Legislature(2013 - 2014)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/13/2013 08:00 AM EDUCATION


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 47 STIPEND FOR STATEWIDE BOARDING SCHOOL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ SB 57 LITERACY, PUPIL TRANSP, TEACHER NOTICES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 13, 2013                                                                                         
                           7:59 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Gary Stevens, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Mike Dunleavy, Vice Chair                                                                                               
Senator Charlie Huggins                                                                                                         
Senator Berta Gardner                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 57                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to parental  involvement in education; adjusting                                                               
pupil  transportation funding;  amending  the  time required  for                                                               
employers  to   give  tenured  teachers  notification   of  their                                                               
nonretention; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 47                                                                                       
"An Act relating to boarding schools operated by school                                                                         
districts; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 57                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: LITERACY, PUPIL TRANSP, TEACHER NOTICES                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) STEVENS                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/15/13       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/15/13       (S)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
03/13/13       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 47                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: STIPEND FOR STATEWIDE BOARDING SCHOOL                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) COGHILL                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/08/13       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/08/13       (S)       FIN                                                                                                    
02/22/13       (S)       SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS                                                                
02/22/13       (S)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
03/13/13       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TIM LAMKIN, Staff                                                                                                               
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SB 57 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
LES MORSE, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                                  
Alaska Department of Education & Early Development                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding SB 57.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. SUSAN MCCAULEY, Director                                                                                                    
Division of Teaching & Learning Support                                                                                         
Alaska Department of Education & Early Development                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Explained the fiscal note for SB 57.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DAVID MEANS, Director of Administration                                                                                         
Juneau School District                                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 57.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
AMY LUJAN, Executive Director                                                                                                   
Alaska Association of School Business Officials                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 57.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MIKE ABBOTT, Chief Operating Officer                                                                                            
Anchorage School District                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 57.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DAVE JONES, Assistant Superintendent                                                                                            
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District                                                                                         
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 57.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR. DEENA PARAMO, Superintendent                                                                                                
Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District                                                                                       
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 57.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
KATHERINE GARDNER, Director of Human Resources                                                                                  
Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District                                                                                       
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 57.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ABBE HENSLEY, Executive Director                                                                                                
Best Beginnings                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of Section 1 of SB 57.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
RYNNIEVA MOSS, Staff                                                                                                            
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SB 47 to the committee on behalf                                                               
of the sponsor.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MIKE HANLEY, Commissioner                                                                                                       
Department of Education & Early Development                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding SB 47.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
GARY BALDWIN, Superintendent                                                                                                    
Lower Kuskokwim School District                                                                                                 
Bethel, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 47.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LISA RIEGER, General Counsel                                                                                                    
Cook Inlet Tribal Council                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 47.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
7:59:53 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GARY STEVENS called the Senate Education Standing                                                                       
Committee meeting to order at 7:59 a.m. Present at the call to                                                                  
order were Senators Huggins, Dunleavy, and Chair Stevens.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
         SB 57-LITERACY, PUPIL TRANSP, TEACHER NOTICES                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:00:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS announced that consideration of SB 57.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TIM LAMKIN, staff  to Senator Gary Stevens, introduced  SB 57. He                                                               
explained that  the bill does  three things.  It is an  effort to                                                               
encourage  parental involvement  in their  children's ability  to                                                               
read   proficiently   by   third    grade.   It   adjusts   pupil                                                               
transportation  dollars annually  by  the  inflationary index  of                                                               
Anchorage, which is about 3  percent. It also shifts the deadline                                                               
for districts to  notify faculty of layoff  or non-retention from                                                               
March 16  to May 15,  in order to  be compatible with  the budget                                                               
cycle.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:03:01 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. LAMKIN said  that Section 4 of the bill  would repeal the 1.5                                                               
percent pupil transportation amount  enacted last year. Section 5                                                               
is required language to allow  existing employment contracts with                                                               
school  districts  and  faculty  to  expire  before  the  May  15                                                               
deadline is  used. Section 6  sets an  effective date of  July 1,                                                               
2013.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER joined the meeting.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS opened public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:04:14 AM                                                                                                                    
LES MORSE, Deputy Commissioner,  Alaska Department of Education &                                                               
Early Development, addressed the  transportation component of the                                                               
fiscal note.  He noted  in the  past, Legislative  Finance, along                                                               
with  the administration,  requested  the  department to  present                                                               
fiscal  notes  for  the  public  education  fund  addressing  the                                                               
cumulative  effect. He  said the  fiscal note  depicts the  total                                                               
amount SB  57 would  cost, cumulatively, through  FY 19.  This is                                                               
different than most  fiscal notes which show  a yearly increment.                                                               
He suggested  the fiscal  note could be  addressed in  the Senate                                                               
Finance Committee.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS said he was comfortable with that plan.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MORSE stated  that the  other  piece pertains  to where  the                                                               
burden would be in terms  of distribution of materials, which Dr.                                                               
McCauley will address.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:06:11 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  SUSAN MCCAULEY,  Director, Division  of Teaching  & Learning                                                               
Support,  Alaska Department  of  Education  & Early  Development,                                                               
explained the fiscal note for SB  57 with regard for the literacy                                                               
component.  It assumes  that the  department  would be  providing                                                               
literacy  resources  to  the  parents  of  children  in  K  -  3,                                                               
approximately  45,000  students.  The   cost  reflects  that  the                                                               
department will development and distribute the materials.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STEVENS  stated  that  he met  with  the  Commissioner  of                                                               
Education and said  it was not his intention  that the department                                                               
hire a staff to do all the  work, but rather that they would work                                                               
with districts to distribute materials.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER  asked if  it would make  sense for  small school                                                               
districts to get the materials from other districts.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STEVENS  agreed.  He  added  that the  plan  was  for  the                                                               
department  to be  responsible for  giving the  materials to  the                                                               
districts  to distribute.  He asked  Mr.  Morse if  that was  his                                                               
understanding.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:08:11 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MORSE answered  that some money would be used  to prepare the                                                               
publications and for updating them.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS  agreed that  the department  should work  with the                                                               
districts and provide materials.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:09:26 AM                                                                                                                    
DAVID MEANS,  Director of Administration, Juneau  School District                                                               
(JSD),  testified in  support  of  SB 57.  He  drew attention  to                                                               
Section 2,  which discusses a  cost of living increase  for pupil                                                               
transportation contracts. He noted  that the JSD contract already                                                               
contains a  cost of  living increase. The  bill would  keep state                                                               
payments  in line  with  the school  district's  payments to  its                                                               
service provider,  allowing foundation monies to  go to classroom                                                               
expenses as much as possible.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
He pointed  out that in  the current law  there is a  1.5 percent                                                               
increase  for FY  14  and FY  15, but  not  thereafter. He  noted                                                               
support for  Section 3,  which provides  for flexibility  for all                                                               
districts regarding reduction of tenured teachers.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He stated  support for  Section 1,  for all  partnerships between                                                               
the district and parents.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:11:22 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS shared  his experience  of dealing  with the  non-                                                               
retention  date of  March 16.  He requested  to know  of concerns                                                               
regarding changing that date to May 15.                                                                                         
MR.  MEANS  opined  that  there  is  less  controversy  than  was                                                               
expected.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARDNER  asked  when  teachers  expect  to  renew  their                                                               
contracts for the upcoming year.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MEANS replied  that in  JSD contracts  are issued  after the                                                               
budget process around the end of May.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:13:28 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GARDNER responded  that it  is unlikely  that JSD  would                                                               
offer a contract in early May and then hand out a pink slip.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MEANS  answered that  they did  not want to  do that.  Once a                                                               
contract is offered, it is irrevocable for a tenured teacher.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
AMY  LUJAN,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Association  of  School                                                               
Business Officials  (AASBO), testified in  support of SB  57. She                                                               
noted that AASBO members deal  with such things as transportation                                                               
contracts. She  said that  last year AASBO  assisted with  SB 182                                                               
which revamped the pupil transportation funding mechanism.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
She opined  that the change to  the bill goes against  the intent                                                               
of SB 182, which was to  make sure that classroom resources would                                                               
not be used for transportation. She  termed SB 57 a correction to                                                               
that problem. She  explained that the reference  to the Anchorage                                                               
Cost  Price  Index   (CPI)  was  included  as   a  best  practice                                                               
standardization of contracts several  years ago. She testified in                                                               
support of changing back to the Anchorage CPI.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUJAN also testified in support of Section 3.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:16:36 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER inquired which contracts  Ms. Lujan was referring                                                               
to, the pick slips or actual contracts.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUJAN said both.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARDNER asked  if the  legislation changes  the contract                                                               
date or just the non-retention notification date.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. LUJAN  said most districts hand  out one or the  other at the                                                               
same time.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MIKE ABBOTT, Chief Operating  Officer, Anchorage School District,                                                               
testified  in support  of SB  57.  He said  the Anchorage  School                                                               
District strongly supports all three provisions of the bill.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS asked  if the Anchorage School  District is already                                                               
involved  in supporting  parent interaction  in order  to promote                                                               
literacy.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ABBOTT  replied  that  the  Anchorage  School  District  has                                                               
already  made  progress  regarding   resources  for  parents  and                                                               
childcare providers of pre-K students.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS agreed that Anchorage is ahead of the game.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARDNER asked  when Anchorage  currently offers  teacher                                                               
contracts.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:19:45 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. ABBOTT replied  that Anchorage was similar to  Juneau in that                                                               
they try to offer contracts before the end of the school year.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DAVE  JONES, Assistant  Superintendent,  Kenai Peninsula  Borough                                                               
School  District, testified  in support  of SB  57. He  concurred                                                               
with the previous  speaker about all three sections  of the bill.                                                               
He described  how the date  for contract issuance  is determined.                                                               
Tenured  contracts  are  issued   by  March  16  and  non-tenured                                                               
contracts,  or pink  slips,  must be  issued by  May  15 and  are                                                               
dependent on state funding.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:23:42 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. JONES commented that the  date change gives the district time                                                               
to decide if RIF's and teacher improvement plans are needed.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JONES  summarized that the  Kenai School District is  in full                                                               
support of all sections of SB  57. He thanked the legislature for                                                               
prior funding for education.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:25:53 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  DEENA  PARAMO,   Superintendent,  Matanuska-Susitna  Borough                                                               
School District, testified  in support of SB 57.  She thanked the                                                               
legislature  for  focusing  on  the real  costs  associated  with                                                               
education  of  kids  in Alaska.  She  focused  on  transportation                                                               
budget alignment with possible state contracts.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:28:31 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. PARAMO addressed  a funding shortfall in  regards to Mat-Su's                                                               
transportation services  due to SB  182. She spoke in  support of                                                               
SB 57's treatment of transportation funding.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS voiced appreciation for Dr. Paramo's comments.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:30:09 AM                                                                                                                    
KATHERINE  GARDNER,  Director   of  Human  Resources,  Matanuska-                                                               
Susitna Borough School  District, testified in support  of SB 57.                                                               
She focused her  comments on Section 3 of the  bill. She informed                                                               
the committee  about tenure  law. She said  Section 3  deals more                                                               
with  the date  by which  notice must  be given,  not by  which a                                                               
contract must be issued.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. GARDNER listed the reasons  why a later contract notification                                                               
date is beneficial to the district.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:34:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS asked how it works  if a notice of non-retention is                                                               
given and  funds become  available later on.  He asked  about the                                                               
teacher re-instating process.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. GARDNER  said the process  is complicated. The  district must                                                               
first  consider seniority  and endorsements  and  the process  is                                                               
disruptive.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:36:03 AM                                                                                                                    
ABBE HENSLEY,  Executive Director, Best Beginnings,  testified in                                                               
support of  Section 1 of  SB 57.  She stressed the  importance of                                                               
the parents' role in a  child's learning to read. She recommended                                                               
a  multi-faceted   campaign  to   provide  accurate   and  useful                                                               
information to parents about facilitating literacy.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:39:04 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS asked  how different  districts assist  parents in                                                               
this effort.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HENSLEY   replied  that  Best   Beginnings  does   not  have                                                               
information  about   how  specific   districts  might   go  about                                                               
informing  parents  of  children  older than  pre-K  about  early                                                               
reading.  She said  the Anchorage  School District  is trying  to                                                               
work on the transition between pre-K and kindergarten.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:40:51 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS held SB 57 in committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          SB 47-STIPEND FOR STATEWIDE BOARDING SCHOOL                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:40:58 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS announced the consideration  of SB 47. [SSSB 47 was                                                               
before the committee.]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
RYNNIEVA MOSS, Staff,  Senator John Coghill, introduced  SB 47 to                                                               
the  committee on  behalf of  the sponsor.  She thanked  Senators                                                               
Stevens,  Huggins,  and  Gardner  for past  support  of  boarding                                                               
schools. She  noted that work  on this  issue began back  in 2005                                                               
with  HB 16  and a  discussion on  boarding homes.  At that  time                                                               
there was a provision that  allowed for stipends for students who                                                               
were coming from communities that lacked 9 - 12 education.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS asked if she would be discussing version P.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS said yes.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STEVENS  requested  a  motion   to  adopt  version  P  for                                                               
discussion purposes.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:42:22 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DUNLEAVY moved  to adopt  [work draft  CS for  SSSB 47],                                                               
labeled 28-LS0408\P, as the working document.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STEVENS announced  that without  objection  version P  was                                                               
before the committee.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS  continued to  explain that in  2005, the  Department of                                                               
Education provided  a stipend of  $500 a month per  student. When                                                               
HB 16  was passed, regional  rates the department had  been using                                                               
were used.  She noted  there has  been a  steady increase  in the                                                               
program  since   then.  It  has  helped   rural  students  attend                                                               
residential boarding schools that  offer more classes, vocational                                                               
training, sports, band, and art.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS opined that boarding  schools have provided an excellent                                                               
curriculum for students who want to  go on to college and succeed                                                               
in  the work  force. She  maintained  that many  of the  students                                                               
would drop  out of school if  they did not have  boarding schools                                                               
to attend.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
She  said  the  stipend  helps  the schools  cover  the  cost  of                                                               
residential boarding school facilities,  including meals and 24/7                                                               
supervision.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She  reported  that  in  2011   the  program  was  expanded  with                                                               
increased  stipends. The  legislature  doubled the  rate at  that                                                               
time, but expenses still exceed income.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:45:39 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MOSS explained  that SB  47, version  P, a  requirement that                                                               
boarding schools  had to  have been in  operation before  June 1,                                                               
2005, is deleted.  That opens it up for more  boarding schools to                                                               
be created within the public school system.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS asked if any schools have opened since 2005.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS replied that the  provision allowed for the expansion of                                                               
three  additional  boarding schools.  A  section  of SB  47  adds                                                               
terminology  called "variable  length" which  allows for  magnate                                                               
schools.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS asked for clarification.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS responded  that the total participation  in school would                                                               
have  to be  for at  least  180 days  in  order to  qualify as  a                                                               
boarding school. The bill allows  for magnate schools and schools                                                               
with vocational training.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:47:18 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MOSS  explained that  Section 2  addresses the  regional base                                                               
rates for stipends  - it triples what the base  rate was in 2005.                                                               
Section  3  allows  public  school  districts  to  contract  with                                                               
private Alaska  Native organizations or  non-profit organizations                                                               
to provide room  and board services. Section 4  repeals the limit                                                               
of  three  additional  boarding schools  and  the  definition  of                                                               
district  operated  statewide  residential programs  because  the                                                               
terminology is included  in Section 1. Section 5  provides for an                                                               
immediate effective date.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS said  the sponsor  is asking  the committee  to make  a                                                               
policy call and believes that  the boarding schools will continue                                                               
to   offer  high   school  students   in  small   communities  an                                                               
opportunity to attend high school  and become better prepared for                                                               
college, vocational training, and  the workplace. By removing the                                                               
limit on the  number of boarding schools,  new opportunities will                                                               
arise for Alaskan high school students.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
She related  that a  school in the  Kotzebue area  is considering                                                               
developing a magnet  school, working in cooperation  with Red Dog                                                               
Mine to train students for future jobs.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
She  concluded  that  Senator   Coghill  believes  that  boarding                                                               
schools  are not  the only  road  to success  for education,  but                                                               
definitely one  very important avenue  of success.  She requested                                                               
the committee's support for SB 47.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:49:29 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GARDNER   expressed  excitement  about  the   bill.  She                                                               
recalled efforts in previous years  to promote a magnet school in                                                               
Kotzebue. She  recalled that Representative Reggie  Joule did not                                                               
wish to  see the idea  come from  the legislature, but  rather to                                                               
"ferment" locally  and not be  imposed. She asked if  local input                                                               
was part of the process.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS replied  yes. Several  Native  organizations and  rural                                                               
school districts have requested  the legislation as the mechanism                                                               
to offer vocational training.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER  stated that  she went to  a boarding  school for                                                               
three years.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARDNER  asked  what  the   rational  was  for  limiting                                                               
boarding schools to only three schools.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS replied that she did  not know. She noted that there was                                                               
concern  about  displacing  rural   students  and  closing  rural                                                               
schools. She stressed  that SB 47 is operated  through the public                                                               
school system.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARDNER asked  about the  provision to  triple the  base                                                               
rate. She wondered  if costs went up or if  expanded services are                                                               
being offered.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS replied  that  the  hope was  that  parents and  school                                                               
districts  would absorb  some costs,  but that  has not  been the                                                               
case. Costs  have gone  up, especially fuel  costs. She  said she                                                               
would provide information about the  actual operating cost of the                                                               
four  boarding schools  currently in  operation: Bethel,  Nenana,                                                               
Galena, and Mount Edgecumbe.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:52:27 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS asked for an explanation of magnet schools.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS explained  that magnet schools are  schools that provide                                                               
vocational training  and educational courses. They  have shorter,                                                               
varied terms  and include traditional education  curriculum along                                                               
with vocational coursework.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS asked how boarding school housing is funded.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS  replied that boarding schools  have housing facilities.                                                               
Mount Edgecumbe is state-owned and  contracts for room and board.                                                               
The other schools have their  own facilities and hire supervision                                                               
for the facilities.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS  recalled that debt reimbursement  applies to the                                                               
schooling, but not the housing.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS  agreed that  is an  issue. She said  she would  ask the                                                               
Department of Education  to address it. She noted  that the 70/30                                                               
reimbursement cannot be used for boarding facilities.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:54:38 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS mentioned the Red  Dog Mine's agreement to hire 100                                                               
percent from Native  corporations. He said that SB  47 would help                                                               
Red Dog Mine fulfill that promise.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS said she was excited about that.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:55:30 AM                                                                                                                    
MIKE  HANLEY,  Commissioner,  Department  of  Education  &  Early                                                               
Development,  answered  questions  about   SB  47.  He  said  the                                                               
department recognizes the value of  the changes made in the bill.                                                               
He responded  to the question  asked regarding the  limitation of                                                               
boarding  schools  to  only  three.   He  recalled  that  it  was                                                               
previously not managed by the  department. The provision was seen                                                               
as a way to manage growth.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HANLEY  addressed  variable-term  boarding  schools                                                               
versus year-round  schools. He  opined that  regulations relating                                                               
to year-round  schools do not necessarily  prohibit variable-term                                                               
schools, as long as the schools  operate as a school for the full                                                               
school  year. He  noted  the State  Board  of Education  recently                                                               
adopted   a  regulation   that  allows   for  the   variable-term                                                               
component,  with funding  mechanisms  that allow  for a  boarding                                                               
stipend. The BSA would stay with the student's home district.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HANLEY   spoke  of  a  need   the  department  also                                                               
addressed -  to open up  periods of public application.  The open                                                               
application period will be available until the end of May 2013.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:57:32 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER asked  if open application means  new schools, as                                                               
opposed to open enrollment.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HANLEY said yes.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS inquired if boarding schools include all grades.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HANLEY  answered that statutorily  it is grades  9 -                                                               
12.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS asked why earlier programs are not offered.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HANLEY  responded that  it was  due to  the boarding                                                               
component. Schools  are hesitant  to board children  younger than                                                               
high school.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS asked if there is any opposition to the bill.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   HANLEY  replied   that  he   has  not   heard  any                                                               
opposition. He said a primary  component begins with the boarding                                                               
stipend increase.  If the  stipend sunsets  this year,  the three                                                               
programs currently  in place will  really struggle to  meet their                                                               
responsibilities.  He said  he has  only heard  positive comments                                                               
and  suggestions  regarding better  ways  to  meet the  needs  of                                                               
students.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:00:09 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GARDNER  asked  if after  the  open  application  period                                                               
closes, it will be reopened on a regular basis.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HANLEY responded that he  has never heard of an open                                                               
application being  held before. He  said the open  application is                                                               
based  on  perceived  need  and capacity  and  interest,  and  he                                                               
anticipated it would be offered again relatively soon.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:01:28 AM                                                                                                                    
GARY  BALDWIN, Superintendent,  Lower Kuskokwim  School District,                                                               
stated support  for SB 47. He  related that his district  has two                                                               
outstanding programs  that will  struggle without the  passage of                                                               
the bill. The first program  is the Kuskokwim Learning Academy, a                                                               
school of  60 students that  targets dropouts. The  other program                                                               
is  RAMSEP, which  requires  the flexibility  in  language for  a                                                               
variable-term  district  operated  school   and  the  ability  to                                                               
contract with a  non-profit for the boarding  home component. The                                                               
program is currently supplemented  with funding from the Rasmuson                                                               
Foundation, which is running out.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
He  explained  that  RAMSEP  provides  Alaska  Native  Science  &                                                               
Engineering Program  (ANSEP) access  to village  students. Bethel                                                               
High  School has  been recently  identified as  an ANSEP  academy                                                               
school. In order  for village students to have  access ANSEP, the                                                               
district developed RAMSEP named  after Rasmuson funding. Students                                                               
come into  Bethel for a  semester at a  time to take  upper level                                                               
math, science,  and pre-engineering  classes, along  with regular                                                               
courses. The success rate is  very high and students are eligible                                                               
for college-level courses.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:05:19 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BALDWIN  described the district's robotics  program, which he                                                               
described as  a feeder  program to  engineering careers  and math                                                               
and science classes. The course  raises academic expectations and                                                               
outcomes. He  hoped to expand  the model to an  aviation program.                                                               
He stressed the need for SB 47 to pass.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS asked if the  dropout rate would increase without a                                                               
boarding school.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BALDWIN said  yes.  Both programs  have  been successful  at                                                               
preventing and recovering dropouts.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:07:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS asked what ages of students are in the academy.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BALDWIN  replied that the  Kuskokwim Learning  Academy serves                                                               
students in  grades 9 -12  and recovering dropouts  include older                                                               
students up  to 20 years old.  The RAMSEP program is  for juniors                                                               
and seniors in high school.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LISA RIEGER,  General Counsel, Cook Inlet  Tribal Council, stated                                                               
that the  Cook Inlet  Tribal Council (CITC)  supports SB  47. She                                                               
said  CITC   supports  the  increase   in  stipend,   the  school                                                               
district's  delivery of  district-wide  residential programs  and                                                               
the variable-term programs, and the local partnership provision.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:10:46 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  RIEGER  explained  the  CITC  program  called  the  Dena'ina                                                               
Academy, a public/private partnership  model between CITC and the                                                               
Anchorage  School  District.  She  said that  CITC  provides  the                                                               
residential  program and  the district  provides the  curriculum.                                                               
She  said the  Dena'ina Academy  is designed  as a  culture-based                                                               
leadership program. She reiterated support for SB 47.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:12:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS asked about the Academy's location and makeup.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. RIEGER explained that the Academy  is in a pilot stage and is                                                               
applying  to  the  Anchorage  School  District  during  the  open                                                               
application  period. There  are two  students who  will test  the                                                               
program;  one  student is  from  Dillingham  and  one is  from  a                                                               
homeless Anchorage  family. The  Academy will be  accepting rural                                                               
students, also. Currently, there  are house parents residing with                                                               
the students. Elders will be involved in the future.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:16:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS  summarized that  the  Academy  provides room  and                                                               
board  and  the  students  are  enrolled  in  public  schools  in                                                               
Anchorage.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. RIEGER said that is correct.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS asked if that would be maintained into the future.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. RIEGER said yes.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS  asked what  type of students  would be  invited to                                                               
enroll.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RIEGER  answered that  the  Academy  would  be open  to  all                                                               
students.  Right now  the targeted  population is  males who  are                                                               
juniors or seniors in high school.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:18:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS  noted it  was shocking  to hear  that half  of the                                                               
students who move to Anchorage do so without their parents.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARDNER noted  three categories  of students  that might                                                               
attend the Academy,  kids who are at SAVE and  Covenant House, or                                                               
who are aging out of foster care.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RIEGER  replied that  those  kids  have been  considered  as                                                               
referrals.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:21:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS thanked the presenter.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS said his intention is to set the bill aside.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS  addressed Senator  Huggins' question  on elementary-age                                                               
students.  She said  when  working  on SB  47,  some interest  in                                                               
providing boarding  school education for elementary  students was                                                               
expressed.  She noted  the  sponsor has  committed  to work  with                                                               
Representative Gattis on that issue.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:23:06 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS  opined that  it  is  so important  to  identify                                                               
students who need support early on.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
He asked about a boarding school called Camp Challenge.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS said she was not familiar with that school. She pointed                                                                
out that there are only three schools that currently receive                                                                    
stipends.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS noted that Camp Challenge is a statewide                                                                        
program. He suggested that it would fit the definition of a                                                                     
boarding school.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:24:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS held SB 47 in committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:24:22 AM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the Senate                                                                       
Education Standing Committee, Chair Stevens adjourned the                                                                       
meeting at 9:24 a.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
03122013_SSSB47_BillText_VersionC.PDF SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_BillText_VersionP.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_FiscalNote1.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_Galena School Letter Dec 2012.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_LongTermEffects_Report.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_Sectional Analysis Version C.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_Sectional Analysis Version P.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_Sponsor Statement_Version C.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SSSB47_SponsorStatement_Version P.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 47
03122013_SB57_BillText.PDF SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03122013_SB57_SponsorStatement.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03122103_SB57_Sectional.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03132013_SB57_ECS_Third Grade Literacy Policies.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03122013_SB57_SampleParentInvolvement_Pamphlet_Idaho.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03132013_SB57_SupportLetters.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57
03122013_SB57_Third Grade Reading Policies.pdf SEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
SB 57