Legislature(2009 - 2010)BELTZ 211

03/25/2009 08:00 AM EDUCATION


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 105 FOSTER CARE/CINA/EDUCATION OF HOMELESS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
= SB 134 PRUDENT MANAGEMENT OF INSTITUTIONAL FUNDS
Moved CSSB 134(EDC) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 25, 2009                                                                                         
                           8:04 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bettye Davis, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Charlie Huggins                                                                                                         
Senator Donald Olson                                                                                                            
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 134                                                                                                             
"An Act adopting  and relating to the  Uniform Prudent Management                                                               
of Institutional Funds  Act; relating to the  investment of money                                                               
for charitable  purposes by institutions,  including governmental                                                               
institutions; and relating to the University of Alaska."                                                                        
     MOVED CSSB 134(EDC) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 105                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to continuing  the secondary public education of                                                               
a homeless  student; relating to  the purpose of certain  laws as                                                               
they relate to children; relating  to tuition waivers, loans, and                                                               
medical assistance for a child  placed in out-of-home care by the                                                               
state; relating to  foster care; relating to children  in need of                                                               
aid; relating  to foster care  transition to  independent living;                                                               
and relating to juvenile programs and institutions."                                                                            
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 134                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PRUDENT MANAGEMENT OF INSTITUTIONAL FUNDS                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) PASKVAN                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
03/02/09       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/02/09       (S)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
03/20/09       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/20/09       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/20/09       (S)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 105                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FOSTER CARE/CINA/EDUCATION OF HOMELESS                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) DAVIS                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/11/09       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/11/09       (S)       EDC, HSS, FIN                                                                                          
03/25/09       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BELTZ 211                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PASKVAN                                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 134.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DANA OWEN, staff to the Education committee                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 134.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JIM LYNCH                                                                                                                       
University of Alaska Foundation                                                                                                 
University of Alaska                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 134.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
TOM OBERMEYER, staff to Senator Davis                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 105 for the sponsor.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MIKE LESSMAN, Community Relations Manager                                                                                       
Office of Children's Services (OCS)                                                                                             
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on SB 105.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
EDDY JEANS, Director of School Finance                                                                                          
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT: Neutral position on SB 105.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
JEAN MISCHEL, Legislative Counsel                                                                                               
Division of Legal and Research Services                                                                                         
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on SB 105.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:04:00 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR BETTYE  DAVIS called  the  Senate Education  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 8:04  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Olson, Stevens and Davis.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
        SB 134-PRUDENT MANAGEMENT OF INSTITUTIONAL FUNDS                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR BETTYE DAVIS announced consideration of SB 134.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PASKVAN,  sponsor  of  SB 134,  said  the  state  should                                                               
consider adopting  this bill because  it will make sure  that the                                                               
best investment  practices will govern  the actual  investment of                                                               
institutional funds;  it will  withdraw obsolete  rules governing                                                               
prudent total  return expenditure  and provide  a modern  rule of                                                               
prudence  consistent   with  the  rules  that   will  govern  the                                                               
investment. It  will eliminate the  differences in  investment in                                                               
expenditure  rules that  apply to  different types  of non-profit                                                               
organizations - in other words,  the same rules will govern under                                                               
all of the Uniform Prudent  Management of Institutional Funds Act                                                               
(UMPIFA).  It will  encourage the  growth of  institutional funds                                                               
while eliminating  investment risk  that threaten  principal, and                                                               
will assure that  there are adequate assets  in any institutional                                                               
fund to  meet program  needs, and  it will be  part of  a uniform                                                               
national system.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PASKVAN  said  he  has   letters  of  support  from  the                                                               
University  of  Alaska Foundation,  The  Foraker  Group, and  the                                                               
Rasmussen Foundation.  These organizations believe this  will get                                                               
                                   st                                                                                           
Alaska where it should be in the 21 Century.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:06:10 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS joined the meeting.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DANA OWEN,  staff to  the Education  committee, advised  that the                                                               
committee  substitute (CS)  to SB  134, version  \S, incorporates                                                               
two  changes  on  page  8, line  21  where  "endowment"  replaces                                                               
"institutional"   and  on   line  24   where  "institution"   and                                                               
"institutional fund" replace "endowment".  This is in response to                                                               
suggestions by the University and  the University Foundation that                                                               
noted  some   of  their  funds   don't  qualify   technically  as                                                               
"endowment funds,"  and they wanted  to make sure that  they came                                                               
under the provisions of the act.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGGINS  moved to  adopt  CSSB  134, labeled  26-LS0487,                                                               
Version S, as the working document of the committee.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR DAVIS objected for discussion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS  asked what difference  those term  changes made.                                                               
What University funds  might they be able to  invest because it's                                                               
called "institutional funds" not "endowment funds."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PASKVAN replied that it  was to make sure its application                                                               
was as  broad as possible.  An "endowment fund"  on page 6  has a                                                               
more narrow  definition than "institutional fund."  This bill was                                                               
sent back to the national  committee by Alaska's member and their                                                               
recommendation    was   to    substitute   "institutional"    for                                                               
"endowment".                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:08:58 AM                                                                                                                    
JIM LYNCH,  University of Alaska Foundation,  Anchorage, AK, said                                                               
that Senator Paskvan was correct.  They are trying to assure that                                                               
what Alaska  has is consistent  with other states'  uniform laws.                                                               
It is designed for prudent  investment of all types of charitable                                                               
organizations that are non-profits.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:09:51 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR OLSON  asked how  long the commission  has been  in place                                                               
and what its success rate is with regard to managing funds.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PASKVAN   replied  that  this  is   designed  to  define                                                               
"prudence" so  that funds don't  dissipate over time, but  at the                                                               
same time recognizing that in  difficult economic times, prudence                                                               
may include disbursing from the principal.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:11:39 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR OLSON  asked what  has happened to  the funds  managed by                                                               
this group  during the  2001 downturn and  now during  the global                                                               
recession.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PASKVAN  replied that many institutional  funds are below                                                               
their  original contributed  capital amount.  Mr. Lynch  from the                                                               
University Foundation  in his testimony last  week indicated that                                                               
of the  University's 500-plus funds, 250  were technically "under                                                               
water." Many  charitable organizations  are struggling  right now                                                               
because  of the  economic  downturn, but  their charitable  needs                                                               
still continue. So, the question  is how does a volunteer sitting                                                               
on that board  in a prudent manner deal with  the funds they have                                                               
available to meet  those charitable needs. That is  the intent of                                                               
this bill.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  said he's having  a hard time  equating charitable                                                               
funds with institutional funds, which  are used more to make sure                                                               
that "some  kind of university  or some learning  institution can                                                               
continue to function in spite of what's happened."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PASKVAN  responded   that  specifically  the  University                                                               
distributes scholarships,  and students  continue to  be educated                                                               
even  in  depressed  economic  times. In  fact,  the  demand  for                                                               
education increases in a down economy.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:14:08 AM                                                                                                                    
JIM LYNCH, University  of Alaska Foundation, said  the purpose of                                                               
an endowment  is to support a  program in perpetuity. How  do you                                                               
do that? It requires income  as well as consistency. Students who                                                               
are getting  scholarships are  there for four  and five  years or                                                               
more. The  issue is  how to sustain  their scholarships  over the                                                               
long  term prudently.  You can't  have  rigid rules  to do  that.                                                               
While  the  University   is  one  of  the   primary  managers  of                                                               
endowments, a  lot of  other organizations  have these  funds for                                                               
different purposes.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
He explained that  most of these funds come  to the organizations                                                               
through  contributions.  Courts  have  held  with  following  the                                                               
donor's intent rather than rigid  rules. The law identified a lot                                                               
of areas as to what prudence is  and what has to be considered in                                                               
making decisions. This guidance  is includes "best practices" for                                                               
non-profit boards  many of which  are run by  volunteers. Thirty-                                                               
seven  states have  adopted or  introduced  bills regarding  this                                                               
rule.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:17:28 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  OLSON asked  if scholarships  will be  awarded from  the                                                               
corpus, not just the earnings.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. LYNCH replied  that this concept really came  into play about                                                               
40 years ago. It moved  from principal and income, which doesn't'                                                               
fit  the  endowment concept  very  well  in today's  environment.                                                               
"It's purpose and mission that drive this law."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked SENATOR PASKVAN  to interpret whether that is                                                               
a yes or no.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. LYNCH said  the answer is a yes, but  the concept of "corpus"                                                               
no longer exists.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PASKVAN expanded upon his  answer. Specifically, this law                                                               
is   default  legislation   in  the   sense  that   a  charitable                                                               
contribution   has   been   made  that   doesn't   have   express                                                               
restrictions on it. Many contributions  are made to funds so that                                                               
food can be  distributed to the needy. The question  is can those                                                               
monies be used to fulfill  the purpose of the organization, which                                                               
is to feed  the hungry and give scholarships to  people when they                                                               
need it whether it's good financial  times or bad. This says that                                                               
prudent management  allows for those fiduciaries  who are running                                                               
a  fund  to  make  the   distributions  that  are  necessary  and                                                               
appropriate  - unless  there are  express restrictions  regarding                                                               
distribution of  the capital, like  with the Permanent Fund  - in                                                               
both good and bad financial times.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:21:16 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  asked if  this has any  impact on  the Permanent                                                               
Fund.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PASKVAN replied that it does not.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:22:04 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR DAVIS  withdrew her  objection and  version S  CS was                                                               
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS  moved to  report CSSB  134 (EDC)  from committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal  note(s).                                                               
There being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:23:01 AM                                                                                                                    
At-ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
         SB 105-FOSTER CARE/CINA/EDUCATION OF HOMELESS                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:24:16 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR BETTYE DAVIS announced consideration of SB 105.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
TOM OBERMEYER,  staff to Senator  Davis, sponsor of SB  105, said                                                               
this bill is  an act relating to continuing  the secondary public                                                               
education of a  homeless student relating to  things like tuition                                                               
waivers, loans and  medical insurance for a child  placed in out-                                                               
of-home care by  the state, foster care, children in  need of aid                                                               
and to out-of-home care transition to independent living.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He  said  that SB  105  is  modeled  somewhat  after HB  126.  It                                                               
incorporates some  provisions of  SB 27  and SB  28 and  covers a                                                               
good   deal  of   area.  It   provides  much   needed  additional                                                               
educational, medical, financial and  housing assistance to foster                                                               
or  out-of-home care  children and  students  as they  transition                                                               
through and out of Alaska State foster care system.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
He  stated that  an  estimated  40 percent  of  the 2,000  Alaska                                                               
foster  care  youth become  homeless  after  being released  from                                                               
care. Many  others wind up  in poverty or become  incarcerated at                                                               
higher levels  than their  peers. SB  105 codifies  and increases                                                               
assistance  beyond certain  provisions of  the federal  McKinney-                                                               
Vento Act,  which is reauthorized  as Title X,  part C of  the No                                                               
Child  Left Behind  Act of  2002,  the primary  piece of  federal                                                               
legislation  dealing with  the education  of  children and  youth                                                               
experiencing  homelessness in  U.S. public  schools. Fourteen  or                                                               
more states have enacted legislation similar to it.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  OBERMEYER  said  that  children   in  foster  care  struggle                                                               
academically and suffer more  poverty, low self-esteem, emotional                                                               
trauma, social stigma  and higher mobility than  others. They are                                                               
more likely  to drop out of  school, repeat grades and  be placed                                                               
in special  education. Only  54 percent of  young adults  who age                                                               
out-of-care have  completed high  school and score  16-20 percent                                                               
below youth  in the general population  in statewide standardized                                                               
                                           th                                                                                   
tests  and  on average  read  at  only  a 7   grade  level  after                                                               
             thth                                                                                                               
completing 10 or 11 grade.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Low educational outcomes are exacerbated  by the high mobility of                                                               
children in  foster care; frequent school  changes are associated                                                               
with  an increased  risk  of failing  a grade  in  school and  of                                                               
repeated behavioral  problems. The  Legal Center for  Foster Care                                                               
and  Education reported  that children  and youth  in out-of-home                                                               
care experience on  average 1 or 2 foster  care placement changes                                                               
per year; one-third  of children in foster care stay  in care for                                                               
less than five  months and another 17 percent remain  in care for                                                               
one year or less.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:28:37 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS moved  to adopt the committee  substitute (CS) to                                                               
SB 105, labeled 26-LS0556\R, as the working document.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR DAVIS objected for discussion purposes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:29:14 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS asked Mr. Obermeyer  to explain "free tuition" on                                                               
page 2, line 25.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. OBERMEYER explained that "free  tuition" is a waiver of unmet                                                               
need for  tuition fees, room and  board, and expenses at  a state                                                               
supported educational institution for a  person who was placed in                                                               
out-of-home  care at  age 16  or  older and  who meets  specified                                                               
eligibility    requirements.   The    waiver   is    subject   to                                                               
appropriation.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR DAVIS advised that there  is a waiver in place, but it                                                               
only accommodates  10 students;  this bill would  open it  up for                                                               
more.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS asked about the age criteria for qualification.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. OBERMEYER replied  that this refers to persons  who enroll in                                                               
a state supported educational institution,  if they provide proof                                                               
that  they were  placed in  out-of-home  care not  less than  six                                                               
consecutive months  after becoming 16  and are under 29  years of                                                               
age.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGGINS remarked  that  it covers  a  broad spectrum  of                                                               
people - 29 years old is pretty old for the foster care system.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:31:49 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR  DAVIS remarked  that those  youngsters coming  out of                                                               
foster care  may not be prepared  to go on to  advanced education                                                               
for some time and may take longer to get through it.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS  said it makes  sense to put  a time limit  on it                                                               
like and  four or five  years per  individual. He didn't  know if                                                               
they wanted to  include people who are going on  to their Masters                                                               
or Doctorate.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  said he agreed with  the chair. A lot  of the kids                                                               
in his district  coming out of foster care and  going to boarding                                                               
school take  a number  of years  to focus  on something.  Even in                                                               
their mid-20s they seem to not  be that focused. Once they get to                                                               
29 or  30 years old, they  tend to know. However,  he agreed with                                                               
Senator Stevens  that they  don't want  to subsidize  Masters and                                                               
PhDs.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:34:17 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS said his wife  is the principal of an alternative                                                               
school, and he thinks they are  just dealing with the symptoms of                                                               
dropping out of  school, which is a larger problem.  He wanted to                                                               
invest in a process that reduces  these numbers - and not look at                                                               
just the education  component. The dropout rate  for all students                                                               
needs to  be addressed. Many are  "couch students" who live  on a                                                               
couch for  three nights at  a time and  then move to  a different                                                               
couch.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR DAVIS  responded that they want all kids  to have some                                                               
of the  provisions in  this bill, and  they are  probably getting                                                               
it, because  they have  a set  of parents to  make sure  they get                                                               
somewhere on  time and  they don't  have to  move to  a different                                                               
foster home  every other  week and  have a new  school to  go to.                                                               
Besides  that, McKinney-Vento  is  a federal  law  and this  bill                                                               
complies with  that. She said school  districts are participating                                                               
as much as they can, but  they don't have enough money to provide                                                               
for all the federal provisions.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:37:19 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS  agreed  with  her about  foster  kids  who  are                                                               
homeless. He views federal law as  a minimum, and "you can always                                                               
tighten up  federal law."  The system is  not bent;  it's broken,                                                               
and that needs to be fixed.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:37:52 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. OBERMEYER said the seven-day  requirement for getting records                                                               
is tighter  in HB  105 than McKinney-Vento,  which allows  for 20                                                               
days.  While this  bill focuses  to a  large extent  on promoting                                                               
these  students  through college,  the  goal  is graduating  from                                                               
college within 4  years after high school. Only 6  percent of the                                                               
students  in the  state  achieve  that whether  or  not they  are                                                               
foster kids.  This group of  children has been identified  as the                                                               
neediest in the educational system,  and they always fall through                                                               
the cracks because of the lack of family support.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:39:23 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS asked if federal  funds follow the McKinney-Vento                                                               
Act for implementation.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  OBERMEYER replied  that  some funds  come  from the  federal                                                               
government  through  McKinney-Vento,  but  the rest  have  to  be                                                               
picked  up by  the  school districts.  It tends  to  be a  larger                                                               
problem in the bigger districts.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR DAVIS said she  would like someone from the department                                                               
to speak to this issue next time  the bill is heard, and not just                                                               
to answer questions.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:41:29 AM                                                                                                                    
MIKE LESSMAN,  Community Relations Manager, Office  of Children's                                                               
Services (OCS), Department of Health  and Social Services (DHSS),                                                               
asked who he should have come to speak to the bill next time.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR DAVIS  replied someone who deals with  the foster care                                                               
system and knows what the problems  are. She remarked that no one                                                               
was here from the department who knew about the issue.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. LESSMAN  said the department  sees great merit in  this bill.                                                               
It benefits  those youth who  without their choosing  have become                                                               
involved in  the state's child protective  services system (CPS).                                                               
There is work to  be done at both ends of  the foster care system                                                               
in  CPS and  OCS. He  said  that the  OCS just  went through  its                                                               
second round  of federal  child and  family services  reviews and                                                               
the department concurs with its  Region 10 partners that the area                                                               
in  most need  of urgent  attention are  the safety  of children.                                                               
That is  the timely initiation of  investigations, the assessment                                                               
of  safety  and  risk  of  kids in  their  homes,  prevention  of                                                               
removing  kids from  their homes  if it's  possible to  keep them                                                               
safely there,  and if  they must  be removed  to reunify  them as                                                               
quickly as possible with their families.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Their intent is to  focus on the front end work  that will have a                                                               
correspondingly positive  effect on  the back  end of  the foster                                                               
care system  by reducing the  number of  kids who are  looking at                                                               
these transitional challenges as they exit the system.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:43:53 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS asked  if the McKinney-Vento Act  was an unfunded                                                               
mandate.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LESSMAN  replied  that  Mr. Jeans  from  the  Department  of                                                               
Education could better address that.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:44:36 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS  asked how many  kids are actually  homeless, but                                                               
not in the system.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. LESSMAN said he did not know the answer.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGGINS said  someone  in his  organization should  have                                                               
some idea how  many kids are out there who  are actually homeless                                                               
and should, but do not, end up in the foster care system.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS said this has  a serious impact on the University                                                               
since  he assumed  it  would be  asked  to pick  up  the cost  of                                                               
housing these students; and he wanted to hear from them.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:47:42 AM                                                                                                                    
EDDY JEANS,  Director of School Finance,  Department of Education                                                               
and  Early Development  (DEED), said  the state  is getting  only                                                               
$170,000  from  the  federal  government  right  now  to  support                                                               
McKinney-Vento.  It is  distributed on  a competitive  basis, and                                                               
the  districts participating  are Anchorage,  Mat-Su, Juneau  and                                                               
Kenai. Superintendent Comeau indicated  that the Anchorage school                                                               
district spends  an additional  $175,000 per year  on top  of its                                                               
state grant to transport homeless children.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He does  not have a fiscal  note for this bill,  yet, although he                                                               
is working with  districts on getting it. He wanted  to point out                                                               
on page 2 the definition  of "homeless student" expands McKinney-                                                               
Vento  beyond  kids  waiting  for placement  in  foster  care  to                                                               
include those who are already  in foster care. The McKinney-Vento                                                               
applies only to children awaiting placement.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JEANS explained  that the  intent of  the legislation  is to                                                               
allow a  child to remain  in his school  of origin for  one year.                                                               
Then he  could start  the new  school year  in his  new placement                                                               
district. He suggested that language on  page 2, line 20, is open                                                               
ended, and  could be interpreted  to allow  the child to  stay in                                                               
the school of  origin indefinitely. Parameters need to  be put on                                                               
the school of origin.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR DAVIS said that language was already in version R.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:51:15 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR OLSON asked if the department is in favor of the bill.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. JEANS responded that the department is neutral on SB 105.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS remarked that the  University fiscal note says it                                                               
makes 10  foster youth tuition waiver  scholarships available per                                                               
year, and asked where that money comes from.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JEANS said he didn't know,  but he would be happy to research                                                               
it.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR DAVIS said the University picks up the tab.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:52:40 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR OLSON asked  why private schools aren't  included in this                                                               
bill,  especially  since  they  have a  better  success  rate  in                                                               
keeping students.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. JEANS said he did not know that either.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR DAVIS asked where that is in the bill.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON directed her to page 2, line 26.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR DAVIS  said the  University  is under  the state;  no                                                               
private institutions  have been willing  to step up to  the plate                                                               
in this respect.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:54:13 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR  DAVIS asked Mr.  Obermeyer to go through  the changes                                                               
in version R.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  OBERMEYER  said  the  changes are  that  Section  1  extends                                                               
McKinney-Vento   provisions   for    comparable   education   and                                                               
transportation to school of origin  for the remainder of a school                                                               
year  or if  the  student  is attending  for  a  summer term.  It                                                               
removed a  paragraph that related  to requiring  a superintendent                                                               
to make a written finding that  a waiver of the requirement is in                                                               
the student's best  academic interests and the  finding is mailed                                                               
to the  school board  and persons  in charge  of the  Division of                                                               
Health and Social Services.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He  said   "foster  care"  was  changed   to  "out-of-home  care"                                                               
throughout the  bill, because that  phrase can  include relatives                                                               
and  other  types  of  placements  as well  as  for  purposes  of                                                               
transitioning to  the independent living program  in sections 13-                                                               
15. It  increases the one-year  extension of commitment  to state                                                               
custody in  the best interests  of the  child beyond 19  years of                                                               
age from 20  to 21 in section 9. It  eliminates state educational                                                               
loans and deferred  payments and interest for a child  who was in                                                               
out-of-home  care and  who was  eligible for  tuition waivers  to                                                               
offset the  person's tuition fees,  room and board,  and expenses                                                               
in state-supported educational institutions.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
In section 17 it limits  the monetary stipend upon leaving foster                                                               
care  to  not more  than  one  year,  and  shall end  before  the                                                               
individual is 23 years of age.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:57:27 AM                                                                                                                    
JEAN  MISCHEL,   Legislative  Counsel,  Division  of   Legal  and                                                               
Research Services,  Legislative Affairs  Agency, stated  that the                                                               
provision  for  a  superintendant  to  waive  the  McKinney-Vento                                                               
requirements  was  deleted   and  the  legislative  appropriation                                                               
language on page 2 was added.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:58:16 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS asked if a  student in MatSu, for instance, wants                                                               
to take advantage of the free  tuition at the college there where                                                               
there is  no dormitory situation,  would this provide  some money                                                               
for living assistance. It appears that it would not.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR DAVIS responded that they can discuss that.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:59:14 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS said  it wasn't clear to  him what responsibility                                                               
the parents or guardians have financially.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR DAVIS  said these  kids  are already  not with  their                                                               
parents  who generally  have no  financial means  anyhow. If  the                                                               
family has resources, the state would expect them to assist.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS said  he understands that, but he  didn't see any                                                               
fallback language as to what  the responsibilities of the parents                                                               
or guardians are.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  DAVIS  said  that  would  probably  be  taken  under                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:00:46 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MISCHEL remarked  that a phrase on page 3,  line 3, referring                                                               
to "unmet  needs" implies that  the student has already  used his                                                               
or her own resources. The loan  provisions were taken out of this                                                               
version, so  there is no  real mechanism  to require a  parent or                                                               
guardian  to pay  tuition for  a student  over the  age of  18. A                                                               
Supreme Court  decision has  found there  is no  legal obligation                                                               
even  if the  parents  still haven't  had  their parental  rights                                                               
terminated, for a parent to pay for postsecondary education.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR DAVIS held SB 105 in committee.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:03:24 AM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR  DAVIS found  no further  questions and  adjourned the                                                               
meeting at 9:03 a.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 105 changes from original to vR.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 105
CSSB 134 vS.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 134
SB 105, CS vR.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 105
SB 105, CS vR Sectional Analysis.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 105
SB 105 Sponsor Statement.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 105
SB 105 Key Provisions.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 105
SB 105 McKinney-Vento Q&A.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 105
SB 105 Covenent House lttr.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 105
SB 134 Sponsor Statement.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 134
SB 134 Commonfund article.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 134
SB 134 U of A Foundation lttr of support.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 134
SB 134 Foraker Group lttr of support.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 134
SB105-DHSS-CSM-03-05-09.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 105
SB105-DHSS-FCBR-03-05-09.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 105
SB105-DHSS-FP-03-05-09.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 105
SB105-UA-Sysbra-03-23-09.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 105
SB105-EED-ESS-03-25-09.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 105
SB134-LAW-CIV-3-19-09.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 134
UPMIFA Map 2-6-09 v1.pdf SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 134
UPMIFA Sectional Analysis v4.doc SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 134
Why adopt UPMIFA v3.doc SEDC 3/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
SB 134