Legislature(2001 - 2002)

02/22/2001 03:02 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES                                                                         
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                       February 22, 2001                                                                                        
                           3:02 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fred Dyson, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Peggy Wilson, Vice Chair                                                                                         
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Gary Stevens                                                                                                     
Representative Sharon Cissna                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Vic Kohring                                                                                                      
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 41                                                                                                               
"An Act  repealing  the termination  date of  changes made  by ch.                                                              
87,  SLA  1997 and  ch.  132,  SLA 1998  regarding  child  support                                                              
enforcement  and related programs;  repealing the  nonseverability                                                              
provision  of ch. 132,  SLA 1998;  repealing certain  requirements                                                              
for applicants  for hunting  and sport  fishing licenses  or tags,                                                              
and  for  certain  hunting permits,  to  provide  social  security                                                              
numbers  for child  support  enforcement  purposes; and  providing                                                              
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 41(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 2(HES)                                                                                  
Relating to declaring March 2001 as Sobriety Awareness Month.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSCR 2(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 101                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to  charter  schools;  and  providing  for  an                                                              
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 101(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
BILL: HB 41                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE:CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT/SOC SEC. #                                                                                
SPONSOR(S): RLS BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                   Action                                                                                    
01/10/01     0046       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    

01/10/01 0046 (H) HES, JUD, FIN

01/10/01 0047 (H) FN1: ZERO(REV)

01/10/01 0047 (H) GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER

01/25/01 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106

01/25/01 (H) Heard & Held

01/25/01 (H) MINUTE(HES) 02/15/01 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 02/15/01 (H) Heard & Held MINUTE(HES) 02/20/01 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 02/20/01 (H) Heard & Held MINUTE(HES) 02/22/01 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: SCR 2 SHORT TITLE:SOBRIETY AWARENESS MONTH SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) WARD Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action

01/23/01 0146 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS

01/23/01 0146 (S) HES

01/29/01 (S) HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205

01/29/01 (S) Heard & Held

01/29/01 (S) MINUTE(HES)

01/31/01 (S) HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205

01/31/01 (S) Moved CS(HES) Out of Committee

01/31/01 (S) MINUTE(HES) 02/01/01 0245 (S) HES RPT CS 5DP SAME TITLE 02/01/01 0245 (S) DP: GREEN, WILKEN, LEMAN, WARD, DAVIS 02/01/01 0245 (S) FN1: ZERO(S.HES) 02/08/01 (S) RLS AT 10:45 AM FAHRENKAMP 203 02/08/01 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 02/08/01 0309 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 2/8/01 02/08/01 0312 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 02/08/01 0312 (S) HES CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 02/08/01 0312 (S) COSPONSOR(S): LEMAN, DONLEY, 02/08/01 0312 (S) TAYLOR, WILKEN, ELLIS, THERRIAULT, 02/08/01 0312 (S) DAVIS, COWDERY, ELTON, HALFORD, OLSON 02/08/01 0312 (S) PASSED Y17 N- E3 CSSCR 2(HES) 02/08/01 0315 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 02/09/01 0276 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS 02/09/01 0276 (H) HES 02/22/01 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 BILL: HB 101 SHORT TITLE:CHARTER SCHOOLS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)DYSON Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 02/02/01 0225 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS 02/02/01 0225 (H) EDU, HES, FIN 02/12/01 0303 (H) EDU REFERRAL WAIVED 02/20/01 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 02/20/01 (H) Heard & Held MINUTE(HES) 02/21/01 0392 (H) COSPONSOR(S): ROKEBERG 02/22/01 (H) HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106 WITNESS REGISTER RANDALL LORENZ, Staff to Representative Fred Dyson Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 104 Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Explained changes in HB 41, Version F. BARBARA MIKLOS, Director Child Safety Enforcement Division Department of Revenue 550 West 7th Avenue Anchorage, AK 99501 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on amendment to HB 41, Version F. SENATOR JERRY WARD Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 423 Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor for SCR 2. ERNIE TURNER, Director Division of Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Department of Health & Social Services P.O. Box 110607 Juneau, Alaska 99524 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SCR 2. WESLEY KELLER, Staff to Representative Fred Dyson Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 104 Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 101. DEBBIE OSSIANDER, Legislative Chair Anchorage School Board Anchorage School District 4600 DeBarr Road PO Box 196614 Anchorage, Alaska 99519 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 101. BILL SYVERSON, Head Teacher Aurora Borealis Charter School 34640 Kalifornsky Beach Road Soldotna, Alaska 99669 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 101. CARL ROSE, Executive Director Association of Alaska School Boards 316 West 11th Street Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 101. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 01-18, SIDE A Number 0001 CHAIR FRED DYSON called the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee meeting to order at 3:02 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Dyson, Wilson, Coghill, Stevens and Cissna. HB 41-CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT/SOC SEC. # CHAIR DYSON announced the committee would again consider HOUSE BILL NO. 41, "An Act repealing the termination date of changes made by ch. 87, SLA 1997 and ch. 132, SLA 1998 regarding child support enforcement and related programs; repealing the nonseverability provision of ch. 132, SLA 1998; repealing certain requirements for applicants for hunting and sport fishing licenses or tags, and for certain hunting permits, to provide social security numbers for child support enforcement purposes; and providing for an effective date." CHAIR DYSON noted that the previous hearing had been recessed with one unresolved issue, but that he and the department [DCED] are now in agreement. He confirmed that the committee would be working off of Version F [22-GH1002\F, Lauterbach, 2/16/01], which rolled SB 19 [CSSB 19(HES), except for the title] into HB 41. RANDALL LORENZ, Staff to Representative Fred Dyson, Alaska State Legislature, speaking as the committee aide for the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee, informed members that the only difference between SB 19 [CSSB 19(HES)] and HB 41 [Version F] is the inclusion of Representative Coghill's change from five years to two years [for the sunset date, Section 16 - from 2006 to 2003]. Number 0210 CHAIR DYSON remarked that the letter [dated February 21, 2001] from Ms. Miklos, Director of Child Safety Enforcement Division (CSED), includes CSED's proposal to solve the problem when the noncustodial parent - the obligor - is paying child support via payroll deductions; if CSED receives the money in the last few days of the month, the money gets credited to that month instead of the next month, for which it is intended. Chair Dyson noted that the director has proposed to change the wording in AS 25.27.103 to say that if [the money] comes in the last five days of the month and [was made in the course of regular wage withholding], it would be credited to the next month. Chair Dyson said he had asked Ms. Miklos, prior to the meeting, whether she would object to the insertion of "business" between "five" and "days", so that it would read "five business days"; he requested confirmation from Ms. Miklos that she had no objection. Number 0314 BARBARA MIKLOS, Director, Child Safety Enforcement Division, Department of Revenue, came forth and remarked that Chair Dyson was correct in his statement, and that she had no objection. Number 0340 CHAIR DYSON made a motion to adopt a conceptual amendment "here, in the middle of this page, to [AS] 25.27.103, as written, with the word 'business' inserted." There being no objection, the conceptual amendment was adopted. CHAIR DYSON asked whether there was further discussion about HB 41, as modified to reflect SB 19, Representative Coghill's amendment regarding the sunset date, and the clarifying language just added regarding billings that come in on the last five business days. Number 0410 REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL made a motion to move Version F [22- GH1002\F, Lauterbach, 2\16\01], as amended, out of committee with individual recommendations. He remarked that there had been discussion about "re-amending that date" but said he would like it to go through conference committee just for the committee's information. CHAIR DYSON noted that Ms. Miklos had nodded. He then asked whether there was any objection to the motion. There being no objection, CSHB 41(HES) moved from the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee. SCR 2-SOBRIETY AWARENESS MONTH CHAIR DYSON announced the committee would hear testimony on CS FOR SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 2(HES), Relating to declaring March 2001 as Sobriety Awareness Month. Number 0463 SENATOR JERRY WARD, Alaska State Legislature, came forth as a sponsor for SCR 2. He relayed a conversation he had with people who are planning the blanket toss at the Special Olympics. He said they are the real heroes of the sobriety movement. They have been honored in the community because either they or their families have been touched by the devastating effects of alcohol and drugs. They have chosen to lead a life, as an example, honoring sobriety at every turn, which is not easy in a lot of communities. This month, March 2001, would honor those people who chose to honor sobriety in relation to drugs, inhalants, and alcohol. Senator Ward said, for example, that this gave Mike Williams the opportunity to carry the sobriety pledge on his way to the Iditarod, as well as to visit some 137 villages. This resolution will give opportunities to teachers, educators, and "providers" to be able to talk about alcoholism. For those who chose to wear the white ribbon during the month of March, people will know what it represents. This is a time that is set aside for Alaskans to say its OK to be sober. And not only is it OK but it is honored, and those leaders who have chosen this lifestyle are held in the highest esteem. Number 0672 SENATOR WARD recalled that a man he had just spoken with had mentioned the Red Road that is derived from the Athabascan culture. The Red Road refers to the blood that runs through everyone, blood that deserves to be free of these devastating effects [from alcohol and drugs]. Number 0730 ERNIE TURNER, Director, Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Department of Health & Social Services, came forth in support SCR 2. He said the department truly supports SCR 2 because it is important to people, especially those along the Iditarod Trail, who plan on doing some sobriety celebration. He noted that there are other communities as well that celebrate March as Sobriety Awareness Month. Number 0779 CHAIR DYSON shared that he grew up in an alcoholic home and that it was not until he was an adult that he realized what that [environment] produces in the kids. He remarked that giving attention to the heroes who are fighting the battle and giving people courage to change and speak up about what's going on is commendable. REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA remarked that Alaska truly does have a serious alcoholism problem, which has had significant effects on relationships, lives, and the quality of life. A person can't live in this state very long without having alcohol affect his or her life. Until sobriety is something that everyone feels very strongly about and upholds as a standard to try to help other people not to abuse alcohol, sobriety, at least in the public sense, would be something to celebrate. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL commented that there is a real battle that has to be won here, and it has to be done in a very positive way. Quite often, people refuse to look at what the real enemy is. Number 0956 REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL made a motion to move CSSCR 2(HES) out of committee. There being no objection, CSSCR 2(HES) moved from the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee. HB 101-CHARTER SCHOOLS CHAIR DYSON announced the committee would hear testimony on HOUSE BILL NO. 101, "An Act relating to charter schools; and providing for an effective date." Number 1020 WESLEY KELLER, Staff to Representative Fred Dyson, Alaska State Legislature, came forth to address proposed committee substitute (CS), version 22-LS0254\O, Ford, 2/22/01. He stated that Alaska is in its fourth year of charter schools. In 1995 the charter school Act was passed, and in the fall of '97 schools began to put in applications. Since 1997, 19 schools have opened and two have closed. There are currently 17 operating, with a student population of 1,271 this past fall. According to a recent Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory federally funded study of Alaskan charter schools, dated 4/14/2000, most charter schools have a very high level of parental participation; half of the schools require it. There is an overall average pupil- to-teacher ratio of 17-to-1, which is approximately the same as the state average. Many of the schools utilize classroom aids and parents in the classroom, which brings the student-adult ratio down to about 9-to-1. MR. KELLER stated that 11 schools have acquired permanent facilities, and 5 are in temporary buildings, which include schools, community centers, portables, spaces in shopping malls, and buildings on military bases. Several school districts do not provide anything by way of facilities. He continued, stating that charter schools employ 87 full-time and 178 part- time teachers, with an average of seven years' experience. Nine of the sixteen schools that reported have a special education teacher on staff. He stated that the estimated cost per student ranges between $3,813 and $7,736, with an average of about $5,236. He added that the statewide average is about $7,500. Number 1150 MR. KELLER stated that there is a group called the Center for Education Reform that has evaluated all the charter school laws in the United States. Alaska is rated 26th of the 39 laws. Other states have done things for charter schools that Alaska has not, including: multiple chartering authorities; legal/operational autonomy; guaranteed full funding, where the money just follows the student to wherever the student chooses to go; exemption from collective bargaining agreements, fiscal autonomy, where Alaska is rated 1 out 5; and automatic waivers from school and district regulations. Number 1210 MR. KELLER remarked that HB 101 is just a small step and does none of these things. He reviewed the sections for the committee in order to clarify what the bill does. He said that Section 1 doubles the allowable number of charter schools in Alaska, from 30 to 60. Number 1240 CHAIR DYSON added that Section 1 also eliminates geographical distribution. MR. KELLER continued, stating that Section 2 specifies that charter schools be subject to the benchmark and qualifying exam, like all public schools. Section 3 deals with a section of law that explains what must be in the contract. He added that these changes are mostly grammatical; one change just conforms to the change made in Section 5. Section 4 adds a new section of law that allows for a one-time charter school grant, in the amount of $500 per student, to be used in the year that the school applies. CHAIR DYSON stated that the original Alaska charter school laws were set up as a pilot [program] because there was federal money available to get the schools going. He asked whether that [federal money] would be going away. ME. KELLER answered that [the money] is dribbling away. CHAIR DYSON asked if the $500 mentioned is really significant in helping the charter schools get going. Number 1324 MR. KELLER replied that the state board recommended, several years ago, that startup money for the charter schools be available, and this complies with that. He continued describing the bill, stating that Section 5 changes the allowable charter school contract length from a maximum of five years to a maximum of ten years. This is a significant change because some landlords have been hesitant for charter schools to make changes if they only have a five-year commitment. He stated that this ties in with Section 7, which gets rid of the sunset date for the charter schools. Section 6 specifies that a charter school would need at least 150 students to be counted as a separate school for the purposes of the foundation formula calculations. He noted that existing law states that alternative schools need at least 200 students. He added that a lot of the charter schools, even though they are small, receive the same funding as that for students who attend the largest schools in the district. Number 1430 REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS asked whether any of the 17 charter schools are approaching this 150 figure. MR. KELLER replied that, from memory, about 25 percent are, and maybe five or six are at the 100/125 range. He remarked that this is a matter of interest to the charter schools because they would like that number as low as possible. Number 1640 DEBBIE OSSIANDER, Legislative Chair, Anchorage School Board, Anchorage School District, testified via teleconference. She said that charter schools are a wonderful experiment; they are proving to have a real value for education across the state. They offer an innovative way to try different types of curriculum and instruction. She said that [charter schools] offer more choices to families, who can basically design their schools with the district's cooperation. However, they have faced major challenges, particularly with the startup costs. She remarked that the Anchorage School Board is very supportive of this bill and committee substitute. She added that they are especially pleased that expensive administrative reporting requirements are being avoided, and that the startup funds will be available as new dollars, instead of coming from existing schools' programs. Number 1684 REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS asked if Ms. Ossiander would comment on how the charter school [students] did on the exit exam testing. MS. OSSIANDER replied that she didn't have the specific information with her, but, in general, the charter schools performed very well. She added that there is one family- partnership charter school that is consistently above the district average in terms of test scores. Number 1723 BILL SYVERSON, Head Teacher, Aurora Borealis Charter School, testified via teleconference. He said that Aurora Borealis Charter School has a student population of 100, is expanding to 120 for next year, and in four years will be up to 200. He read a letter that was submitted to Chair Dyson from the board chairman: This letter is in support of HB 101 regarding charter schools. The academic policy committee at Aurora Borealis Charter School is in support of the provisions of HB 101. We particularly urge passage of the provisions in the bill to eliminate the sunset clause, and to extend the term of contract to ten years. MR. SYVERSON continued to read: Aurora Borealis Charter School is providing a valuable alternative to regular public school. Our enrollment has increased annually, our students have received benchmark test results that are among the highest in the district, and parents are happy with our school. We have a waiting list of 200 students, which is twice our current enrollment. Removing the sunset date and extending the contract term will be advantageous to all charter schools, especially in retracting and retaining qualified teachers. Longer contract terms will help charter schools that were having difficulties securing facilities. Additional funding to charter schools would be advantageous, especially since the current law does not give specific direction to school districts on how to fund charter schools. MR. SYVERSON concluded reading: We are also very much in favor of the provision which establish alternative schools as separate schools for funding purposes. Kenai Peninsula Borough School District apparently has been penalized with lower funding because our enrollment is added to the larger school district. This inequity in the funding formula needs to be corrected. Number 1823 REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS asked how the students at the Aurora Borealis Charter School did on the exit exam. MR. SYVERSEN said they did very well and that the school's [scores] are among the highest in the district. Test scores have continually risen each year. He stated that every grade is tested with the CAT 5 each year, so there has been an excellent track record since year one. CHAIR DYSON stated: "We sometimes hear the criticism that charter schools sweep the cream of the students out of the district, and have the best and most active parents." He asked if that was true at Aurora Borealis Charter School. MR. SYVERSEN replied that they do generally have supportive parents. He added that, by law, every student that comes through the door is accepted. He said the tracking has proved that there are students who have improved dramatically with their test scores. One contracted administrator, with 30 years of district experience, has stated that several kids who would probably qualify for special education are doing quite well. CHAIR DYSON asked Mr. Syversen if there were any kids who had been expelled from other schools in the school system Number 1895 MR. SYVERSEN answered that there haven't been any students who have been expelled, but there have been some who have gone from school to school in the first year or two. He stated that two or three had left the school because things were not working out well for them; however, that is the case with the other schools as well. CHAIR DYSON asked if there were any foster or adopted kids at the Aurora Borealis Charter School. MR. SYVERSEN replied that he is not sure about foster kids but said there are some adopted kids. Number 1950 CARL ROSE, Executive Director, Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB), came forth and stated the AASB's concern is to maintain authority to govern charter schools with local control. Another concern, which has been addressed in HB 101, is the startup cost. He added that these schools were struggling in their early years without assistance from a district pot of money. He stated that there had also been some concerns with the earlier [bill] version's language, counting alternative schools as charter schools, but that has been clarified. He added that he thinks it is appropriate that the number of students has been increased to 150. MR. ROSE remarked that the AASB looks at this bill very favorably. He expressed that as the charter school date is removed, there's a sense of permanency. He concluded that one worry would be how to provide oversight in terms of the progress of the charter school effort throughout the state. Number 2034 CHAIR DYSON called an at-ease at 3:39 p.m. The meeting was called back to order at 3:40 p.m. Number 2045 CHAIR DYSON stated that the following was omitted from an earlier version: A charter school may be operated in an existing school district facility or in a facility within the school district that is not currently being used as a public school, if the chief school administrator determines the facility meets requirements for health and safety applicable to public buildings or other public schools in the district. CHAIR DYSON explained that this allows the charter schools to operate in a facility that meets public facility safety standards but not necessarily public school standards. It can only do so if school administrators, in conjunction with the local building safety experts, determine that the building is safe for kids. It allows the school to operate in a church or any other public building that's acceptable for public occupancy. Number 2141 CHAIR DYSON made a motion to adopt a conceptual amendment to the proposed CS for HB 101, version 22-LS0245\O, Ford, 2/22/01, that will add new Section 7, taken from Section 3 of the 1-LS0598\T.a version [SCS CSHB 191(FIN), from 2000], to state as follows: A charter school may be operated in an existing school district facility or in a facility within the school district that is not currently being used as a public school, if the chief school administrator determines the facility meets requirements for health and safety applicable to public buildings or other public schools in the district. CHAIR DYSON clarified that existing Sections 7 and 8 will be renumbered consecutively. There being no objection, the conceptual amendment was adopted. Number 2252 Representative Wilson asked why the number is changed from 30 to 60 [allowable number of charter schools] when there are only, presently, 17 schools. MR. KELLER replied that he assumes it will be more attractive for charter schools to open because of the startup money. REPRESENTATIVE WILSON asked what the reason would be for people to pull out of a public school and start a charter school. CHAIR DYSON responded that charter schools are public schools; they are just an alternative that allows people to rally around particular ideas. Number 2314 REPRESENTATIVE WILSON asked how the funding process works. CHAIR DYSON replied that all the funding comes from the local school districts, which distribute the funds according to their own understanding, rules, policies and accounting, as they do for all schools in the district. REPRESENTATIVE WILSON asked if teachers would have to transfer to the charter schools from the public schools. TAPE 01-18, SIDE B CHAIR DYSON answered that the charter schools are free to hire their own teachers, as long as those teachers sign the contract that the district has. Number 2319 REPRESENTATIVE WILSON asked if there is enough funding in the district to do this. CHAIR DYSON answered that most school districts are allowing several kinds of alternative schools to operate within the district, and the charter school is just another kind of alternative school. He stated that he doesn't think it is fair to think of these students as being taken away from other schools. He added that many charter schools have a significant amount of students who were being home-schooled; therefore, they should be considered additions to the public school system. Number 2266 REPRESENTATIVE WILSON asked if any of these charter schools have special education students that require extra help. CHAIR DYSON replied yes, and the districts will use the same resources used to serve the special education kids in the rest of the district. REPRESENTATIVE WILSON asked, if this bill passes, what the rules and regulations are for a charter school to get started. MR. KELLER answered that each charter school has an academic policy committee that goes to the school board with a proposal. The school board considers the request and gives a "yea" or a "nay" based on that plan. REPRESENTATIVE WILSON said she is wondering how easy this would be for school systems. She asked if there would be ramifications across the state if school systems, all at once, started charter schools because they could get $500 extra a student. Number 2176 CHAIR DYSON stated that there has been a struggle, when making these alternatives available, not to build an incentive for existing schools to divide in half. The foundation formula, as it presently exists, mitigates against this because a school loses funding if it starts another small school. A charter school can only start if the local district and local school board approve it. REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA remarked that from knowing many people involved in the charter school program, she feels that [charter schools] really afford a unique opportunity for parents with like views, in terms of the kind of education they would like for their kids, to be able to put in a lot of effort and create something special. She added that it is really tough to get a group of people together and raise the funds needed, because [the school] has to adhere to the public school regulations. Number 2070 CHAIR DYSON noted that there are more students involved in the public school system as a result of charter schools, because they offer the environment that their parents wanted. REPRESENTATIVE WILSON asked whether charter schools get extra funding. CHAIR DYSON answered no, that there has been help available through some federal money, but that is going away. He stated that several of the districts have been good at working with the charter schools to make sure that funding available to the other public schools in the area is also available to the charter schools. Number 1993 REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL made a motion to move the CS for HB 101, version 22-LS0245\O, Ford, 2/22/01, as amended from committee with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSHB 101(HES) moved out of the House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee. Number 1971 CHAIR DYSON called an at-ease at 4:00 p.m. in order to hear the Child Advocacy's overview. [The minutes for the Child Advocacy's overview are in the 4:04 p.m. cover sheet for the same date.]

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