Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106

04/10/2017 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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08:01:25 AM Start
08:02:11 AM Presentation: Alaska Council of School Administrators
09:33:39 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Joint with the House Education Committee
+ Presentation: Alaska Council on School TELECONFERENCED
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
                         JOINT MEETING                                                                                        
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 10, 2017                                                                                         
                           8:01 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                              
 Representative Harriet Drummond, Chair                                                                                         
 Representative Justin Parish, Vice Chair                                                                                       
 Representative Zach Fansler                                                                                                    
 Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                   
 Representative Jennifer Johnston                                                                                               
 Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                      
 Representative David Talerico                                                                                                  
 Representative Lora Reinbold (alternate)                                                                                       
SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                             
 Senator Shelley Hughes, Chair                                                                                                  
 Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                           
 Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                          
 Senator John Coghill                                                                                                           
 Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                             
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                              
 Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                      
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION:  ALASKA COUNCIL OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS (ACSA)                                                                   
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
LISA SKILES PARADY, PhD                                                                                                         
Executive Director                                                                                                              
Alaska Council of School Administrators                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented the overview of the Alaska                                                                  
Council of School Administrators.                                                                                               
BOBBI JO ERB, Math Instructor                                                                                                   
Alaska Staff Development Network                                                                                                
Alaska Council of School Administrators; Executive Director                                                                     
Curriculum Instruction                                                                                                          
Anchorage School District                                                                                                       
Chugiak, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented the overview of the Alaska                                                                  
Council of School Administrators.                                                                                               
MARY MCMAHON, Principal                                                                                                         
Colony Middle School; President                                                                                                 
Alaska Council of School Administrators; President                                                                              
Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals                                                                               
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented the overview of the Alaska                                                                  
Council of School Administrators.                                                                                               
SEAN DUSEK, Superintendent                                                                                                      
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District; President                                                                              
Alaska Superintendents Association                                                                                              
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented the overview of the Alaska                                                                  
Council of School Administrators.                                                                                               
DEANNA BECK, Principal                                                                                                          
Northwood ABC Elementary School; President                                                                                      
Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals                                                                              
North Pole, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented the overview of the Alaska                                                                  
Council of School Administrators.                                                                                               
HOLLY HOLMAN, Business Manager                                                                                                  
Unalaska City School District; President                                                                                        
Alaska Association of School Business Officials (ALASBO)                                                                        
Unalaska, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented the overview of the Alaska                                                                  
Council of School Administrators.                                                                                               
DR. DEENA BISHOP, PhD                                                                                                           
Anchorage School District                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Co-presented  the overview  of the  Alaska                                                             
Council of School Administrators.                                                                                               
KERSTEN JOHNSON-STRUEMPLER, Principal                                                                                           
South Anchorage High School; President                                                                                          
Anchorage Principals Association                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Co-presented  the overview  of the  Alaska                                                             
Council of School Administrators.                                                                                               
DAVID STEVENS, PhD                                                                                                              
Research Manager                                                                                                                
Regional Educational Laboratory at Education Northwest                                                                          
Portland, Oregon                                                                                                                
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Co-presented  the overview  of the  Alaska                                                             
Council of School Administrators.                                                                                               
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:01:25 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHELLEY HUGHES  called the joint meeting of  the Senate and                                                             
House  Education  Standing  Committees  to  order  at  8:01  a.m.                                                               
Present at the  call to order from the  Senate Education Standing                                                               
Committee  were Senators  Hughes, Giessel,  Stevens, and  Begich.                                                               
Senator Coghill arrived as the  meeting was in progress.  Present                                                               
at the call to order  from the House Education Standing Committee                                                               
were Representatives Drummond,  Parish, Talerico, Kopp, Johnston,                                                               
Spohnholz,  and  Fansler.   Representative  Reinbold  (alternate)                                                               
arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                         
^PRESENTATION:  Alaska Council of School Administrators                                                                         
8:02:11 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
a presentation  from the Alaska Council  of School Administrators                                                               
8:02:46 AM                                                                                                                    
LISA SKILES  PARADY, PhD, Executive  Director, Alaska  Council of                                                               
School  Administrators,   directed  attention  to   a  PowerPoint                                                               
presentation  entitled,   "ACSA"  [undated],  and   informed  the                                                               
committees  ACSA is  the umbrella  organization representing  the                                                               
Alaska Association  of Elementary  School Principals,  the Alaska                                                               
Association   of   Secondary   School  Principals,   the   Alaska                                                               
Superintendents  Association,  and   the  Alaska  Association  of                                                               
School  Business  Officials.    Dr.   Parady  stated  ACSA  is  a                                                               
nonprofit,  tax exempt  corporation established  in 1973  for two                                                               
purposes:   Organized  advocacy working  to support  students and                                                               
families in Alaska, and to  provide professional learning (slides                                                               
1-2).    Professional  learning   is  through  the  Alaska  Staff                                                               
Development Network  (ASDN) which is a  nonprofit administered by                                                               
ACSA  that has  been providing  quality professional  development                                                               
for  Alaska educators  with  face-to-face  and distance  learning                                                               
programs for  almost 35  years (slide  3).   The focus  of ACSA's                                                               
presentation will  be on professional  learning and she  said the                                                               
network  supports   approximately  30  percent  of   the  state's                                                               
professional staff of  educators - mostly in rural  Alaska - with                                                               
5,000-6,000 classes, and over 60  online and blended courses each                                                               
year.     Dr.  Parady   described  the   network's  well-utilized                                                               
partnerships with entities such  as NEA-Alaska and the University                                                               
of  Alaska  (UA)  (slide  4).    [ASDN's]  partnership  with  the                                                               
Department  of Education  and Early  Development (DEED)  includes                                                               
outreach  efforts  such  as  an  upcoming  statewide  meeting  in                                                               
Anchorage regarding  the Every Student Succeeds  Act (ESSA) state                                                               
plan.     Today's   presentation   will   highlight  the   Alaska                                                               
Professional  Learning  Network  (AkPLN),   which  is  a  virtual                                                               
learning effort open to all K-12 educators at no cost (slide 5).                                                                
8:08:10 AM                                                                                                                    
BOBBI JO ERB, Math Instructor,  Alaska Staff Development Network,                                                               
Alaska Council of School  Administrators, and Executive Director,                                                               
Curriculum  Instruction,  Anchorage   School  District,  provided                                                               
brief  background  information and  noted  her  recent work  with                                                               
rural  schools.   Ms.  Erb began  her  presentation by  stressing                                                               
teachers who  are working in  small, rural, school sites  need to                                                               
collaborate with other  teachers, principals, district personnel,                                                               
and educational organizations.   She said this  need is addressed                                                               
by  the  Ak  Professional  Learning Network  (AkPLN),  an  online                                                               
professional  collaboration  space  and a  statewide  partnership                                                               
between  DEED,  ACSA,  and the  TeachingChannel  (Tch),  that  is                                                               
funded by ACSA  and federal funds at no cost  to Alaska educators                                                               
(slides 6  and 7).   Currently, AkPLN provides resources  to over                                                               
750 educators across the state;  the resources are available only                                                               
to Alaska  educators and relate  only to education in  Alaska and                                                               
its students.  Ms. Erb stated  the AkPLN web site provides videos                                                               
of  effective K-12  teaching practices,  in  many subject  areas,                                                               
presented by  educators in  Alaska and  elsewhere.   Further, the                                                               
web  site  provides  teachers ideas  for  lessons,  instructional                                                               
strategies, and opportunities to join  groups in order to benefit                                                               
from the  experiences of  other Alaska  educators.   She restated                                                               
the importance of collaboration  for teachers who otherwise would                                                               
be  isolated.   Finally, AkPLN  allows modern,  personalized, and                                                               
professional  learning  that  can be  accessed  online  utilizing                                                               
existing technological tools  (slide 8).  Ms. Erb  listed some of                                                               
the existing groups available to  teachers:  text structures; in-                                                               
depth study  of content  and instructional  strategies; extension                                                               
of face-to-face  learning; learning with  webinars; collaboration                                                               
and professional learning for certain districts (slide 9).                                                                      
8:13:08 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. ERB  directed attention  to the "Deep  Dives" feature  on the                                                               
AkPLN web  site which provides a  series of videos on  a specific                                                               
topic.   Another  feature is  Learning  Pathways, which  contains                                                               
over 60  videos designed specifically  for Alaska  educators, and                                                               
that contain learning  plans mostly related to  language arts and                                                               
math (slide  10).   Returning to  the Groups  feature of  the web                                                               
site,  she  further described  four  steps  of a  learning  plan:                                                               
Welcome; WHY:  Gather and Focus;  TRY:  Watch and Analyze; APPLY:                                                               
Receive  and provide  feedback (slide  11).   She related  Alaska                                                               
teachers have  asked for professional learning  that is relevant,                                                               
hands-on,   sustained,  collaborative,   and  job-imbedded,   and                                                               
explained how  successfully AkPLN has  responded (slide 12).   To                                                               
maintain  a  high  level  of learning,  AkPLN  holds  the  Alaska                                                               
Effective  Instruction   Conference  in  January   which  gathers                                                               
educators  in  Anchorage for  three  days  of intensive  learning                                                               
about best practices for instruction  (slide 13).  Another way to                                                               
extend  learning  is  through  the   use  of  webinars,  and  she                                                               
described  a  webinar series  that  provides  a blended  learning                                                               
experience by incorporating  relevant responses from participants                                                               
to guide  the webinar content  through the AkPLN web  site (slide                                                               
14).  Rural and urban districts  and schools are also using AkPLN                                                               
as  a  communication  device  to   share  resources,  methods  of                                                               
classroom management, and other information.                                                                                    
8:20:11 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. ERB  turned attention  to a  graph of  AkPLN usage  data that                                                               
indicated between 9/1/16 and 3/15/17,  there were 7,771 visits to                                                               
the web site  (slide 16).  Slide 17 indicated  between 9/1/16 and                                                               
3/15/17,  there were  2,201 video  plays, and  she said  feedback                                                               
from  educators around  the state  has  been positive  as to  the                                                               
content and format of the web site (slide 18).                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  whether  there is  a  cap on  the                                                               
number of participants in a Learning Pathway.                                                                                   
MS.  ERB said  there is  no cap,  but groups  generally pursue  a                                                               
learning plan together to encourage collaboration.                                                                              
SENATOR BEGICH returned attention to  slide 17, and asked for the                                                               
cause of the increase in video play during February [2017].                                                                     
MS. ERB  stated the  increase occurred due  to the  conference in                                                               
January and the webinars that were active on the web site.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  questioned  whether  the  web  site  is                                                               
proprietary  to  educators or  if  committee  members could  gain                                                               
MS. ERB said committee members would be provided access.                                                                        
8:24:01 AM                                                                                                                    
MARY MCMAHON, Principal, Colony  Middle School, President, Alaska                                                               
Council   of   School   Administrators  and   President,   Alaska                                                               
Association  of  Secondary   School  Principals,  provided  brief                                                               
background information and noted her  long career in education in                                                               
Alaska began  when she  received one  of the  teacher scholarship                                                               
loans that were previously available.   She directed attention to                                                               
the  document entitled,  "ACSA 2017  Joint Position  Statements,"                                                               
and said  all of  Alaska's leaders  in education  form a  team to                                                               
develop the  joint position statements  and to determine  what is                                                               
most  important  to  public  education in  Alaska.    The  team's                                                               
mission  statement  is:   Leadership,  unity,  and  advocacy  for                                                               
public  education.   Ms.  McMahon  pointed  out the  first  joint                                                               
position  statement is  in support  of  adequate and  sustainable                                                               
funding.   Speaking as  the president  of AASSP,  and personally,                                                               
she  said [leaders  in  the educational  system]  must serve  and                                                               
support excellence in schools -  and in educational leadership at                                                               
all levels - due to the  importance of education to the future of                                                               
the state.  She  provided a brief anecdote of how  a group of 8th                                                               
grade  students  were affected  by  current  events and  came  to                                                               
conclusions about what  is necessary to have  great leadership in                                                               
government.     [Document  provided   in  the   committee  packet                                                               
entitled, "Light & Lead the Way"].                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON asked how  the mission statements of ACSA                                                               
and its core groups differ.                                                                                                     
MS. MCMAHON said the mission  statements to provide excellence at                                                               
all  levels is  a common  statement, but  the organizations  have                                                               
separate  goals  and  priorities.   She  referred  to  the  joint                                                               
position statements  that indicate educators are  united in doing                                                               
what is best for students,  including [public education] business                                                               
officials.   In further response to  Representative Johnston, she                                                               
said  she  would provide  a  description  of each  organization's                                                               
8:32:08 AM                                                                                                                    
SEAN  DUSEK,  Superintendent,   Kenai  Peninsula  Borough  School                                                               
District   (KBPSD),   and   President,   Alaska   Superintendents                                                               
Association,  said  his  school   district  serves  almost  9,000                                                               
students and  he provided  a graph of  the KPBSD  graduation rate                                                               
(slide 25).   Mr. Dusek expressed  pride in the district  and its                                                               
increasing graduation  rate that  is due  to innovations  such as                                                               
"Classroom without Walls."  Innovations  are happening in his and                                                               
other districts across the state,  but educational leaders remain                                                               
committed  to making  additional improvements.   He  said a  high                                                               
school diploma is  meaningful and pointed out  that the increased                                                               
KPBSD  graduation rate  in fiscal  year 2012  (FY 12),  coincided                                                               
with  the  first  year  of full  implementation  of  the  current                                                               
funding formula.  He observed for  several years KPBSD was at the                                                               
base cost  differential -  even though  the district  has schools                                                               
with a  higher cost of education  due to their location  - and is                                                               
not a  road system  district, but  is a  microcosm of  the state.                                                               
However, KPBSD  is an example  of success following the  years of                                                               
appropriate  and adequate  funding.    For example,  professional                                                               
development has  helped move teachers beyond  textbooks to online                                                               
programs;  in fact,  professional development  is a  priority for                                                               
teachers,  and  is  an investment  in  better  teaching  methods.                                                               
Slide  16 was  a list  of the  number of  KPBSD students  who are                                                               
earning industry  certifications and he said  this program places                                                               
students in future highly-paid and  high-demand jobs; the program                                                               
is  offered   through  the  district's  partnership   with  Kenai                                                               
Peninsula  College.   In addition,  the  Kenai Peninsula  Borough                                                               
helps  fund  the Jumpstart  program  so  that students  can  earn                                                               
college  credits.    He  said KPBSD's  graduates  are  ready  for                                                               
college, and spoke of a  future partnership with UA that warrants                                                               
state  support.     Mr.  Dusek  concluded   partnerships  between                                                               
districts  will result  in further  exciting  growth, adding  his                                                               
strong support for  the Alaska Challenge process  that will drive                                                               
improvement across the state.                                                                                                   
8:38:31 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  referred to a  proposal that would reduce  over 5                                                               
percent  from the  base  student allocation  and  asked what  the                                                               
impact of a 5 percent reduction would be.                                                                                       
MR.  DUSEK said  the proposed  "cut"  has been  explained as  one                                                               
nickel from one dollar; however,  the cut would create a dollar's                                                               
worth of  loss to students  because a  loss of $5  million equals                                                               
the loss  of 50  teachers.   For school  districts that  are also                                                               
funded by  boroughs, the  reduction is a  double cut  as boroughs                                                               
would  also  reduce  funding.    Further, with  the  loss  of  50                                                               
teaching  positions,  teachers  and their  families  would  leave                                                               
districts.  He  pledged KPBSD will do its  best using technology,                                                               
but programs such as the  industry certification program would be                                                               
jeopardized by the loss of teachers.                                                                                            
CHAIR  HUGHES  asked whether  KPBSD  is  interested in  receiving                                                               
support  from the  state  to relieve  school  districts from  the                                                               
rising cost of healthcare.                                                                                                      
MR.  DUSEK said  yes, and  urged the  committees to  address this                                                               
issue so funds for healthcare are not diverted from classrooms.                                                                 
8:42:26 AM                                                                                                                    
DEANNA  BECK, Principal,  Northwood  ABC  Elementary School,  and                                                               
President,  Alaska Association  of  Elementary School  Principals                                                               
(AAESP), provided  brief background information and  informed the                                                               
committee  of   the  challenges   to  preparing  students   in  a                                                               
competitive   and   changing  world   in   which   the  pace   of                                                               
technological advancement is unprecedented,  and discovery of new                                                               
information may double  every two years.  To keep  pace with this                                                               
advancement, students need skills to  prepare them for an unknown                                                               
future and  to facilitate  lifelong learning.   She  said schools                                                               
focus on  challenging all students  to meet their  full potential                                                               
by teaching  rigor, perseverance, grit, and  resiliency.  Instead                                                               
of memorization,  students need to  learn how to  question, think                                                               
deeply, and  solve problems.   Furthermore, the  school community                                                               
serves  learners  with a  wide  variety  of needs;  for  example,                                                               
Anchorage provides choice in its  schools ranging from a focus on                                                               
back to  basics or open  optional, immersion  options, STEM-based                                                               
schools,  and resources  for home-schooling.    Ms. Beck  closed,                                                               
advising today's  schools respond  to the  needs of  students and                                                               
families, implement  a variety of  programs, and  enable students                                                               
to  be  lifelong  learners,  as  envisioned  in  the  ACSA  joint                                                               
position statements.                                                                                                            
CHAIR HUGHES asked how testing  for a certain character set could                                                               
identify   and   foster   students    who   may   become   future                                                               
MS.  BECK  said employability  skills  that  are necessary  today                                                               
include the use of devices -  such as computers and calculators -                                                               
project-based  learning, working  collaboratively, problems  with                                                               
multiple  solutions, and  how to  consider, achieve,  and justify                                                               
8:49:31 AM                                                                                                                    
HOLLY HOLMAN,  Business Manager,  Unalaska City  School District,                                                               
and President,  Alaska Association  of School  Business Officials                                                               
(ALASBO),  informed  the committees  the  members  of ALASBO  are                                                               
those  who  work in  K-12  school  district business  offices  on                                                               
budgets,  financial  reporting,  grant  administration,  payroll,                                                               
purchasing,   e-rate,   bus   contracts,  and   other   financial                                                               
operations.   For 45 years  ALASBO's mission has been  to promote                                                               
the  highest  standards  in school  business  practices  and  its                                                               
vision  is  educating  stakeholders   in  the  effective  use  of                                                               
resources  for  the  benefit  of  Alaska's  children  by  sharing                                                               
knowledge and  expertise, and providing  information, efficiency,                                                               
and  collaboration.   Ms. Holman  gave  a personal  story of  the                                                               
support  she received  from ALASBO  members  26 years  ago.   She                                                               
pointed out  the Unalaska City  School District has a  nearly 100                                                               
percent graduation rate  and credited its success  with the money                                                               
the  district   directs  to   classrooms;  however,   this  means                                                               
administrative services have a very  small staff and benefit from                                                               
the network provided by ALASBO.   [ALASBO] members appreciate the                                                               
priority  given to  education funding  and have  advocated for  a                                                               
fiscal plan  in the state for  ten years; such a  plan would mean                                                               
school districts  would operate  most efficiently.   In addition,                                                               
ALASBO  members collaborate  with  ACSA in  their joint  position                                                               
statements  and  its  top  priority   positions  on  funding  for                                                               
education  and a  revenue-enhanced  fiscal plan.   She  explained                                                               
ALASBO  builds  relationships  with   policymakers  in  order  to                                                               
provide  information  on  school  funding issues  and  to  answer                                                               
questions  on school  funding proposals.    Ms. Holman  described                                                               
work  done  in   regard  to  the  upcoming   2017  ALASBO  annual                                                               
conference, and on training programs  such as the School Business                                                               
Academy,  the  ALASBO  Improvement Model,  and  mentoring  School                                                               
Business Academy attendees.                                                                                                     
8:56:03 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON  asked  whether  ALASBO  has  considered                                                               
grouping  all  its  school  district  membership  in  a  bid  for                                                               
MS.  HOLMAN said  yes, and  reported healthcare  represents 20-25                                                               
percent  of the  Unalaska City  School District  budget; however,                                                               
her district is  already in a self-insured pool,  and ALASBO will                                                               
continue to consider alternatives  to address the healthcare cost                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  FANSLER  asked   what  happens  when  predictable                                                               
funding is not available.                                                                                                       
MS. HOLMAN related  the Unalaska City School  District must delay                                                               
hiring  teachers for  critical and  specialized vacant  positions                                                               
due  to  the  uncertainty  of  funding.    Further,  renewals  of                                                               
contracts,  planning student  travel,  fuel  budgeting, and  many                                                               
other situations are negatively affected.                                                                                       
9:00:23 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.   DEENA  BISHOP,   PhD,   Superintendent,  Anchorage   School                                                               
District,  provided  a  PowerPoint presentation  entitled,  "Data                                                               
Dashboard  Anchorage School  District,"  [undated]  and said  the                                                               
Anchorage  School District  (ASD) sought  to change  and be  more                                                               
accountable to  the state, its  residents, and its  students, and                                                               
thus created  a data dashboard.   Previously, ASD  collected data                                                               
on student  learning, climate connectiveness, and  other types of                                                               
data  that "has  just been  numbers"; however,  she said  data is                                                               
information that must become wisdom  that can be used to redirect                                                               
[educational] resources.   The data dashboard is  not specific to                                                               
individual  students   and  classrooms,   but  is  a   portal  of                                                               
information  on  the  ASD  web  site  to  which  the  public  and                                                               
stakeholders  have access  that shows  the value  of the  state's                                                               
investment in education  and in students.  She  provided a series                                                               
of computer  screen prints [slides  33-37] which  illustrated the                                                               
type of data that can be  accessed, such as attendance - the data                                                               
can be very  specific as to school sites and  by gender, race, or                                                               
ethnicity  -  overall  academic  status  for  reading  levels  in                                                               
elementary  schools, and  students with  at least  one "F"  mark,                                                               
which  can lead  to non-graduation  from high  school.   Slide 36                                                               
showed percent  on-track students, and  she restated data  can be                                                               
available by school  or location.  Further,  measures of academic                                                               
performance (MAP) data  reveals students' growth by  school.  Dr.                                                               
Bishop concluded  the data dashboard  provides a means  to answer                                                               
the What, So  What, and Now What questions about  schools and how                                                               
to improve them;  schools are successful only  when students find                                                               
success after high school [slide 38].                                                                                           
9:08:19 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH questioned the impact  of the proposed $22 million                                                               
cut  to ASD's  budget on  the district's  ability to  continue to                                                               
show  improvement,   and  to  provide  alternative   programs  to                                                               
DR. BISHOP  advised ASD is  a large organization with  over 6,000                                                               
employees who  have an  impact of $750  million on  the Anchorage                                                               
economy.    The  governor's  budget  provided  flat  funding  for                                                               
Anchorage, based on adjusted average  daily membership (ADM), and                                                               
with that  budget ASD  would gain a  slight increase  in revenue;                                                               
however,  with increases  in  the cost  of  living, the  district                                                               
would have  a $15 million  shortfall.  The previous  reduction to                                                               
ASD was balanced  by $5 million from other sources  and a loss of                                                               
100 positions.   Dr. Bishop  observed an additional  reduction of                                                               
$22 million  would be significant,  not only to education  but to                                                               
the economy of the state.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH asked what the  impact of the proposed cuts                                                               
would be on class sizes and graduation rates.                                                                                   
DR. BISHOP estimated a cut of  $22 million would result in a loss                                                               
of   200  fulltime   employees;   currently,  ASD   has  a   21:1                                                               
student/teacher ratio in kindergarten, and  a 29:1 ratio in grade                                                               
12.  However, the ratios are not  a cap, but a mean ratio applied                                                               
throughout a school.   With a $22 million  reduction, class sizes                                                               
would increase astronomically; in fact,  at this time 5th and 6th                                                               
grade  classes are  at  30-32  kids -  which  is  about what  the                                                               
classrooms can  hold - and  the proposed  cut would add  1-5 more                                                               
students to each classroom.                                                                                                     
9:13:59 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   HUGHES   asked   if  teacher   aides   are   counted   as                                                               
administrative employees.                                                                                                       
DR. BISHOP  explained teacher  aides and  tutors are  included in                                                               
the chart of accounts as a  cost of instruction because they work                                                               
with students  in the  classroom.  In  further response  to Chair                                                               
Hughes regarding  aspects of virtual  education, she said  ASD is                                                               
currently  exploring   creative  instruction,  such   as  virtual                                                               
instruction  and  blended  learning, in  partnership  with  other                                                               
school  districts.   Students are  great consumers  of technology                                                               
and  also have  the  ability to  produce  and design  technology,                                                               
which  has  led  to  partnerships  with  other  districts.    She                                                               
stressed   that   coding   classes  are   important   to   future                                                               
entrepreneurs and  problem-solvers.   Although innovation  is not                                                               
mandated, ASD needs to offer the latest courses to students.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON  asked  whether using  municipal  shared                                                               
services would affect the local education tax cap.                                                                              
DR. BISHOP related  ASD shared services with the  city related to                                                               
risk  management, some  plowing services,  and some  maintenance;                                                               
she  stated the  city and  ASD saved  $3 million  by their  joint                                                               
efforts.   Furthermore,  ways to  save on  student transportation                                                               
are being sought.                                                                                                               
9:19:55 AM                                                                                                                    
KERSTEN  JOHNSON-STRUEMPLER,  Principal,   South  Anchorage  High                                                               
School and President,  Anchorage Principals Association, returned                                                               
attention  to an  earlier question  about how  the aforementioned                                                               
organizations  work  together, and  advised  APA,  and the  other                                                               
state  organizations under  the  ACSA umbrella,  all have  voting                                                               
members  working to  develop the  joint  positions statements  in                                                               
order to have a unified voice  in public education matters in the                                                               
state.   She said the  scope of the work  done by a  principal is                                                               
challenging, rewarding,  and complex, especially  when compounded                                                               
by budgetary  issues.  A  principal views his/her  school through                                                               
the following lenses each day:                                                                                                  
   · Instructional:  how to provide rigorous curriculum                                                                         
   · Safety/Facility:  is the school building safe                                                                              
   · School Climate:  are students happy and healthy                                                                            
   · Staffing/Evaluation:  hire highly-qualified staff and                                                                      
     properly evaluate staff                                                                                                    
   · Resources:  utilize existing resources and meet high                                                                       
   · Other aspects:  employability, career and technical                                                                        
     training,   business    partnerships,   student   nutrition,                                                               
     technology, athletics, and a variety of mental health                                                                      
   · Innovation:  continuing                                                                                                    
MS. JOHNSON-STRUEMPLER, expanding on  looking through the lens of                                                               
innovation, gave  examples of  highly successful  courses offered                                                               
at her school, one of which  is an unmanned aerial course that is                                                               
the first  of its kind, and  that will be modeled  by the Federal                                                               
Aviation Administration  to high  schools throughout  the nation.                                                               
Other  examples of  innovative practices  are:   South  Anchorage                                                               
High School and  Eagle River High School students  are in support                                                               
of volunteerism;  Service High School  students are  competing at                                                               
the national level in the  healthcare field; at South High School                                                               
students  are  successfully   supporting  literacy  and  business                                                               
activities;   Service  High   School   students  are   supporting                                                               
inclusive activities.                                                                                                           
DR.   SKILES  PARADY   concluded   the  presentation,   directing                                                               
attention to  slides 40 and  41, which related to  turnover rates                                                               
at teacher, principal, and superintendent levels.                                                                               
9:28:27 AM                                                                                                                    
DAVID  STEVENS,  PhD,   Research  Manager,  Regional  Educational                                                               
Laboratory at Education  Northwest, recalled Regional Educational                                                               
Laboratory   (REL)   Northwest's   prior  presentation   to   the                                                               
committees in  February [2017] and  referred to data  provided by                                                               
the Alaska State Policy Research  Alliance (ASPRA).  In February,                                                               
the  report   stated  district   turnover  rates   for  teachers,                                                               
principals,  and   superintendents  in  Alaska.     Although  the                                                               
percentage  of  teachers and  principals  new  to a  district  is                                                               
relatively stable  over time,  superintendent turnover  rates are                                                               
higher, and  vary dramatically from  year to year.   For example,                                                               
the superintendent turnover  rate ranged from 4  percent in 2013,                                                               
to 43 percent in  2015, and to 24 percent in  2017.  In addition,                                                               
72 percent of districts had  a change in superintendents at least                                                               
once; elsewhere in the nation  superintendents stay at a position                                                               
on the  average of  3-4 years  (slide 40).   Dr.  Stevens advised                                                               
principal and  superintendent turnover  has a  substantial impact                                                               
on  schools and  districts  because the  longer a  superintendent                                                               
stays  in  one district  -  beginning  at  two years  -  positive                                                               
effects are  seen, including improvements in  student achievement                                                               
and  a greater  likelihood for  the success  of new  initiatives.                                                               
For  a principal  to  positively  influence student  achievement,                                                               
he/she  must remain  at a  school for  several years,  which also                                                               
reduces teacher  turnover.  He  concluded that the  best outcomes                                                               
are found in schools and  districts with stable leadership (slide                                                               
9:33:39 AM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committees, the joint                                                                
meeting of the House Education Standing Committee and the Senate                                                                
Education Standing Committee was adjourned at 9:33 a.m.                                                                         

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