Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

04/07/2017 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 99 PRE-ELEMENTARY PROGRAMS/FUNDING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 102 INTERNET FOR SCHOOLS; FUNDING TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 102 Out of Committee
+= SB 103 ED GRANTS/SCHOLARSHIP;INNOVATIVE ED FUND TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 103 Out of Committee
+= SB 104 EDUCATION CURRICULUM TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 104 Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 7, 2017                                                                                          
                           8:04 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Shelley Hughes, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 102                                                                                                             
"An  Act relating  to funding  for Internet  services for  school                                                               
districts;   and  relating   to  the   Alaska  higher   education                                                               
investment fund."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 102 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 103                                                                                                             
"An  Act  establishing  the  Alaska  education  innovation  grant                                                               
program; eliminating  the Alaska education grant  program and the                                                               
Alaska performance scholarship  program; redesignating the Alaska                                                               
higher  education   investment  fund  as  the   Alaska  education                                                               
innovation grant fund; and providing for an effective date."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 103 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 104                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to the duties  of the state Board  of Education                                                               
and Early Development; and relating to school curriculum."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 104 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 99                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to early education programs  provided by school                                                               
districts; relating to funding for  early education programs; and                                                               
relating to the duties of the state Board of Education and Early                                                                
Development."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 102                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: INTERNET FOR SCHOOLS; FUNDING                                                                                      
SPONSOR(s): FINANCE                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
04/03/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/03/17       (S)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
04/03/17       (S)       HUS WAIVED PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE,RULE                                                                  
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04/04/17       (S)       EDC AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/04/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/04/17       (S)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/05/17       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/05/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/05/17       (S)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/07/17       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 103                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ED GRANTS/SCHOLARSHIP;INNOVATIVE ED FUND                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): FINANCE                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
04/03/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/03/17       (S)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
04/03/17       (S)       HUS WAIVED PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE,RULE                                                                  
                         23                                                                                                     
04/04/17       (S)       EDC AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/04/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/04/17       (S)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/05/17       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/05/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/05/17       (S)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/07/17       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 104                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: EDUCATION CURRICULUM                                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): FINANCE                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
04/03/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/03/17       (S)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
04/03/17       (S)       HUS WAIVED PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE, RULE                                                                 
                         23                                                                                                     
04/04/17       (S)       EDC AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/04/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/04/17       (S)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/05/17       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/05/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/05/17       (S)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/07/17       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 99                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: PRE-ELEMENTARY PROGRAMS/FUNDING                                                                                    
SPONSOR(s): BEGICH                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
03/29/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/29/17       (S)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
04/07/17       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BRITTANY HUTCHISON, Staff                                                                                                       
Senator Anna MacKinnon                                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed SB 102, SB 103, and SB 104 on                                                                    
behalf of the Senate Finance Committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HEIDI TESHNER, Director                                                                                                         
Administrative Services                                                                                                         
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Addressed the fiscal notes for SB 102, SB                                                                 
103, and SB 104.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PATIENCE FREDERIKSEN, Director                                                                                                  
Division of Libraries, Archives, & Museums                                                                                      
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information on SB 102.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
STEPHANIE BUTLER, Interim Executive Director                                                                                    
Postsecondary Education                                                                                                         
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Addressed two fiscal notes related to SB                                                                  
103.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PAUL PRUSSING, Deputy Director                                                                                                  
Teacher and Learning Support                                                                                                    
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 103.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SYDNEY KAUFMAN, Ph.D., Staff                                                                                                    
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented the sectional  analysis of SB 99 on                                                             
behalf of the sponsor.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEGHAN JOHNSON, Director                                                                                                        
Learn and Grow in THREAD                                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 99.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:04:26 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SHELLEY  HUGHES  called   the  Senate  Education  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 8:04  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Begich, Giessel,  Coghill, Stevens, and Chair                                                               
Hughes. She  listed the  bills to  be heard, SB  102, SB  103, SB                                                               
104, which will  pass out of committee  if it is the  will of the                                                               
committee, and SB 99.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
              SB 102-INTERNET FOR SCHOOLS; FUNDING                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:05:40 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced the consideration of SB 102.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:05:48 AM                                                                                                                    
BRITTANY HUTCHISON,  Staff, Senator Anna MacKinnon,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  reviewed SB  102 on  behalf of  the Senate  Finance                                                               
Committee. She related  that the goals of the suite  of bills are                                                               
to  prioritize  K-12 education  and  how  the legislature  spends                                                               
limited  funds.  They  propose to  improve  outcomes  for  Alaska                                                               
students   and  to   provide  for   efficiency  and   streamlined                                                               
deliveries of education processes  and procedures. Alaska student                                                               
outcomes are  not where they  should be  to be prepared  for life                                                               
after  high  school.  Alaska  students  deserve  a  21st  Century                                                               
Education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:07:01 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HUTCHISON  addressed concerns regarding SB  102. According to                                                               
the  Alaska Telephone  Association bandwidth  can be  prioritized                                                               
within the network  and each provider can control  the traffic as                                                               
schools request it  in their contract. All schools  in Alaska are                                                               
currently able to  go up to 25 Mbps, even  those using satellite.                                                               
An  increased internet  capability can  help resolve  latency and                                                               
buffering issues, depending on how  many people/classrooms use it                                                               
at once.  The bill  will not require  any new  infrastructure and                                                               
does not pay for anything but internet services.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:07:56 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES noted she would distribute ATA's letter of support.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:08:35 AM                                                                                                                    
HEIDI TESHNER,  Director, Administrative Services,  Department of                                                               
Education  and Early  Development  (DEED),  addressed the  fiscal                                                               
note for  SB 102.  She explained  that the fiscal  note is  for a                                                               
library  operations component,  with  $34,000  requested for  the                                                               
increased  E-rate contractor  to  approve  the applications,  for                                                               
technical assistance,  and for regulation  changes. She  said $16                                                               
million  is estimated  in the  grant component  to bring  the 197                                                               
schools up to 25 Mbps.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:09:40 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH  confirmed that  name  change  is to  the  Higher                                                               
Education Fund.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. TESHNER said yes.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:10:01 AM                                                                                                                    
PATIENCE FREDERIKSEN, Director,  Division of Libraries, Archives,                                                               
& Museums, Department of Education  and Early Development (DEED),                                                               
presented information on SB 102.  She explained that the division                                                               
has been  running the School  Broadband Assistance  Grant (School                                                               
BAG) program  for three years. They  have the capacity to  add 64                                                               
more schools to the School BAG program.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:10:32 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH asked how many schools would be served.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. FREDERIKSEN  replied that 133 schools  are receiving services                                                               
now; there are  197 schools that would need support  to get to 25                                                               
Mbps.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:11:13 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH said  he would  support passing  the bill  out of                                                               
committee, but  disagrees with the  funding source. He  wanted to                                                               
have more than three days to vet the bill.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:11:50 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL thought the bill was a good solution.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COGHILL  moved  to  report   SB  102,  version  A,  from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES announced that without  objection, SB 102 moved from                                                               
the Senate Education Standing Committee.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
        SB 103-ED GRANTS/SCHOLARSHIP; INNOVATIVE ED FUND                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
8:12:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced the consideration of SB 103.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BRITTANY HUTCHISON,  Staff, Senator  Anna MacKinnon,  reviewed SB                                                               
103  on behalf  of the  sponsor. She  addressed comments  made by                                                               
public   testimony.   According   to   the   Alaska   Performance                                                               
Scholarship (APS) Outcomes Report  from 2011-2016, 8,606 students                                                               
have  received $48,840,606  in scholarships.  It is  time to  re-                                                               
prioritize spending  on K-12 education to  better prepare 130,000                                                               
students for  life after  high school. The  money is  best served                                                               
where it is constitutionally mandated.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
She  said, according  to  the University  of  Alaska FY18  budget                                                               
overview, out of 100 average  9th graders, 29 won't graduate from                                                               
high school, 40 won't attend  college, 16 will attend college out                                                               
of  state, 10  will  attend UA  but are  not  graduated within  6                                                               
years, and 5 will graduate within  6 years. She opined that these                                                               
are not positive outcomes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
According to  the UA information  system, since the  inception of                                                               
the APS,  remediation rates were  at 53 percent, decreased  to 48                                                               
percent in 2014,  and now are at 52 percent.  Also, the number of                                                               
high  school  seniors entering  the  university  as freshmen  has                                                               
decreased every  year. The  APS has not  increased the  number of                                                               
freshmen  attending  the  university.  She pointed  out  that  25                                                               
percent of  APS recipients  are also UA  Scholars. There  is some                                                               
overlap and getting  rid of the APS is not  as detrimental as has                                                               
been  portrayed.  Students  have access  to  other  scholarships,                                                               
loans, and grants.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:15:26 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  spoke in support  of the bill, but  has concerns                                                               
about doing  away with the  APS. He said the  APS is a  good idea                                                               
and  there has  not  been enough  time  to see  if  it works.  He                                                               
wondered if it is possible to  leave the program in place but cut                                                               
the  funding  to   it  so  that,  when  possible,   it  could  be                                                               
reinstated.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:17:06 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HUTCHISON said it is possible and it is a policy call.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS  said he is  not suggesting that they  change the                                                               
wording in the bill, but to consider it later in the process.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:17:54 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES shared the same concern.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:18:06 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL had  concerns that the APS was dipping  too low -                                                               
to C students. She appreciated  the data from the university. She                                                               
thought the University  Honors Scholar (UHS) Program  for the top                                                               
10 percent was  a great program. She requested the  amount of the                                                               
scholar program.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUTCHISON offered  to provide the amount of  tuition paid for                                                               
by the UHS.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL said she does support  the bill, but the state is                                                               
in financial times.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:20:07 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HUTCHISON  clarified that the  25 percent overlap of  the two                                                               
scholarships is just for the 2015-2016 school year.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:20:44 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH voiced  concern about the lack of time  to work on                                                               
the bill.  He said they  need time to  debate whether the  APS is                                                               
working  and whether  to  revisit it  if it  is  not working.  He                                                               
agreed with  Senator Steven's  idea of leaving  the APS  in place                                                               
and  not funding  it. All  the public  testimony, except  for one                                                               
letter, opposed eliminating the APS.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
He opined  that the  Innovation Grants  provide a  laudable goal,                                                               
however,  you also  must  look at  them in  terms  of the  fiscal                                                               
climate. It  is a voluntary  program, but no district  can afford                                                               
not to  do it. Also,  the bill  directs districts to  do specific                                                               
kinds of  programming and  it should  allow local  communities to                                                               
develop their own programs, not have  to accept the four areas as                                                               
listed on  pages 1 and 2  of the bill.  He said he may  oppose SB                                                               
103  because  of  that,  because it  will  force  communities  to                                                               
compete for the grants, and because it is premature.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
He voiced concerned  that SB 103 does not have  a fiscal note for                                                               
DEED to establish innovative programs,  nor does it show how much                                                               
of the $349 million will be  spent. SB 102's fiscal note does. He                                                               
commended the  sponsor and  the committee for  their work  on the                                                               
bill, but suggested they work on it during the interim.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:25:07 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HUTCHISON explained  that the fiscal note for SB  102 shows a                                                               
repeating amount  of $16  million, an  amount that  should slowly                                                               
decrease. The  goal is  that the  fund would  grow because  it is                                                               
invested at 7 percent annually.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
She said SB 103 is a  guideline and the legislature will not have                                                               
a  say in  what kinds  of grants  are approved;  the commissioner                                                               
will deem  what is  necessary and  appropriate. The  expense will                                                               
have to  come from the  commissioner's budget and be  approved by                                                               
the governor and the legislature.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:26:48 AM                                                                                                                    
HEIDI  TESHNER, Director  Administrative  Service, Department  of                                                               
Education  and Early  Development  (DEED),  addressed the  fiscal                                                               
note for  SB 103. She  said there are  three fiscal notes  for SB                                                               
103.  The first  one is  for the  student and  school achievement                                                               
allocation  and requests  two permanent  full-time positions,  an                                                               
education specialist and an education  associate, for $209,400 in                                                               
the personal services line. Within  the services line, $23,300 is                                                               
requested for department chargebacks and legal service costs.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:28:17 AM                                                                                                                    
STEPHANIE  BUTLER,  Interim   Executive  Director,  Postsecondary                                                               
Education, Department of Education  and Early Development (DEED),                                                               
addressed  two fiscal  notes related  to SB  103. The  first note                                                               
applies to the  repeal of the APS and shows  a reduction from the                                                               
original FY18 appropriation.  It is an estimate.  The second note                                                               
is relative to the repeal of  the Alaska Education Grant. It also                                                               
shows a  reduction from  the original  FY18 appropriation  and is                                                               
based on a statutory formula.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:30:29 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL  thanked the  sponsor of  the bill.  He commented                                                               
that these  are tough  choices in the  time of  fiscal shortages.                                                               
He said  the bill  has a goal  to use the  money more  broadly to                                                               
lift more people up.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
He  shared  concerns.  He  would  prefer that  the  top  tier  of                                                               
students stay  in the APS.  He understood that, given  the budget                                                               
situation,  every  dollar  must   provide  the  best  benefit  to                                                               
students. He said he will support the bill.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:32:45 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  agreed  it  is  a  tough  decision.  She  supports                                                               
scholarships  that  allow  students  to go  beyond  high  school,                                                               
however, state finances are in  different times. The constitution                                                               
says the state  must establish and maintain  K-12 public schools.                                                               
When  it comes  to the  university, the  constitution establishes                                                               
it,  but  has   no  requirement  to  maintain   it.  The  state's                                                               
obligation is  to children.  She said  her goal  is to  have K-12                                                               
students that  graduate more  ready and  eligible for  grants and                                                               
scholarships. The APS  has been a great program and  has helped a                                                               
lot  of students  and families.  She  said she  will support  the                                                               
bill, but  she is not opposed  to keeping the APS  statute on the                                                               
books.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:34:46 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL  moved  to  report   SB  103,  version  O,  from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
notes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  objected. He  agreed that the  key is  to prepare                                                               
children for  college and with the  idea of having more  rigor in                                                               
curriculum.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:35:54 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS  expressed  appreciation for  Senator  Coghill's                                                               
comment on lifting people up. He  spoke in support of the average                                                               
student and  the fact that  they are  also valuable. It  is often                                                               
the average student that accomplishes much in life.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:36:52 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH agreed.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES said  she appreciates the comments  about rigor. She                                                               
added  that  she  heard  from  districts  that  rigorous  courses                                                               
motivate  students. She  encouraged districts  to continue  those                                                               
offerings.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:37:36 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL pointed  out that  there is  also a  remediation                                                               
issue. She  spoke in support of  the bill because it  takes scant                                                               
resources and  drives them down to  the K-12 level. She  said her                                                               
focus is on  the K-3 grade level and reading.  She agreed the APS                                                               
is great, but stressed the importance of funding basic skills.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken. Senators Giessel,  Hughes, Coghill,                                                               
and Stevens  voted in favor of  moving SB 103 from  committee and                                                               
Senator Begich voted against it.  Therefore, SB 103 passed out of                                                               
the Senate Education Standing Committee by a 4:1 vote.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:39:22 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                  SB 104-EDUCATION CURRICULUM                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:40:49 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced the consideration of SB 104.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:41:11 AM                                                                                                                    
BRITTANY HUTCHISON,  Staff, Senator Anna MacKinnon,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  reviewed  SB 104  on  behalf  of the  sponsor.  She                                                               
addressed  concerns of  public  testifiers. She  said  SB 104  is                                                               
completely voluntary. The state plans  to pay for the fiscal note                                                               
and  additional   staff,  if  needed,  curriculum   research  and                                                               
professional development, but it will  not come out of DEED funds                                                               
or  district funds.  It would  come out  of the  Alaska Education                                                               
Innovation Grant  Fund. The  bill will  not touch  local control.                                                               
The  goal is  to  provide a  curriculum in  math  and English  to                                                               
students in  schools that don't  have the necessary  resources to                                                               
come  up with  their  own curriculum.  It  provides a  three-year                                                               
review  reprieve to  help the  commissioner  in implementing  the                                                               
Alaska Education Challenge.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:42:33 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HUTCHISON  summarized that the  three bills are not  meant to                                                               
make  up for  the  difference  in the  BSA  reduction. The  bills                                                               
should provide funding  and cost savings to  school districts and                                                               
provide a funding stream to  bridge the achievement gap and bring                                                               
curriculum, students,  and instruction in line  with 21st Century                                                               
technology.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:43:09 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH asked  what the  impetus for  the bill  was. Many                                                               
districts testified that the bill would have no impact on them.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUTCHISON  replied that  Senator MacKinnon  wrote a  letter a                                                               
few years  ago to the  State Board of Education  regarding common                                                               
curriculum to help  districts. The sponsor has  been contacted by                                                               
smaller schools  with a request  for English and  math curriculum                                                               
help.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH said that is a persuasive answer.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEVENS  asked  if  the  department  could  discuss  the                                                               
implementation.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:45:05 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES requested  clarification of the fiscal  notes for SB                                                               
104. It  says that  (DEED) must  purchase and  provide curriculum                                                               
for  the  seven test  districts  and  make  it available  to  all                                                               
districts.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HUTCHISON  explained  that   the  department  will  purchase                                                               
curriculum using the new Alaska Innovation Education Grant Fund.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked if the  department will pay for the quantities                                                               
the districts need.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUTCHISON offered to find out.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:46:34 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH asked  what happens  if the  Innovation Education                                                               
Grant Fund does not pass.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HUTCHISON replied  it would  come out  of the  Alaska Higher                                                               
Education Fund.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:47:16 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS asked  how the  department  would implement  the                                                               
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:47:29 AM                                                                                                                    
PAUL  PRUSSING, Deputy  Director, Teacher  and Learning  Support,                                                               
Department of  Education and  Early Development  (DEED), answered                                                               
questions related  to SB 104.  He replied  that it would  be very                                                               
challenging for  the department to  implement because  they don't                                                               
have  a content  specialist  and the  testing  of the  curriculum                                                               
would  be extensive  and  costly.  Math would  be  cost $328  per                                                               
student,  so for  Anchorage it  would be  about $30  million. The                                                               
reviewing, testing,  and implementing of the  curriculum would be                                                               
expensive.  He  shared  his experience  with  the  Reading  First                                                               
Curriculum and  the work and  expense involved.  Eventually, they                                                               
discovered an  additional need to have  supplemental programs for                                                               
unique  populations. The  fiscal  note  is indeterminate  because                                                               
there are so many unknowns.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:50:07 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  appreciated the  need for a  curriculum process.                                                               
She asked how a school district chooses a curriculum.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. PRUSSING  explained that  teachers know  their kids  and what                                                               
works for  them. There is  discussion amongst districts  and they                                                               
share curriculum.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:51:22 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES asked  if other states have taken this  on. She said                                                               
it sounds complicated.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PRUSSING  said  he  researched  for  three  days,  including                                                               
talking  with  Education  Northwest,  a  regional  resource,  and                                                               
didn't find much  information. A few states  have undertaken this                                                               
with varying degrees of success.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:52:05 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL  said  it  is  good  information.  He  spoke  of                                                               
developed  curriculum and  the pressure  to buy  it. He  asked if                                                               
cyber education is changing the curriculum makeup.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:53:17 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. PRUSSING  said that some  districts are not  buying textbooks                                                               
any  more. There  is  a market  for a  state's  unique needs  and                                                               
vendors are reacting to those needs.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:54:03 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. TESHNER explained  the indeterminate fiscal note  for SB 104.                                                               
There  would  be   a  need  for  three   positions;  two  content                                                               
specialists,  one in  math  and  one in  Language  Arts, and  one                                                               
support staff.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES asked about the  department purchasing and providing                                                               
curriculum to districts.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:55:07 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  PRUSSING explained  that the  state would  be providing  the                                                               
curriculum  to any  district  that  would like  it.  It could  be                                                               
expensive because some may want books; some technology.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:55:44 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL asked if the department has done this before.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:56:06 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. PRUSSING  replied that the department  has provided resources                                                               
to  districts. In  2005 the  department worked  on a  project for                                                               
lesson plans which  were available on line. It was  not used very                                                               
much.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL recalled an Alaska History curriculum.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:57:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES   commented  that  the  department   would  provide                                                               
evidence-based  curriculum to  ensure  that  districts receive  a                                                               
quality product.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:57:47 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. PRUSSING asked what happens  when the kids are not successful                                                               
when  using a  department-provided  curriculum. He  spoke of  the                                                               
importance   of  local   knowledge  and   the  need   for  yearly                                                               
professional development.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:58:42 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  voiced concern about  the role of  local control                                                               
in this process.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PRUSSING thought  the bill  would change  the role  of local                                                               
control because  the curriculum  might not  have the  approval of                                                               
the local school board.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:00:07 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES pointed  out that the curriculum is  optional, and a                                                               
district could continue with what they are currently doing.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:00:29 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. PRUSSING  referred to page  1, line  9, which says  the State                                                               
Board  shall   approve  curricula   used  by  the   five  largest                                                               
districts.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:00:41 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  pointed out that  it also includes  the Regional                                                               
Education Attendance Areas (REAA).                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:01:02 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HUTCHISON  stated  that  the bill  is  voluntary  and  local                                                               
control  is  not  being  touched.   In  the  first  section,  the                                                               
curriculum  approval  and review  is  only  for the  first  three                                                               
years. There  will be curriculum  available, but no one  must use                                                               
it. The  bill provides  a break  for three  years from  having to                                                               
establish new curriculum.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES summarized that it  gives the department the ability                                                               
to approve the curriculum for five districts.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:03:17 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HUTCHISON corrected  that since  the five  largest districts                                                               
and the two  REAAs have curriculum that is  already approved, the                                                               
department will  approve it  and make  it available  to everyone.                                                               
They will allow it to be used for three more years.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:03:53 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL  suggested  to  use  "the  board  shall  approve                                                               
curricula currently used by" on page 1, line 9.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES thanked Senator Giessel.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COGHILL  moved  to  report   SB  104,  version  J,  from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES announced that without  objection, SB 104 moved from                                                               
the Senate Education Standing Committee.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
She commented that it would be  FY19 or FY20 before the Education                                                               
Innovative Grant Fund would be  available to districts. She asked                                                               
the sponsor to consider making something available sooner.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:06:17 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
             SB 99-PRE-ELEMENTARY PROGRAMS/FUNDING                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:06:55 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced the consideration of SB 99.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  TOM BEGICH,  sponsor of  SB 99,  presented the  bill. He                                                               
related the  importance of quality  early education.  He stressed                                                               
the  value of  providing  students the  opportunity, before  they                                                               
enter kindergarten,  to prove school readiness.  Research suggest                                                               
that students who have access  to high quality preschool are less                                                               
likely to be  incarcerated and less likely  to receive government                                                               
assistance as adults.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He  related that  Alaska's  current  pre-Kindergarten programs  -                                                               
such as  those in Anchorage,  Mat-Su, the Lower  Kuskokwim School                                                               
District,  and  Nome,  offer opportunities  and  quality  program                                                               
which  have been  described to  the  education committees.  Early                                                               
education  programs   including  Head  Start,   Best  Beginnings,                                                               
Parents  as  Teachers, the  work  of  DEED, and  grants,  provide                                                               
access  to  high-quality  early  education,  beginning  with  the                                                               
lowest performing districts.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
He continued  to say that  high quality pre-K education  can save                                                               
up to  $7 in  long-term government expense  by reducing  the need                                                               
for remedial  education and involvement  in the  criminal justice                                                               
and public assistance systems.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:09:36 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  said smart investments  in oil and  gas royalties                                                               
and the  PFD have  made the  state one  of the  most economically                                                               
equitable  in the  country. Similar  smart  investments in  early                                                               
education have the  potential to create a  generation of Alaskans                                                               
prepared to make  the greatest impact on this state  that we have                                                               
ever  seen. This  is an  example  of the  importance of  research                                                               
first then investment, in the long run.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:10:40 AM                                                                                                                    
SYDNEY   KAUFMAN,  Ph.D.,   Staff,   Alaska  State   Legislature,                                                               
presented the sectional analysis of SB 99:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1.                                                                                                               
     Establishes  that elementary  schools also  includes an                                                                    
     early  education  program,  whether operated  within  a                                                                    
     public school or by an outside organization.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2.                                                                                                               
     Establishes that  a four or five-year-old,  who has not                                                                    
     attended kindergarten,  is eligible to attend  a public                                                                    
     school early education program.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3.                                                                                                               
     Creates a  stair-step, 3-year grant program  to provide                                                                    
     training and assist a school  district in developing an                                                                    
     early  education  program.  In  year  one,  the  lowest                                                                    
     performing 20%  of school districts (as  established in                                                                    
     2017)  will be  eligible  for a  grant  to establish  a                                                                    
     district-wide,  high quality  early education  program.                                                                    
     In year two, the next  lowest performing 20 % of school                                                                    
     districts  will be  eligible for  the three-year  grant                                                                    
     program  to establish  an early  education program.  At                                                                    
     the end  of the three-year grant  cycle, the Department                                                                    
     of  Education and  Early  Development (the  department)                                                                    
     will be  responsible for determining if  the district's                                                                    
     early education program  complies with state standards.                                                                    
     The grants will be available  to the next lowest 20% of                                                                    
     school  districts   until  all  school   districts  are                                                                    
     offered the opportunity to participate included.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:12:10 AM                                                                                                                    
      Section 4.                                                                                                              
     Directs   the  department   to   supervise  all   early                                                                    
     education  programs and  approve those  early education                                                                    
     programs created by the early education grant program.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5.                                                                                                               
         Defines an "early education program" as a pre-                                                                         
     kindergarten school  for students 3-5 years  old if its                                                                    
     primary   function  is   educational.  The   3-year-old                                                                    
     students  are not  included in  the  program this  bill                                                                    
     proposes,  but  are included  to  ensure  they are  not                                                                    
     excluded from existing State and Federal programs.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:12:54 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH noted it is conforming language so there is not                                                                  
the unintended consequence of putting three-year-olds into an                                                                   
elementary school program.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:13:36 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. KAUFMAN continued:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 6.                                                                                                               
     Directs  the  board   to  adopt  regulations  regarding                                                                    
     funding as  well as  statewide and  local goals  for an                                                                    
     early education program.  Regulations shall ensure that                                                                    
     early  education programs  have the  flexibility to  be                                                                    
     locally  designed and  culturally appropriate,  so long                                                                    
     as  they  meet  early  education  standards.  An  early                                                                    
     education program  may be either  full day (6  hour) or                                                                    
     half day (at least 2 hours)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section 7.                                                                                                               
     For funding purposes, an  early education student shall                                                                    
     be  counted  in  the school  district's  average  daily                                                                    
     membership  as  a  half  day  student  once  the  early                                                                    
     education program has been approved by the department.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 8.                                                                                                               
     Adds early  education to consideration  for determining                                                                    
     the number of elementary schools in a district.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:14:40 AM                                                                                                                    
     Section 9.                                                                                                               
      Ensures that early education students who currently                                                                       
      receive State or Federal funding for early education                                                                      
     are not included in the ADM for purposes of funding.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 10.                                                                                                              
      Directs early education program staff to be included                                                                      
     in those organizations required to report evidence of                                                                      
     child abuse.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section 11.                                                                                                              
     Repeals the early education grant program in 10 years,                                                                     
     once all school districts have had the opportunity to                                                                      
     apply.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:15:22 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH clarified in Section  9, if a student is receiving                                                               
federal  money  now  for  early education,  the  student  is  not                                                               
included  in the  ADM for  purposes  of funding.  The reason  the                                                               
Early Education  Grant Program will  be repealed in ten  years is                                                               
that every  district in the  state will have had  the opportunity                                                               
to join  a universal voluntary  preschool. He noted  Oklahoma has                                                               
the highest rate of voluntary  early education. Alaska has done a                                                               
good job  of building quality  preschools. The long-term  goal is                                                               
to   create  a   sustainable,  affordable,   programmatic  tiered                                                               
approach, splitting districts into five cohorts.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He said the department will address the fiscal notes.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGHES mentioned  those who  could answer  questions about                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:17:33 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  suggested that homes without  parental support need                                                               
preschool  more  than those  with  support.  She said  the  grant                                                               
targets low achieving  students and inquired why  it is available                                                               
to those who might not need the grant.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:18:53 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH  explained  that  they  started  with  the  lower                                                               
achieving districts due to a  constitutional obligation to do so.                                                               
Educational  opportunity  must  be  offered to  all  students  in                                                               
Alaska, but it is a choice by parents to make use of them.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:20:13 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES asked  if there  is anything  to prohibit  a tribal                                                               
organization from offering pre-elementary programs.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH said no. The  bill encourages tribal participation                                                               
and  is part  of the  reason for  two sections  in the  bill. One                                                               
ensures  the ability  to  collaborate with  Head  Start, and  the                                                               
cultural  component  in  the  bill  encourages  participation  by                                                               
tribes.  The  intent  of  the bill  is  to  encourage  continuing                                                               
partnerships with existing entities.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:21:00 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL  thanked him  for the  thoughtful bill.  He liked                                                               
the tiered process,  but getting the money will  be difficult. He                                                               
struggles with  the fact that  grade 1-3 students should  be able                                                               
to read,  and he was  not sure the  bill addresses that.  He said                                                               
the system fails  many students. He hoped the  bill would address                                                               
this and supports the idea of reaching out to families.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:23:06 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH referred  to  a handout  that  shows research  in                                                               
Alaska  where pre-K  has taken  place;  those kids  go to  school                                                               
ready  to learn.  He used  the  Lower Kuskokwim  and Nome  School                                                               
District as examples. Research shows that  it is time to stop the                                                               
demonstration grant  and ensure  that pre-K  is available  to all                                                               
students. Those are the critical years for learning.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:25:35 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL said  they have  tried Parents  as Teachers  and                                                               
other methods  to encourage  parents to step  up. He  takes issue                                                               
when the  state relieves families  of their  responsibilities. He                                                               
questioned where the funding will come from.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:26:28 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  addressed Senator  Coghill's funding  concern. He                                                               
hoped in the future "the way we  do these resources and how we do                                                               
them will be identified."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:26:57 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  liked the  bill. He  did not  know how  rigor in                                                               
education fits into preschool. He  spoke in favor of local design                                                               
and culturally appropriate needs in  the bill, but he hoped there                                                               
was  substance in  the  program.  He asked  how  to  know if  the                                                               
program works and if the money is well spent.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:27:45 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  said they  know because on  page 7,  the criteria                                                               
that are  set out are the  tested methodology that is  used, such                                                               
as high-quality  teachers, types  of programming,  and standards.                                                               
He said  it is  the Oklahoma  standard that  has been  tested and                                                               
measured. The  quality of Alaska  experience would also  apply to                                                               
this  legislation. The  department will  write regulations  using                                                               
their models of quality outcomes.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
He  noted the  backup  data shows  dramatic  increases in  school                                                               
readiness  because of  this type  of  program. He  said he  would                                                               
provide  a copy  of  it to  the committee.  It  will be  measured                                                               
against  the  standards   of  9  years  of   experience  and  the                                                               
department  will have  jurisdiction  over  whether programs  will                                                               
continue. After three  years if the department  deems a preschool                                                               
is not meeting quality standards, it will not be approved.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:30:32 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES invited Ms. Johnson to testify.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:31:07 AM                                                                                                                    
MEGHAN JOHNSON, Director, Learn and  Grow in THREAD, testified in                                                               
support of  SB 99. She  shared the goals  of Learn and  Grow. She                                                               
said  she   will  address  what  high   quality  early  childhood                                                               
education  looks  like. She  implored  the  legislature to  think                                                               
about children's futures.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:32:34 AM                                                                                                                    
She said  there are approximately  40,000 children under  the age                                                               
of six  in Alaska where  both parents  work and there  is limited                                                               
access  to  affordable,  quality   programs.  A  lot  of  quality                                                               
practice has to  do with what is appropriate  for the development                                                               
of birth  to age  5 children.  Parents play  the primary  role in                                                               
supporting this development, but if  they work, it falls to early                                                               
childhood teachers and programs.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
She  shared the  most  recent early  care  and learning  economic                                                               
report   by  the   McDowell  Group.   Early  care   and  learning                                                               
contributes $2 billion to Alaska's  economy each year. She listed                                                               
financial benefits of early childhood education.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
She said there is a  lack of affordable early childhood programs.                                                               
She noted  that pre-K can  be a high-quality choice  for parents.                                                               
She described the soft skills children need.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:35:07 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.   JOHNSON  described   several   factors  affect   children's                                                               
development  and what  is needed  to  support relationships  with                                                               
other children.  Teachers have specialized  training and  work in                                                               
partnership  with parents  in  these areas.  She  said there  are                                                               
decreased costs for special education and incarceration due to                                                                  
early childhood education.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:37:33 AM                                                                                                                    
She provided a story of a family that was not able to enter a                                                                   
pre-K program and how their son struggled in school.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES thanked Ms. Johnson and held SB 99 in committee.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:40:33 AM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Hughes adjourned the Senate Education Standing Committee                                                                  
meeting at 9:40 a.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 99 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SEDC 4/7/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 99
SB 99 - Legislation Ver. O.pdf SEDC 4/7/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 99
SB 99 - Sectional Analysis.pdf SEDC 4/7/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 99
SB 99 - Fiscal Note - EED-ELC-03-31-17.pdf SEDC 4/7/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 99
SB 99 - Fiscal Note - EED-FP-03-31-17.pdf SEDC 4/7/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 99
SB 99 - Fiscal Note - EED-PEF-03-31-17.pdf SEDC 4/7/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 99
SB 99 - Fiscal Note - EED-PK-04-03-17.pdf SEDC 4/7/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 99
SB 102 - Fiscal Note - EED-LO-4-6-17.pdf SEDC 4/7/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 102
SB 103 - Fiscal Note - EED-SSA-04-05-17.pdf SEDC 4/7/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 103
SB 103 - Fiscal Note - EED-ACPE-04-05-17.pdf SEDC 4/7/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 103
SB 103 - Fiscal Note - EED-APSA-04-05-17.pdf SEDC 4/7/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 103
SB 104 - Fiscal Note - EED-SSA-04-06-17.pdf SEDC 4/7/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 104
Comment SB 102 103 and 104-KPBSD Dusek.pdf SEDC 4/7/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 102
SB 102, 103, 104 Email Comments.pdf SEDC 4/7/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 102