Legislature(1999 - 2000)

04/06/2000 03:07 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL                                                                               
                   SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                  
                          April 6, 2000                                                                                         
                            3:07 p.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fred Dyson, Chairman                                                                                             
Representative Jim Whitaker                                                                                                     
Representative Joe Green                                                                                                        
Representative Carl Morgan                                                                                                      
Representative Tom Brice                                                                                                        
Representative Allen Kemplen                                                                                                    
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Caren Robinson                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
State Board of Education                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Paula Pawlowski                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 301                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the education of exceptional children; and                                                                  
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 301(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
State Board of Education                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Ernest Hall                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 355                                                                                                              
"An   Act  establishing   a  state   community  service   program;                                                              
establishing  by  statute  the  Alaska   State  Community  Service                                                              
Commission; and providing for an effective date."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 409                                                                                       
"An  Act  prescribing  the  rights   of  grandparents  related  to                                                              
hearings on petitions to adjudicate  a minor as a child in need of                                                              
aid and  to the testimony of  grandparents at those  hearings; and                                                              
amending Rules 3,  7, 10, 15, 17(e), and 19, Alaska  Child in Need                                                              
of Aid Rules."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 413                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to intensive  family preservation  services; and                                                              
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 301                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: EDUCATION OF EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                                                                           
 1/21/00      1963     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                     
 1/21/00      1963     (H)  HES, FIN                                                                                            
 1/21/00      1964     (H)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DOE)                                                                              
 1/21/00      1964     (H)  GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                                                                       
 3/23/00               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
 3/23/00               (H)  Heard & Held                                                                                        
 3/28/00               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
 3/28/00               (H)  <Bill Postponed>                                                                                    
 3/30/00               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
 3/30/00               (H)  <Bill Postponed to 4/4>                                                                             
 4/04/00               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
 4/04/00               (H)  Heard & Held                                                                                        
 4/04/00               (H)  MINUTE(HES)                                                                                         
 4/06/00               (H)  HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CAREN ROBINSON, Appointee                                                                                                       
   to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees                                                                
PO Box 33702                                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska  99803                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as  appointee to the AMHTA Board of                                                              
Trustees.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
PAULA PAWLOWSKI, Appointee                                                                                                      
   to the State Board of Education                                                                                              
3300 Balchen Drive                                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska  99517                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the State Board of                                                               
Education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRUCE JOHNSON, Deputy Commissioner of Education                                                                             
Department of Education & Early Development                                                                                     
801 West Tenth Street, Suite 200                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 301.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CARL ROSE, Executive Director                                                                                                   
Association of Alaska School Boards                                                                                             
316 West Eleventh Street                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 301.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ERNEST HALL, Appointee                                                                                                          
   to the State Board of Education                                                                                              
4770 West 84th Avenue                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska  99502                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the State Board of                                                               
Education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DARROLL HARGRAVES, Executive Director                                                                                           
Alaska Council of School Administrators                                                                                         
326 Fourth Street, Suite 404                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of the Appointees to                                                                  
the State Board of Education.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. PJ FORD-SLACK, Director                                                                                                     
Special Education                                                                                                               
Teaching and Learning Support                                                                                                   
Department of Education & Early Development                                                                                     
801 West Tenth Street, Suite 200                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 301.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT B. BRIGGS, Staff Attorney                                                                                                
Disability Law Center of Alaska                                                                                                 
230 South Franklin Street                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 301.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MARGO WARING                                                                                                                    
1215 Fifth Street                                                                                                               
Douglas, Alaska  99824                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on  HB 301 in support of Gifted and                                                              
Talented Programs.                                                                                                              
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-42, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN FRED DYSON called the House  Health, Education and Social                                                              
Services  Standing  Committee  meeting   to  order  at  3:07  p.m.                                                              
Members present at  the call to order were  Representatives Dyson,                                                              
Whitaker, Morgan,  Brice and Coghill.   Representatives  Green and                                                              
Kemplen arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON announced the committee  would consider one nominee                                                              
for the  Alaska Mental  Health Trust  Authority Board of  Trustees                                                              
and two  for the State  Board of Education.   they would  not vote                                                              
for the  nominees but would  pass them  out of committee  for full                                                              
consideration  of the House  and Senate.   (Resumes were  provided                                                              
for all appointees.)                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0144                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CAREN  ROBINSON,  Appointee  to the  Alaska  Mental  Health  Trust                                                              
Authority Board  of Trustees, came  forward to testify.   She said                                                              
she has served  on the Alaska Mental Health Trust  Authority board                                                              
for the last  three years and has  found it to be one  of the most                                                              
challenging  and interesting  jobs she  has had.   There are  four                                                              
distinct beneficiary  groups that the  board serves.  Alaska  is a                                                              
large state to guarantee that the  beneficiaries from Ketchikan to                                                              
Barrow are served.   She currently serves as chair  and would look                                                              
forward to moving  the board forward with the agenda  that was put                                                              
in place before she was appointed three years ago.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0355                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN  asked Ms. Robinson what she  has been able                                                              
to accomplish as chair of the mental health board.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ROBINSON answered  that she  has  served as  the chair  since                                                              
June.   One of the  first things she  requested was a  retreat for                                                              
the board members  to get a better handle on the  priorities.  She                                                              
mapped  out the priorities  for the  committee:   1) having  API's                                                              
(Alaska Psychiatric  Institute) new building in place.   The board                                                              
has been trying to downsize the API  facility for many years.  The                                                              
board  is in  the process  of working  with  the commissioner  and                                                              
other people involved to try to purchase  the Charter facility and                                                              
move the community  in Anchorage and having a  complete community-                                                              
based service  in place so when  people come in from  the outlying                                                              
areas, they  will be better served  in the existing facility.   At                                                              
the same  time the board  is hoping to  downsize API  so community                                                              
services will be in place where the beneficiaries belong.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. ROBINSON  said they  are trying to  move to a two-year  budget                                                              
cycle  so they  can  do better,  longer  projects  and also  rural                                                              
services.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON thanked Ms. Robinson  for her willingness to serve.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
State Board of Education                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0551                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAULA  PAWLOWSKI,  Appointee  to  the State  Board  of  Education,                                                              
testified  via  teleconference from  Anchorage.    She is  seeking                                                              
reappointment to the  Board of Education and has  served for about                                                              
18 months.   [Portions of her  testimony are indiscernible  due to                                                              
another voice speaking at the same  time on teleconference.]  When                                                              
she was first asked to serve on the  board to finish out someone's                                                              
term,  she  thought  it  was part  of  being  PTA  [Parent-Teacher                                                              
Association]  president.   There is  a long history  in Alaska  of                                                              
having  PTA presidents  serve in  this  position.   Since she  has                                                              
served  the last 18  months, she  realized this  is something  she                                                              
would like to continue doing for the children of Alaska.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. PAWLOWSKI also  discovered she had a lot of  life history that                                                              
pertains  to  where  Alaska  is   in  terms  of  education  reform                                                              
regulations, and  her experiences from  the East Coast  and around                                                              
Alaska  are real  pertinent.   While  on the  East  Coast she  was                                                              
involved  in  Brown  University   coalition  of  schools  and  has                                                              
experience with  military children.   She believes she may  be the                                                              
only one on board  who has experience in early  childhood and that                                                              
concerns her  because her connection  with early childhood  is ten                                                              
years of providing home day care.   She is rather passionate about                                                              
day care  and early  childhood.   It concerns  her that  the board                                                              
will be facing that area without much experience on board.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0725                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  asked  Ms.   Pawlowski  about  being  the                                                              
National Military Family Representative for Alaska (NMFA).                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PAWLOWSKI answered  she  has been  a member  of  NMFA for  15                                                              
years.     Three  years   ago  she  took   on  the  job   of  area                                                              
representative  only in  the area  of  education.   As Alaska  PTA                                                              
President  and a  member  of NMFA,  she  organized  a workshop  in                                                              
Kodiak,  Fort  Wainwright  and  Anchorage   trying  to  find  good                                                              
practices from  military families that would help  connect schools                                                              
and military  families.   There are  some outstanding examples  in                                                              
Anchorage  of how  military bases  have connected  with the  local                                                              
education as  well as the  Coast Guard base  in Kodiak.   She will                                                              
report the results  of that to the Military Child  Conference this                                                              
summer  in San  Diego.   She  continued  to outreach  to  military                                                              
families, and  she serves on the  Armed Services YMCA board.   She                                                              
is concerned about  the military children and  the qualifying exit                                                              
exam.  That issue hasn't had much  attention yet but it is high on                                                              
her list.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0834                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE asked  Ms.  Pawlowski what  can  be done  to                                                              
strengthen   early   childhood  development   issues   with   K-12                                                              
education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PAWLOWSKI  answered  that kindergarten  is  not  required  in                                                              
Alaska  yet  the  state  board is  going  to  be  responsible  for                                                              
regulations  in early  childhood.    She is  a  huge proponent  of                                                              
licensing and  regulating public and  home day care for  a variety                                                              
of  reasons.   She is  going  to be  looking  at the  regulations.                                                              
Other states  have connected home  day care providers  by allowing                                                              
and providing educational training.   No one knows what someone is                                                              
doing who is not licensed and isolated.   She is interested in the                                                              
possibility   of     offering   day   care   providers   insurance                                                              
possibilities  and training  possibilities.   The early  childhood                                                              
piece is even more critical than she knew it was.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN  asked for Ms. Pawlowski's  thoughts on how                                                              
the state should  respond to the needs of the  gifted and talented                                                              
children in Alaska.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0991                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. PAWLOWSKI  said she  has personal  experience with  this issue                                                              
because both  her boys  were in the  gifted and talented  program.                                                              
In some cases the program worked  well; and in other cases, not so                                                              
well.    Alaska is  one  of  the  few states  putting  gifted  and                                                              
talented into  regulations and asking  that districts  have plans.                                                              
She understands  that gifted  and talented  is being removed  from                                                              
exceptional children  and many people  are worried, but it  is way                                                              
up there on her list too.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN asked  Ms.  Pawlowski what  the top  three                                                              
issues are that she would face during her tenure on the board.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. PAWLOWSKI  said number one  without question will  be funding.                                                              
How  the  funding is  used  will  affect  the benchmarks  and  the                                                              
qualifying exam.  She believes more  funding is needed, but she is                                                              
cautious about where  that funding will be put for  the "best bang                                                              
for  the buck."   Other  concerns are  the lack  of teachers,  and                                                              
Alaska needs more certified Native teachers.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON  asked  Ms.  Pawlowski  to explain  what  she  was                                                              
thinking  on her vote  against counting  school administrators  as                                                              
part of the classroom to meet the 70 percent funding.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1224                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. PAWLOWSKI  answered she  did vote  against that but  explained                                                              
she is 100 percent in the belief  that the building principal is a                                                              
leader,  a  teacher and  in  many  schools does  physically  teach                                                              
classes.     In  that   funding  category   that  would   move  to                                                              
instructional  dollars was  not only  the head  principal but  the                                                              
assistant  principals and  support  help.   The  support help  was                                                              
defined as  secretaries and  other support staff.   She  has never                                                              
seen a secretary  that taught a class.  She had  a problem to open                                                              
up that  category to allow  that whole  category to be  counted as                                                              
instructional  leadership.     The  board  has   been  asking  the                                                              
department to  put the chart  of accounts into  permanent language                                                              
that will fit  with the new law and  the way it is funded.   It is                                                              
difficult to make  a chart of accounts when the  numbers are still                                                              
moving.   She  felt if  the board  said  yes to  allowing that  to                                                              
become  an instructional  dollar this  year, she  hopes next  year                                                              
there will  be a better  accounting of  the where the  dollars go.                                                              
She is  sure it will  not include  support staff as  instructional                                                              
dollars.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON  thanked Ms.  Pawlowski  for  her service  on  the                                                              
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB 301 - EDUCATION OF EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON announced that the  next order of business would be                                                              
House  Bill  No.  301,  "An  Act  relating  to  the  education  of                                                              
exceptional  children;  and  providing  for  an  effective  date."                                                              
Chairman  Dyson noted  that he only  intended  to take answers  to                                                              
questions  from the  committee.   He  announced  his intention  to                                                              
entertain amendments.   Chairman  Dyson announced that  before the                                                              
committee  is committee  substitute (CS),  version G  [GH2003\G.1,                                                              
Ford, 4/6/00].                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1529                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE made a  motion to  adopt Amendment  1, which                                                              
reads:                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, following line 8:                                                                                                  
          Insert a new subsection to read:                                                                                      
               "(c)  A parent who elects to educate a child as                                                                  
     allowed  under   AS  14.30.010(b)  may  refuse   the  special                                                              
     education  and related services  provided under  AS 14.30.180                                                              
     - 14.30.350.  A school district  that disagrees with a parent                                                              
     regarding  the provision  of  special  education and  related                                                              
     services   may  attempt  to   resolve  the  disagreement   by                                                              
     mediation  or may  request  a hearing  as  provided under  AS                                                              
     14.30.193."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, lines 27 - 28:                                                                                                     
           Delete ".  A parent who teaches a child at                                                                       
          home may refuse special education and related                                                                     
          services"                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1554                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN  made a motion to adopt  Amendment 2, which                                                              
reads:                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 17, Section 9                                                                                                 
     After the last sentence add the following:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          A charter school may be organized to meet the                                                                         
     requirements of this section.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 15, Section 2                                                                                                 
     add the following after the words "special education":                                                                     
     including gifted and talented,                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1559                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN   explained  that  the  purpose   of  this                                                              
amendment  is  to  give  direction  to the  issue  of  gifted  and                                                              
talented programs.   There are  two components to  this amendment.                                                              
The first part  gives some explicit opportunity for  parents and a                                                              
school district.   If  the parents are  dissatisfied with  how the                                                              
school  district is  providing services  towards gifted  children,                                                              
they could  organize and  create a charter  school for  the gifted                                                              
and talented.   The second part  of the amendment  includes gifted                                                              
and  talented  in  the  department's  annual  report.    When  the                                                              
Department  of Education  & Early Development  (EED) provides  its                                                              
analysis of how the special education  needs of students in Alaska                                                              
are met,  the department  will also  have an  analysis of  how the                                                              
needs of  the gifted and talented  are met.  The  legislators will                                                              
have some concrete data to  use for making decisions.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  said he might be in favor  of one part and                                                              
not the other and asked if the amendment should be divided up.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  said that  could be  dealt with in  a minute.   He                                                              
asked what this amendment would do  to the Department of Education                                                              
& Early Development and if it will pick up a fiscal note.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1707                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE  JOHNSON, Deputy  Commissioner of  Education, Department  of                                                              
Education  &  Early  Development  (EED), came  forward  to  answer                                                              
questions.   He  stated that  the EED  does not  believe it  would                                                              
require a  fiscal note.   The charter  schools can be  established                                                              
for a variety of purposes including  this particular purpose.  The                                                              
EED would do a  report.  The report may have more  to do with what                                                              
districts  are  doing  than  anything   the  department  is  doing                                                              
depending on how the bill eventually is formulated.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  asked if the second  part is added [to  the annual                                                              
report], will that produce a significant workload for the EED.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR.  JOHNSON answered  there would  be some  work associated  with                                                              
that.  The special  education staff could not deal  with it; other                                                              
staff would  have to put that report  together.  A lot  of data is                                                              
now  collected from  schools in  the  form of  school report  card                                                              
information,  and that is  done by  regulation.  This  information                                                              
could probably be collected at the  same time; it wouldn't go into                                                              
the school report; it would be used for this other purpose.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 3:40 p.m. to 3:42 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL withdrew his objection.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON asked  if there  was  any more  objection.   There                                                              
being none, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1788                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL made a  motion to  move Amendment  3 which                                                              
reads:                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 11:                                                                                                           
     Delete lines 11 - 17                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1791                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  said this  amendment takes out  Section 9.                                                              
His intention  is in establishing  a gifted and  talented program,                                                              
it should be something the state  should allow but not necessarily                                                              
direct.   The actual  statute AS  14.30.315(b) states "Nothing  in                                                              
this section prohibits  the department from requiring  approval of                                                              
programs  of special  education  and  related services  for  other                                                              
categories of exceptional children."   He understands that is very                                                              
permissive, but  he believes it would  be better, in  dealing with                                                              
IDEA [Individuals  with Disabilities  Education Act] to  leave the                                                              
old statute than put the new section in.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease from 3:43 p.m. to 3:44 p.m.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1869                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said AS 14.30.315  is presently in statute.                                                              
He doesn't  want  to repeal  it and reenact  it.   There would  be                                                              
nothing  in  this  statute  that  prohibits  the  department  from                                                              
requiring  approval  of  programs for  special  education  related                                                              
services  for  other  categories  of  exceptional  children.    He                                                              
understands that  is very permissive.   Rather than  having gifted                                                              
and  talented specifically  directed in  this bill  when it  seems                                                              
like there  is going to be some  problem with the federal  law, it                                                              
would be better to leave the state law as it is.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN  stated his concern with  this amendment is                                                              
that  it effectively  eliminates  all protections  for gifted  and                                                              
talented students  in Alaska.   He has  heard enough  concern from                                                              
parents of gifted  and talented children about  the elimination of                                                              
procedural safeguards.   This amendment  may go too far  in how it                                                              
eliminates support for gifted and talented children in Alaska.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said the title  of the description under AS                                                              
14.30.315 is  Programs for  Gifted Children.   Frankly,  this bill                                                              
itself  is  not  going  to be  funding  any  gifted  and  talented                                                              
programs.  Neither  are the federal dollars coming  with this IDEA                                                              
program.   This will have to  go to the Finance  Committee whether                                                              
its under  the repealed  and reenacted  section  or whether  it is                                                              
under this.  It  seems to him that this gives  a broader latitude,                                                              
but it is not a directive.  That  debate has yet to happen, and he                                                              
doesn't know  if that debate should  happen under this bill.   The                                                              
existing law as it is gives plenty of latitude for that.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked Dr. Johnson  for the department's perspective                                                              
on this.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1989                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON  said the department  does not object to  this change,                                                              
although this  opens up the  conversation for a  future discussion                                                              
about public  policy related to gifted  and talented and  how this                                                              
state wants to  address it.  The department proposed  the language                                                              
in  the  CS  as a  result  from  feedback  received  from  various                                                              
individuals  who thought there  needed to  be some protection  for                                                              
current gifted  and talented programs.   The department  felt that                                                              
made some sense.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL asked Dr.  Johnson if the IDEA really deals                                                              
with the federal  government views that this law  fulfills a civil                                                              
right and under gifted and talented  that is not necessarily true.                                                              
He believes  the two  are being mixed  here.   It is a  legitimate                                                              
public policy debate.   All he is saying is that  in this bill, he                                                              
doesn't know if  gifted and talented should be  addressed for fear                                                              
that they  may trip over  themselves.  He  is afraid that  a civil                                                              
right issue  and another  issues may cause  trouble for  this bill                                                              
down the road.   Leaving the statute as it is,  leaves it open for                                                              
that public debate.  This bill may close it down.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2052                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR.  JOHNSON  said  to Representative  Coghill  that  clearly  the                                                              
department  tripped over  what the  federal  government asked  the                                                              
department to  do with  the federal funds  because the  funds were                                                              
co-mingled for  children with  disabilities and identified  gifted                                                              
and talented.   It is correct that  the cleanest way to  deal with                                                              
this  would be  to have  two  separate bills:    one dealing  with                                                              
gifted and talented and another with  disabilities.  Regardless of                                                              
how it  comes out, the department  has clear marching  orders from                                                              
the  federal government  in  terms  of how  federal  money can  be                                                              
spent, and the dollars will not be co-mingled.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON said  the bill  before the  committee does  indeed                                                              
separate  out  the gifted  and  talented  from the  children  with                                                              
disabilities.   The federal government  is telling there  can't be                                                              
co-mingling  of  funds.   He  understood  that  the bill  the  EED                                                              
submitted  made at  least some  of  the options  of how  education                                                              
deals with  gifted and talented more  of a local prerogative.   He                                                              
asked Dr. Johnson if that was correct.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON answered that is correct.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  said so when  Representative Kemplen says  some of                                                              
the  protections are  being removed  for the  gifted and  talented                                                              
program has more  been done in the bill to strengthen  making that                                                              
a local prerogative.  He asked if that was a fair inference.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON answered that yes, the  EED attempted to do that.  The                                                              
EED felt that  to move from having the protections  that came with                                                              
IDEA previously in  the law for GT to nothing was  not in the best                                                              
interest of  GT students  in the  state.  The  EED tried  to craft                                                              
language  in AS  14.30.315  that would  require  the local  school                                                              
district  to identify  GT students,  serve them  and also have  an                                                              
appeal process at  the local level.  If parents  were unhappy with                                                              
any  portion of  the program,  they would  have a  redress at  the                                                              
local level.  Since  there are no federal or state  dollars in EED                                                              
to  do  that,  the department  needed  to  extract  itself.    The                                                              
language was written to clearly accomplish that.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2158                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON asked  Dr. Johnson  what Representative  Coghill's                                                              
amendment does to that goal of the department.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON answered he believes  it makes it more permissive.  It                                                              
doesn't require a local school district to offer a program.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  asked Dr. Johnson  how that would  fit under                                                              
the regulations that are being written  on the gifted and talented                                                              
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2182                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR.  JOHNSON  answered there  are  going  to  be two  chapters  of                                                              
regulation.  A lot of work has been  done on the disabilities side                                                              
and  very  little work  done  on  the gifted  and  talented  side.                                                              
Gifted and  talented could end  up in chapter  53, which is  a new                                                              
chapter that  specifically would  outline the responsibilities  of                                                              
school districts for the gifted and talented population.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  asked if the  EED is currently  moving ahead                                                              
with the regulations on gifted and talented.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON replied  yes, although what the department  would like                                                              
to  do  is have  the  statute  in  place as  the  regulations  are                                                              
developed so "they are not wandering  around in the field."  A lot                                                              
of work has been  done because it is a huge  effort, but certainly                                                              
there is the  commitment if the bill  were to pass in  the form of                                                              
the CS, that the  EED will have an obligation and  will come forth                                                              
with regulations  to support  the services of  GT students  at the                                                              
local level.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2220                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL said  it  is permissive  because this  new                                                              
reenacted language  is very directive  that every  school district                                                              
shall  establish a  program for  these  services.   He finds  that                                                              
troublesome in  the context of  what HB 301  is trying to  do with                                                              
IDEA.  He asked  if there has been any legal action  on Alaska for                                                              
not complying  with IDEA  or is it  just a  threat that  the money                                                              
will go away.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR.  JOHNSON  explained  that  at  this  time  the  EED  is  under                                                              
corrective  action  which means  there  may  be sanctions  in  the                                                              
future if the EED doesn't come into compliance with federal law.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  asked if this skirts that then.   He asked                                                            
if this isn't close to non-compliance.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON  answered the EED doesn't  believe so the way  this is                                                            
put together.   The federal government will obviously  review this                                                              
when it  comes forward  with the monitoring  review.   The federal                                                              
government prefers  that the EED  doesn't co-mingle any  GT issues                                                              
with  children with  disabilities  issues clearly.    That is  the                                                              
cleanest way to  do some things.  As the EED looked  at a strategy                                                              
to accomplish  what it needed to  do to protect the  federal funds                                                              
and to  assure the  EED was  in compliance  with the civil  rights                                                              
issues around IDEA  and serve children with disabilities,  the EED                                                              
felt this  was a good  strategy to separate  the GT  issue totally                                                              
out of  the entire  statute, have  a specific  section and  only a                                                              
single section  that deals  with it beyond  definitions and  go in                                                              
that direction.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  said they  agree that  it  is a  separate                                                              
issue.  Putting  this in this bill  hooks it to this  issue almost                                                              
inextricably.   Leaving in the  language statutorially  allows the                                                              
EED to go to another title.  That  is a separate debate that needs                                                              
to happen.  He just doesn't know  if it is wise to have it in this                                                              
bill.    He  is  sure this  will  be  revisited  in  an  emergency                                                              
situation.   He is not against the  gifted and talented  as far as                                                              
the debate goes;  he might debate on the wrong side  of it, but at                                                              
this point, he believes there could be problems.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2319                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN said  Dr. Johnson  mentioned that  the EED                                                              
has an  obligation to  craft regulations  as the  CS is  currently                                                              
laid out  which has  the mandate  to local  school districts.   If                                                              
that section  is taken out that  mandates the school  districts to                                                              
have a gifted  and talented program, which is  what this amendment                                                              
does, does that remove the EED's  obligation to craft regulations.                                                              
It seems to him the EED would no  longer need to craft regulations                                                              
if there is no  mandate by the state for school  districts to have                                                              
a gifted and talented program.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-42, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 2344                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON said  that issue hadn't been discussed.   That line of                                                              
reasoning is  not out of line at  all.  There would be  nothing to                                                              
compel the department  if the reference to gifted  and talented is                                                              
removed from this bill.  There would  be regulations in place that                                                              
are not attached to any statutes.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  asked if the  department has to go  to the                                                              
legislature for funding the gifted  and talented program, or is it                                                              
going to  be funded  within the department  without a  legislative                                                              
funding request.   He asked  if it would  be a BRU  [Budget Review                                                              
Unit] or will each district be on its own.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2307                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON said  if the CS would pass as written,  the department                                                              
would see  the responsibility  at the local  level.  There  are no                                                              
dollars coming in  from the state to the department;  the funds go                                                              
directly  to the  individual school  districts in  the 20  percent                                                              
received for vocational education, special education and ...                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  interjected because of that,  it should be                                                              
more permissive.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER  asked if  the amendment as  proposed does                                                              
not affect funding.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON agreed it does not affect funding.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2274                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER asked  if  it allows  local districts  to                                                              
decide  the disposition  of gifted  and  talented programs  within                                                              
their districts.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON  answered that  districts must  provide a program  for                                                              
the  gifted and  talented population.   How  that is  done or  how                                                              
extensive it is would be left to  the discretion of the individual                                                              
school districts under the CS.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER said assuming  the amendment,  the "must"                                                              
would be extracted from Dr. Johnson's  statement and a "may" would                                                              
be inserted.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  JOHNSON  answered  yes,  that is  his  understanding  of  the                                                              
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER asked  if he is  missing anything  beyond                                                              
that that directly relates to the amendment.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON answered  not that comes to his mind.   He believes it                                                              
is straightforward, and Representative  Whitaker has clarified the                                                              
issues on this particular amendment.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2221                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CARL  ROSE,  Executive  Director,  Association  of  Alaska  School                                                              
Boards,  came  forward  to  testify.   He  said  he  believes  the                                                              
amendment  would be  appropriate to  allow latitude.   If not,  it                                                              
would be a large unfunded mandate on the local schools.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN  said  his  concern is  while  the  proper                                                              
public  approach to  the  gifted and  talented  is addressed,  the                                                              
protections should  not be eliminated for the  gifted and talented                                                              
programs out  there now.   Those protections should  be maintained                                                              
as that  dialogue happens  in the  future.  He  asked for  a "nay"                                                              
vote on this amendment.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON   asked  Representative   Kemplen  when   he  says                                                              
"protections"  he  is  meaning  directive  mandating  language  as                                                              
opposed to permissive language.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEMPLEN answered yes.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote  was taken.   Representatives Whitaker,  Morgan,                                                              
Coghill and Dyson voted in favor  of Amendment 3.  Representatives                                                              
Brice  and Kemplen  voted against  it.   Representative Green  was                                                              
absent.  Therefore, Amendment 3 was adopted by a vote of 4-2.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2147                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL made a motion  to adopt corrected Amendment                                                              
4 which read:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 12                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Delete "shall"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 13:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
      Delete subsection (1), subsection (2) and subsection                                                                      
     (3);                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     page 1, line 12, after the words "The department may"                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Insert:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     , notwithstanding any other provision of AS 14.30.180 -                                                                    
     14.30.350, may                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
       (1) do all things necessary to qualify for federal                                                                       
     funds that are available to the state for the education                                                                    
     of exceptional students;                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
        (2) adopt regulations necessary to comply with AS                                                                       
     14.30- 14.30.350.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 7:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Delete:  (4)                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Insert:  (3)                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 5, after "14.30.285,"                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Insert:  14.30.335,                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     page 5, line 2:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Delete:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
       "under state and federal law, including regulations                                                                      
     adopted by the department;"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     page 5, line 2:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Insert:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     under state law;                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2144                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE objected.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  said this whole  bill is saying  Alaska is                                                              
going to  give the federal  government absolute control  over what                                                              
is done in Alaska  with very little framework, and  he objected to                                                              
doing  that.   He referred  to page  1,  line 13,  "do all  things                                                              
necessary to continue  state eligibility ..."   His real objection                                                              
is the whole  section (2), page 2,  line 2, which says  on line 3:                                                              
"   ...  and   other  federal   law  related   to  children   with                                                              
disabilities;  if   a  provision  of  AS  14.30.180   -  14.30.350                                                              
conflicts  with federal  law  and the  conflict  would affect  the                                                              
continued receipt  of federal money,  the department  shall comply                                                              
with the federal  provision necessary to ensure  continued receipt                                                              
of  that money;"    He  said what  effectively  is  being done  is                                                              
putting the state statute under the  authority of the federal law,                                                              
whatever it is  and whenever and however it is  changed, the state                                                              
doesn't get the purview.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  reviewed the amendment for  the committee.                                                              
The rationale  behind the  changes are to  do things  necessary to                                                              
install IDEA but  not to give a carte blanche  authority for that.                                                              
The amendment says  if there is going to be a  change in this law,                                                              
it  has to  go through  the legislative  process.   If that  isn't                                                              
done, then the  department will be able to write  regulations, the                                                              
law can change, and the legislature  will be out of the purview of                                                              
it, and the legislature will be continually  asking questions that                                                              
it doesn't understand the federal  law.  It will be continually in                                                              
the dark.  "I  think we're treading on really  poor constitutional                                                              
ground  here but  if  nothing else,  the people  of  the state  of                                                              
Alaska, as  far as the legislature  is concerned, lose  their part                                                              
in the discussion.   Those folks watching on television  don't get                                                              
to see  any of it."   Page 5,  line 2, is  a critical part  of the                                                              
argument; change line 2.  That way  the law of the state has to be                                                              
changed every time the federal government changes IDEA.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE referred to  page 1, line 11, and agreed that                                                              
"things"  needs  to be  changed  because it  is  very  vague.   He                                                              
pointed out that  the language on page 1 refers  to the department                                                              
being able  to create  regulations, which  it should do;  however,                                                              
page 2  says it  can't [create  those regulations].   Although  he                                                              
agreed that  referencing the federal  law that can  change without                                                              
the  state  is  of  concern,  he  would  prefer  that  they  adopt                                                              
standards above and beyond what the  federal law has and put those                                                              
into statute.   He believes what  is being done here  is basically                                                              
creating an endless loop that never  arrives at the desired answer                                                              
and   basically  removes   any   legislative   oversight  in   the                                                              
development  of special  education laws  in Alaska.   He said,  "I                                                              
appreciate what you're [Representative  Coghill is] trying to say;                                                              
I don't think  we get there with  Amendment 4 so I  would probably                                                              
say I oppose it."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN referred  to the  language "do all  things                                                              
necessary  to qualify for  federal funds"  and remarked,  "...talk                                                              
about opening up  the barn door and letting all  the animals out."                                                              
For example,  if the federal government  were to require  that all                                                              
exceptional  students  had  to be  blood  tested  or had  to  have                                                              
national  identification  cards,  this  certainly  authorizes  the                                                              
department  to  comply  with that  [federal  requirement]  without                                                              
having to come to the legislature.  This is broad language.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1814                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said he was  willing to change that, but he                                                              
pointed out  that the  aforementioned language  is already  in the                                                              
CS.                                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER  said that was  the point he was  going to                                                              
make.   However,  although "things"  is  in the  CS, the  latitude                                                              
provided  for by the  amendment is  not in  the CS.   The  CS says                                                              
"shall,"  the amendment  says  "may."   Therefore,  Representative                                                              
Whitaker said he is going to support Amendment 4.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked Representative  Whitaker if he was supporting                                                              
the amendment with the change in the word "things?"                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WHITAKER  said he  didn't know what  "things" would                                                              
be substituted with.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  suggested "to what is reasonable"  but the                                                              
other is language he took right from the bill itself.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON suspended  the hearing on  HB 301  to take  up the                                                              
confirmation  hearings.  [The  minutes for  HB 301 continue  after                                                              
the confirmation hearings.]                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON announced the committee  would consider Ernest Hall                                                              
for the  State Board of  Education.  They  would not vote  for the                                                              
nominee   but  would   pass  him   out  of   committee  for   full                                                              
consideration  of the House  and Senate.   (A resume  was provided                                                              
for the appointee.)                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked Mr. Hall to  summarize his qualifications and                                                              
why he wants to serve on the State Board of Education.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1747                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ERNEST HALL, Appointee to the State  Board of Education, testified                                                              
via teleconference from  Anchorage.  He noted that  his many years                                                              
of experience with the Anchorage  School District qualify him.  He                                                              
has  a  great  deal  of commitment  in  working  with  the  school                                                              
district administration,  and he  helped the district come up with                                                              
new standards  for contracting.   He chairs the  Career Technology                                                              
Advisory Committee for the Anchorage  School District.  All of his                                                              
children went  through the Anchorage  School District, and  now he                                                              
has grandchildren  starting their  way through.   He has  concerns                                                              
about education  even though he  hasn't been tightly  connected to                                                              
it recently.  There  is no question in his mind  that education is                                                              
the future of everyone because the  children who are going through                                                              
the system now are going to be the future leaders.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1678                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  asked Mr. Hall  what emphasis he  will place                                                              
on the importance of early childhood  development and what will he                                                              
do   to  strengthen   the  connection   between  early   childhood                                                              
development and education.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HALL said  currently  he  and his  wife  are chairing  a  new                                                              
committee for the United Way in Anchorage  called "Success by Six"                                                              
which  addresses children  from  birth  until 6  years  old.   The                                                              
thrust of  this committee is to  ensure that by the  time children                                                              
turn 6,  they are ready  to go to school  and have the  ability to                                                              
learn when they get there.  That age group is critical.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE  urged Mr.  Hall  to consider  the  prenatal                                                              
group  especially  with the  state  facing  issues such  as  Fetal                                                              
Alcohol Syndrome babies and drug-addicted babies.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. HALL  agreed that  is important.   He  explained that  the new                                                              
committee has a great group of about  15 couples, grandparents and                                                              
single parents, and  they all recognize how critical  the prenatal                                                              
group is because there are individuals  bringing children into the                                                              
world who  are not  prepared to do  it.  The  amount of  drugs and                                                              
alcohol that  are consumed during  pregnancy has to  be understood                                                              
just how critical it is during pregnancy.   He said this committee                                                              
is hoping to come up with a web page  in Anchorage on a level that                                                              
anybody  can read and  understand  because there  are a number  of                                                              
services  available.   The majority  of the people  who need  help                                                              
don't even have a reading level to  access and read and understand                                                              
the information.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1531                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN asked  Mr. Hall  what he  sees as the  top                                                              
three  educational  issues facing  Alaska's  students  and how  he                                                              
plans on addressing those.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. HALL  answered it  is tough  to tie  down three.   One  of the                                                              
biggest issues  for him  is the discipline  issue in  the schools.                                                              
He believes  that a  good qualified teacher  could probably  go in                                                              
and teach a class  of 28-30 students, but if there  is one student                                                              
who  is  real  discipline  problem,  that  one  will  destroy  the                                                              
education of  the other  students because  the teacher  devotes so                                                              
much  time trying  to  take  care of  that  problem.   He  doesn't                                                              
exactly know  how to "wrap our arms"  around that.  It  is getting                                                              
to  the  point  he  continually  asks  himself  how  these  people                                                              
continue to go  into the classrooms if they don't  have an ability                                                              
to address the discipline of students in the class.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. HALL said  the funding problem is something  everyone is going                                                              
to have  to work  and try  to address  in some  form to make  sure                                                              
there is the ability to pay for the education of children.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HALL noted  another major  issue is  parental involvement  in                                                              
their children's  education.  The  schools with active  parents in                                                              
the  PTA  [Parent-Teacher  Association] have  higher  scores  than                                                              
schools  where parents  just  don't care.    A lot  of things  are                                                              
involved using common sense approaches  and finding out how to get                                                              
ownership  out of  everyone involved  education and  participation                                                              
from them to ensure the children can get the needed education.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON thanked Mr. Hall for his willingness to serve.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. HALL  said he  will give  it his  best.   He looks forward  to                                                              
working  closely with  the committee  as well  as the  counterpart                                                              
committee in the Senate.  He believes  that something that becomes                                                              
a problem  sometimes is  a lack of  communication amongst  all who                                                              
are concerned about  education.  Sometime private  agendas tend to                                                              
get  in  the  way.    As  long  as   there  is  an  open  line  of                                                              
communication and  people work together, the winners  are going to                                                              
be the children graduating from Alaska's schools.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1362                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DARROLL HARGRAVES,  Executive Director,  Alaska Council  of School                                                              
Administrators  (ACSA)  came forward  to  testify.   He  spoke  in                                                              
support of the three candidates for  the State Board of Education:                                                              
Mr. Ernie Hall, Paula Pawlowski and  Sally Rue.  The ACSA supports                                                              
these  people because  they all  have  their hearts  in the  right                                                              
place.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB 301 - EDUCATION OF EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[The beginning  of the  HB 301 minutes  precedes the  confirmation                                                              
hearing of Mr. Hall.]                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  reopened the  hearing on House  Bill No.  301, "An                                                              
Act  relating  to  the  education  of  exceptional  children;  and                                                              
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  agreed he had struggled  with the language                                                              
"do all things necessary"  on page 1, line 13, so  he deleted that                                                              
language and added "take needed action."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked  if there was any objection  to the amendment                                                              
to Amendment 4.  There being none,  the amendment to the amendment                                                              
was adopted.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1262                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL noted that  Dr. Johnson pointed out that on                                                              
line 13 of  Amendment 4, there is  an error in the  statute number                                                              
and it should read AS 14.30.180.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON said to Dr. Johnson  that he was amazed when he saw                                                              
the original  bill with  the similar language  in there  that said                                                              
"do anything necessary."   He asked if that is  standard in trying                                                              
to bring state law into compliance with federal laws.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON answered  he didn't know if it is standard,  he is new                                                              
at this game.   It was a carryover from the previous  statute.  It                                                              
has been in state law for some period of time.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  said "what I hear  you all having said,  and maybe                                                              
the state law said before, you say  to our federal overlords we've                                                              
done everything we  know that you want us to do,  and if we missed                                                              
anything, we did that too."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1174                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. FORD-SLACK  said it  does something  else too.   She  has been                                                              
using that  language as  a way to  appease the federal  government                                                              
over  the  last few  months  when  it was  questioning  the  EED's                                                              
commitment  to implementing  IDEA with  a lack  of staff, lack  of                                                              
change in statute  and regulations since 1997, and  lack of action                                                              
on the  corrective actions  from the monitoring  report.   The EED                                                              
had  been using  AS  14.30.180  as sort  of  a failsafe  that  the                                                              
current state  statute as  it is, if  nothing happens,  means that                                                              
the legislators had, in their wisdom,  put that the department was                                                              
still supposed  to do  what the  federal government  said to  make                                                              
sure that  children with disabilities  got the needed  protections                                                              
and programs  that they were  to have.  That  is what the  EED has                                                              
been using.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said this  closes the door for anything the                                                              
EED wants  and even  if it is  changed and  the department  has to                                                              
change, but the  legislature and the rest of the  state are out of                                                              
the loop.   This  at least  brings them  back into  the loop.   He                                                              
asked Dr. Ford-Slack if she had any comment on that.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR. FORD-SLACK  said she doesn't  have any problem; she  was using                                                              
the language  that had  been in  the statute  before to  cover her                                                              
back and the state's back at the  time, and it has worked well for                                                              
about nine months.   When the EED was looking  at statutory change                                                              
that appeared to  be needed with IDEA, the EED  just followed what                                                              
had been in the previous statute.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE  asked why  then  is HB  301  needed if  the                                                              
department is doing it anyway.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1058                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR.  FORD-SLACK  answered  in  1997,   when  Alaska  received  its                                                              
monitoring report ten days before  IDEA was reauthorized, it threw                                                              
the federal  government into a dilemma,  with all states  that had                                                              
been  monitored  under   the  old  IDEA  in  the   previous  year.                                                              
Therefore, the  EED, with  its single staff  person, was  asked to                                                              
convene  a committee  of stakeholders.     In  October 1997  those                                                              
stakeholders  were to  sit with  the Office  of Special  Education                                                              
Programs  representatives  and a  technical  assistance agency  to                                                              
take the  corrective actions from  the monitoring (of  which there                                                              
were  four   fairly  stringent   ones)  and   roll  them   into  a                                                              
comprehensive state  implementation plan, which is  about 16 pages                                                              
long.    That  implementation  plan  not only  took  care  of  the                                                              
corrective  actions,  but also  required  the state,  under  every                                                              
single section  of IDEA, to 1) look  at and amend its  statute and                                                              
2) look  at and  amend its regulation.   She  noted that  when she                                                              
originally took  this job  she thought she  was just  dealing with                                                              
the  corrective  actions  of  monitoring,   but  instead  she  was                                                              
informed  by the  Office of  Special Education  Programs that  the                                                              
state  of Alaska  had submitted  the implementation  plan; it  had                                                              
been  approved in  January 1998;  and it  was their  understanding                                                              
that that's what the EED was working  off of.  That is why the EED                                                              
was to do statutory change.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE referred  to  line 8  of  Amendment 4,  "The                                                              
department may," and said that "may"  is permissive.  He also said                                                              
that a  less-enlightened administration  would not be  required to                                                              
take that action and thus he wondered  if that would be a problem.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0919                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. FORD-SLACK  said she  believed that  the federal  government's                                                              
response would probably be that certainly,  states have a right to                                                              
do what they want; education is clearly  a state act.  The federal                                                              
government will  come and  monitor the state,  and it will  do the                                                              
things that  it believes it  needs to do  to bring the  state into                                                              
compliance.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BRICE  said   if  Alaska   doesn't  want   to  be                                                              
enlightened, it doesn't have to be.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON said  the federal  government  might withdraw  the                                                              
funding, and it might be a teachable moment.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN   asked  to  hear  from   the  department.                                                              
Amendment 4 deletes  Section 2, (2) and (3) on page  2, lines 2-9.                                                              
He asked what impact that would have.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON said the position of  the EED is it does not object to                                                              
the proposed  Amendment 4.  The  way it was written  provided lots                                                              
of  emphasis, and  the EED  believes that  the amendment  captures                                                              
what it is most interested in which  is that the department comply                                                              
with the federal law.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  pointed  out  during  testimony  that  AS                                                              
14.30.180 is  presently in statute  but section AS  14.30.182 (1),                                                              
(2), (3) and (4) is new and is not presently in statute.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote  was taken.   Representatives Coghill,  Whitaker                                                              
and Dyson  voted in favor of  Amendment 4.  Representatives  Brice                                                              
and Kemplen voted  against it.  Representative  Green abstained on                                                              
his vote since  he had missed most of the discussion  on Amendment                                                              
4.  Representative Morgan was absent.   Therefore, Amendment 4 was                                                              
adopted by a vote of 3-2.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0714                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT BRIGGS,  Staff Attorney, Disability  Law Center  of Alaska,                                                              
testified  via  teleconference  from   Anchorage.    He  told  the                                                              
committee that he did not have a copy of Amendment 5.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON read the amendment to him.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. BRIGGS said Amendment 5 tracks  what the Disability Law Center                                                              
recommended in its April 5 letter.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0631                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE made  a motion  to adopt  Amendment 5  which                                                              
read:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     In Section 6, page 3, line 22, delete "school district"                                                                    
     and add the phrase:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     "department through a process of random selection"                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  asked Mr. Briggs  to explain to the  committee why                                                              
this amendment should be adopted.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BRIGGS explained  the purpose  of  Amendment 5  is to  ensure                                                              
that, especially in  smaller school districts where  there may not                                                              
be many hearing officers available,  the school districts may have                                                              
the  power  through  the  ability  to  nominate  three  people  to                                                              
essentially  give only  one viable candidate,  and that  candidate                                                              
may not necessarily  be predisposed to hear fairly  all the issues                                                              
in a  case.  He  felt there was agreement  with the  department on                                                              
this subject  that if  there was  a random  process of  selection,                                                              
just  as any  case that  is filed  in  a civil  court is  randomly                                                              
assigned  to a  judge, the  parties  would be  assured that  there                                                              
would  be  a  free  and  open  process   and  less  likelihood  of                                                              
attempting to influence who the decision-maker ultimately is.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON asked Dr.  Johnson if  the EED  has a position  on                                                              
Amendment 5.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON answered the EED has  no objection to Amendment 5.  It                                                              
is an  improvement.   The Disability  Law Center  has raised  some                                                              
legitimate issues.  If this were  to be adopted, he suggested also                                                              
changing the  words "school district"  to "department" on  page 3,                                                              
line 24.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON asked if there was  any objection to this amendment                                                              
to  Amendment 5.    There being  no  objection,  the amendment  to                                                              
Amendment 5 was adopted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON  asked if there was  any objection to  Amendment 5.                                                              
There being none, Amendment 5 was adopted.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0470                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE made  a motion  to adopt  Amendment 6  which                                                              
reads:                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, following line 16:                                                                                                 
          Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                     
      "* Sec. 9.  AS 14.30.272 is amended to read:                                                                            
               Sec. 14.30.272.  Procedural safeguards                                                                         
          for gifted  children.  (a)  A school  district                                                                    
          shall  inform  the  parent  of  a  gifted  [AN                                                                    
          EXCEPTIONAL] child of the  right to review the                                                                        
          child's   educational    record,   to   review                                                                        
          evaluation tests and procedures,  to refuse to                                                                        
          permit evaluation  or a change in  the child's                                                                        
          educational  placement, to be informed  of the                                                                        
          results   of   evaluation,    to   obtain   an                                                                        
          independent  evaluation by  choosing a  person                                                                        
          from  a list  provided by the  district or  by                                                                        
          choosing  a person  by  agreement between  the                                                                        
          parent  and  school district,  to  request  an                                                                        
          impartial   hearing,  to   appeal  a   hearing                                                                        
          officer's  decision, and  to  give consent  or                                                                        
          deny   access  to   others   to  the   child's                                                                        
          educational record.                                                                                                   
               (b)  The department shall establish, by                                                                          
          regulation, impartial procedures  for a school                                                                        
          district  to follow  for  hearings under  this                                                                    
          section   [AS   14.30.193   TO   COMPLY   WITH                                                                    
          REQUIREMENTS   NECESSARY  TO  PARTICIPATE   IN                                                                        
          FEDERAL  GRANT-IN-AID PROGRAMS,  INCLUDING  20                                                                        
          U.S.C.   1400   -   1485   (INDIVIDUALS   WITH                                                                        
          DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT)].                                                                                         
       * Sec. 10.  AS 14.30.274 is amended to read:                                                                           
               Sec. 14.30.274.  Identification of gifted                                                                    
     [EXCEPTIONAL]   children.     Each   school  district   shall                                                            
     establish  and implement  written procedures  to ensure  that                                                              
     all gifted  [EXCEPTIONAL] children  under the  age of  22 who                                                          
     reside  in the district  are identified  and located  for the                                                              
     purpose  of  establishing  their need  for  gifted  [SPECIAL]                                                          
     education and related services.                                                                                            
       * Sec. 11.  AS 14.30.278 is amended to read:                                                                           
               Sec.    14.30.278.         Individualized                                                                      
           education program for gifted children.  (a)                                                                      
          The individualized education program for each                                                                         
          gifted [EXCEPTIONAL] child must include                                                                           
                    (1)  a statement of the child's                                                                             
          present levels of educational performance;                                                                            
                    (2)  a statement of annual goals, including                                                                 
     short-term [SHORT TERM] instructional objectives;                                                                      
                    (3)  a statement of the specific gifted                                                                 
     [SPECIAL] education  and related  services to be  provided to                                                              
     the child, and the extent to  which the child will be able to                                                              
     participate in regular educational programs;                                                                               
                    (4)  the projected dates for initiation of                                                                  
     services and the anticipated duration of the services;                                                                     
                    (5)  appropriate objective criteria and                                                                     
     evaluation  procedures and schedules  for determining,  on at                                                              
     least an  annual basis, whether  the short-term  [SHORT TERM]                                                          
     instructional objectives are being achieved.                                                                               
               (b)  Each meeting concerning a gifted [AN                                                                    
     EXCEPTIONAL] child must include                                                                                            
                    (1)  a representative of the school                                                                         
          district, other than the child's teacher, who                                                                         
            is qualified to provide or supervise the                                                                            
          provision of gifted [SPECIAL] education;                                                                          
                    (2)  the child's teacher;                                                                                   
                    (3)  at least one of the child's parents;                                                                   
                    (4)  the child, when appropriate;                                                                           
                    (5)  other individuals selected by                                                                          
          the parent or school district.                                                                                        
               (c)  Each school district shall develop an                                                                       
     individualized    education   program   for    every   gifted                                                          
     [EXCEPTIONAL]  child who  receives services  or whose  parent                                                              
     requests  services   under  this  section  [AS   14.30.180  -                                                          
     14.30.350]."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 20, following "department.":                                                                                  
          Insert "The regulations adopted by the department                                                                     
     must require separate accounting by the department and                                                                     
     each school district of money spent for programs under                                                                     
        this section, including procedures to ensure that                                                                       
      federal money provided under 20 U.S.C. 1400 - 1487 is                                                                     
     not used under this section."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, following line 1:                                                                                                  
          Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                     
      "* Sec. 15.  AS 14.30.350(3) is amended to read:                                                                        
                    (3)  "consent" means, as applied to                                                                     
          parents  of gifted  children,  the parent  has                                                                    
          been   fully  informed   of  all   information                                                                        
          relevant  to the  activity or  the release  of                                                                        
          records  for which consent  is sought and  the                                                                        
          parent understands  and voluntarily  agrees to                                                                        
          the activity or release of records;                                                                                   
      * Sec. 16.  AS 14.30.350(4) is amended to read:                                                                         
                    (4)  "educational records" means,                                                                       
          as  the term is  applied in gifted  education,                                                                    
          those  files,  documents, records,  and  other                                                                        
          material  that  contain  information  directly                                                                        
          related to  a student and are maintained  by a                                                                        
          school  district  or  a person  acting  for  a                                                                        
          school   district;   the   term   "educational                                                                        
          records"   does  not  include  the   personnel                                                                        
          records of the school district,  maintained in                                                                        
          the  normal course  of  business, that  relate                                                                        
          exclusively  to  a  person's  capacity  as  an                                                                        
          employee,  or other records  as designated  by                                                                        
          the department in regulation;                                                                                         
      * Sec. 17.  AS 14.30.350(7) is amended to read:                                                                         
                    (7)  "individualized education                                                                              
          program  team"  means,  as applied  in  gifted                                                                    
          education, a  group of people that  translates                                                                    
          child   assessment  information  regarding   a                                                                        
          child  into  a practical  plan  for  specially                                                                        
          designed instruction and  delivery of services                                                                        
          for the child, and includes the following:                                                                            
                         (A) [A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SCHOOL                                                                    
          DISTRICT, OTHER THAN THE CHILD'S TEACHER, WHO IS                                                                      
          QUALIFIED TO PROVIDE OR SUPERVISE THE PROVISION OF                                                                    
          SPECIAL EDUCATION;                                                                                                    
                         (B)]  the child's teacher;                                                                             
                         (B) [(C)]  the child's parent;                                                                     
                         (C) [(D)]  the child, if appropriate;                                                              
                         (D) [(E)]  other individuals, at the                                                               
          discretion of the child's parent or the school                                                                        
          district;                                                                                                             
      * Sec. 18.  AS 14.30.350(8) is amended to read:                                                                         
                    (8)  "parent," as applied to the parents of                                                         
     gifted children, includes a guardian and [,] a person acting                                                       
     as a parent of a child; [, AND A SURROGATE PARENT APPOINTED                                                            
     UNDER AS 14.30.325.]                                                                                                       
      * Sec. 19.  AS 14.30.350(9) is amended to read:                                                                         
                    (9)  "related services" means, as                                                                       
          the   term   applies   to   gifted   children,                                                                    
          [TRANSPORTATION       AND       DEVELOPMENTAL,                                                                        
          CORRECTIVE,  AND  OTHER]  supportive  services                                                                        
          required    to    assist     [CHILDREN    WITH                                                                        
          DISABILITIES  OR] gifted  children to  benefit                                                                        
          from gifted  [SPECIAL] education and  includes                                                                    
          [BUT  IS NOT LIMITED  TO SPEECH PATHOLOGY  AND                                                                        
          AUDIOLOGY,] psychological  services, [PHYSICAL                                                                        
          AND    OCCUPATIONAL   THERAPY,    RECREATION,]                                                                        
          counseling services [INCLUDING  REHABILITATION                                                                        
          COUNSELING],   and   medical    services   for                                                                        
          diagnostic  or evaluation  purposes; the  term                                                                        
          also   includes  [SCHOOL   HEALTH   SERVICES,]                                                                        
          school  social work  services  [,] and  parent                                                                        
          counseling and training;                                                                                              
      * Sec. 20.  AS 14.30.350 is amended by adding a new                                                                     
paragraph  to read:                                                                                                             
                    (12)  "gifted education" means specially                                                                    
     designed or accelerated instruction, at no cost to the                                                                     
    parent, that meets the unique needs of gifted children."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 2:                                                                                                            
          Delete "14.30.272, 14.30.274,"                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 3:                                                                                                            
          Delete "14.30.278,"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, lines 3 - 4:                                                                                                       
          Delete   "14.30.350(3),    14.30.350(4),   14.30.350(7),                                                              
14.30.350(8), 14.30.350(9),"                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, following line 4:                                                                                                  
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
     "* Sec. 22.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska                                                                   
     is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                                
          TRANSITION.  The Department of Education and Early                                                                    
     Childhood Development shall adopt regulations required                                                                     
      under AS 14.30.315, as repealed and reenacted by sec.                                                                     
     12 of this Act, by January 1, 2001."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill section accordingly.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0465                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL objected.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0444                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE  said this  amendment  provides a  statutory                                                              
skeleton  for the  regulations  that  the EED  has  alluded to  in                                                              
providing certain  procedural safeguards for  GT.  It is  a little                                                              
bit of  statutory oversight  for what is  expected to come  out of                                                              
the regulatory process.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL asked Representative  Brice if there is any                                                              
part of Amendment 6 that is currently embodied in HB 301.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  answered no.   That was a question  he asked                                                              
of the drafter.   He had Mr. Briggs also go  through the amendment                                                              
to be sure  current sections within  the CS were not  being messed                                                              
with.   It  basically  provides for  those  issues  on gifted  and                                                              
talented.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0322                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL   told  Representative  Brice   that  this                                                              
amendment  is  exactly  why  this  should  be  a  separate  issue.                                                              
Amendment 6  really embodies  a whole different  bill.   Though he                                                              
believes  it is  a worthy  debate,  it is  out of  line with  this                                                              
particular issue.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  said actually it  is perfectly in  line with                                                              
this  piece of  legislation  given the  fact  that the  department                                                              
raised the  issue.   The fact that  the EED is  in the  process of                                                              
writing  the regulations  for gifted  and talented  and needs  the                                                              
statutory authority  in which to write those regulations  now.  If                                                              
the legislature  wants to get rid  of GT across the state,  it can                                                              
leave HB  301 as it  is, and the  statutory authority will  be too                                                              
limited for  the department to adopt  the regulations it  has been                                                              
talking  about.     He  believes  this  is  an   extremely  timely                                                              
amendment, and it is perfectly appropriate.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0218                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR.  JOHNSON commented  obviously,  this is  a challenging  issue.                                                              
There are no federal dollars associated  with gifted and talented;                                                              
there are no  state dollars that currently come  to the department                                                              
but rather to the individual school  districts.  He indicated that                                                              
the EED believes  it can regulate,  to some degree, what  is going                                                              
on in the school districts since  they do get money in the form of                                                              
the 20  percent add-on.   With that the  school districts  need to                                                              
provide  services  for  all children,  including  the  gifted  and                                                              
talented children.   Dr. Johnson  noted that Representative  Brice                                                              
has raised  the issue of  a good, healthy  discussion of  what the                                                              
EED wants to do.  The EED would certainly  support that discussion                                                              
and wants  to be a part  of that discussion,  but it is  the EED's                                                              
strong  opinion, that  to  the extent  possible,  the two  issues,                                                              
disabilities and  gifted and talented,  need to be  separated even                                                              
though historically in Alaska, it has been done differently.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE  asked Dr.  Johnson  the department  put  AS                                                              
14.30.315 into the CS.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON answered  that was a strategy call on  the part of the                                                              
department.   It did not want to  leave what has been  a long-term                                                              
program  recognized   under  exceptional   children  out   of  the                                                              
legislation.   The department felt  it would make it  difficult to                                                              
move the  bill forward to have  the kind of statute  necessary for                                                              
the EED to fully  comply with the federal dollars  for exceptional                                                              
children.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BRICE  asked  Dr.   Johnson  then  what   is  the                                                              
department's  statutory authority  to bring up  chapter 53  in the                                                              
administrative code  which was referenced  earlier for  gifted and                                                              
talented.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON said the department believes  that AS 14.30.315, where                                                              
every school  district is required  to establish a  program, gives                                                              
the department the authority to do that.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  asked Dr. Johnson  what is the  problem with                                                              
the language before him.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 00-43, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON  said the  department believes it  is talking  about a                                                              
fiscal note  here if the department  were required to  provide the                                                              
kind of language that is outlined in Amendment 6.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  said to Dr.  Johnson that the  department is                                                              
going  to write  the  regulations,  chapter  53 without  a  fiscal                                                              
impact, but  if the  legislature were to  give the department  the                                                              
authority  to write  those  regulations, then  there  is a  fiscal                                                              
impact.  He asked for clarification.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR.  JOHNSON  replied  that  he wasn't  sure  if  he  grasped  the                                                              
question fully.  The department will  be using department staff to                                                              
draft regulations  to support gifted and talented.   For instance,                                                              
in procedural safeguards there are  some heavy monetary issues for                                                              
the department  if it  is going to  establish hearing  officers in                                                              
the area  of gifted  and talented.   Those  hearing officers  will                                                              
need training  to do the  complaint investigations,  the mediation                                                              
and  the due  process hearings  that  are required  in a  dispute.                                                              
Those  are  the  monetary  issues  he  was  referring  to  in  the                                                              
department.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0125                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BRICE  said  he   is  assuming  under  current  AS                                                              
14.30.315 the  department isn't going  to have any due  process or                                                              
procedural efforts.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR. JOHNSON  answered yes,  in AS  14.30.315, the department  does                                                              
want a review process, but it would  be at the local level not the                                                              
state  level.  The  department  would not  play a  role in it  but                                                              
would require districts to establish  those kinds of opportunities                                                              
for parents  who feel  that their  children are  not served  well.                                                              
The money is at the local level.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  said the amendment says  "school districts."                                                              
The EED is  not referenced.  He  just wants to make sure  there is                                                              
statutory  authority   for  the  department  to   be  writing  the                                                              
regulations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  asked Chairman  Dyson if Margo  Waring could                                                              
speak to Amendment 6.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0268                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARGO WARING  came forward  to testify.   She spoke in  support of                                                              
Amendment  6  and urged  the  committee  to  adopt it  because  it                                                              
provides exactly what  the gifted and talented  students have now,                                                              
nothing more, nothing less.  The  department has the money and the                                                              
trained staff to do it now; it has  been doing it and can continue                                                              
to do it.  It is an effort, as it  was described by Representative                                                              
Brice, to  provide a skeleton  for future regulations  which might                                                              
be written.   Maybe this time  language could be added  that would                                                              
require the EED  to produce regulations within some  set period of                                                              
time.   More important  is children  who have special  educational                                                              
needs have been in the same piece  of statutes for years.  All the                                                              
federal government is requiring of  Alaska is to separate them and                                                              
that is what the amendment does.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. WARING  noted a  member of  her group  has called the  federal                                                            
Department of  Education (DOE) and  asked about this; the  DOE has                                                              
said that having  parallel statutes is fine; it  has supported and                                                              
approved  them  in seven  other  states.    There  is no  need  to                                                              
eliminate what is  there now.  It just needs to  be separated from                                                              
the proposed new statutes and regulations for special education.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. WARING  urged the  committee to support  the amendment  so the                                                              
rights that  students now have are  maintained.  Not  every school                                                              
district  is stepping  up to the  bat as  much as  it needs  to to                                                              
provide education for children with  challenging needs.  She urged                                                              
the committee, through  this amendment, to put  its support behind                                                              
the idea  that school districts and  the state have  an obligation                                                              
to teach all of the children.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0441                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  DYSON clarified  that Amendment  5 was  conceptual.   If                                                              
there  is another  place  where the  word  "department" should  be                                                              
substituted  for "school district"  that is  the intention  of the                                                              
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0475                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  said Amendment  6 is a separate  issue and                                                              
will carry  its own fiscal  note and needs  to go through  its own                                                              
process.   He understands  it is a parallel  problem.   The gifted                                                              
and talented is definitely a debate,  but it is not a debate in HB
301.  It is  a tough separation because it has  been done this way                                                              
for years,  but it needs to be  debated separately.  He  urged the                                                              
committee not  to pass the amendment  until he and  the department                                                              
have time to peruse it.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said the department  did bring it forward; it                                                              
was in the  original bill and the  CS.  He just wanted  to clarify                                                              
some  things so  the  EED could  have  proper  direction in  their                                                              
efforts  to develop  the regulation.   There isn't  a fiscal  note                                                              
because the EED is going to do it anyway.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0566                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER   asked  if  Amendment  6   would  negate                                                              
Amendment 3.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL answered yes,  it would negate Amendment 3.                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said actually  is does not negate Amendment 3                                                              
simply due  to the fact there is  still a section AS  14.30.315 in                                                              
statute, and  this embellishes on  that statute.  It  is perfectly                                                              
appropriate.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WHITAKER  said  he  has  heard  two  diametrically                                                              
opposed answers and asked for further clarification.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON said he couldn't answer the question succinctly.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BRICE  said he believes the answer  is very simple;                                                              
it is what the vote is, and what the will of the committee is.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken.   Representatives Brice  and Kemplen                                                              
voted in favor  of adopting Amendment 6.   Representatives Morgan,                                                              
Coghill, Whitaker,  Green and Dyson voted against  it.  Therefore,                                                              
Amendment 6 failed to be adopted by 2-5.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0721                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN DYSON told all the participants  that this was one of the                                                              
better collaborative  processes under  difficult circumstances  he                                                              
has seen.  He suspects that none  of interest groups are perfectly                                                              
happy with  this bill.  He  noted it was  a work in progress.   He                                                              
expected  some  of  the  committee  members to  be  back  on  this                                                              
committee next year, and they will  continue to pursue this issue.                                                              
The  details that  aren't right  in  this iteration  will be  paid                                                              
attention to  and come  back to them  later.   He noted  this bill                                                              
goes  on to  the Finance  Committee so  interested parties  should                                                              
watch for when it comes up again there.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0845                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL made a  motion to  move CSHB 301,  version                                                              
GH2003\G,  Ford,  3/27/00,  as  amended,  out  of  committee  with                                                              
individual recommendations and attached fiscal note.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0848                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KEMPLEN objected.   He  said his  concern is  that                                                              
this committee has been quite comfortable  with mandating programs                                                              
for school districts.   Not too long ago the  committee mandated a                                                              
security plan for  all districts.  Why there is now  a concern for                                                              
not  mandating  services  for  gifted  and talented  seems  to  be                                                              
inconsistent.   His problem with  this bill is that  it eliminates                                                              
educational rights  for Alaska's best and brightest.   For someone                                                              
who  strives toward  making a  commitment  towards excellence,  he                                                              
wants to see  Alaska have that same commitment  towards excellence                                                              
in education.   This legislation, as amended, is  a step backward,                                                              
and thus he said he cannot support it.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was taken.   Representatives  Coghill, Whitaker,                                                              
Green, Morgan, Dyson and Brice voted  in favor of moving the bill.                                                              
Representative  Kemplen voted  against  it.   Therefore, CSHB  301                                                              
(HES) moved from  the House Health, Education  and Social Services                                                              
Standing Committee by a vote of 6-1.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
 There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                
 Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee meeting                                                               
                   was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.                                                                                   

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