Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/12/1995 03:30 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                                                                               
                                                                               
                             MINUTES                                           
                    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                         April 12, 1995                                        
                            3:30 p.m.                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  TAPES                                                                        
                                                                               
  SFC-95, #32, Side 1 (000-575)                                                
  SFC-95, #32, Side 2 (560-end)                                                
  SFC-95, #34, Side 1 (000-200)                                                
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Senator  Rick  Halford,  Co-chair, convened  the  meeting at                 
  approximately 3:30 p.m.                                                      
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-chairs Halford and Frank along with Senators Phillips and                 
  Sharp were  present.   Senators Donley,  Rieger and  Zharoff                 
  came shortly after the meeting began.                                        
                                                                               
  Also  Attending: Senator  Salo; Robert  Stalnaker, Director,                 
  Retirement & Benefits; Art Snowden, Administrative Director,                 
  Alaska  Court  System;  Willie  Anderson,  Representing  the                 
  National  Education  Association; Claudia  Douglas, National                 
  Education  Association;  Sheila   Peterson,  Department   of                 
  Education;  Ms.  P. Babcock,  Committee  Aid to  Senate H&SS                 
  Committee; Debra Garrish, and Parent/Juneau School District.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Teleconference:  Joe Josephson, Attorney at Law, Josephson &                 
  Bair, P.C.;  Carl Rose,  Executive  Director, Alaska  School                 
  Board Association.                                                           
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
       SENATE BILL NO. 151                                                     
       "An  Act placing  the  administrative  director of  the                 
  court            system in the public  employees' retirement                 
  system."                                                                     
                                                                               
       Discussion was had by Art Snowden and Robert Stalnaker.                 
       SB  151  REPORTED  OUT  of  committee  with  individual                 
  recommen-                                                                    
       dations  and  2 zero  fiscal  notes from  Department of                 
  Admin-                                                                       
       istration and Alaska Courts System.   Co-chairs Halford                 
  and                                                                          
       Frank recommended "do pass"; Senators Rieger, Phillips,                 
  and                                                                          
       Sharp signed "no recommendation"; and Senators  Zharoff                 
  and                                                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
       Donley signed "do not pass".                                            
                                                                               
       SENATE BILL NO. 132                                                     
       "An Act  relating to  judicial review  of decisions  of                 
  school         boards relating to nonretention  or dismissal                 
  of teachers."                                                                
                                                                               
       Testimony was  given by Robert Stalnaker, Senator Salo,                 
           Ms.  Babcock,  Joe  Josephson,  Carl  Rose,  Willie                 
  Anderson,                                                                    
       Claudia Douglas, Sheila Peterson and Ms.Garrish. After                  
       considerable  discussion, it  was  determined the  bill                 
  would                                                                        
       be brought back for further consideration.                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
       SENATE BILL NO. 151                                                     
       "An  Act placing  the  administrative  director of  the                 
  court     system   in   the  public   employees'  retirement                 
  system."                                                                     
                                                                               
  Art  Snowden, Administrative Director  for the  Court System                 
  stated that the Supreme  Court has asked that he  testify in                 
  opposition to the legislation. He offered background, noting                 
  that   the   office   of  Administrative   Director   is   a                 
  constitutional   office  within  this  state.  In  1980  the                 
  Administrative   Director   was  put   under   the  judicial                 
  retirement system.  It is the  only retirement system with a                 
  10-year vest.  This  legislation updates  changes that  have                 
  been made since statehood.  At statehood, the chief  justice                 
  served  forever.    The voters  of  the  state  changed that                 
  constitution  some  years later  to  say, the  chief justice                 
  serves for  three years  at which  time it  goes to  another                 
  elected  member  of  the  court  and  they  may not  succeed                 
  themselves.    At  this  time,  the  court  felt  it  needed                 
  continuity specifically in administration  because the chief                 
  justice  was  changing.    The  position  of  administrative                 
  director, is a profession.  There are 50 in the country.  It                 
  requires special training. The ten year vest was put on this                 
  bill  for  the  purpose of  making  sure  that  there was  a                 
  longevity in the office.                                                     
                                                                               
  Co-chair Halford inquired as to the retirement system.   Mr.                 
  Snowden  informed the  committee  that  an employee  working                 
  their way  up to  administrative director  would fall  under                 
  PERS and  remain there  in the first  9 years  of being  the                 
  administrative  director.    On  the  10th year,  the  state                 
  employee is then  able to buy  into the judicial  retirement                 
  system, receive  their PERS contribution back (which is a 3%                 
  contribution, and pay  7 to 7-1/2% for  the JRS retirement).                 
  It is  not a free system.   The court and legislature wanted                 
  continuity.  He informed the committee of the administrative                 
  director's responsibilities.  He emphasized to the committee                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  that  the   American  Bar  Association  standards  on  court                 
  organizations say  in part,  the level  of compensation  and                 
  retirement benefits  of the  director of  the administrative                 
  office  of courts  should be  no less  than  a judge  of the                 
  intermediate court  of appeals. The  administrative director                 
  for almost 40% of our states are under a judicial retirement                 
  system.  The  Supreme Court wants  this in place to  attract                 
  highly professional people who have been trained to  do this                 
  function.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Senator  Sharp  asked  what  the   contribution  is  of  the                 
  administrative director for the first 9 years?   Mr. Snowden                 
  responded  that the administrative director contributes 7 to                 
  7-1/5%  into  the  judicial  retirement   system.    If  the                 
  administrator elects to leave prior to 10 years, they revert                 
  to PERS.   Under PERS, the  administrator would be  refunded                 
  from  the  judicial  system  and  then  pay  into  PERS  the                 
  appropriate amount that it would have cost over those years.                 
  Or, there is the  option to take the money and  elect not to                 
  take retirement.   Under five years, there  is no retirement                 
  benefits.  After 10 years there is still an option.                          
                                                                               
  Robert  Stalnaker, Director,  Retirement  & Benefits  stated                 
  that  it is a zero cost  bill to the system because whatever                 
  system  is  chosen,  there are  contributions  to  pay.   He                 
  explained the process. A court administrator would start out                 
  in the judicial  system, make the  appropriate contributions                 
  and if their  longevity is  less than 10  years, they  could                 
  refund out of the judicial  system and buy into PERS.   This                 
  option is available after 10 years as well.                                  
                                                                               
  Senator  Zharoff  MOVED  to  adopt  SB 151  with  individual                 
  recommendations and  two zero  fiscal notes.   No  objection                 
  being heard, SB 151  was REPORTED OUT of committee  with two                 
  fiscal notes  from the  Dept of  Administration and  Courts.                 
  Trial Courts fiscal notes has a cost of $25.4 in 2001.   Co-                 
  chairs  Halford  and  Frank  recommended  "do  pass",  while                 
  Senators   Rieger,   Phillips,   and   Sharp   signed    "no                 
  recommendation", and Senators Zharoff and Donley recommended                 
  "do not pass".                                                               
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at approximately 3:45 p.m.                             
                                                                               
  The meeting reconvened at approximately 5:05 p.m.                            
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-chair  Halford, along with Senators Phillips, Donley, and                 
  Sharp were present.  Senators Zharoff and Rieger joined  the                 
  meeting shortly after it  began.  Co-chair Frank was  unable                 
  to attend.                                                                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
       SENATE BILL NO. 132                                                     
       "An Act  relating to  judicial review  of decisions  of                 
  school         boards  relating to nonretention or dismissal                 
  of teachers."                                                                
                                                                               
  Portia Babcock, Committee Aid to  the Senate H&SS Committee,                 
  testified  that  SB  132 gives  local  school  districts and                 
  school boards  the flexibility  necessary to make  decisions                 
  that are in the best interest of the student in the academic                 
  program  of  each district.    It also  provides  equity and                 
  fairness among  public employees, levels  the playing  field                 
  among the  different providers of education,  and eliminates                 
  costly procedures.   In  general  terms, SB  132 (JUD)  will                 
  change tenure from 2 to 5 years for new teachers; allow  for                 
  the lay off  of tenure teachers  without the loss of  tenure                 
  rights in the event of a decrease in school attendance, loss                 
  of revenue,  or to  better meet  the academic  needs of  the                 
  district; and   deletes trial de novo requirements  when the                 
  district has met  standards acceptable to  the court.   This                 
  bill saves  time and money  and provides educators  with the                 
  same production that is provided  to other public employees.                 
  It requiring bargaining sessions be open to the public,  and                 
  provides  for  an  early  retirement  incentive program  for                 
  teachers and school district employees.   She explained that                 
  there was an amendment  added by Judiciary that  deleted the                 
  statutory  requirement  for duty  free  lunch. A  change was                 
  offered by Senator Green which deals with the effective date                 
  on those sections  applicable to first hired teachers by the                 
  school district on or after the effective date of the act.                   
                                                                               
  There was considerable discussion on trial de novo.  Senator                 
  Salo stated  that there is an extensive discovery process at                 
  a formal hearing, where both  the attorneys are representing                 
  the  district  and the  employee.   After that  hearing, the                 
  school board usually upholds the administrative firing.  The                 
  recourse for  the teacher  is a  de novo  trial in  superior                 
  court.  De  novo (meaning  new  trial)  does  not  mean  new                 
  information, but it is more than a judicial review.  If this                 
  bill passed, there would be a court review of the records of                 
  the school board hearing, but there would not be a chance to                 
  provide witnesses and  information directly to  the superior                 
  court judge.  New information is  not presented, nor can the                 
  case be changed from the way it was at the hearing level. It                 
  is the  same information.   New facts cannot  be introduced.                 
  Ms. Babcock confirmed  that this  process is different  than                 
  other professions in that it is an appeal and review, by the                 
  superior  court,  of  the facts  presented  at  the hearing.                 
  Other professions or other employees do not have this review                 
  of the earlier hearing.  Senator  Sharp stated that trial de                 
  novo is basically  an appeal  from the administrative  board                 
  which  can take  several years  before it  comes before  the                 
  court.   By that time, the witnesses  are grown up, left the                 
  area  and  unavailable  for  testimony.    All   information                 
  presented at trial  de novo  has to be  represented.   There                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  cannot be an expansion of the  information, but in order for                 
  all   information  that  was   previously  reviewed   to  be                 
  considered, it must  be reviewed  again.  Trial  de novo  is                 
  expensive,  and there  are very few  that have  taken place.                 
  Senator Donley expressed  his concerns with the  higher cost                 
  of administrative proceedings.                                               
                                                                               
  Robert Stalnaker, Director, Retirement & Benefits  testified                 
  that while the  administration believes that this bill  is a                 
  valuable  and   useful  tool   for  school   districts,  the                 
  administration   opposes   including   the  retirement   and                 
  incentive in this bill.  The administration has introduced a                 
  bill  that would  provide that valuable  tool to  all public                 
  employers, and believes that is the proper place for the RIP                 
  so that it can be implemented  for all public employers, not                 
  just school districts.   The RIP as proposed in this bill is                 
  similar to the  programs of  the past.   It provides  window                 
  periods  for  eligible members  to  retire, if  the employer                 
  designates  them.     This  is  totally  at   the  employers                 
  discretion on whether they want to participate.  It is not a                 
  mandatory program.  If an  employer, feels they can  benefit                 
  by the  RIP and  experience  cost savings,  they would  then                 
  participate  with an agreement  through the  commissioner of                 
  administration.    The costs  of  the program  including the                 
  administrative  costs  will  be  identified  and  paid   for                 
  immediately. The cost  for providing the incentives  must be                 
  paid within the three  year period in which they are to show                 
  a  savings.   This  is not  a  provision that  would require                 
  additional  funding.  If  in fact  they  are  experiencing a                 
  savings, they should  pay for the  cost of the RIP  from the                 
  savings they are experiencing.                                               
                                                                               
  Co-chair  Halford  asked  if there  are  differences  in the                 
  drafted CS and  the bill  introduced by the  governor as  it                 
  would apply to teachers?  Mr. Stalnaker responded that there                 
  are no differences.   The program  is the same, though  this                 
  bill restricts it to  school districts only.  He  noted that                 
  the  bill requires  that  an employer  save  money, to  that                 
  extent  the retirement systems  do not get  involved.  There                 
  was a  legislative audit  done for  the last  RIP, and  they                 
  found  substantial  savings in  auditing  employers and  the                 
  state.  At the request of the legislature from the last RIP,                 
  legislative  audit  found  savings   experienced  by  school                 
  districts.   The largest savings  come from teachers  at the                 
  upper end  of  the  pay  structure  being  replaced  by  new                 
  teachers.   Salary differences can  be as high  as 30%.   He                 
  testified  that  it  is not  the  administrations  desire to                 
  question the employer regarding the savings.                                 
                                                                               
  Senator  Sharp  asked  if  the  past  service  liability  or                 
  contribution rates have increased respectively because  of a                 
  increase in tax liability? Mr. Stalnaker responded that when                 
  the  first  RIP  was introduced,  there  was  a conservative                 
  assumption made in  coming up  with the costs.   Since  that                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  time, the actuary has been asked to track each year in order                 
  to monitor  the assumption, with  the idea that if  a RIP is                 
  done in the future and there  are miscalculations, it can be                 
  readjusted.  In  each actuarial  evaluation, the actuary  is                 
  required  to respond  to the  question: "Has there  been any                 
  adverse  impact  on  the  rate,  or the  unfunded  liability                 
  attributable to  the RIP",  and the  answer is  consistently                 
  "no".  If  there is error, it  is on the side  of collecting                 
  more  money than necessary.   He stated that  in 1986 in the                 
  PERS, the law  was changed to provide  for Tier II,  a lower                 
  level of benefits for employees first hired after that date.                 
  Part  of  that  was  to prefund  cost  of  living increases,                 
  opposed to the then ad hoc.  In so doing,  there was a large                 
  unfunded liability.   The lower benefits and cost savings by                 
  the lower benefits have been paying that off very well.  The                 
  most recent evaluation has  the PERS at 94% funded.  The TRS                 
  is at 89%, but they just had the change made in 1990.                        
                                                                               
  End     Tape #32, Side 1                                                     
  Begin   Tape #32, Side 2                                                     
                                                                               
  Mr.  Stalnaker  in responding  to  Senator Rieger,  asked to                 
  clear the record.   He  stated that the  funding method  was                 
  recommended by the actuaries.  It  is a common practice when                 
  a dramatic change  is made to  a defined benefit plan  which                 
  happened in 1990.  With the recognition that as part of that                 
  change   there   is   recognition  of   unfunded   liability                 
  immediately,  even though  there is  a payback  over  a long                 
  period of time.  The actuaries recommended the level funding                 
  method because it is an accepted method.  The system was not                 
  underfunded.  The  level funding  method was recommended  by                 
  the actuaries and  the board adopted that.  At that time the                 
  rate was 19%  and 14% opposed  to the 12% they  recommended.                 
  Since that time last year, the rate was a calculated rate of                 
  12.1%.    Even though  there  had  been a  projected  in the                 
  actuarial evaluation that  the 12% would not be  reached for                 
  another 4 or 5 years, that point was reached very early.  It                 
  was out in  the open, the actuaries  put a lot of  work into                 
  it, and the board adopted what they recommended.  The wisdom                 
  in  passing the  legislation to prefund  the cost  of living                 
  increases was a sound funding practice.  The ad hoc PRPA was                 
  recognized after it  was granted and would  have nothing but                 
  the effect  of ratcheting  the cost  continually higher  and                 
  higher  with no  prefunding,  now we  have a  prefunded PRPA                 
  which is much more sound. Both systems are back into the 90%                 
  funded ratios and  have recovered from those actions and are                 
  among the best funded systems in the country.                                
                                                                               
  Mr. Stalnaker said  that past testimony from  the university                 
  has been that there are advantages  for short term hires, as                 
  there  were with  the  legislature.   The  provision of  the                 
  University  of  Alaska  entering into  a  personal  services                 
  contract with  individuals for  the purpose  of teaching  or                 
  research, can happen as long as there are no benefits.  This                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  holds  true  for   the  legislature  as  well.    There  was                 
  considerable discussion to gain understanding of this issue.                 
                                                                               
  Joe Josephson, Attorney at Law, testified by  teleconference                 
  from Anchorage on SB 132.   He stated that the logic of  the                 
  present de novo hearing provision is that it gives the judge                 
  tools needed to decide  factual issues properly.   The judge                 
  could  actually  hear  witnesses  testify,  and  from  their                 
  demeanor and behavior, the judge can  get insights as to the                 
  truth.  Reviewing  administrative records do not  provide an                 
  adequate substitute from  that process.   He suggested  that                 
  the Asevedo case was not a good example regarding high trial                 
  costs.  It  was  costly  to  the Anchorage  School  District                 
  because the  school district asserted  that a trial  de novo                 
  can  be held  without any  evidence being  taken before  the                 
  judge,  simply  by  the  judge's  reading independently  the                 
  administrative record.  That issue was taken to  the supreme                 
  court, as expected, won on that point.  It was costly to the                 
  district.  It was not the trial  de novo that was costly, it                 
  was the consequence of the school district's taking of their                 
  mistaken view of  the statute  which required correction  in                 
  the supreme court.  He also  mentioned that the Asevedo case                 
  stands  for  another proposition.    That a  school district                 
  cannot present evidence to the court that it failed to bring                 
  before the school board.   In fact, the Asevedo  case stands                 
  for just  the opposite rule. In that case, a young women who                 
  had  read about the case in the  daily news, came forward to                 
  say that years before when she  had been in junior high, the                 
  teacher had touched her inappropriately.  She was allowed to                 
  testify about that matter in court even though her claim was                 
  not  even  known  of  at  that  time  of  the administrative                 
  hearing.  Finally, in other legislation dealing with teacher                 
  dismissal,  there are  provisions for  arbitrating dismissal                 
  under  Title  9,  Chapter 43.    The  advantage  of such  an                 
  approach, assuming there is not going to be trial de novo in                 
  superior  court  would be,  at  least under  arbitration, an                 
  assurance for the employee  of one decision being made  by a                 
  neutral  person  who  is independent  of  the  school board.                 
  Under Title 9, Chapter 43, it  is noted, after an arbitrator                 
  reaches  a   decision,  there  is  no  right   to  have  the                 
  arbitrator's award vacated in an ordinary case, unless there                 
  was proof of fraud or corruption.  If the goal is to do away                 
  with a role  for the court,  the best way  would be to  have                 
  arbitration instead of the present administrative  hearings.                 
  Arbitration  has the virtue of being fair, since the parties                 
  pick  the  arbitrator; while  the  hearing officer  today is                 
  appointed by the employer and paid by same.                                  
                                                                               
  Senator  Zharoff inquired  as to Section  6 in  the proposed                 
  legislation. His understanding  is, it  would take away  the                 
  teacher's right to a trial de novo.  Mr. Josephson confirmed                 
  that  it  is true.    The  idea would  be  an administrative                 
  hearing conducted  by the  board, and/or  a hearing  officer                 
  appointed by the board,  at which time the teacher  could go                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  to the court and  ask for judicial review.  The  problem is,                 
  judicial review decides  whether there was a  rational basis                 
  or  substantial  evidence  to  support  the  school  board's                 
  decision.   The judge  would  not be  making an  independent                 
  judgement, and the judge  would not be exposed to any of the                 
  actual witnesses.  From the teacher's prospective that means                 
  that the teacher  never gets  a level playing  field on  the                 
  issue of  retaining his/her employment.   He stated  that if                 
  there is an idea  that the school board makes  a decision on                 
  the advice  of  a  hearing officer,  and  then  subject  the                 
  teacher to a  very limited review  on the record before  the                 
  hearing officer, there is not fairness.   It would be better                 
  to leave the system as it is,  it works very well. There are                 
  very few cases  that do go before the superior court.  If it                 
  is the  legislature's wisdom  to delete  the trial  de novo,                 
  then  there  has  to  be  a   substitute  for  the  existing                 
  administrative process. Mr. Josephson recommends arbitration                 
  because at least  there is a  greater chance of fairness  in                 
  that process without bias.  He emphasized that the number of                 
  cases that go to administrative hearings is much larger than                 
  the smaller subset that goes to  the court.  In many  cases,                 
  the outcome  is favorable  to  the teacher,  or the  teacher                 
  decides not to pursue the matter in court.                                   
                                                                               
  Senator Sharp asked how  to speed up the process  of review.                 
  Mr. Josephson  suggested a few  areas to  investigate.   The                 
  superior  court  now has  "fast  track"  cases,  which is  a                 
  procedure  which  expedites cases.    The  legislature could                 
  direct the courts to conduct the  de novo hearings within so                 
  many days.   It  is  not usually  a problem  of the  parties                 
  getting ready, because they have  been through the procedure                 
  at the administrative stage.  In the Asevedo Case, the delay                 
  was in the faulty reasoning  of the school district adhering                 
  to the fact  there was no need  for a de novo  hearing which                 
  required the parties go to the  supreme court for an answer.                 
  The alternative of  arbitration would  be speedier than  any                 
  other solution.   The arbitrator makes  an award one way  or                 
  another and there is very  little recourse except in extreme                 
  situations such as corruption.                                               
                                                                               
  Mr. Josephson commented on the  element of academic freedom.                 
  Teachers are very susceptible to  criticism because they are                 
  on the front lines, dealing with  our most precious resource                 
  (children),  and  dealing  with  ideas.    This  makes  them                 
  susceptible  to capriciousness that may not be true in other                 
  fields.  As government employees, the employer must give due                 
  process in a way other employers do not have to do.  Private                 
  employers may have contractual obligations,  but they do not                 
  have the same constitutional obligations as the governmental                 
  employer.   He noted  the statute  of trial  de novo  is not                 
  unique to Alaska.                                                            
                                                                               
  Carl Rose, Executive  Director of the Association  of Alaska                 
  School Board reviewed CSSB 132 (JUD), offered testimony.  He                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  noted the  bill removes  from the  nonretention statutes  an                 
  economical factor, and  that is student decline.   The board                 
  supports  the removal  from nonretention  because there  are                 
  only  4  reasons  for nonretaining  tenured  teachers.   The                 
  layoff  statute  would  give  more   latitude  in  terms  of                 
  enrollment decline designed  to address a fiscal  need.  The                 
  board is facing another fiscal need, revenue decline.  It is                 
  suggested that the bill remove from nonretention a financial                 
  issue, enrollment decline  and create a layoff  standard for                 
  economic reasons  that would  address enrollment  decline as                 
  well as revenue decline.  Those  issues should be handled in                 
  a layoff because fairness can be provided:  in protection of                 
  tenure  rights;  seniority  rights;  and  a  rehire  clause.                 
  Another item  to add  to the  layoff  regulations would  be,                 
  program needs of school districts.  Currently, there are two                 
  areas  of  endorsement:  elementary  and  secondary.     The                 
  secondary  endorsement  has  low  standards  for   secondary                 
  schools,  the  board   would  like   to  see  subject   area                 
  endorsement.    This would  allow the  board  to go  to the,                 
  layoff and rehire standards, and apply qualifications before                 
  resorting to seniority.   Most  large school districts  with                 
  departments   for   english,   math,   etc.,  seniority   is                 
  appropriate.   Smaller  schools the  standard  of  secondary                 
  endorsement is too general.   Three things could be  done if                 
  there is a move to subject  area endorsement: 1) improve the                 
  quality  of  instruction  in   the  classroom;  2)  improved                 
  workforce, because  the issue  of  subject area  endorsement                 
  will encourage people  to use their  credits and apply  them                 
  toward  additional   endorsement;  and   3)  the  issue   of                 
  employment and security should be housed within  the area of                 
  multi-endorsement areas.  The  employment status is secured.                 
  He  spoke to the area of  trial de novo.   He stated it is a                 
  new  trial.    Under  the  law  a  tenured  teacher  can  be                 
  nonretained.  They have  a right to the hearing.   Under the                 
  hearing a record is  established.  Many times a  teacher and                 
  school district will  be represented by an attorney.   There                 
  will be an  unbiased third  party as a  hearing officer  who                 
  will make the  case.  If the hearing is not favorable to the                 
  employee, under  the  current law,  they have  the right  to                 
  request a new trial.  The problem with the new trial is that                 
  everyone starts  all over again and the record is recreated.                 
  A new trial does not examine  the record that is established                 
  at  the  hearing level.    It  is a  costly  and duplicative                 
  process and the board asks that  this process be extended to                 
  any school employee. He addressed mandatory open bargaining.                 
  Currently, there  is  an  ability to  do  that  with  mutual                 
  agreement.  The public wants this.  In speaking to the early                 
  retirement incentives, he stated there is not an established                 
  position, though the  membership does want  it and feels  it                 
  will be useful  as long as there is the ability at the local                 
  level to make  that determination.  Overall,  he stated this                 
  is  an  issue of  fairness.  Going back  to  the acquisition                 
  point, in Section 2, they support a 5 year tenure.  He noted                 
  that the board also supports Section 7.  There was testimony                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  and discussion regarding the practice of Section 7.                          
                                                                               
  Senator Zharoff talked about  the discussions between groups                 
  of people representing NEA, School  Districts and others who                 
  play  an  instrumental  role   associated  with  the  issues                 
  involved.  Mr.  Rose noted  there has been  compromise.   He                 
  stated  that  they  are looking  for  a  way  to manage  the                 
  schools.   There are a  number of  obligations and  mandates                 
  that the school districts  are obligated to meet.   There is                 
  an  inability to finance the  state policy as directed. This                 
  is of  a great concern to  the membership.  He  related that                 
  the school districts should be  held totally accountable for                 
  carrying  out  the  mandates,  and  the  municipalities  and                 
  legislature should be accountable for  funding the mandates.                 
  They  want latitude  in managing  the schools.   The  layoff                 
  provision is  not wanted.   It  is difficult  to teach  more                 
  children with less teachers.                                                 
                                                                               
  Mr. Rose stated that under Alaska  2000, the board created a                 
  proposal.   The board went  to NEA.   The board asked  for a                 
  longer  extension  for  the  probationary period  to  enable                 
  mentoring,  professional  development,  and  supervision  to                 
  create a better pool  of talent and a better  experience for                 
  young  teachers.   The  idea  of incorporating  subject area                 
  endorsement  was  also  an  attempt  to  fill  positions  by                 
  qualifications first.   Alaska 2000 was not  the appropriate                 
  forum.   The needs are still there,  but it was not possible                 
  to reach a compromise.                                                       
                                                                               
  Senator  Salo questioned the  compromise. She recognized the                 
  work done,  but she  stated that  the work  done fell  apart                 
  because  there  was a  requirement  that supervision  of new                 
  employees  actually be  done.   The  board  backed off  that                 
  compromise   once   there   was   a  requirement   regarding                 
  administrators.  Mr.  Rose responded  that school  districts                 
  have been under  attack for  years, in terms  of having  too                 
  much administration.  Administration has been reduced to low                 
  levels.      The  issue   of   compliance  and   demand  for                 
  administration  with less dollars  is a  real problem.   The                 
  issue is  not one  of  providing more  administration.   The                 
  issue  is one  of  preparing people  for  the classroom  and                 
  creating the time to make the assessments.                                   
                                                                               
  There was  considerable discussion regarding  the psychology                 
  of the 2 year versus 5 year tenure timeframe.                                
                                                                               
  Willie Anderson, National Education Association, stated  the                 
  NEA's opposition to the bill.   He stated that the extention                 
  of 2 to 5  years allows for a lag in administrative neglect.                 
  He  went  throughout  the  bill   giving  his  testimony  in                 
  opposition.  Testimony is attached  from Stephen Sorensen to                 
  Vernon Marshall, NEA Executive Vice President dated 4/11/95.                 
                                                                               
  Debra  Garrish,  a parent  from  the Juneau  School District                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  spoke to the Committee  in favor of the 5 year  tenure which                 
  allows flexibility.    She expressed  affirmation  of  early                 
  retirement.   She stated  that teachers  need a  lunch time.                 
  She  noted the  frustration of the  parents and  PTA members                 
  regarding the  need for open public negotiations.  She noted                 
  that parents had ideas and solutions,  but that there was no                 
  place to go and solve the problems.                                          
                                                                               
  Claudia   Douglas,  NEA-AK,  testified   that  the  bill  is                 
  repulsive to teachers.   NEA has  a commitment to help,  and                 
  parents have solutions.  The layoff  provision is a big area                 
  that needs representation.                                                   
                                                                               
  Sheila Peterson, Special  Assistant to  the Commissioner  of                 
  Education, stated that the new  State Board of Education did                 
  discuss  the  issues  and  they  could   not  agree  on  the                 
  legislation.  The message they wish  to convey is that there                 
  is a need for full funding.                                                  
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:00 p.m.                         
                                                                               

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