
     Whatever the outcome of this bill or similar bills, we                                                                     
     would encourage the honoring of existing programs that                                                                     
     have occurred in the state.  There are many real creative                                                                  
     and significant partnerships between local communities                                                                     
     and their local university that have evolved over many                                                                     
     years.  Some are highly unique to their particular                                                                         
     situation, but they are working and therefore we would                                                                     
     hope that you would give some consideration to their                                                                       
     Finally, the appropriation that is outlined in the bill                                                                    
     will undoubtedly encourage the expansion of educational                                                                    
     opportunities for students.  Because there is an                                                                           
     indication an appropriation would be forthcoming, we                                                                       
     suspect that local school districts will support this                                                                      
     concept to the extent that tuition is available through                                                                    
     the reimbursement out of the foundation program.  We hope                                                                  
     that is a correct reading of the bill, and that there                                                                      
     would be an appropriation that would be available to the                                                                   
     department or local school districts.                                                                                      
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if there is a fiscal note with this bill.                                                               
Number 1926                                                                                                                     
EDDY JEANS, Manager, School Finance Section, Education Support                                                                  
Services, Department of Education, came forward to testify.  In                                                                 
their analysis of HB 113, they do believe that this will require a                                                              
separate appropriation to fund this program.  Those monies would                                                                
then be allocated out to the school districts under this program.                                                               
They have prepared an asterisked fiscal note which is not a zero                                                                
fiscal note; it means there are some costs associated with this                                                                 
program, but at this point in time, the department doesn't have the                                                             
information to project what that cost would be.                                                                                 
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON assumed that it will be difficult to estimate,                                                                
but he suspects there might be a commensurate reduction in adult                                                                
basic education (ABE) needs or a reduction in the university's                                                                  
needs for putting these courses on.  He asked when the DOE thought                                                              
they could get a handle on the costs.                                                                                           
Number 1858                                                                                                                     
MR. JEANS answered he is not sure how they would go about it.                                                                   
Under HB 113, clearly it would require a legislative appropriation                                                              
under 14.30.790 which refers to funding for school districts and                                                                
says "Subject to appropriation and in addition to funding received                                                              
under AS 14.17," which is the foundation program that the monies                                                                
would be made available to school districts under 14.30.790 so they                                                             
would be establishing a new program that would require its own                                                                  
independent appropriation.  He is sure they could come up with a                                                                
starting point to implement the program, but he couldn't tell them                                                              
how accurate it would be.  They don't know how many high school                                                                 
students would be interested in participating in this program.                                                                  
The Committee took an at-ease from 4:08 p.m. to 4:12 p.m.                                                                       
Number 1797                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON announced they would rework HB 113 and vote on it                                                             
on Thursday.                                                                                                                    
Number 1778                                                                                                                     
HARRY ROGERS, Superintendent, Valdez City Schools, came forward to                                                              
testify and to agree with the intent of HB 113.  After listening to                                                             
the testimony from last week, he heard some things and was                                                                      
concerned that something in HB 113 may affect what they are already                                                             
doing.  In Valdez, they are effectively blurring the line between                                                               
high school and college.  They have a partnership with Prince                                                                   
William Sound Community College, and it has worked very well, but                                                               
it is still a fragile relationship.  They are concerned that there                                                              
are some things in the bill that could affect that.  They have                                                                  
about 229 students in their grades 9 through 12 high school.  Out                                                               
of those 229, 104 of them are taking some college credit classes,                                                               
even some freshman.  Those 104 students will earn 935 hours of                                                                  
college credit this year.  He will have the opportunity to hand                                                                 
diplomas to high school students who will be sophomores in college                                                              
when they pick up that diploma.  It has been an excellent program.                                                              
MR. ROGERS expressed concern about the GPA requirement.  He                                                                     
referred the committee to an envelope that was handed out which                                                                 
contains five descriptions of their two-year certificate programs.                                                              
The students who take these courses are more of the vocational kind                                                             
of student.  The students can get half of the programs required for                                                             
this two-year certificate while they are in high school.  This may                                                              
be the strongest part of their program because there are students                                                               
in those programs who are not college bound.  When they graduate                                                                
from high school, they have half a college certificate and have                                                                 
gained confidence to return to the college and complete the                                                                     
program.  They would be concerned if the committee started limiting                                                             
who can take the courses.                                                                                                       
Number 1648                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked Mr. Rogers how they tell a student that it                                                              
is not appropriate for him to take a college course.                                                                            
Number 1641                                                                                                                     
MR. ROGERS answered that every student works with an advisor, most                                                              
likely a guidance counselor in the school, and it is through that                                                               
advice that they participate in the courses.  He told the committee                                                             
that if they asked the high school principal what the best part of                                                              
this program is, he would say it is getting some students that                                                                  
probably aren't good students, and maybe aren't ready for school,                                                               
and getting them involved in some of these programs, and they are                                                               
college students when they get through.                                                                                         
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON commented that they probably have the other side                                                              
of that:  Bright students who are bored in high school, and they                                                                
get challenged by the advanced work.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN believes this is right on the edge of where                                                                
they need to go with the education system.                                                                                      
Number 1516                                                                                                                     
MR. ROGERS pointed out the list of academic classes available, and                                                              
there are about 80 hours of credit available to their students.                                                                 
The most important ingredient in this program is that all of these                                                              
college courses are offered on their campus, in their schedule.                                                                 
Those two things need to happen for a program to grow.  That is                                                                 
where the delicate relationship comes in because there are lots of                                                              
turfs involved, when college teachers start coming onto a high                                                                  
school campus and teaching or high school teachers becoming adjunct                                                             
faculty teaching college courses in the high school.  They have                                                                 
done a good job of meshing that partnership.                                                                                    
Number 1460                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIRMAN COGHILL asked if there is a temptation to speed over                                                                
some of the high school courses to get to the good courses in                                                                   
college or is that an issue.                                                                                                    
MR. ROGERS didn't believe that was an issue.  As this program has                                                               
evolved, they have found some seniors who have gotten into college                                                              
level courses so heavily and realized they have gone too far.  He                                                               
believes that is a learning experience too.  They have emphasized                                                               
with their instructors that these classes have to be college level.                                                             
Number 1354                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked Mr. Rogers if there is a set model in                                                                
the state that is implemented to allow college courses.                                                                         
MR. ROGERS answered that there are some places doing similar things                                                             
to what they are doing, but the relationship is going to have to be                                                             
unique with the partner, and that may not be the same.  He believes                                                             
most schools approach it in their own way.                                                                                      
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked Mr. Rogers if it will be a problem for him                                                              
if the older students return to the high school to finish their                                                                 
high school education.                                                                                                          
Number 1257                                                                                                                     
MR. ROGERS answered that he is concerned about it, but the change                                                               
of "shall" to "may" has helped.  He is not sure how they will                                                                   
address the issue of older students having access to the school.                                                                
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if Valdez has an active adult basic                                                                     
education (ABE) program.                                                                                                        
Number 1221                                                                                                                     
MR. ROGERS confirmed that the ABE program at Prince William Sound                                                               
Community College will have as many graduates this year as Valdez                                                               
High School.  The ABE program includes Glennallen and Cordova.                                                                  
Number 1200                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON sees Section 2 of HB 113 allowing a school to                                                                 
blur the lines between adult basic education and the high school,                                                               
if they chose.                                                                                                                  
MR. ROGERS prefers that the funding go to the ABE program, but                                                                  
doesn't think Section 2 of HB 113 is unmanageable.                                                                              
Number 1156                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked those who have concerns with HB 113 to work                                                             
things out to revise this bill, and they will take this bill up                                                                 
again on Thursday.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE believes it will come down to whether there                                                                
should be some standard for a student to participate in the                                                                     
program.  He noted that Valdez uses a counseling screening process.                                                             
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON also asked Mr. Jeans to work on the funding end                                                               
of this.  It was not the intention of the sponsors of the bill to                                                               
have a separate line item appropriation.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE GREEN believes that allowing the governing bodies to                                                             
make their own standards is a good idea.  He asked Mr. Rogers if                                                                
the difference between a community college teacher and a high                                                                   
school teacher is because they can't find, in some cases, qualified                                                             
high school teachers to teach that subject, or does the                                                                         
postsecondary school require their own professors for certain                                                                   
Number 0965                                                                                                                     
MR. ROGERS answered it is probably some of both.  They try to get                                                               
the high school instructor approved as adjunct faculty because then                                                             
the students can take the course for only a $15 registration fee.                                                               
If the college instructor comes onto the high school campus, then                                                               
the students pay the $180 tuition for three credits.  However, they                                                             
have a scholarship program in place so that no student is denied.                                                               
How they fund the appropriation is the key.  If all of a sudden the                                                             
school district has to start paying, it is over.  They have 1,000                                                               
hours of college credit, and it would be giving them a bill for                                                                 
$50,000 to $100,000.  The wording of that is critical, and he                                                                   
believes that they have worked it out in Valdez.                                                                                
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON mentioned that he believed Representative Brice                                                               
raised the point the other day about the physical capacity in                                                                   
Section 2 conforming with the Americans for Disabilities Act, but                                                               
he didn't see it in this version.  He asked him to work on that                                                                 
Number 0805                                                                                                                     
MR. CYR supports this bill but after hearing the discussion he has                                                              
become worried that the funding will come from education budgets                                                                
that are already sliced too thin.  This bill needs to be funded                                                                 
from the state level.                                                                                                           
Number 0612                                                                                                                     
ROBERT SEWELL, Student Resources Coordinator, University of Alaska                                                              
Southeast, came forward to testify and is delighted that they are                                                               
considering HB 113.  He pointed out page 2, line 3 where it                                                                     
mentions receiving an eleventh or twelfth grade education.  It is                                                               
not their experience that that level of experience is necessary.                                                                
He doesn't believe this legislation means to exclude an able                                                                    
learner who is younger than eleventh grade.  He recommends that the                                                             
phrase "eleventh and twelfth grade" be struck and substitute                                                                    
"secondary education."                                                                                                          
DR. SEWELL suggested striking the section "equivalent of one school                                                             
year" on page 2, line 15 and let it be an advising issue.                                                                       
Number 0280                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked Mr. Grasser what they intended on lines                                                                 
MR. GRASSER answered it deals with the different credit systems                                                                 
between schools.  For example, in high school a student gets one                                                                
credit per semester and in college a student gets three credits.                                                                
Number 0207                                                                                                                     
DR. SEWELL suggested lines 14-15 be rephrased to make that clear.                                                               
TAPE 99-40, SIDE A                                                                                                              
[Due to a tape malfunction, the following testimony was                                                                         
reconstructed from log notes and written testimony.]                                                                            
DR. SEWELL suggested that Sec. 14.30.780 (b) be struck on page 3                                                                
because for one thing, they don't have quarter credits.  He                                                                     
suggested they substitute similar wording to the proposed                                                                       
memorandum of agreement between the Juneau School District (JSD)                                                                
and the University of Alaska Southeast:  "Payment of Costs A.                                                                   
Tuition - the cost of tuition and the associated expenses of fees                                                               
and books will be paid by JSD upon billing by UAS following                                                                     
Semester Week - 3."                                                                                                             
DR. SEWELL is not sure of the intent of page 4, line 14 and                                                                     
suggested that that be revisited.  He doesn't believe they would                                                                
want to charge the students for disability support services, for                                                                
DARROLL HARGRAVES, Executive Director, Alaska Council of School                                                                 
Administrators, came forward to testify.  He supports the concept                                                               
of HB 113 and agrees with Mr. Roger's testimony.  He would like to                                                              
see the bill reduced to one and a half pages.  He provided the                                                                  
following points:                                                                                                               
     Sec. 2                                                                                                                     
          This is acceptable.  The important thing is to allow                                                                  
     local districts to make the decision about how over-age                                                                    
     students attend.  When these students attend they should                                                                   
     be counted in the enrollment count with regular students                                                                   
     and qualified to generate foundation funding for the                                                                       
     school district.                                                                                                           
     Sec. 14.30.760.                                                                                                            
          Let local schools and the postsecondary institution                                                                   
     determine the requirements for allowing secondary                                                                          
     students to enroll in courses that can be allowed for                                                                      
     both secondary and postsecondary credit.  No grade point                                                                   
     or grade level needs to be in statute.                                                                                     
          Delete paragraph (b).  Local situations can                                                                           
     determine the level of counseling and advising to be                                                                       
     included in the program.                                                                                                   
          Paragraph (c) is acceptable but delete point number                                                                   
          Paragraph (d) is acceptable.                                                                                          
     Sec. 14.30.770.  Calculation of academic credit.                                                                           
          This entire section should be deleted to allow local                                                                  
     schools and the University to apply their policies.  A                                                                     
     three-credit semester course at the University based on the                                                                
     Carnegie Unit generally would be accepted by a local school                                                                
     district to be worth one half of a math credit to apply toward                                                             
     Sec. 14.30.780.  Funding for postsecondary institutions.                                                                   
          Delete this section and add something like:                                                                           
               The school district shall pay the tuition                                                                        
     established by the University for any classes in which                                                                     
     secondary students enroll for dual credit subject to                                                                       
     reimbursement by the Department of Education.                                                                              
               Nothing in this law prohibits a school district and                                                              
     the University of Alaska from entering into local agreements                                                               
     to provide courses and programs with terms and conditions to                                                               
     which they mutually agree.                                                                                                 
     Sec. 14.30.790.  Funding for school districts.                                                                             
          Delete this section and add something like:                                                                           
               Subject to appropriations and in addition to funding                                                             
     received under AS 14.17, the department shall make payments to                                                             
     reimburse districts for university tuition payments made by                                                                
     the school district for students in dual enrollment courses.                                                               
     Sec. 14.30.800.  Prohibited financial aid and fees.                                                                        
          This section is acceptable.                                                                                           
     Sec. 14.30.380.  Definitions.                                                                                              
          In definition number 2 change "nationally accredited" to                                                              
     "regionally accredited".                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON asked Wendy Redman from the university about                                                                  
changing "nationally accredited" to "regionally accredited."                                                                    
WENDY REDMAN agreed in this instance that it should be changed.                                                                 
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON announced they will keep working on this bill to                                                              
address all the concerns and suspended the hearing on HB 113.  [HB
113 was held over.]                                                                                                             
HB 191 - CHARTER SCHOOLS                                                                                                        
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON announced the next order of business as House                                                                 
Bill No. 191, "An Act relating to charter schools; and providing                                                                
for an effective date."  He indicated that HB 191 would be held                                                                 
over for further hearing.                                                                                                       
HB 115 - USE OF UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA APPROPRIATION                                                                              
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON announced the next order of business as House                                                                 
Bill No. 115, "An Act relating to the University of Alaska; and                                                                 
providing for an effective date."  He indicated that HB 115 would                                                               
be held over for further hearing.                                                                                               
HB 195 - SCHOOL GRANT/DEBT REIMBURSEMENT                                                                                        
CO-CHAIRMAN DYSON announced the next order of business as House                                                                 
Bill No. 195, "An Act relating to school construction grants and to                                                             
municipal school construction debt reimbursement."  He indicated                                                                
that HB 195 would be held over for further hearing.                                                                             
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee meeting                                                                
was adjourned at 4:58 p.m.                                                                                                      

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