Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

04/14/2015 03:30 PM EDUCATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 84 LANG. IMMERSION SCHOOLS/TEACHER CERTS. TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ SB 102 UNFUNDED ED. MANDATES;TRAINING; TEACHERS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ SB 37 SEXUAL ABUSE/ASSAULT PREVENTION PROGRAMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 14, 2015                                                                                         
                           3:31 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Mike Dunleavy, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Senator Berta Gardner                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 37                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to  sexual abuse  and sexual  assault awareness                                                               
and prevention efforts in public schools."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 84                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to language  immersion charter schools; relating                                                               
to  teacher   certification;  and  relating   to  standards-based                                                               
assessments in  language immersion  charter schools  and language                                                               
immersion programs."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 102                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to  the duties of  the Department  of Education                                                               
and  Early   Development;  relating  to  the   duties  of  school                                                               
districts; relating  to course mastery requirements;  relating to                                                               
school  funding; relating  to training  for school  employees and                                                               
mandatory  reporters  of  child  abuse or  neglect;  relating  to                                                               
layoff of tenured teachers; relating  to fiscal notes prepared by                                                               
the Department  of Education and  Early Development;  relating to                                                               
notification   of   proposed   agency  actions;   and   repealing                                                               
requirements for minimum expenditures for instruction."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 37                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: SEXUAL ABUSE/ASSAULT PREVENTION PROGRAMS                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MCGUIRE                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/04/15       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/04/15       (S)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
04/02/15       (S)       EDC AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/02/15       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/02/15       (S)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/07/15       (S)       EDC AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/07/15       (S)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
04/09/15       (S)       EDC AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/09/15       (S)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
04/14/15       (S)       EDC AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 84                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: LANG. IMMERSION SCHOOLS/TEACHER CERTS.                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) OLSON                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
03/20/15       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/20/15       (S)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
04/14/15       (S)       EDC AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 102                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: UNFUNDED ED. MANDATES; TRAINING; TEACHERS                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) DUNLEAVY                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
04/09/15       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/09/15       (S)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
04/14/15       (S)       EDC AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LAUREN RASMUSSEN, Staff                                                                                                         
Senator Lesil McGuire                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed SB 37 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR. SUSAN MCCAULEY, Director                                                                                                    
Teacher and Learning Support                                                                                                    
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information related to SB 37.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JORDAN MARSHALL, External Affairs Manager                                                                                       
Rasmuson Foundation                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 37.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MAY BOLLENBACH, representing herself                                                                                            
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Questioned some of the provisions in SB 37.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
KATE FINN, representing herself                                                                                                 
Anchor Point, Alaska                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 37.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SANDRA GARITY, representing herself                                                                                             
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 37.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MIKE COONS, representing himself                                                                                                
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 37.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TANYA ZOMORA-BEY, Advocate                                                                                                      
Standing Together Against Rape (STAR)                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 37.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LYNN STUHR, representing herself                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 37.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ROBIN SMITH, representing herself                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 37.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHELSIE MORRISON HEATH, Community Advocate                                                                                      
Standing Together Against Rape (STAR)                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 37.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CINDY MOORE, representing herself                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 37.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BUTCH MOORE, representing himself                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 37.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
KEN LANDFIELD, representing himself                                                                                             
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 37.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JACQUELYN BOYER, Intern                                                                                                         
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information related to SB 84 on                                                                 
behalf of the sponsor.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DEENA PARAMO, Superintendent                                                                                                    
Mat-Su School District                                                                                                          
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 84.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER SCHMIDT, Principal                                                                                                     
Fronteras Spanish Immersion Charter School                                                                                      
Mat-Su School District                                                                                                          
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 84                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PEGGY COWAN, Superintendent                                                                                                     
North Slope Borough School District                                                                                             
Barrow, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 84, with changes.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LANCE TWITCHELL, representing himself                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 84.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SHEILA PETERSON, Staff                                                                                                          
Senator Mike Dunleavy                                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SB 102 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH NUDELMAN, Director                                                                                                    
School Finance and Facilities Section                                                                                           
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 102.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LES MORRIS, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                                 
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 102.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:31:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MIKE   DUNLEAVY  called  the  Senate   Education  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 3:31  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were   Senators  Huggins,  Gardner,  Stevens,   and  Chair                                                               
Dunleavy. He announced that the  committee would be hearing three                                                               
bills: SB 37, SB 84, and SB 102.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
         SB 37-SEXUAL ABUSE/ASSAULT PREVENTION PROGRAMS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:32:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY announced the consideration of SB 37.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:33:19 PM                                                                                                                    
LAUREN  RASMUSSEN, Staff,  Senator  Lesil  McGuire, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  reviewed  SB  37  on behalf  of  the  sponsor.  She                                                               
described  the Alaska  Safe  Children's Act.  She  read from  the                                                               
following sponsor statement:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Senate  Bill 37,  known as  the Alaska  Safe Children's                                                                    
     Act,  is an  important piece  of legislation  that will                                                                    
     require  school  districts  to  set  up  a  policy  and                                                                    
     training program  for staff,  students, and  parents on                                                                    
     the topics of sexual  assault and teen dating violence.                                                                    
     ASCA will combat child abuse  and teen dating violence;                                                                    
     and  add volunteer  athletic  coaches  to the  existing                                                                    
     mandatory reporting statute.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     This bill will do the following:                                                                                           
     •   Require   school   districts  to   implement   age-                                                                    
     appropriate training and curricula  on sexual abuse and                                                                    
     sexual  assault awareness  and prevention  for students                                                                    
     in kindergarten through 12th grade.                                                                                        
     •   Require   school   districts  to   implement   age-                                                                    
     appropriate training  and curricula on  dating violence                                                                    
     and abuse  policy, awareness, training,  and prevention                                                                    
     for students 7th through 12th grade.                                                                                       
     •  Adds  volunteer  athletic coaches  to  the  existing                                                                    
     mandatory reporting statute under AS 47.17.020(a)                                                                          
     •  Repeals requirement  that school  districts pay  for                                                                    
     physical examinations.                                                                                                     
     •  Repeals  requirement   that  certificated  preschool                                                                    
     teachers must  be fingerprinted and  background checked                                                                    
     a second time after being hired.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska  Safe  Children's  Act  will  empower  children,                                                                    
     parents  and  teachers  by providing  a  structure  for                                                                    
     pulling the  stories of  abuse out  of the  shadows and                                                                    
     demonstrating  to future  generations that  every child                                                                    
     has a  voice. In a state  as resource rich as  ours, it                                                                    
     is  time  we  turn  our  focus  on  our  most  precious                                                                    
     resource: our children.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. RASMUSSEN addressed questions  from the previous meeting. She                                                               
responded  to  questions  from   Senator  Huggins  regarding  the                                                               
possible  criminal history  of teachers  from out  of state.  She                                                               
related that according  to the Department of  Education and Early                                                               
Development (DEED),  a person would  have to apply for  an Alaska                                                               
license  which  requires  a  fingerprint  card  and  a  completed                                                               
background check through the Department  of Public Safety and the                                                               
National Crime Information Center.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
In response to  the question regarding the  backlog of processing                                                               
rape kits,  Ms. Rasmussen said  Senator McGuire plans  on working                                                               
on this  important issue  in the interim.  She also  related that                                                               
there  are a  number of  colleges  that offer  courses on  sexual                                                               
abuse prevention.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RASMUSSEN  turned  to the  response  for  Senator  Gardner's                                                               
question regarding  training of  volunteer athletic  coaches. She                                                               
said the  statute requires the  training be completed  within the                                                               
first six  months of hire, which  could be an issue  for seasonal                                                               
coaches. She said the sponsor believes  it is a valid concern and                                                               
merits continuing attention.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:38:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS said  the  bill would  remove  the provision  to                                                               
fingerprint pre-school teachers a second  time. He asked why that                                                               
is required twice in the first place.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. RASMUSSEN offered to get back to the committee on that.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:38:44 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  SUSAN  MCCAULEY,  Director, Teacher  and  Learning  Support,                                                               
Department of  Education and  Early Development  (DEED), provided                                                               
information  related to  SB 37.  She related  that there  are two                                                               
separate  systems  for  fingerprinting   set  up  for  pre-school                                                               
teachers; one,  from DEED,  is for  the purpose  of certification                                                               
and the  second system, established  by the Department  of Health                                                               
and  Social  Services (DHSS),  is  required  when one  obtains  a                                                               
teaching position.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS asked if she  supports the repeal of fingerprinting                                                               
contained in the bill.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR. MCCAULEY  said it would  reduce the burden on  an individual,                                                               
but clarified that  the systems have two  different purposes. The                                                               
DHSS database is a 24/7  real-time check for criminal activities;                                                               
DEED's   system   is   a  check   only   upon   initial   teacher                                                               
certification. The  language in  Section 2  of the  bill requires                                                               
DHSS  to  develop a  procedure  for  sending over  fingerprinting                                                               
records for  the purpose of  satisfying DHSS's  requirements, but                                                               
is not clear  about whether that procedure would  result in those                                                               
records  being  entered  into a  real-time,  ongoing  check.  She                                                               
suggested it  is worth  further inquiry with  DHSS as  to whether                                                               
providing  them   with  fingerprinting  cards   for  certificated                                                               
teachers  no longer  results in  the  records being  in the  24/7                                                               
system.  She thought  the intention  of  the bill  was to  reduce                                                               
duplicate  requirements,   when,  in  fact,  they   are  somewhat                                                               
different requirements.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DUNLEAVY said it is duplicative for the individual.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. MCCAULEY said yes.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   DUNLEAVY   summarized   that  the   bill   would   reduce                                                               
fingerprinting  to one  time and  the departments  are trying  to                                                               
figure out how that could happen.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DR. MCCAULEY agreed.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DUNLEAVY  thought  the results  could  be  shared  between                                                               
departments.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:43:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS asked who pays the cost for fingerprinting.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. MCCAULEY said the individual does.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARDNER clarified  that this  provision applies  to only                                                               
100  certificated pre-school  teachers. She  said there  does not                                                               
seem  to  be any  benefit  by  the  24/7 scanning  of  pre-school                                                               
teachers. She could  not find a single case where  it was needed.                                                               
She  asked why  real-time fingerprinting  would not  be important                                                               
for all other teachers.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:45:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS concluded  that there may be a  greater danger to                                                               
students from those who don't have a record.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. MCCAULEY did not understand the question.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS restated the question.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR. MCCAULEY said  if a person's behavior resulted  in a criminal                                                               
record  it  would  be  picked up  in  the  initial  certification                                                               
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:47:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY asked if there is a fiscal note.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  RASMUSSEN  said she  has  not  seen  one for  the  committee                                                               
substitute.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:47:57 PM                                                                                                                    
JORDAN MARSHALL,  External Affairs Manager,  Rasmuson Foundation,                                                               
testified  in support  of  SB  37. He  stated  that the  Rasmuson                                                               
Foundation  has  long  been  a  supporter  of  organizations  and                                                               
programs that  are designed to  prevent child abuse  and neglect.                                                               
He said  if SB  37 were  to pass,  the Rasmuson  Foundation would                                                               
most  certainly   entertain  a   grant  application   to  develop                                                               
curriculum and training.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARDNER mentioned  that  there is  a  lot of  curriculum                                                               
available,  but   the  biggest  training  potential   for  school                                                               
districts is  a webinar.  At one  point the  department suggested                                                               
they might  be able to  provide that.  She asked if  the Rasmuson                                                               
Foundation might be able to help produce a webinar.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MARSHALL  responded  that   they  would  entertain  a  grant                                                               
application to develop curriculum  and training, including in the                                                               
form of a webinar.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:50:04 PM                                                                                                                    
MAY  BOLLENBACH, representing  herself,  questioned  some of  the                                                               
provisions  in  SB 37.  She  said  she  agreed with  the  earlier                                                               
version  of Erin's  Law, but  this  one is  more complicated  and                                                               
relates more  to teachers.  She said it  is important  to educate                                                               
children  about  sexual  predators,  sexual  assault,  and  other                                                               
dangers.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:50:41 PM                                                                                                                    
KATE FINN, representing  herself, testified in support  of SB 37.                                                               
She shared  her history  as a sexual  assault nurse  examiner who                                                               
dealt with sexually abused children.  She applauded many items in                                                               
the bill.  She spoke  in favor  of the  opt-out provision  in the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:52:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SANDRA GARITY,  representing herself, testified in  support of SB
37. She  shared her history  as a  nurse who dealt  with sexually                                                               
abused children.  She recalled  the abuse  within her  own family                                                               
and suggested that  the bill be made mandatory every  year due to                                                               
the high rate of sexually abused victims.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:54:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE COONS, representing himself, testified  in support of SB 37.                                                               
He shared  his experience  as a  paramedic who  had to  deal with                                                               
abuse  victims. He  voiced concern  about whether  the Office  of                                                               
Children's  Service will  do their  job as  it relates  to sexual                                                               
abuse. He  commented on domestic  violence and the  problems when                                                               
victims do not tell.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:57:10 PM                                                                                                                    
TANYA  ZOMORA-BEY,  Advocate,   Standing  Together  Against  Rape                                                               
(STAR),  testified in  support of  SB 37.  She shared  statistics                                                               
about sexual abuse in Alaska.  She agreed with including programs                                                               
in schools  to educate children. She  shared a story about  a boy                                                               
who learned about personal safety.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:59:21 PM                                                                                                                    
LYNN STUHR, representing herself, testified  in support of SB 37.                                                               
She  shared   statistics  about  child  sexual   abuse,  domestic                                                               
violence, and teen dating violence.  She agreed that the training                                                               
should be  conducted yearly. She said  it is time to  educate the                                                               
community,  parents,  schools,  and  youth.  Twenty  states  have                                                               
adopted  similar policies.  Preventions  is the  cheapest way  to                                                               
deal with child sexual abuse.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:02:27 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBIN  SMITH, representing  herself, testified  in support  of SB
37. She  noted Alaska has a  big problem with sexual  assault and                                                               
violence. She said children who  have been abused are more likely                                                               
to commit crimes  than other children. It increases  the risks of                                                               
problems in a  child's life and can lead to  a myriad of problems                                                               
that tax  many state systems.  She shared statistics  about abuse                                                               
in Alaska. She stressed the importance of education.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:05:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHELSIE  MORRISON HEATH,  Community  Advocate, Standing  Together                                                               
Against Rape  (STAR), testified in  support of SB 37.  She shared                                                               
statistics about child  sexual abuse and teen  dating violence in                                                               
Alaska and  suggested increasing the number  of supportive adults                                                               
in children's lives and having  educational programs for youth in                                                               
schools.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CINDY  MOORE, representing  herself, testified  in support  of SB
37. She said she is the mother  of a daughter who was murdered by                                                               
her boyfriend.  She recommended the National  Conference of State                                                               
Legislators as a  resource for information on  teen sexual dating                                                               
violence. She  said mental and  physical health  consequences can                                                               
extend   into   adulthood.   Prevention  should   include   early                                                               
intervention.  She  concluded  that  the number  one  option  for                                                               
policymakers  is to  support evidence-based  programs in  schools                                                               
and communities, such as Safe Dates  and Fourth R that are proven                                                               
to prevent and intervene in violent teen dating relationships.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:10:23 PM                                                                                                                    
BUTCH  MOORE, representing  himself, testified  in support  of SB
37. He  shared his family's  personal story about  his daughter's                                                               
death. He said  his daughter's friends did not  tell anyone, even                                                               
though they knew  about the violence. He  suggested the education                                                               
about teen violence be mandatory.  He quoted Senator Gary Stevens                                                               
who  said,  "Who would  not  want  their  child to  receive  this                                                               
education." He urged passage of the bill.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:13:13 PM                                                                                                                    
KEN LANDFIELD,  representing himself, testified in  support of SB
37. He  said if we  can agree that child  sexual abuse is  a real                                                               
problem in  Alaska, then  it should be  clear that  education and                                                               
training  on awareness  and prevention  are, at  the very  least,                                                               
cost effective and something we should all take very seriously.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:13:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY held SB 37 in committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          SB 84-LANG. IMMERSION SCHOOLS/TEACHER CERTS.                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
4:14:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY announced the consideration of SB 84.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JACQUELYN  BOYER,  Intern,  Senator  Donny  Olson,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, sponsor  of SB 84, presented  information related to                                                               
SB 84. She read from following sponsor statement:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     As a  father, I  know firsthand  that children  are not                                                                    
     only my  future, but Alaska's  future. For  that future                                                                    
     to be sound, we need  to encourage our children to seek                                                                    
     a further  understanding of the world  around them: how                                                                    
     it  operates, different  viewpoints, and  how diversity                                                                    
     makes  us stronger.  Having students  not only  learn a                                                                    
     second language  but be immersed  in a  second language                                                                    
     creates a greater capacity for growth.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Some schools  in Alaska have already  started immersion                                                                    
     programs. Spanish immersion is  offered at Fronteras in                                                                    
     the  Mat-Su and  German at  Rilke Schule  in Anchorage.                                                                    
     Japanese, Russian,  and Spanish immersion  programs are                                                                    
     also  available  in   the  Anchorage  School  District.                                                                    
     Schools in  rural Alaska,  such as  Ayaprun Elitnaurvik                                                                    
     in Bethel  and Nikaitchuat  Ilisagvait in  Kotzebue are                                                                    
     using  immersion  education  to  revitalize  endangered                                                                    
     Alaskan Native languages.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     SB  84 creates  a  designation  for language  immersion                                                                    
     charter  schools, which  have the  specific mission  to                                                                    
     produce  bilingual  students,  preserve  or  revitalize                                                                    
     endangered languages, or  provide a learning experience                                                                    
     consistent  with  a  foreign  culture.  These  language                                                                    
     immersion  schools have  high  statutory standards  for                                                                    
     both the  teachers and  the school  structure. Teachers                                                                    
     will  be  well  qualified   individuals  who  are  both                                                                    
     capable  instructors  and  fluent in  the  language  of                                                                    
     instruction.  These schools  are  unique  in that  they                                                                    
     will have  an academic  policy committee  that includes                                                                    
     not   just  teachers,   employees,  and   parents,  but                                                                    
     language and cultural experts.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Some   of   Alaska's   languages  have   few   speakers                                                                    
     remaining,  often  only  elders. For  these  languages,                                                                    
     local governments  best know  who in  their communities                                                                    
     are  good with  children  and fluent  in the  language.                                                                    
     This  bill   allows  the   state  to   approve  teacher                                                                    
     certificates issued  by local tribes to  teach in local                                                                    
     language  immersion charter  schools. Lastly,  the bill                                                                    
     allows children  being taught  in a  different language                                                                    
     to  test in  that language,  if high  quality benchmark                                                                    
     tests exist.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     More  language  immersion  programs would  be  a  great                                                                    
     asset   to  Alaska,   both   helping  keep   indigenous                                                                    
     languages alive and  fostering greater understanding of                                                                    
     foreign languages and cultures.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
She noted the fiscal note does not reflect that the bill                                                                        
requires testing in the language available.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:18:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY thanked Ms. Boyer.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER  noted that  charter schools  are home  grown and                                                               
they operate  under a charter  in their district, and  are exempt                                                               
from some  requirements. She said  the alternative school  is set                                                               
up  by the  district. She  asked why  the immersion  school is  a                                                               
charter  school  and not  an  alternative  school. She  suggested                                                               
having the immersion school set up by the district.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:20:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DUNLEAVY  added  that  charter   schools  usually  have  a                                                               
mission.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He asked if the bill is limited to native languages.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOYER said it was for all languages.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:21:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY opened public testimony.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:21:39 PM                                                                                                                    
DEENA PARAMO,  Superintendent, Mat-Su School  District, testified                                                               
in support  of SB 84. She  said, as a district  who highly values                                                               
choice  in  educational  programs  and delivery,  the  bill  will                                                               
provide for  specific certification  and recognition  of teachers                                                               
at  language  immersion charter  schools.  It  will allow  school                                                               
districts  the  flexibility  they need  to  hire  non-traditional                                                               
teachers  and  the  ability  to  retain  staff  in  the  time  of                                                               
shortage. She suggested that an  effective date for transitioning                                                               
to the new  certificate would allow ample time  to communicate to                                                               
employees for which the certificate applies.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:23:51 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS   asked  Ms.  Paramo   if  she  can   hire  non-                                                               
certificated teachers now.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARAMO said  they can hire Type M certificates  now in career                                                               
and technical areas.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEVENS noted  that they  are similar  to contracts  for                                                               
certificated teachers.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARAMO yes, but there is no tenure.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:25:00 PM                                                                                                                    
JENNIFER SCHMIDT, Principal,  Fronteras Spanish Immersion Charter                                                               
School, Mat-Su  School District, testified  in support of  SB 84.                                                               
She  concurred  with  the previous  speaker.  She  described  the                                                               
difficulty with hiring  non-certificated personnel for Fronteras.                                                               
The  bill would  alleviate  that  issue. She  spoke  in favor  of                                                               
having standardized  testing in the target  language, as provided                                                               
in Section 8.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER referenced  Section 8 and asked if  there are any                                                               
comparable tests that exist other than in English.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCHMIDT  replied  not   for  high-stakes  testing.  Progress                                                               
monitoring is done in Spanish up to third grade.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PEGGY   COWAN,  Superintendent,   North   Slope  Borough   School                                                               
District,  testified  in support  of  SB  84, with  changes.  She                                                               
recommended that  Section 4, lines  19 - 22, contains  a valuable                                                               
clause and  they don't  want it removed.  She explained  how it's                                                               
used in  her district. The provision  repeats on page 4,  line 31                                                               
and  page 6,  line 11.  She referred  to page  5, line  27, which                                                               
requires teachers to  be fluent in their  indigenous language and                                                               
suggested allowing  teachers that  are working  on fluency  to be                                                               
hired.  She  also suggested  that  the  districts be  allowed  to                                                               
develop  their own  tests,  which is  different  than what's  set                                                               
forth on page 7.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:34:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GARDNER asked  what she  means by  "developing your  own                                                               
tests."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. COWAN replied  that it's a recommendation  from their Inupiat                                                               
education  director. The  bill doesn't  prohibit  it, but  they'd                                                               
like to develop their own language tests.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARDNER asked  if she's  just talking  about a  separate                                                               
test for cultural understanding.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. COWAN replied they want to test on their own criteria.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DUNLEAVY  suggested she  send  the  recommendation to  the                                                               
sponsor.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. COWAN agreed.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:36:36 PM                                                                                                                    
LANCE TWITCHELL,  representing himself,  testified in  support of                                                               
SB 84. He said  he is a professor of Native  languages at UAS. He                                                               
thanked the sponsor  and others for working  on this legislation.                                                               
He opined that immersion schools  would help take native cultures                                                               
out  of  language and  cultural  loss  and revitalize  indigenous                                                               
languages. He  shared statistics  related to  indigenous cultures                                                               
and  stressed the  importance of  native languages  and immersion                                                               
charter  schools. He  spoke of  a number  of ways  to fund  these                                                               
schools.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:42:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY announced he would hold SB 84 in committee.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:43:02 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
        SB 102-UNFUNDED ED. MANDATES; TRAINING; TEACHERS                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DUNLEAVY   reconvened  the   meeting  and   announced  the                                                               
consideration of SB 102.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:50:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SHEILA PETERSON, Staff, Senator  Mike Dunleavy, introduced SB 102                                                               
on behalf of  the sponsor. She said it is  a collaborative effort                                                               
between many  people and  a response  to school  districts' pleas                                                               
for relief from unfunded mandates.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
She provided the following sectional analysis:                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1.  Limits AS 14.03.073, which  allows students                                                                    
     to  challenge  courses for  credit,  to  apply only  to                                                                    
     students in grades nine through 12.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2. Clarifies that school  districts do not have                                                                    
     to establish  assessment tools for all  courses offered                                                                    
     in grades nine through 12.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3.  Requires the state  Board of  Education and                                                                    
     Early  Development  (the  board) to  adopt  regulations                                                                    
     that  include a  list  of  approved organizations  that                                                                    
     offer assessment  tools meeting the requirements  of AS                                                                    
     14.03.075(b).                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARDNER  suggested only  providing  a  list of  approved                                                               
assessment tools because an organization  might provide both good                                                               
and poor assessments.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. PETERSON said they  may want to look at that  to see if there                                                               
might  be  a better  term  to  use.  The  intent is  that  school                                                               
districts would not need to do independent research to find the                                                                 
best assessment tools, nor create their own assessment tool.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section  4. Requires  the Department  of Education  and                                                                    
     Early  Development  (the   department)  to  provide  an                                                                    
     annual  report  that  includes   a  summary  of  school                                                                    
     district  revenues  and   estimated  funding  for  each                                                                    
     school district. The intent is  to put the "five-pager"                                                                    
     information on the web.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER asked if this document already exists and the                                                                   
bill would require it to be published on the web.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. PETERSON said yes.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section  5.   Requires  the  board,   before  adopting,                                                                    
     amending,  or  repealing  a regulation,  to  prepare  a                                                                    
     fiscal  note estimating  the effect  of  the action  on                                                                    
     school district budgets for the next fiscal year.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section   6.  Requires   regional   school  boards   to                                                                    
     establish procedures  to provide required  training for                                                                    
     school employees.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 7.  Requires borough and city  school boards to                                                                    
     establish procedures  to provide required  training for                                                                    
     school employees.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 8.  Requires the board to  establish procedures                                                                    
     for training employees of state boarding schools.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS asked which training programs are not included.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. PETERSON said the intent was to include all training                                                                        
programs, however, suicide training wasn't included because it                                                                  
sunsets in 2016; it may be put back in.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS said he was asking whether some school districts                                                                
weren't included.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. PETERSON replied she didn't believe so.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER asked for the reason behind the five-year cycle.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:59:11 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. PETERSON said the five-year cycle was recommended by a                                                                      
variety of organizations and it seemed reasonable.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS added that a district could include additional                                                                  
training programs if they wished to.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. PETERSON agreed. It allows for flexibility within the school                                                                
districts.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section  9. Allows  school districts  to determine  how                                                                    
     frequently to provide training  related to selection of                                                                    
     nondiscriminatory textbook and educational materials.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 10.  Allows school  districts to  determine how                                                                    
     frequently to provide  employee evaluation training for                                                                    
     certificated school employees.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section  11. Allows  a school  district to  implement a                                                                    
     layoff plan for tenured  teachers without a decrease in                                                                    
     school  attendance   or  a   decrease  in   the  school                                                                    
     district's basic need.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER asked if the layoff plan is needed because there                                                                
isn't enough funding to retain the tenured teachers.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. PETERSON said this idea came from one school district that                                                                  
was unable to implement the layoff plan.  Responding to a                                                                       
further question, she said it was the Mat-Su School District.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 12.  Allows a school district  to determine how                                                                    
     frequently   to  provide   alcohol  and   drug  related                                                                    
     disabilities    training     for    school    teachers,                                                                    
     administrators, counselors, and specialists.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section 13.  Allows school  districts to  determine how                                                                    
     frequently to provide school crisis response training.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section  14. Requires  continuing education  related to                                                                    
     domestic  violence and  sexual assault  to be  provided                                                                    
     once  every  five  years  for  state  or  local  public                                                                    
     employees.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section  15.  Requires  the  department  to  prepare  a                                                                    
     fiscal  note  describing  the  effect   of  a  bill  or                                                                    
     resolution  on each  school district  in the  state, if                                                                    
     the bill or resolution would affect schools.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section 16.  Requires agencies  to describe  the effect                                                                    
     of a  proposed action  on each  school district  in the                                                                    
     state, if the proposed action will affect schools.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Section  17. Modifies  state agency  training intervals                                                                    
     for  recognition  and  reporting  of  child  abuse  for                                                                    
     mandatory  reporters of  child  abuse  and neglect  and                                                                    
     allows school districts to  determine how frequently to                                                                    
     provide the training.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section  18.  Repeals  AS 14.17.520,  relating  to  the                                                                    
     minimum  expenditure   for  instruction   required  for                                                                    
     school districts.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:06:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS expressed concern with  the clause in Section 18.                                                               
He thought it  was reasonable that 70 percent of  school funds go                                                               
to instruction  and 30  percent to  administration. It  is saying                                                               
the established educational goals aren't valuable.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. PETERSON  said the waiver request  is mostly due to  fuel and                                                               
maintenance costs.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
5:08:57 PM                                                                                                                    
ELIZABETH  NUDELMAN,  Director,  School  Finance  and  Facilities                                                               
Section, Department  of Education  and Early  Development (DEED),                                                               
answered questions related to SB 102.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DUNLEAVY  asked if the superintendent's  salary is included                                                               
in the 70 percent.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUDELMAN answered no. Included  in the 70 percent calculation                                                               
are five  categories of instruction.  There are  three categories                                                               
of non-instruction.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DUNLEAVY asked if most schools  that apply for a waiver are                                                               
rural schools.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NUDELMAN  replied  that  many are  rural.  Responding  to  a                                                               
further question, she explained that  some have a road system and                                                               
are categorized as rural.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DUNLEAVY said  the concern was that 70/30 should  be a tool                                                               
for   funneling  money   to  instruction.   He   asked  for   the                                                               
department's opinion on  the 70/30 and whether a  waiver has ever                                                               
been denied.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUDELMAN explained that the waivers  go to the State Board of                                                               
Education  and zero  waivers  have been  denied  over the  years.                                                               
Sometimes  districts  have  been asked  to  explain  expenditures                                                               
outside of instruction.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS asked  what controls there would be  if the 70/30                                                               
split is removed.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUDELMAN replied  that those decisions are made  at the local                                                               
level. The  split provides an  opportunity for the Board  to hear                                                               
from districts that are not able to meet those percentages.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:13:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS  recalled  that   in  the  five  largest  school                                                               
districts about 90 percent is spent on salary and benefits.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUDELMAN agreed that has been a reference number.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGGINS recalled  that  the superintendent  at Adak  was                                                               
paid for several years after the school shut down.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DUNLEAVY  noted that in rural  Alaska instructional dollars                                                               
had to  be used  for teacher  housing. He asked  if they  have to                                                               
prove why they're asking for a waiver.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUDELMAN  said even without  the requirement for  the waiver,                                                               
the  department  has  a  statutory   requirement  to  review  the                                                               
operating budgets  for reasonableness. Additionally, if  a waiver                                                               
is  requested  they  look  at  the  reasons  to  see  if  they're                                                               
supported by facts.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:17:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS suggested taking fuel  oil out of the equation if                                                               
it's the biggest problem and the  goal is to ease the pressure on                                                               
small school districts.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DUNLEAVY  asked if the  department has taken a  position on                                                               
this section addressing the 70/30 rule.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
LES  MORRIS, Deputy  Commissioner,  Department  of Education  and                                                               
Early Development  (DEED), answered questions related  to SB 102.                                                               
He said several years ago the  Board asked that the 70/30 rule be                                                               
repealed, and then changed their  minds after learning more about                                                               
it.  There  have  been  varying  positions  over  time,  but  the                                                               
department hasn't taken a position on this recently.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DUNLEAVY concluded  that SB 102 is a  result of discussions                                                               
with school  districts and  he views  it as a  tool to  help give                                                               
school districts breathing  room so they can teach  kids. He used                                                               
several analogies to make his point.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GARDNER asked,  in  the  70/30 rule,  what  part of  the                                                               
application process  would go  away if schools  still have  to do                                                               
the accounting.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUDELMAN said they would no  longer need to write a letter to                                                               
the Board explaining why they're below the 70 percent.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER  countered that the bookkeeping  would remain the                                                               
same.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUDELMAN said correct.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DUNLEAVY  noted the $1.2  million fiscal note. He  asked if                                                               
there was  a fiscal note  to implement the mandates  discussed in                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. NUDELMAN  explained that  the fiscal note  is related  to the                                                               
language  in Section  4 and  applies to  the department,  not the                                                               
unfunded mandates. It relates to  the department providing a tool                                                               
on  the website  with raw  data  and formulas  to manipulate  and                                                               
estimate the  foundation program  funding. There is  a difference                                                               
between  providing  a detailed  report  (the  five-pager), and  a                                                               
calculating tool, which is not currently available.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. MORRIS noted there are two fiscal notes.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DUNLEAVY said this bill  will require ongoing conversations                                                               
and meetings on unfunded mandates throughout the Interim.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DUNLEAVY held SB 102 in committee.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:32:36 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Dunleavy adjourned the  Senate Education Standing Committee                                                               
meeting at 5:32 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
1. SB 37 Legislation.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 37
2. SB 37 Fiscal Note.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 37
3. CS for SB 37 - Legislation.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 37
4. CS for SB 37 Sponsor Statement.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 37
5. CS for SB 37 - Explanation of Changes.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 37
6. CS for SB 37 - Sectional Analysis.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 37
1. SB 84 Legislation.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 84
2. SB 84 Sponsor Statement.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 84
3. SB 84 Sectional Analysis.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 84
4. SB 84 Fiscal Note.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 84
5. SB 84 Support Letter.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
6. SB 84 Research.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 84
7. SB 84 supporting documents- Navajo Nation.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 84
8. SB 84 Utah Immersion Prog.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 84
SB 102 Legislation.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 102
SB 102 Sponsor Statement.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 102
SB 102 Sectional Analysis.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 102
SB 102 Fiscal Note School Finance.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 102
SB 102 Fiscal Note Teaching Learning.pdf SEDC 4/14/2015 3:30:00 PM
SB 102