Legislature(2013 - 2014)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/02/2014 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 2, 2014                                                                                          
                           8:00 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Gary Stevens, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Mike Dunleavy, Vice Chair                                                                                               
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
Senator Charlie Huggins                                                                                                         
Senator Berta Gardner                                                                                                           
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 216                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to  sexual abuse  and sexual  assault awareness                                                               
and  prevention efforts  in public  schools; establishing  a task                                                               
force in  the Council  on Domestic  Violence and  Sexual Assault;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 162(EDC) AM                                                                             
"An Act relating to tenure of public school teachers; and                                                                       
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 216                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SEXUAL ABUSE/ASSAULT PREVENTION PROGRAMS                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): RULES                                                                                                               
03/28/14       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/28/14       (S)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
03/31/14       (S)       EDC WAIVED PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE,RULE                                                                  
04/02/14       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
BILL: HB 162                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: TEACHER TENURE                                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): T.WILSON                                                                                                            
03/11/13       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/11/13       (H)       EDC                                                                                                    
03/22/13       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/22/13       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/22/13       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
03/27/13       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/27/13       (H)       Moved CSHB 162(EDC) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/27/13       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
03/28/13       (H)       EDC RPT CS(EDC) 3DP 4NR                                                                                
03/28/13       (H)       DP: SADDLER, P.WILSON, GATTIS                                                                          
03/28/13       (H)       NR: LEDOUX, DRUMMOND, REINBOLD, SEATON                                                                 
04/04/13       (H)       AM NO 3 TABLED Y28 N8 E4                                                                               
04/04/13       (H)       PASSAGE OF BILL NOT IN ORDER MOTION                                                                    
04/04/13       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/04/13       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 162(EDC) AM                                                                              
04/05/13       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/05/13       (S)       EDC                                                                                                    
03/31/14       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
03/31/14       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/31/14       (S)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/02/14       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
AMY SALTZMAN, Staff                                                                                                             
Senator Lesil McGuire                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SB 216 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                                
SENATOR LESIL MCGUIRE                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 216.                                                                                        
LAUREE MORTON, Executive Director                                                                                               
Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault                                                                                 
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information related to SB 216.                                                                  
JESSICA LAMASTER, Executive Director                                                                                            
Haven House                                                                                                                     
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 216.                                                                           
FLORA RODDY, Member                                                                                                             
Education Support Staff Association                                                                                             
Fairbanks North Star School District                                                                                            
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 216.                                                                           
CAREN ROBINSON, Executive Director                                                                                              
Alaska Women's Lobby                                                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 216.                                                                           
LES MORSE, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                                  
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to HB 162.                                                                     
DIANE HIRSHBERG, Director                                                                                                       
Center for Alaska Education Policy Research                                                                                     
Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER)                                                                                
University of Alaska-Anchorage                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information related to HB 162.                                                                   
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:00:49 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GARY   STEVENS  called   the  Senate   Education  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 8:00  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were Senators  Gardner,  Stedman,  Huggins, Dunleavy,  and                                                               
Chair Stevens.                                                                                                                  
        SB 216-SEXUAL ABUSE/ASSAULT PREVENTION PROGRAMS                                                                     
8:01:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS announced the consideration of SB 216. He noted                                                                   
that version N was before the committee.                                                                                        
SENATOR DUNLEAVY moved to adopt the CS for SB 216, labeled 28-                                                                  
LS1617\N, as the working document before the committee.                                                                         
CHAIR STEVENS objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                 
AMY SALTZMAN, Staff, Senator Lesil McGuire, Alaska State                                                                        
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, presented SB 216 on behalf of the                                                                  
sponsor. She said the only change  in version N is the removal of                                                               
the task force. She read the sponsor statement:                                                                                 
     SB  216,   or  Erin's  Law,  addresses   a  devastating                                                                    
     epidemic of  child abuse. It  will help to  empower our                                                                    
     communities   by  educating   children,  parents,   and                                                                    
     teachers, and  give them the opportunity  to speak out.                                                                    
     This bill  does this  by requiring school  districts to                                                                    
     develop  age-appropriate   sexual  abuse   and  assault                                                                    
     awareness and prevention  from age kindergarten through                                                                    
     twelfth grade. This  bill is part of  a national effort                                                                    
     that has  been spearheaded by Erin  Merryn, an advocate                                                                    
     and sexual abuse survivor. She  has made it her mission                                                                    
     to  enact  this legislation  in  all  fifty states.  To                                                                    
     date, there are  versions of Erin's Law  that have been                                                                    
     enacted in eight  states. Twenty-five states, including                                                                    
     Alaska, are considering a version of the bill.                                                                             
MS.  SALTZMAN related  that  Erin Merryn,  sponsor  of the  bill,                                                               
recently  visited  Alaska.  She  noted testimony  by  Ms.  Merryn                                                               
available  to the  committee. She  shared statistics,  noting the                                                               
devastating problem of sex abuse in Alaska.                                                                                     
8:04:41 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR LESIL MCGUIRE, Alaska  State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
sponsor of SB  216, introduce a video of the  writer of the bill,                                                               
Erin Merryn. In  the video, Ms. Merryn shared  her personal story                                                               
and the  reasons she has brought  forth the bill. She  listed the                                                               
reasons that  she made it her  mission to ensure that  all states                                                               
have  a  law  that  requires school  districts  to  develop  age-                                                               
appropriate  sexual abuse  and assault  awareness and  prevention                                                               
from kindergarten through twelfth grade.                                                                                        
8:10:56 AM                                                                                                                    
She said that kids are not  taught about the people they know and                                                               
trust  that can  hurt them.  She referred  to the  Jerry Sandusky                                                               
story.  She  shared  statistics about  the  survivors  of  sexual                                                               
abuse. She  said she  has made  it her life  mission to  make her                                                               
voice heard  and turn her  experience into a  positive situation.                                                               
She  maintained that  sexual abuse  is a  national epidemic.  She                                                               
shared that  she found her  voice when she discovered  her sister                                                               
was also being abused.                                                                                                          
She related  that there are  26 states that are  considering this                                                               
legislation.  She  said  that health  teachers,  counselors,  and                                                               
psychologists  in schools  can provide  this  curriculum as  they                                                               
have been  doing in  Anchorage for  15 years.  She hoped  the law                                                               
will end  the horror of  child abuse.  She urged support  for the                                                               
8:15:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS thanked the sponsor.                                                                                              
SENATOR  MCGUIRE said  Ms. Merryn  is a  remarkable person  and a                                                               
survivor. She  emphasized that educating young  people does work.                                                               
She listed several components of  the curriculum. She said Alaska                                                               
leads the  nation in child  abuse. Under Title 18,  educators are                                                               
already  trained  in  domestic   violence  awareness  and  sexual                                                               
assault and it is appropriate to train teachers in this subject.                                                                
8:18:48 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MCGUIRE  spoke  of other  training  programs  for  other                                                               
subjects in  school curriculum,  but the  lack of  training about                                                               
sexual abuse.  She described a  case in Illinois where  after the                                                               
"swimsuit" lesson  was taught, six  kids told the  health teacher                                                               
that they  had been  the victims  of sexual  abuse. She  said the                                                               
consequences of sexual abuse leads  to drug abuse, incarceration,                                                               
and other problems.  She stressed that we need to  do all that we                                                               
can  to  prevent  sexual abuse  from  happening.  She  encouraged                                                               
legislators to pass the bill.                                                                                                   
8:22:21 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS asked why Alaska leads the nation.                                                                              
SENATOR MCGUIRE  related that northern  climates lead  the nation                                                               
in  sex abuse,  alcohol and  drug addiction,  and suicide  rates.                                                               
Also,   isolation,  which   Alaska   has,  makes   it  easy   for                                                               
perpetrators. High levels of drug  and alcohol addictions lead to                                                               
a higher rate of sexual abuse  and assault. She noted some of the                                                               
solutions  to  these  problems  are   found  in  the  healing  of                                                               
addictions,  providing hope  for  economic opportunities,  having                                                               
safe houses, and adopting prevention curriculum.                                                                                
8:25:51 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS questioned  whether treatment  is effective  for                                                               
sex abusers.                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MCGUIRE said the recidivism  rate of child sexual assault                                                               
is very  high -  above 80  percent. Oregon  has had  some success                                                               
with  a containment  program using  electronic  monitors and  lie                                                               
detector tests.  Recidivism rates are lower  with younger people,                                                               
but  still not  good. By  the time  perpetrators are  caught, the                                                               
odds that they have assaulted many more children is very high.                                                                  
SENATOR HUGGINS asked if those who abuse were abused.                                                                           
SENATOR MCGUIRE  said she has  read a  lot of literature  on this                                                               
subject. She concurred  that this is almost always  the case. The                                                               
cycle of abuse repeats itself,  which highlights why intervention                                                               
is needed  early on.  Abusers become  perpetrators and  the cycle                                                               
repeats, especially in Alaska with alcohol addiction and abuse.                                                                 
8:30:46 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS asked about the gender factor.                                                                                  
SENATOR  MCGUIRE said  overwhelmingly  it is  males  who are  the                                                               
perpetrators. Seldom  do women abuse. Males  are the perpetrators                                                               
against both young  women and young men.  She voiced appreciation                                                               
for  the leadership  of legislators  to help  break the  cycle of                                                               
8:33:05 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS asked how parents can help promote this message.                                                                  
SENATOR MCGUIRE commented  that some parents are  not involved in                                                               
their child's  education and lives.  She said parents need  to be                                                               
part of  the conversation.  She suggested  age-appropriate PSA's.                                                               
She said she  is open to adding more ideas  for involving parents                                                               
on page 2, line 5.                                                                                                              
8:36:44 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS  noted  that  some  parents  prefer  that  their                                                               
children not be exposed to sexual abuse prevention.                                                                             
SENATOR MCGUIRE  understood that parents  are allowed to  opt out                                                               
of sex education and the  bill's curriculum would fall under that                                                               
CHAIR  STEVENS   pointed  out   that  a   parent  could   be  the                                                               
SENATOR  MCGUIRE agreed  it is  a complex  issue. She  said PSA's                                                               
might work.  She noted it  is a crime  of silence, as  Ms. Merryn                                                               
8:39:43 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER talked about how kids  are put in the position of                                                               
protecting their  family. It is  not unusual for parents  to also                                                               
be victims.  She noted denial  is generational.  Allowing parents                                                               
to opt  out might impact a  child's ability to hear  an important                                                               
lesson. She opined that the lessons could be taught delicately.                                                                 
SENATOR HUGGINS  said he supports  the bill, but some  people are                                                               
not delicate. He said he is sensitive to parental prerogative.                                                                  
CHAIR STEVENS  wished to  work more  on parental  involvement and                                                               
parental rights.                                                                                                                
8:42:42 AM                                                                                                                    
LAUREE MORTON,  Executive Director, Council on  Domestic Violence                                                               
and Sexual Assault, Department of  Public Safety, Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
presented  information related  to SB  216. She  shared that  the                                                               
Council helps to  develop curricula for these  topics. She shared                                                               
information about  an initiative  that started last  year through                                                               
the Governor's  Choose Respect Initiative,  where the  Network on                                                               
Domestic Violence  and Sexual  Assault and  the Council  went out                                                               
into the state  and held focus groups of parents.  They asked how                                                               
they  could support  parents in  having conversations  with their                                                               
children and  create a  safer space  for them.  She handed  out a                                                               
brochure  with a  campaign slogan  of "Talk  Now, Talk  Often" to                                                               
help parents  get familiar with what  is going on in  their kids'                                                               
lives. The questions in the  brochure get the conversation going.                                                               
Future  questions   will  be  more   sensitive  in   nature.  She                                                               
emphasized that there  are parents who are  interested in helping                                                               
their children cope  with unsafe situations. She  noted a website                                                               
with the same name.                                                                                                             
MS.  MORTON mentioned  a conference  in  Anchorage that  provided                                                               
various educational  programs to  parents and teachers.  She said                                                               
the current law says "encourages"  such programs; Erin's Law will                                                               
"require" them.  She said the  department stands ready  to assist                                                               
school  districts  with  skills   development  for  teaching  the                                                               
curriculum. She understood  that cost is a  concern to districts.                                                               
She offered  that on  the Office  of Children's  Services website                                                               
there is curriculum  called "Reporting Child Abuse  in Alaska," a                                                               
lesson for mandated reporters of child abuse.                                                                                   
MS.  MORTON related  that for  the past  six months,  a workgroup                                                               
made up of the Council,  the Network, DEED, DHSS, the Association                                                               
of Alaska School Boards, and  other community representatives has                                                               
been looking at  K-5 curriculum. The goal is to  come up with two                                                               
to  three choices  of best  practices  for the  state. There  are                                                               
evidence-based  curricula  available  nationally.  She  said  the                                                               
"Fourth  R"  -  relationships  -  is  the  name  of  a  Canadian,                                                               
evidence-based curriculum for  students in grades 7 -  9 that has                                                               
been  adapted for  use in  Alaska schools.  Over 53  schools have                                                               
sent  teachers  for this  training.  Selected  schools are  being                                                               
evaluated for this  project and this summer the  findings will be                                                               
available.  She   concluded  that  the  Council   has  been  very                                                               
thoughtful   about   encouraging    districts   in   implementing                                                               
8:50:20 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS asked who are mandated reporters.                                                                                 
MS.  MORTON  said that  there  is  a  list  under Title  47  that                                                               
includes  teachers,  health  care professionals,  victim  service                                                               
providers, police  officers, and  others. She offered  to provide                                                               
that information.                                                                                                               
SENATOR HUGGINS asked about bullying.                                                                                           
MS.  MORTON  agreed it  is  a  serious  problem. There  are  peer                                                               
educators  who are  good mentors  to younger  students. "Coaching                                                               
Boys into Men" promotes respectful  treatment of women and girls.                                                               
There  are PSA's  that address  high school  dating violence  and                                                               
bullying behavior.                                                                                                              
8:53:20 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER said  when she visited schools she  asked if they                                                               
were  in compliance  with the  newly mandated  suicide prevention                                                               
training  and  what  strategies  they were  using  to  deal  with                                                               
bullying. The schools said they  were working with the Social and                                                               
Emotional  Learning (SEL)  program that  focuses on  helping kids                                                               
identify  their own  emotional state  and  to understand  other's                                                               
emotional states. She read the list  of who is mandated to report                                                               
under AS 47.17.020.                                                                                                             
8:55:33 AM                                                                                                                    
JESSICA  LAMASTER,   Executive  Director,  Haven   House,  Homer,                                                               
Alaska, testified in support of SB  216. She said she is a member                                                               
of the  Alaska Network on  Domestic Violence and  Sexual Assault,                                                               
chair  of the  Alaska  Children's  Alliance, and  a  mother of  a                                                               
toddler.  She  said  she has  interviewed  hundreds  of  sexually                                                               
abused  children  and it  is  their  voices  that compel  her  to                                                               
testify in  support of the  bill. She related that  some children                                                               
do not have  safe adults in their  lives or they do  not know how                                                               
to talk about  their abuse. Erin's Law will reduce  the stigma of                                                               
talking about  sexual abuse and teach  children that it is  ok to                                                               
tell, that adults care and will protect them.                                                                                   
CHAIR STEVENS thanked  her for her work. He said  he is surprised                                                               
that some children have no one safe to talk to.                                                                                 
SENATOR GARDNER  said she knows  of children who come  into state                                                               
custody and  the adults in  their family  cannot think of  a safe                                                               
person to take care of them.                                                                                                    
8:59:19 AM                                                                                                                    
FLORA  RODDY,   Member,  Education  Support   Staff  Association,                                                               
Fairbanks   North  Star   School  District,   Fairbanks,  Alaska,                                                               
testified in support of SB 216. She  said she is also a member of                                                               
NEA  and  NEA-Alaska,  which  supports the  bill.  She  shared  a                                                               
personal story of  abuse. She said this  legislation is important                                                               
because it touches many lives. "All  children need to know how to                                                               
find someone they can trust to tell and make this stop."                                                                        
CHAIR STEVENS appreciated Ms. Roddy's testimony.                                                                                
CAREN  ROBINSON,   Executive  Director,  Alaska   Women's  Lobby,                                                               
Juneau, Alaska, testified in support  of SB 216. She related that                                                               
many Lobby members  helped to develop some of  the early programs                                                               
designed to  use in schools. She  spoke highly of the  support of                                                               
the  Governor  and Lauree  Morton,  as  well  as the  Council  on                                                               
Domestic Violence staff's ability to help carry out this policy.                                                                
She  provided  history of  Alaska's  efforts  to combat  domestic                                                               
violence and sexual  assault and shared how far  Alaska has come.                                                               
She  recalled  past efforts  to  stop  domestic violence  through                                                               
education  and by  developing  a curriculum  to  address it.  She                                                               
shared  a   three-pronged  approach;  teacher   training,  parent                                                               
training,  children training.  She  highlighted strong  education                                                               
programs in Bethel, Kenai, Fairbanks, and Juneau.                                                                               
She told  stories of discovering  who the perpetrators  were; the                                                               
director of  a youth  program in  Juneau, the  assistant attorney                                                               
general, the president  of the school board, the  director of Big                                                               
Brothers, Big Sisters, ministers, and  family members, as well as                                                               
the lead sexual assault investigator.  Since then, the statute of                                                               
limitations  law has  been  eliminated as  it  pertains to  child                                                               
sexual assault.                                                                                                                 
She reported that today physicians  ask children if they are safe                                                               
at home,  teachers are  required to  report, many  children learn                                                               
about  good touch  and bad  touch, reports  of domestic  violence                                                               
result in arrests,  offenders are locked up,  shelters exist, and                                                               
people are  telling their stories.  The Governor and  others have                                                               
responded and  victims are not alone  in the state any  more. She                                                               
stressed that it  is time to put a curriculum  in all schools and                                                               
have systems in place to prosecute cases that come to light.                                                                    
9:08:43 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS   thanked  Ms.  Robinson.  He   inquired  if  good                                                               
reporting yields high rates of abuse.                                                                                           
MS. ROBINSON  commented that there  is a strong  reporting system                                                               
in  Alaska  now.  The  Council and  its  executive  director  are                                                               
strong. She  related that the  Council was set up  under Governor                                                               
Hammond and Terry  Miller. It was supposed to be  made up of five                                                               
members with commissioners at the  table. She opined that experts                                                               
and commissioners  need to sit  at the  table. There is  a strong                                                               
shelter network with 21 programs.  This issue has been brought to                                                               
the forefront by domestic violence programs.                                                                                    
9:12:25 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS  stated that  society  is  an observer  of  this                                                               
problem,  noting  the recidivism  rate  is  80 percent.  He  said                                                               
Governor  Parnell  has  made  this issue  a  cornerstone  of  his                                                               
administration. He requested stronger support for his goals.                                                                    
He asked  Ms. Robinson  to name  two priorities  surrounding this                                                               
MS. ROBINSON  agreed that the  Governor has been a  strong leader                                                               
in this  issue, as well as  have past governors. She  referred to                                                               
working with then-Senator Parnell to  help pass the 1996 Domestic                                                               
Violence Laws. She  stressed the importance of  taking this issue                                                               
seriously  and funding  support  systems; there  must be  support                                                               
services in  place. She shared  a personal story.  She encouraged                                                               
bringing  the victims  to the  table  and allowing  them to  have                                                               
their say.                                                                                                                      
9:16:59 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS  stated his  belief  in  capital punishment.  He                                                               
submitted that  sexual abusers have  "taken a life". He  spoke of                                                               
the cycle of abuse. He suggested  that sexual abuse is worse than                                                               
taking a life.                                                                                                                  
MS. ROBINSON suggested that, "We have  to get to our boys early."                                                               
She said it is important to  have programs in school to get young                                                               
men into counseling.  She shared a personal story  about abuse in                                                               
her family.  It is  important to  make sure  young boys  learn to                                                               
make better choices.                                                                                                            
SENATOR  GARDNER  commented  about  a  possible  repercussion  of                                                               
capital  punishment;  a  child  could  be  told,  "If  you  tell,                                                               
something  very  bad  will happen."  She  questioned  what  would                                                               
happen  if  daddy  is  the  perpetrator.  She  said  it  involves                                                               
complicated emotions and the abuse  is not the entire person. She                                                               
maintained that  the consequences  should be swift  and complete,                                                               
but execution is not the answer.                                                                                                
MS.  ROBINSON  shared  a  story   and  concluded  that  when  the                                                               
perpetrator gets out of jail, access to young boys must stop.                                                                   
9:22:37 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS closed  public testimony. He said he  wants to hear                                                               
from school  districts, deal  with the fiscal  note, and  take up                                                               
the amendments in a new committee substitute.                                                                                   
CHAIR STEVENS held SB 216 in committee.                                                                                         
                     HB 162-TEACHER TENURE                                                                                  
9:23:33 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS announced the consideration of HB 162.                                                                            
LES  MORSE,  Deputy  Commissioner, Department  of  Education  and                                                               
Early  Development  (DEED),  Juneau, Alaska,  answered  questions                                                               
related to HB 162.                                                                                                              
SENATOR GARDNER  asked if  the department has  a position  on the                                                               
MR. MORSE said the department does  not have a stance on the bill                                                               
because tenure  does not  affect the  department. It  does affect                                                               
teachers and districts.                                                                                                         
SENATOR  HUGGINS asked  if  tenure is  portable  after a  teacher                                                               
moves to a new district.                                                                                                        
MR. MORSE said  there is a two-year waiting time  after moving to                                                               
a new district.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR HUGGINS asked about the psychology of that provision.                                                                   
MR. MORSE  explained that the  statute provides that  the teacher                                                               
must meet the  performance standards of the  new school district.                                                               
Local boards can check to see that these are met.                                                                               
9:28:04 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS  asked if  the  bill  affects that  2-year  tenure                                                               
MR. MORSE said the provision is currently in statute.                                                                           
CHAIR STEVENS  noted Representative Wilson suggested  that tenure                                                               
should be up to the district.                                                                                                   
9:28:57 AM                                                                                                                    
DIANE  HIRSHBERG, Director,  Center for  Alaska Education  Policy                                                               
Research,  Institute  of  Social and  Economic  Research  (ISER),                                                               
University  of  Alaska-Anchorage,   Anchorage,  Alaska,  provided                                                               
information related  to HB  162. She referred  to a  survey about                                                               
whether  tenure would  affect  teachers'  perception about  their                                                               
jobs.  She described  the  parameters of  the  survey, which  had                                                               
close to 1,600 responses. For  rural first-year teachers, 155 out                                                               
of  558, or  19 percent,  said  tenure rules  would impact  their                                                               
decision  to stay  or go.  Another 39  percent said  "maybe." She                                                               
assumed many  of those  teachers don't  understand the  impact of                                                               
tenure rules.  She pointed  out that  teacher turnover  rates are                                                               
very high in rural districts.                                                                                                   
She  related  that when  surveying  teachers  in the  five  urban                                                               
districts, of  890 teachers, 16  percent said tenure  rules would                                                               
affect their  views, and 22  percent said they were  not familiar                                                               
with the  proposal. Of 109  first year teachers, 20  percent said                                                               
it would  affect their views, 30  percent said they did  not know                                                               
enough, and  18 percent said  "maybe." She concluded that  the 20                                                               
percent  was significant  in there  is currently  not a  turnover                                                               
problem in urban districts.                                                                                                     
She opined  that measuring  the quality of  teachers needs  to be                                                               
done  in  partnership  with the  university  and  with  districts                                                               
without  making teachers  more anxious.  She  said many  teachers                                                               
left  the profession  when the  teacher  evaluation video  taping                                                               
system was initiated.  She emphasized that changes  do affect how                                                               
teachers view whether or not they will stay on the job.                                                                         
She questioned  if teacher  support should be  part of  the bill,                                                               
such as strengthening professional development.                                                                                 
9:34:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS  thanked Dr. Hirshberg.  He noted  public testimony                                                               
would be continued at a later date.                                                                                             
CHAIR STEVENS held HB 162 in committee.                                                                                         
9:35:39 AM                                                                                                                    
There being nothing further to come before the committee, Chair                                                                 
Stevens adjourned the Senate Education Standing Committee at                                                                    
9:35 a.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01_SB216_SponsorStatement.pdf SEDC 4/2/2014 8:00:00 AM
SB 216
02_SB216_BillText_VersionU_03282014.pdf SEDC 4/2/2014 8:00:00 AM
SB 216
03_SB216_BillText_VersionN_03312014.pdf SEDC 4/2/2014 8:00:00 AM
SB 216
04_SB216_FiscalNote1_DEED_TLS.pdf SEDC 4/2/2014 8:00:00 AM
SB 216
05_SB216_Sectional.pdf SEDC 4/2/2014 8:00:00 AM
SB 216
06_SB216_Testimony of Erin Merryn.pdf SEDC 4/2/2014 8:00:00 AM
SB 216
07_SB216_Erin's Law Map.pdf SEDC 4/2/2014 8:00:00 AM
SB 216
08_SB216_Leg Research OCS Statistics.pdf SEDC 4/2/2014 8:00:00 AM
SB 216
09_SB216_PreventionCoalition.pdf SEDC 4/2/2014 8:00:00 AM
SB 216
10_SB216_Child Sexual Abuse in the Bering Strait Region.pdf SEDC 4/2/2014 8:00:00 AM
SB 216
11_SB216_5 STEPS BOOKLET.pdf SEDC 4/2/2014 8:00:00 AM
SB 216
12_SB216_NBER-Does Child Maltreatment Lead to Crime.pdf SEDC 4/2/2014 8:00:00 AM
SB 216
13_SB216_HB233_Letters of Support.pdf SEDC 4/2/2014 8:00:00 AM
HB 233
SB 216