Legislature(2017 - 2018)FAHRENKAMP 203

04/19/2018 03:00 PM EDUCATION

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03:04:52 PM Start
03:05:04 PM HB221
03:40:06 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Testimony <Invited and Public> --
-- Please Note Time and Location --
Moved HB 221 Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 19, 2018                                                                                         
                           3:04 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Gary Stevens, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Senator Shelley Hughes                                                                                                          
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 221                                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to  the  duties of  the  Alaska Commission  on                                                               
Postsecondary Education;  relating to  a statewide  workforce and                                                               
education-related  statistics  program; relating  to  information                                                               
obtained by  the Department of  Labor and  Workforce Development;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
     - MOVED HB 221 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 221                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: WORKFORCE & ED RELATED STATISTICS PROGRAM                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) DRUMMOND                                                                                          
04/08/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/08/17       (H)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
02/09/18       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/09/18       (H)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
03/05/18       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/05/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/05/18       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
03/07/18       (H)       EDC RPT 4DP 1NR                                                                                        
03/07/18       (H)       DP: PARISH, KOPP, JOHNSTON, DRUMMOND                                                                   
03/07/18       (H)       NR: TALERICO                                                                                           
03/07/18       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/07/18       (H)       Moved HB 221 Out of Committee                                                                          
03/07/18       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/02/18       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM ADAMS ROOM 519                                                                          
04/02/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/02/18       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
04/11/18       (H)       FIN RPT 4DP 5NR                                                                                        
04/11/18       (H)       DP: GARA, GUTTENBERG, GRENN, FOSTER                                                                    
04/11/18       (H)       NR: WILSON, PRUITT, ORTIZ, THOMPSON,                                                                   
04/11/18       (H)       FIN AT 9:00 AM ADAMS ROOM 519                                                                          
04/11/18       (H)       Moved HB 221 Out of Committee                                                                          
04/11/18       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
04/15/18       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/15/18       (H)       VERSION: HB 221                                                                                        
04/17/18       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/17/18       (S)       EDC                                                                                                    
04/19/18       (S)       EDC AT 3:00 PM FAHRENKAMP 203                                                                          
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIET DRUMMOND, Bill Sponsor                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 221.                                                                                         
STEPHANIE BUTLER, Executive Director                                                                                            
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE)                                                                             
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 221.                                                                                      
KERRY THOMAS, Director of Operations                                                                                            
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE)                                                                             
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 221.                                                                                      
PAUL PRUSSING, Director                                                                                                         
Division of Teaching and Learning Support                                                                                       
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 221.                                                                                      
PALOMA HARBOUR, Director                                                                                                        
Division of Administrative Services                                                                                             
Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD)                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 221.                                                                                      
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
3:04:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GARY   STEVENS  called   the  Senate   Education  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 3:04  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Hughes, Giessel, and Chair Stevens.                                                                         
        HB 221-WORKFORCE & ED RELATED STATISTICS PROGRAM                                                                    
3:05:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS announced the consideration of HB 221.                                                                            
3:05:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIET  DRUMMOND,  Bill  Sponsor,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  presented  HB 221.  She  said  HB  221 is  part  of                                                               
ongoing efforts  to take a detailed  look at ways to  improve how                                                               
the  state spends  money on  education and  job training.  Alaska                                                               
spends more than  $2 billion annually on  education and workforce                                                               
training,  but  she  asked  does the  state  know  which  program                                                               
produces trained Alaskans who are  more likely to stay in Alaska.                                                               
She  asked, "What  is the  return we  receive on  these huge  and                                                               
critical investments?"                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND   said  that   HB  221  will   help  the                                                               
legislature answer  these questions  by clarifying  the authority                                                               
of  the Alaska  Commission on  Postsecondary Education  (ACPE) to                                                               
receive and analyze  existing data from state  entities through a                                                               
statewide workforce and  education-related statistics program. HB
221  changes  the law  to  permit  the  Department of  Labor  and                                                               
Workforce  Development  (DOLWD)to   share  existing  unemployment                                                               
insurance data  for the  purposes of  this statistics  program as                                                               
permitted  in federal  regulation and  contingent upon  a written                                                               
agreement with ACPE. HB 221  is not about tracking individuals or                                                               
collecting  data  on  them. It  is  about  statistical  outcomes,                                                               
taking a bird's  eye view of spending results  based on analyzing                                                               
and aggregating data that already  exists. Failure to pass HB 221                                                               
this session will  result in wasted work, wasted  money, and lost                                                               
opportunities. Without the  authority provided by HB  221 to ACPE                                                               
to receive  and analyze needed  data, it is highly  unlikely that                                                               
the  memorandum   of  understanding  between  the   four  partner                                                               
agencies, which expires this fiscal year, will be renewed.                                                                      
3:07:29 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND said  the potential  losses include  the                                                               
destruction  of about  ten  years of  deidentified  data that  is                                                               
already  loaded into  the system  and a  severe reduction  in the                                                               
likelihood  of  attracting  additional  funds.  About  20  to  25                                                               
percent of  the federal grant,  or about $800,000 to  $1 million,                                                               
was invested  in developing file  preparation related  to loading                                                               
the data.  If Alaska realizes it  needs this data, it  would have                                                               
to  be  redone.  A  database  that  is  not  used  would  require                                                               
extensive testing when use is re-established.                                                                                   
3:08:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND said the state  would lose the ability to                                                               
respond  to statistical  outcomes or  requests to  perform cross-                                                               
sector  analyses,  such  as the  Alaska  Performance  Scholarship                                                               
Outcomes Report,  at a  savings of  20 to  25 percent  per report                                                               
generated.  HB 221  is designed  to allow  Alaska to  realize the                                                               
potential  of  the  original  $4  million  federal  grant,  which                                                               
created the  outcomes system. This  will help the  legislature to                                                               
allocate and utilize increasingly  scarce resources available for                                                               
education and  workforce training. It  has no additional  cost to                                                               
the   state.  Twenty-eight   states  have   similar  longitudinal                                                               
outcomes databases.  More are  being added  all the  time. Alaska                                                               
should not waste this opportunity.                                                                                              
3:09:14 PM                                                                                                                    
STEPHANIE  BUTLER,  Executive   Director,  Alaska  Commission  on                                                               
Postsecondary  Education,  Department   of  Education  and  Early                                                               
Development (DEED),  testified on HB  221. She said  the Outcomes                                                               
Database  is a  system to  deidentify and  link existing  data in                                                               
order to provide  policy makers with information  on the outcomes                                                               
of the state's  education programs to answer  questions like what                                                               
is the return  on investment for ACPE programs,  are the programs                                                               
the most  effective way to  increase higher education  access and                                                               
success, and are  limited funds being used in way  to produce the                                                               
best returns for  students and the Alaska public.  Easy things to                                                               
measure  such as  number of  program  participants or  completers                                                               
cannot  answer that  return on  public investment  question. They                                                               
need to know long-term outcomes  across different public sectors.                                                               
Alaska spends about  $5 million annually on  the Alaska Education                                                               
Grant program. She asked if  recipients graduate at higher rates,                                                               
do the grants help recipients  enter the workforce sooner, and do                                                               
they earn more.  Earlier in the session they  had questions about                                                               
whether  loan forgiveness  is  successful. Cross-sector  outcomes                                                               
database would give the answer.                                                                                                 
3:11:29 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.   BUTLER   said    that   without   long-term,   cross-sector                                                               
information, they do  not know if they are  spending public money                                                               
in smart ways. The challenge  to answering these questions is not                                                               
that they  do not have data,  but the data is  housed in separate                                                               
databases at each  of the partner organizations.  Each time there                                                               
is  a  question,  agencies  must   put  together  a  data-sharing                                                               
memorandum  of understanding,  extract the  data, match  it, link                                                               
it, and after getting the answers,  the data must be destroyed in                                                               
accordance  with federal  law to  protect privacy  because it  is                                                               
identifiable data. If  they have a follow-up question  or want to                                                               
do the  report again, the process  must start all over  again. It                                                               
is inefficient  and expensive and  can result in  the duplication                                                               
of  identifiable  citizen  data.  HB   221  will  allow  ACPE  to                                                               
efficiently  use this  data while  enhancing privacy  by ensuring                                                               
the  data  is  deidentified.  It   streamlines  the  process  and                                                               
addresses data privacy  by allowing Department of  Labor to share                                                               
unit-level wage  records with the  Outcomes Database,  which will                                                               
securely house,  deidentify, and  link statistics from  ACPE, the                                                               
university, the  Department of Education,  and the  Department of                                                               
3:12:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL arrived.                                                                                                        
3:12:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BUTLER  said right now they  have only GED data  and training                                                               
data  from Labor.  With HB  221,  the database  will house  wage-                                                               
record statistics.  Alaska spends  more than $2  million annually                                                               
on K-12 postsecondary and technical  workforce training, but they                                                               
do  not  have the  database  that  can provide  efficient,  cost-                                                               
effective,  secure, outcomes  statistics.  The Outcomes  Database                                                               
will  enhance Alaska's  ability  to provide  feedback in  several                                                               
        · allows Labor to provide unit-level wage data to the                                                                   
          Outcomes Database (something 28 states already share);                                                                
        · prohibits sharing of any unit-level data from the                                                                     
          database with the federal government;                                                                                 
        · to maximize privacy, it codifies in law that the data                                                                 
          must be deidentified;                                                                                                 
        · and clarifies ACPE's ability to maintain longitudinal                                                                 
MS.  BUTLER  said  HB  221  provides  a  more  secure  method  of                                                               
transporting  data between  agencies. It  lowers costs  to access                                                               
and analyze  information. It combines  multiple processes  into a                                                               
secure and  highly automated process. It  provides greater access                                                               
to longitudinal information  and it reduces the time  and cost to                                                               
produce  program outcomes  reporting. HB  221 has  a zero  fiscal                                                               
note. The Outcomes Database was  created with a federal grant and                                                               
built to  accept this  workforce data. In  the longer  term, they                                                               
will seek  resources, perhaps  with a  federal grant,  to provide                                                               
outcomes reports once these additional  data are available. There                                                               
is  significant  opportunity to  attract  grant  dollars to  this                                                               
project. In  tough budget times,  cross-sector data is  needed to                                                               
evaluate  outcomes.  The  outcomes   and  analyses  will  not  be                                                               
available immediately, but HB 221  gets them closer to being able                                                               
to provide  those analyses  as they seek  grants or  other funds.                                                               
Alaska will  be not  be competitive  in attracting  grant dollars                                                               
without the changes of HB 221.  The long-term goal is to have the                                                               
ability  to quickly  and inexpensively  produce reports,  so they                                                               
know not just  how much programs cost, but what  the return is on                                                               
the investment.                                                                                                                 
3:15:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BUTLER  said the  organizations providing  data have  a great                                                               
deal of experience and expertise  with data privacy and security.                                                               
They recognize their sober responsibility  of ensuring that state                                                               
data  is  private  and  secure.  They  have  built  the  Outcomes                                                               
Database and reporting protocols as follows:                                                                                    
        · No new  data is  collected. All  data is  existing data                                                               
        · Data   is   deidentified   or  stripped   of   personal                                                               
          information, such as date of birth, social security                                                                   
          number, before the linked data is stored.                                                                             
        · Data going  into the system  is not  a dump of  all the                                                               
          data the providing agency maintains. It is only                                                                       
         relevant data for evaluating program outcomes.                                                                         
        · Personal  information  is  never  stored  in  the  same                                                               
          database as the deidentified information. All data is                                                                 
          also encrypted.                                                                                                       
        · Deidentification    and    encrypted   processes    are                                                               
          automated, meaning they cannot be turned off or                                                                       
        · Access  to  the  system  is  automatically  logged  and                                                               
        · The  database  is  physically housed  in  Alaska  in  a                                                               
          secure data center. Staff with access to the system                                                                   
          must undergo a background check.                                                                                      
        · The  system undergoes  an  annual  security audit.  The                                                               
          results are public.                                                                                                   
3:18:06 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BUTLER  said a final important  point is that the  purpose of                                                               
the Outcomes  Database is  not to  track individual  student data                                                               
over  a student's  career. The  system was  specifically designed                                                               
not to do  that. The purpose is to  create aggregated statistical                                                               
outcomes information  to evaluate whether education  programs and                                                               
interventions work over the long term.                                                                                          
CHAIR STEVENS said  he appreciated the zero fiscal  note and that                                                               
no funds will be spent until and unless a grant is received.                                                                    
3:18:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES  said  assurances  of privacy  is  one  of  their                                                               
mandates under the  state constitution. She shared  that she does                                                               
have a  seat on  the ACPE.  She wants  to make  sure there  is no                                                               
loophole regarding  privacy, although  she is excited  about what                                                               
they will learn.  She visualized a stack of education  data and a                                                               
stack  of  workforce  data.  Once  this  information  is  in  the                                                               
database, they  can be reassured  that personal  information will                                                               
not be shared  with other agencies or  organizations. Lines 10-12                                                               
of Section  2 specify that  information can be shared.  She asked                                                               
if  that information  could ever  be taken  from the  stacks that                                                               
will  have  personally identifiable  information  or  can she  be                                                               
assured   that  it   will  only   be   shared  after   personally                                                               
identifiable data has been removed.                                                                                             
SENATOR HUGHES  said she  asks because  they are  specifying that                                                               
they  are not  providing  unit records,  which  is that  personal                                                               
information,  to  the  federal   government,  but  they  are  not                                                               
addressing not providing it to  anyone else. She wondered if they                                                               
needed  to  add  federal  government   "and  other  agencies  and                                                               
organizations."  She   wondered  whether  they  were   leaving  a                                                               
loophole that could be used  to share information that would have                                                               
personal information before it is entered into the database.                                                                    
3:20:25 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BUTLER  responded  that  the  data in  the  system  will  be                                                               
deidentified and ACPE  cannot share that data  under existing law                                                               
with  an  organization  that  doesn't already  have  a  right  to                                                               
receive it  at a unit  level. The  purpose of the  language about                                                               
not sharing  it with  the federal government  was to  ensure that                                                               
were the federal  government to ask for it, they  would not share                                                               
it.  They   have  built  the   database  so  that  it   would  be                                                               
extraordinarily  difficult,  even  for ACPE,  to  get  unit-level                                                               
3:21:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  said that she  understood the situation  for data                                                               
coming out  of the database  and felt comfortable with  that. Her                                                               
question was about  the data before it is put  into the database.                                                               
Line  10-12   of  Section  2   says  ACPE  can  share   data  and                                                               
information, but  it doesn't specify "share  data and information                                                               
from the  database." She wants to  make sure that there  is not a                                                               
loophole wherein  information with identifiable  information that                                                               
has not been entered into the database could be shared.                                                                         
3:21:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BUTLER  answered  that  before  data,  which  is  personally                                                               
identifiable, goes into the database,  the data is managed by the                                                               
organization responsible for it, such  as the Department of Labor                                                               
for  the  wage records.  All  of  laws  that  apply to  the  data                                                               
continue to apply  to it. The commission would  have no authority                                                               
to  share  data  from  another  organization  with  anybody.  The                                                               
organization providing  the data would  have the authority  to do                                                               
that, not the commission.                                                                                                       
3:22:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES responded  that  she is  concerned  that once  it                                                               
comes  from   Department  of  Labor   and  is  in   Ms.  Butler's                                                               
possession,  the   law  gives  her   permission  to   share  data                                                               
information, but it doesn't specify  that the data Ms. Butler can                                                               
share is from the database.                                                                                                     
3:22:59 PM                                                                                                                    
KERRY  THOMAS,  Director  of  Operations,  Alaska  Commission  on                                                               
Postsecondary  Education  (ACPE),  Department  of  Education  and                                                               
Early  Development (DEED),  testified on  HB 221.  She said  that                                                               
partner  organizations  that  contribute  data  to  the  outcomes                                                               
system do  not give  up control  of data.  They upload  data that                                                               
then goes  through a matching  process where files  are separated                                                               
into deidentified  records and then  [assigned] random  id's that                                                               
follow  records into  the deidentified  system.  Then the  source                                                               
files  that are  sent  to the  system are  deleted  once they  go                                                               
through  the matching  and deidentification  process. If  someone                                                               
asked ACPE for data, ACPE would  refer that person to the partner                                                               
organization that  provided the data.  The full set of  data does                                                               
not exist in the outcomes system.                                                                                               
3:25:09 PM                                                                                                                    
PAUL  PRUSSING,  Director,  Division of  Teaching  and  Learning,                                                               
Department of  Education and Early Development  (DEED), testified                                                               
on HB  221. He said DEED  has been working on  this project since                                                               
2012.   The  commissioner   appreciates  data-informed   decision                                                               
making.  Making better  use of  any data  they have  in a  secure                                                               
fashion to help inform policy makers is a good direction to go.                                                                 
3:26:06 PM                                                                                                                    
PALOMA  HARBOUR, Director,  Division of  Administrative Services,                                                               
Department of Labor and  Workforce Development (DOLWD), testified                                                               
on HB  221. She said  they have specific data  security standards                                                               
for their data.  They cannot share it with ACPE  for this purpose                                                               
without a  statutory change. The  data security  requirements and                                                               
standards that apply to them apply  to anyone they share the data                                                               
with.  ACPE cannot  reshare the  data with  anyone and  they must                                                               
destroy the data after they are done with it in their system.                                                                   
3:27:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES said  in Section 3 there  are certain requirements                                                               
for  ACPE  to share  with  other  state  agencies but  not  other                                                               
organizations.  She  asked  if   DOLWD  standards  apply  to  any                                                               
organization they share data with or just other state agencies.                                                                 
3:27:54 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. HARBOUR answered any organization  that they share with. They                                                               
cannot disclose unit data. They can report outcomes.                                                                            
3:28:30 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  said perhaps  the sponsor  could answer  why they                                                               
are  only  making requirements  about  sharing  with other  state                                                               
agencies and not any agency.                                                                                                    
3:28:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS asked  if  passing  HB 221  makes  the state  more                                                               
competitive for grants.                                                                                                         
3:28:56 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. HARBOUR replied  that they would be more  competitive if they                                                               
had legislative approval for this work.                                                                                         
3:29:46 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease for technical reasons.                                                                                                  
3:34:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS apologized that  because of technical difficulties,                                                               
the  three  invited  testifiers,  Gwendolyn  Gruening,  Cari-Anne                                                               
Carty, and Doug Walrath, cannot  testify. He understands that the                                                               
three  are in  favor of  the bill.  He asked  them to  submit any                                                               
information in writing.                                                                                                         
3:35:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES  said  that  the Department  of  Labor  has  high                                                               
standards to share data with  any organization or a state agency.                                                               
In  Section  3 of  the  bill,  there are  requirements  regarding                                                               
disclosure,  but that  section only  refers to  information being                                                               
shared  with another  state agency.  She asked  what about  other                                                               
3:36:29 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BUTLER answered  that Section 3 applies to  the Department of                                                               
Labor data,  specifically allowing  the department to  share that                                                               
data  with ACPE.  All other  requirements for  the Department  of                                                               
Labor  continue and  persist, so  ACPE  would not  be allowed  to                                                               
share it further.                                                                                                               
3:37:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HARBOUR  said AS  23.20.110  covers  the Labor  unemployment                                                               
insurance data  that they are  talking about. There  are sections                                                               
for different criteria for sharing  the data. This section of the                                                               
bill is  just adding ACPE  Outcomes Database to that  statute, so                                                               
it is not all inclusive.                                                                                                        
3:38:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES said then they  are applying the high standard Ms.                                                               
Harbour described earlier to ACPE.                                                                                              
MS. HARBOUR answered correct.                                                                                                   
SENATOR HUGHES said that is reassuring.                                                                                         
3:38:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS opened  public testimony  and  then closed  public                                                               
3:38:39 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
3:38:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS asked the will of the committee.                                                                                  
SENATOR COGHILL moved HB 221  with individual recommendations and                                                               
attached fiscal note.                                                                                                           
3:39:58 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no objection, the motion passed.                                                                                    
3:40:03 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
3:40:06 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Stevens adjourned the Senate Education Standing Committee                                                                 
at 3:40 p.m.                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
00_HB221_Workforce Ed Data_FullBillPacket_19April2018.pdf SEDC 4/19/2018 3:00:00 PM
HB 221