Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/10/2017 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 102 INTERNET FOR SCHOOLS; FUNDING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 103 ED GRANTS/SCHOLARSHIP;INNOVATIVE ED FUND TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 104 EDUCATION CURRICULUM TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      April 10, 2017                                                                                            
                         1:44 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:44:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  called  the  Senate  Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 1:44 p.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Anna MacKinnon, Co-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop, Vice-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Natasha von Imhof                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Mike Dunleavy                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Brittany  Hutchison,  Staff,  Senator Anna  MacKinnon;  Jack                                                                    
Walsh,  Superintendent, Craig  Schools,  Craig; Tony  Habra,                                                                    
Haines Borough  Schools, Haines; Tim Parker,  President, NEA                                                                    
Alaska,    Juneau;   David    Brighton,   Kenai    Education                                                                    
Association,   Kenai;  Jeff   Hebard,  Fairbanks   Education                                                                    
Association,  Fairbanks;  Lisa  Parady,  Alaska  Council  of                                                                    
School  Administrators, Juneau;  Alyse Galvin,  Great Alaska                                                                    
Schools, Juneau; PJ Ford  Slack, Superintendent, Hoonah City                                                                    
Schools, Hoonah; Patience  Fredrikson, Director, Division of                                                                    
Libraries,  Archives and  Museums,  Department of  Education                                                                    
and  Early Development;  Kevin Shipley,  Kake City  Schools,                                                                    
Kake; Paul  Prussing, Acting  Director, Division  of Student                                                                    
Learning,  Department of  Education  and Early  Development;                                                                    
Sana  Efrid, Deputy  Commissioner,  Department of  Education                                                                    
and Early  Development; Stephanie Butler,  Alaska Commission                                                                    
on   Postsecondary   Education,  Juneau;   Scott   MacManus,                                                                    
Superintendent, Alaska  Gateway School District,  Tok; Kevin                                                                    
Shipley,    Kake   City    Schools,    Kake;   Tim    Bauer,                                                                    
Superintendent, Annette Island  School District, Metlakatla;                                                                    
John   Conwell,   Superintendent,   Unalaska   City   School                                                                    
District,  Unalaska;  Lora  Jorgensen, Self,  Juneau;  Holly                                                                    
Holman,  Unalaska   City  School  District,   Unalaska;  Joe                                                                    
Nelson,  University  of  Alaska  Southeast,  Juneau;  Brenda                                                                    
Taylor, Great Alaska Schools, Juneau.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Paul Kendall,  Self, Anchorage;  Arlene Ronda,  Self, Homer;                                                                    
Saichi  Oba,  University  of Alaska,  Fairbanks;  Maximilian                                                                    
Erickson,   Self,  Fairbanks;   Gretchyn  O'Donnell,   Self,                                                                    
Juneau;  Pete Hoepfner,  Cordova  School District,  Cordova;                                                                    
Kathy Todd,  Self, Valdez; Susan  Niman, Self,  Valdez; Mike                                                                    
Coons, Self, Palmer; Todd Smoldon, Self, Willow.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 102    INTERNET FOR SCHOOLS; FUNDING                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          SB 102 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SB 103    ED GRANTS/SCHOLARSHIP;INNOVATIVE ED FUND                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          SB 103 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SB 104    EDUCATION CURRICULUM                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          SB 104 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon discussed the schedule for the day.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 102                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to funding for Internet services for                                                                      
     school districts; and relating to the Alaska higher                                                                        
     education investment fund."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 103                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act establishing  the Alaska  education innovation                                                                    
     grant program;  eliminating the Alaska  education grant                                                                    
     program   and   the  Alaska   performance   scholarship                                                                    
     program;  redesignating  the  Alaska  higher  education                                                                    
     investment  fund  as  the Alaska  education  innovation                                                                    
     grant fund; and providing for an effective date."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 104                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  relating to the  duties of the state  Board of                                                                    
     Education  and  Early   Development;  and  relating  to                                                                    
     school curriculum."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:45:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRITTANY   HUTCHISON,   STAFF,   SENATOR   ANNA   MACKINNON,                                                                    
offered an overview about why  the suite of bills were being                                                                    
introduced. She asserted that SB  102, 103, and 104 had been                                                                    
crafted out of  the need for major  improvements in Alaska's                                                                    
educational  system. She  said that  the needs  addressed in                                                                    
the legislation  were threefold: the prioritization  of K-12                                                                    
education   as   a    constitutional   responsibility,   the                                                                    
improvement of outcomes for  Alaskan students, and providing                                                                    
for   efficient  and   streamlined  delivery   of  education                                                                    
processes and procedures.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:46:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hutchison provided a sponsor statement for SB 102:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     The goal of this  legislation is to improve educational                                                                    
     outcomes for Alaskan students.  The graduation rate for                                                                    
     high school  in Alaska for  2016 is 76%. Of  the amount                                                                    
     of students who go to  the University of Alaska, 52% of                                                                    
     incoming Alaska freshman  need remediation classes. Our                                                                    
     children and workforce deserve  better. This bill seeks                                                                    
     to   improve  outcomes   by  providing   students  with                                                                    
     additional  internet access  and increased  opportunity                                                                    
     for virtual  education, even in the  most remote places                                                                    
     in  Alaska.  This  will  provide  access  to  the  best                                                                    
     teachers in  our state  to teach  in multiple  areas of                                                                    
     our state, via the internet.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     It   is   the  Legislature's   primary   constitutional                                                                    
     requirement  to  provide  for an  education  system  in                                                                    
     Alaska. It is time to  refocus and prioritize our state                                                                    
     money on improved deliveries of  education. SB 102 will                                                                    
     provide  assistance to  districts with  high technology                                                                    
     costs  and technological  disadvantages, by  increasing                                                                    
     the minimum requirement of megabits  per second from 10                                                                    
     to 25. It will direct  monies from the higher education                                                                    
     fund  to increase  the amount  of Broadband  Assistance                                                                    
     Grants  (BAG)   that  the  state  can   pay  to  school                                                                    
     districts  and will  allow schools  the flexibility  to                                                                    
     direct additional dollars to the classroom.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Currently,  137   schools,  in  29   school  districts,                                                                    
     receive a BAG  award. SB 102 will bring  197 schools up                                                                    
     to the new floor of  25Mbps and provide funding to help                                                                    
     those schools reach 25Mbps.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The  total  cost  of  internet  services  in  FY16  was                                                                    
     approximately   $92.6  million.   The  Federal   E-Rate                                                                    
     program discount  covered approximately  $79.1 million.                                                                    
     The  School BAG  awards  covered  $3.4 million.  School                                                                    
     Districts  across   the  state   only  had  to   pay  a                                                                    
     cumulative sum of approximately $10 million in FY16.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     The  value  of  E-Rate  and  BAG  for  our  schools  is                                                                    
     tremendous.  This bill  will leverage  between 70-  90%                                                                    
     federal  dollars. For  every state  dollar, we  receive                                                                    
     about $7 from the federal government.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     I  urge  your  support  of  this  legislation  to  help                                                                    
    improve educational outcomes for Alaskan students.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hutchison relayed that the bill would not provide                                                                           
funding    for     infrastructure,    personal    computers,                                                                    
microphones, or software.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:48:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hutchison discussed the sectional analysis for SB 102                                                                       
(copy on file):                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1 AS 14.03.127(a)                                                                                                  
     Increases the floor of internet  download speed from 10                                                                    
     megabits per  second (Mbps) to  25 megabits  per second                                                                    
     (Mbps) for every school in Alaska.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2 AS 37.14.750(a)                                                                                                  
     Puts  into statute  that the  legislature  may pay  for                                                                    
     internet services through the Higher Education                                                                             
     Fund.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3 AS 37.14.750                                                                                                     
     Conforming language that allows the legislature to pay                                                                     
     for internet services through the Higher Education                                                                         
     Fund.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:49:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon OPENED public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JACK WALSH, SUPERINTENDENT,  CRAIG SCHOOLS, CRAIG, testified                                                                    
in  support  of the  bill.  He  believed that  the  expanded                                                                    
internet access would help  to provide additional vocational                                                                    
programs.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:50:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TONY  HABRA,  HAINES  BOROUGH   SCHOOLS,  HAINES,  spoke  in                                                                    
support  of  the legislation.  He  noted  that the  internet                                                                    
access in Haines  was good, but that it  would be beneficial                                                                    
to connect  with other districts that  currently had limited                                                                    
access.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:52:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIM PARKER, PRESIDENT, NEA ALASKA,  JUNEAU, spoke in support                                                                    
of the legislation.  He lamented the proposed  5 percent cut                                                                    
to education funding.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon reminded  the  testifier  that the  bill                                                                    
before the committee was SB 102.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Parker  spoke to  SB  102.  He stated  that  additional                                                                    
broadband was  definitely needed,  but that there  were some                                                                    
fiber  optic   cable  issues  as  well   as  satellite  data                                                                    
transmittal struggles.  He stressed that a  long term fiscal                                                                    
solution  to  the budget  crisis  was  necessary to  provide                                                                    
stable, forward funding for Alaska schools.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  understood that Mr. Parker  supported SB                                                                    
102.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Parker  stated that he  was in  support of the  bill. He                                                                    
said  that  slow  running   computers  were  detrimental  to                                                                    
classroom learning. He opined that  teachers had to have two                                                                    
lesson  plans in  place:  one that  used  the computer,  and                                                                    
another for when the computer did not work.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:56:59 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID  BRIGHTON, KENAI  EDUCATION ASSOCIATION,  KENAI, spoke                                                                    
in support  of SB  102. He spoke  of the  Alaska Performance                                                                    
Scholarship. He  said that his son  would not be able  to go                                                                    
to college without the scholarship.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  requested  that testifiers  keep  their                                                                    
comments to the bill before the committee.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:59:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Micciche  clarified  that the  committee  would  be                                                                    
hearing public testimony for the other bills on the agenda.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:59:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF  HEBARD,  FAIRBANKS EDUCATION  ASSOCIATION,  FAIRBANKS,                                                                    
expressed support for  the bill. He was  concerned about the                                                                    
funding source.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   MacKinnon   stressed   that   individual   public                                                                    
testimony would be taken for each bill.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Hebard  urged support  for  local  control of  decision                                                                    
making for  school funding issues.  He testified  against SB                                                                    
103. He lamented the various  struggles faced by students in                                                                    
Alaska's school  system. He argued that  educators could not                                                                    
build necessary relationships  with students when classrooms                                                                    
were overcrowded.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:02:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bishop asked whether  Mr. Hebard wanted broadband                                                                    
to be optional.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Hebard answered in the affirmative.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon surmised that  the school districts would                                                                    
pick up the cost of the broadband.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Hebard  responded  that he  was  encouraging  that  the                                                                    
decision making be at the local level.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:03:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA  PARADY,  ALASKA   COUNCIL  OF  SCHOOL  ADMINISTRATORS,                                                                    
JUNEAU, testified in support of  the bill. She stressed that                                                                    
expanding  internet speed  in rural  Alaska  was a  critical                                                                    
piece in moving forward  with virtual learning. She believed                                                                    
that the effort to maximize federal dollars was prudent.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:06:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon remarked that  Senator Olson had been the                                                                    
original  carrier   of  a  broadband  assistance   bill  for                                                                    
communities outside of the Railbelt.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:07:13 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:07:36 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ALYSE  GALVIN, GREAT  ALASKA SCHOOLS,  JUNEAU, testified  in                                                                    
support  of  SB  102.  She acknowledged  the  importance  of                                                                    
broadband in  rural Alaska, but  added that  actual teachers                                                                    
in classrooms was the ultimate goal of her organization.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:09:41 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:11:38 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PJ FORD SLACK, SUPERINTENDENT,  HOONAH CITY SCHOOLS, HOONAH,                                                                    
spoke  in support  of  the  bill. She  thought  it was  very                                                                    
important to  achieve connectivity to other  schools in real                                                                    
time. She hoped that the  legislature could offer support in                                                                    
talking  to  local  providers about  providing  support  for                                                                    
infrastructure.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:13:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bishop  asked whether her district  would be able                                                                    
to  build  the  infrastructure necessary  to  implement  the                                                                    
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Ford Slack  replied that her district would  not be able                                                                    
to afford the necessary cable without help from providers.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon commented  that the  bill did  not offer                                                                    
cable,  satellite, or  other amenities.  She clarified  that                                                                    
only  addressed existing  schools that  had the  capacity to                                                                    
step up  to 25 megabits.  She said that there  were projects                                                                    
in motion that could  provide additional infrastructure that                                                                    
would provide tie-ins for other communities.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:14:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Micciche asked  for a  clarification on  the dollar                                                                    
amount for  the first  leg of  infrastructure in  Ms. Ford's                                                                    
district.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Ford  Slack replied  $6.6 million for  the first  leg of                                                                    
cable.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  hoped  that  the  administration  could                                                                    
provide  the  numbers  for schools  that  needed  additional                                                                    
help.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:15:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator von Imhof  queried the distance of the  first leg of                                                                    
cable.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Ford  Slack was  unsure about the  amount of  miles, and                                                                    
clarified that  the route  was from  Juneau to  Hoonah. That                                                                    
route was  the shortest leg  before going out to  Pelican or                                                                    
up to Yakutat.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator  von Imhof  referred to  the sponsor  statement. She                                                                    
believed  that  the  state  should  take  advantage  of  the                                                                    
federal match  dollars. She thought  that the bill  could be                                                                    
more effective by including fiber optic cable.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:17:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  shared that  there was an  "Alaska Plan"                                                                    
crafted by the federal  delegation currently in process that                                                                    
would provide support for infrastructure advancement.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:17:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL   KENDALL,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
expressed frustration  for the public testimony  process and                                                                    
the decline of the moral foundation in the state.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:21:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PATIENCE  FREDRIKSON,   DIRECTOR,  DIVISION   OF  LIBRARIES,                                                                    
ARCHIVES  AND MUSEUMS,  DEPARTMENT  OF  EDUCATION AND  EARLY                                                                    
DEVELOPMENT, testified in favor of the legislation.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:22:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SB  102  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:23:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.   Hutchison   commented   that  the   Alaska   Telephone                                                                    
Association  had written  that  the  current technology  and                                                                    
infrastructure was able to deliver  25 megabits, per second,                                                                    
to all schools in the state.  The bill would not require any                                                                    
additional infrastructure.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:24:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Hutchison  read from  the  sponsor  statement (copy  on                                                                    
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Every  school  district in  Alaska  has  to have  their                                                                    
     curriculum reviewed  and approved  every six  years. It                                                                    
     is  a long,  arduous, and  expensive task.  Many school                                                                    
     districts struggle  with this because they  do not have                                                                    
     the necessary resources for this type of work.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     The goal of  this legislation is to  provide all school                                                                    
     districts  with a  three year  reprieve from  having to                                                                    
     update or  renew any curriculum. This  will save school                                                                    
     districts time  and money. This  will also allow  for a                                                                    
     time  period in  which the  Alaska Education  Challenge                                                                    
     can  be implemented  without the  burden of  curriculum                                                                    
     review.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     This  bill  will allow  the  State  Board of  Education                                                                    
     (BOE) to  approve of  the curriculum  from the  large 5                                                                    
     school  districts  and  2 rural  school  districts  and                                                                    
     allow  that  curriculum  to  be   used  by  all  school                                                                    
     districts, on a voluntary  basis, for three years. This                                                                    
     time  will be  a  transition period.  During the  three                                                                    
     year reprieve from curriculum  review by districts, the                                                                    
     Department  of  Education  and  Early  Development,  in                                                                    
     consultation with school districts,  will have one year                                                                    
     to  find the  best  curriculum and  best practices  for                                                                    
     math and English  language arts in other  states and in                                                                    
     other countries.  Then that  curriculum will  be tested                                                                    
     on districts  in Alaska,  for two years,  to see  if it                                                                    
     will  be successful.  If it  does  prove to  be a  good                                                                    
     measure  of success  for our  students, then  the State                                                                    
     Board of Education will review,  approve and adopt that                                                                    
     curriculum for all school districts  to be able to use,                                                                    
     if  they  so  choose.  I urge  your  support  for  this                                                                    
     legislation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:26:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hutchison read from sectional analysis (copy on file):                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1 AS 14.07                                                                                                         
     A) Adds a new section  titled, "Curriculum Approval and                                                                    
     Review".                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     B)  This section  allows the  State Board  of Education                                                                    
     (BOE) to  approve of all  curricula from the  largest 5                                                                    
     school  districts, based  on the  2015-2016  ADM and  2                                                                    
     rural school  districts, chosen by  the BOE,  and makes                                                                    
     it  available for  all school  districts to  use, on  a                                                                    
     voluntary basis.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:26:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon OPENED public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN SHIPLEY, KAKE CITY SCHOOLS,  KAKE, spoke in support of                                                                    
the  bill. He  advocated  for a  research bases,  systematic                                                                    
approach  to  curriculum in  teaching  and  not a  "textbook                                                                    
adoption"  system.  He  believed that  textbooks  should  be                                                                    
tools  for, and  not  drivers of,  education curriculum.  He                                                                    
spoke of the  work that had been done in  Texas and New York                                                                    
to implement an effective curriculum.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  commented that the bill  was intended to                                                                    
dovetail with  the work of  the Department of  Education and                                                                    
Early   Development  to   refrain  from   allowing  textbook                                                                    
companies to dictate curriculum in Alaska schools.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:29:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALYSE  GALVIN, GREAT  ALASKA SCHOOLS,  JUNEAU, testified  in                                                                    
support  of  the  bill.  She echoed  the  testimony  of  the                                                                    
previous speaker  that educators and parents  should support                                                                    
the changes in curriculum.  She believed that new curriculum                                                                    
could raise the bar and change behavior in education.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:32:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAUL   PRUSSING,  ACTING   DIRECTOR,  DIVISION   OF  STUDENT                                                                    
LEARNING,  DEPARTMENT OF  EDUCATION  AND EARLY  DEVELOPMENT,                                                                    
commented that  it would be  a challenge for  the department                                                                    
to implement  the legislation.  He appreciated  the concept,                                                                    
said that  the fiscal note  presented a hurdle,  but assured                                                                    
the committee that the department  would work to realize the                                                                    
intent of the bill.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SANA  EFRID, DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT OF  EDUCATION                                                                    
AND EARLY DEVELOPMENT, said that  the goal of the department                                                                    
was to support the districts. She  was unaware as to how the                                                                    
districts  wanted the  department to  support them  in their                                                                    
curriculum  review, but  she looked  forward  to having  the                                                                    
conversation with districts.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  believed  that textbooks  should  be  a                                                                    
tool, but should not drive  the learning of Alaska students.                                                                    
She lamented  the achievement gap between  the United States                                                                    
and other  nations. She said that  she had sent a  letter to                                                                    
the  department that  asked  for  consideration for  smaller                                                                    
school  districts that  could not  conduct a  proper review,                                                                    
and hoped that  the department would work with  her to lower                                                                    
the  fiscal note.  She suggested  that the  department could                                                                    
look  at curriculum  and give  all  schools a  break on  the                                                                    
curriculum review,  voluntarily, and have schools  adopt the                                                                    
5  big school's  curriculum,  along with  2 high  performing                                                                    
rural schools,  and then  wait for 3  years. She  hoped that                                                                    
this could  give all schools the  opportunity to participate                                                                    
in the "Alaska Challenge."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:37:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  hoped that during the  curriculum review                                                                    
break, the  department could examine  the math  and language                                                                    
arts  programs that  were successful  in  other states,  and                                                                    
then bring  that curriculum  back to  the state.  She stated                                                                    
that  the intent  of  the  bill was  to  support a  systemic                                                                    
change  on a  volunteer basis,  with resources  available on                                                                    
the state level to support districts.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:39:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Efrid  hoped  that  a   deeper  conversation  with  the                                                                    
committee could  provide the department with  clarity on the                                                                    
intent of the  legislation. She noted that  the current DEED                                                                    
fiscal  note was  indeterminate,  but that  it could  change                                                                    
once  the  department  had a  better  understanding  of  the                                                                    
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  reiterated that  the  idea  was not  to                                                                    
provide districts with more textbooks.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Efrid appreciated  the statement.  She added  that many                                                                    
students  in the  state needed  supplemental materials,  and                                                                    
that each district had individual needs.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:40:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bishop thought  that  the  University of  Alaska                                                                    
should be involved in conversations about the three bills.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon stated that she  had been in contact with                                                                    
the University.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:42:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  von Imhof  asked when  the  Alaska State  Standards                                                                    
were adopted, and wondered what  curriculum efforts had been                                                                    
made since the standard were adopted.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Prussing stated that the  new standards were implemented                                                                    
in  2012.  He  lamented  that,   due  to  budget  cuts,  the                                                                    
department did  not have the  staff available to  offer full                                                                    
support to districts.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  interjected  that the  legislation  was                                                                    
intended to  be a  tool to assist  the department.  She said                                                                    
that the  current budget deficit  meant that there  would be                                                                    
no  new funds  available for  education. She  furthered that                                                                    
anyone waiting to testify on  SB 103, the Alaska Performance                                                                    
Scholarship  bill, should  be aware  that  funding for  that                                                                    
program would  have to come  from a savings account  of some                                                                    
type.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:45:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon asked Ms. Efrid to schedule an                                                                               
appointment with her office to continue discussing the                                                                          
specifics of the bill.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Efrid said she would schedule the meeting.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon commented that Miles Baker, Director,                                                                        
Government Relations, University of Alaska, was available                                                                       
to respond to questions for the University.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:45:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hutchison offered a sponsor statement for the bill:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The  goal  of this  bill  is  to help  provide  Alaskan                                                                    
     students  with better  outcomes through  new innovative                                                                    
     new  educational delivery  methods and  by providing  a                                                                    
     fund that will  allow school districts to  apply to the                                                                    
     Department  of Education  and Early  Development (DEED)                                                                    
     for innovative education grants.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     We  need to  prioritize  K-12 investment  to make  sure                                                                    
     that  our students  are prepared  for  life after  high                                                                    
     school.  Since  2011  when   APS  was  created,  47,907                                                                    
     students  have graduated  from high  school in  Alaska,                                                                    
     only 8,606 of  them received the APS.  The total payout                                                                    
     to the  approximately 18% of high  school graduates was                                                                    
     $48.8 million.  Of the  recipients, 26%  currently need                                                                    
     remediation  when they  enter college.  The APS  is not                                                                    
     achieving the results we had hoped for.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     SB   103  will   phase  out   the  Alaska   Performance                                                                    
     Scholarship  and the  Alaska Education  Grant over  the                                                                    
     next 4 years.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
        · Seniors in high school now - will receive 4 years                                                                     
          of scholarship                                                                                                        
        · Freshman in College now - will receive 3 more                                                                         
          years of scholarship                                                                                                  
        · Sophomore in College now - will receive 2 more                                                                        
          years of scholarship                                                                                                  
        · Junior in College now - will receive 1 more year                                                                      
          of scholarship                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The high  school graduating class  of 2017 will  be the                                                                    
     last class to receive these awards.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     We must prioritize K-12  investment and provide Alaskan                                                                    
     students  with a  valuable 21st  century education.  In                                                                    
     doing so, SB 103 will  rename the Higher Education Fund                                                                    
     to, "The Alaska Innovation  Education Grant Fund." This                                                                    
     Fund's  purpose is  to  provide  school districts  with                                                                    
     grants  to  fulfill  academically  innovative  ways  of                                                                    
     delivering  education,  such  as coursework  through  a                                                                    
     combination   of  technologies,   pilot  programs   for                                                                    
     cutting-edge  learning resources,  and  changes in  the                                                                    
     way students  and teachers  interact in  the classroom,                                                                    
     to name  a few.  These grants must  be approved  by the                                                                    
     Commissioner  of  Education  and be  submitted  to  the                                                                    
     legislature for funding.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     I urge your support for this legislation.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:48:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hutchison reviewed the Sectional Analysis (copy on                                                                          
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1: AS 14.03                                                                                                    
     Adds a new section,  AS 14.03.128, that establishes the                                                                    
     Alaska   Education   Innovation  Grant   Fund.   School                                                                    
     Districts may  request a grant  under this  section for                                                                    
     the   support  of   innovative  education   ideas.  The                                                                    
     Commissioner of  the Department of Education  and Early                                                                    
     Development (DEED) shall  determine annually the amount                                                                    
     requested for  grants and submit  them in  their budget                                                                    
     for legislative approval.                                                                                                  
     Section 2: AS 14.42.030(e)                                                                                                 
     Removes the Alaska Education  Grant from state statute.                                                                    
     The  Alaska Education  Grant is  in AS  14.43.400 -  AS                                                                    
     14.43.420.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3: AS 14.43.810(a)                                                                                             
     Makes  the high  school graduating  class of  2017, the                                                                    
     last   high  school   class  to   receive  the   Alaska                                                                    
     Performance Scholarship (APS).                                                                                             
     Section 4: AS 14.43.820(a)                                                                                                 
     Allows the commission  to award an APS to  a student no                                                                    
     later than July 1, 2017.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5: AS 14.43.915(a)                                                                                             
     Makes  the APS  and  the Alaska  Education Grant  (AEG)                                                                    
     available  to  students for  four  years  and does  not                                                                    
     allow a student's eligibility to  go past the 2020-2021                                                                    
     academic year.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section 6: AS 14.43.915(a)                                                                                             
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska  Education  Innovation   Grant".  This  section                                                                    
     deals  with money  going from  the fund  to the  Alaska                                                                    
     Education Grant fund. This section  is repealed Feb. 1,                                                                    
     2021.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 7: AS 14.43.915(b)                                                                                             
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska  Education  Innovation   Grant".  This  section                                                                    
     deals  with money  going from  the fund  to the  Alaska                                                                    
     Performance Scholarship award  account. This section is                                                                    
     repealed Feb. 1, 2021.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 8: AS 14.43.915(c)                                                                                             
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska  Education  Innovation   Grant".  This  section                                                                    
     deals  with the  allocation  of monies  from the  fund.                                                                    
     This section is repealed Feb. 1, 2021.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 9: AS 14.45.130(a)                                                                                             
     This section deals with eligibility  of students from a                                                                    
     private or  religious school receiving  the APS.  It is                                                                    
     repealed Feb. 1, 2021.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 10: AS 37.14.750(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska  Education  Innovation   Grant".  This  section                                                                    
     establishes the  purpose of the fund,  which is "making                                                                    
     grants  to  school  districts  to  support  the  Alaska                                                                    
     Education Innovation Grant Program."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 11: AS 37.14.750(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska  Education  Innovation   Grant".  This  section                                                                    
     establishes the  purpose of the fund,  which is "making                                                                    
     grants  to  school  districts  to  support  the  Alaska                                                                    
     Education Innovation Grant  Program." This section also                                                                    
     removes  the language  that  allows  payments from  the                                                                    
     fund   to   go   to   scholarships   to   postsecondary                                                                    
     institutions.  This  section  is repealed  in  Feb.  1,                                                                    
     2021.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 12: AS 37.14.750(d)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska Education Innovation Grant".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
     Section 13: AS 43.20.014(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska Education Innovation Grant".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 14: AS 43.55.019(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska Education Innovation Grant".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 15: AS 43.56.018(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska Education Innovation Grant".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 16: AS 43.65.018(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska Education Innovation Grant".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 17: AS 43.75.018(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska Education Innovation Grant".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 18: AS 43.77.045(a)                                                                                            
     Conforming  Language to  change  the name  of the  fund                                                                    
     from  "Alaska  Higher   Education  Investment"  to  the                                                                    
     "Alaska Education Innovation Grant".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 19: AS 14.03.113                                                                                               
     AS 14.03.113, "District's  determination of scholarship                                                                    
     eligibility" is repealed July 1, 2017.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 20                                                                                                             
     Repeals the following sections on Feb. 1, 2021.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Article 8: Alaska Education Grant Program                                                                                  
     - AS 14.43.400 - Purpose; creation                                                                                         
     - AS 14.43.405 - Administration                                                                                            
     - AS 14.43.406 - Applicability of other laws                                                                               
     - AS 14.43.415 - Eligibility; priority                                                                                     
     - AS 14.43.420 - Limitation on grants                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
    Article 12: Alaska Performance Scholarship Program                                                                          
     -  AS   14.43.810  -  Alaska   performance  scholarship                                                                    
     program established; regulations                                                                                           
     -  AS   14.43.820  -  Alaska   performance  scholarship                                                                    
     program; eligibility                                                                                                       
     - AS 14.43.825 - Maximum annual awards                                                                                     
     - AS 14.43.830 - Qualified postsecondary institutions                                                                      
     - AS 14,43.840 - Report to the Legislature                                                                                 
     - AS 14.43.849 - Definitions                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Article 13 General Provisions                                                                                              
     -  AS 14.43.915  - Alaska  education grant  account and                                                                    
     Alaska performance scholarship award account                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
    Article 9: Alaska Higher Education Investment Fund                                                                          
     - AS  37.14.750(c) -  As soon  as is  practicable after                                                                    
     July 1 of each year,  the commissioner of revenue shall                                                                    
     determine the  market value of the  fund established in                                                                    
     this section  on June 30 for  the immediately preceding                                                                    
     fiscal  year.  The  commissioner shall  identify  seven                                                                    
     percent of  that amount as available  for appropriation                                                                    
     as  follows:  (1)  one-third   for  the  grant  account                                                                    
     established  under  AS  14.43.915(a),  from  which  the                                                                    
     Alaska Commission on  Postsecondary Education may award                                                                    
     grants; and (2) two-thirds  for the scholarship account                                                                    
     established  under  AS  14.43.915(b),  from  which  the                                                                    
     Alaska Commission on  Postsecondary Education may award                                                                    
     scholarships.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section 21: Applicability Section                                                                                      
     The  Alaska Commission  on Postsecondary  Education may                                                                    
     only  award an  APS  to  a new  applicant  if they  are                                                                    
     determined  eligible  by   their  school  district  and                                                                    
     reported  as eligible  to  DEED on  or  before July  1,                                                                    
     2017.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 22: Transition                                                                                                 
     The  Departments of:  Education and  Early Development,                                                                    
     Labor   and  Workforce   Development  and   the  Alaska                                                                    
     Commission   on  Postsecondary   Education  may   adopt                                                                    
     regulations  to  implement  necessary changes  made  by                                                                    
     this act.  The regulations  may only take  effect after                                                                    
     the law is implemented.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 23: Retroactivity                                                                                              
     If Sections  3-5 and 19  of this Act take  effect after                                                                    
     July 1, 2017, then sections 3-5  and 19 of this act are                                                                    
     retroactive to July 1, 2017.                                                                                               
     Section 24: Effective Dates                                                                                                
     Sections 2, 9, and 11 take effect Feb. 1, 2021.                                                                            
     Section 25: Effective Date                                                                                                 
     Except  for  Sections 2,  9,  and  11, this  act  takes                                                                    
     effect immediately.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section 23: Retroactivity                                                                                              
     If Sections  3-5 and 19  of this Act take  effect after                                                                    
     July 1, 2017, then sections 3-5  and 19 of this act are                                                                    
     retroactive to July 1, 2017.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section 24: Effective Dates                                                                                            
     Sections 2, 9, and 11 take effect Feb. 1, 2021.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 25: Effective Date                                                                                             
     Except  for  Sections 2,  9,  and  11, this  act  takes                                                                    
     effect immediately.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:50:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon OPENED public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ARLENE  RONDA, SELF,  HOMER (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in  opposition to  the legislation.  She said  that she  was                                                                    
opposed to  any provision  that would give  a tax  credit to                                                                    
individuals,  businesses,  property  owners,  or  any  other                                                                    
entity that  could claim  a tax credit  for a  donation. She                                                                    
asserted that well-funded public  schools were essential for                                                                    
a civil society.  She was opposed to the  tax credit section                                                                    
of the legislation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:53:16 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:53:45 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  explained that the bill  would not alter                                                                    
or repeal anything in relation  to tax credits. She stressed                                                                    
that the  tax credits  mentioned in the  legislation already                                                                    
existed  in state  statute and  were not  being repealed  or                                                                    
changed.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Ronda was surprised that  the credit had been in statute                                                                    
all  along. She  maintained her  concerned that  tax credits                                                                    
were   going  toward   anything  that   was  not   a  public                                                                    
institution.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  explained how the tax  credits worked in                                                                    
relation to the Higher Education Fund.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:55:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SAICHI   OBA,   UNIVERSITY   OF   ALASKA,   FAIRBANKS   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified  in  strong  opposition  to  the                                                                    
bill.   He  supported   the  continuation   of  the   Alaska                                                                    
Performance  Scholarship.   He  said  that   the  University                                                                    
opposed the  use of  funds, identified for  APS, to  be used                                                                    
for other purposes. He said  that APS encouraged students to                                                                    
take  rigorous  courses,  and  that  recipients  took  fewer                                                                    
remedial courses  than non-recipients.  He ruminated  on the                                                                    
positive   educational  aspects   of  the   scholarship.  He                                                                    
believed  that  the  greatest challenge  facing  Alaska  was                                                                    
students  choosing not  to  continue  to any  post-secondary                                                                    
program, which the loss of APS would only exacerbate.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:58:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEPHANIE   BUTLER,  ALASKA   COMMISSION  ON   POSTSECONDARY                                                                    
EDUCATION, JUNEAU, testified in  opposition to the bill. She                                                                    
said  that the  APS was  an  existing resource  that had  an                                                                    
extraordinary  reach;  students  and  the  state  benefitted                                                                    
greatly from  the program.  She listed  the various  ways in                                                                    
which  the APS  benefitted  the state.  She  noted that  the                                                                    
scholarship  provided  a  pathway to  higher  education  for                                                                    
lower income  Alaskans. She noted  that many  APS recipients                                                                    
are the first  members of their families  to attend college.                                                                    
She related that the APS  was a positive force in addressing                                                                    
Alaska's education and workforce  crisis, and the impact was                                                                    
growing.  She  relayed  that   the  program  encouraged  all                                                                    
students to aim higher academically.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:02:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT  MACMANUS,   SUPERINTENDENT,  ALASKA   GATEWAY  SCHOOL                                                                    
DISTRICT,  TOK,   spoke  in  opposition  to   the  bill.  He                                                                    
testified  that he  supported innovation  in education,  but                                                                    
not at  the expense of  the APS. He supported  the education                                                                    
commissioner's "Alaska  Challenge," which he  believed would                                                                    
create  an  innovative,   systemic,  long-term  solution  to                                                                    
Alaska education. He lamented all  of the positions that his                                                                    
district was going to lose  under the proposed 5 percent cut                                                                    
to education.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:04:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN  SHIPLEY,  KAKE  CITY   SCHOOLS,  KAKE,  testified  in                                                                    
opposition to SB 103. He  stressed that the APS had resulted                                                                    
in students  taking more  academically rigorous  classes. He                                                                    
said that the  APS had been a driver in  raising the bar for                                                                    
students  to challenge  themselves  academically. He  shared                                                                    
that the APS  had allowed for innovation  in schools because                                                                    
educators  had  to figure  out  how  to offer  the  required                                                                    
courses to students.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  asked  whether the  Kake  school  board                                                                    
adopted curriculum.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Shipley replied  that the school board  had adjusted and                                                                    
adopted curriculum, and he lamented  that the curriculum was                                                                    
largely driven by textbooks.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon asked  if the local school  board set the                                                                    
parameters for education qualifications.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Shipley replied in the affirmative.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:07:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator von Imhof asked whether  the school district offered                                                                    
information on various scholarships to seniors.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Shipley replied  that the  district had  a college  and                                                                    
career counselor,  paid for  by a  grant, and  that students                                                                    
were  constantly  seeking  additional  ways  to  fund  their                                                                    
higher education. He said that  the counselor was funded for                                                                    
the next three years through a federal grant.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  von  Imhof asked  how  many  seniors lived  in  the                                                                    
district.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Shipley replied that he had 5 seniors in his district.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:08:52 PM                                                                                                                    
TONY  HABRA, HAINES  BOROUGH SCHOOLS,  HAINES, testified  in                                                                    
opposition to  the bill. He  shared that his  daughter would                                                                    
be receiving  the APS in  2017. He  said that the  APS would                                                                    
allow her  to receive  her degree and  stay in  Alaska after                                                                    
graduation. He believed that she  was representative of many                                                                    
students that  received the scholarship. He  echoed previous                                                                    
testimony  about the  APS  benefitting lower-income  student                                                                    
who may be the first in their family to attend college.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:11:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIM BAUER,  SUPERINTENDENT, ANNETTE ISLAND  SCHOOL DISTRICT,                                                                    
METLAKATLA, testified  in opposition to the  bill. He echoed                                                                    
the comments of  the previous speaker. He  asserted that the                                                                    
scholarships  provided hope  and  possibilities for  Alaskan                                                                    
students. He relayed  that the chance at an APS  was used to                                                                    
bolster  motivation for  engagement  by  students; the  idea                                                                    
that  there would  be a  reward  for hard  work resulted  in                                                                    
students success. He passionately  defended the retention of                                                                    
the APS.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  asked   whether  Mr.  Bauer's  students                                                                    
qualified for other University grants.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Bauer answered in the affirmative.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:13:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN   CONWELL,   SUPERINTENDENT,   UNALASKA   CITY   SCHOOL                                                                    
DISTRICT, UNALASKA,  spoke against  the bill.  He remembered                                                                    
that   the  original   legislation   that  established   the                                                                    
scholarship  had  been signed  on  campus  by then  Governor                                                                    
Parnell. He believed that the  program especially served his                                                                    
diverse district well, and he  praised the innovative nature                                                                    
of the program.  He shared that the scholarship  was often a                                                                    
"safety net" for students seeking  financial aid. He thought                                                                    
that recipients of the scholarship  were more likely to stay                                                                    
in Alaska for their postsecondary education.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:17:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LORA  JORGENSEN, SELF,  JUNEAU, testified  in opposition  to                                                                    
the bill.  She discussed  the benefits  of the  program that                                                                    
extended beyond  recipients of the scholarships.  She shared                                                                    
that her son was a recipient of APS.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:19:54 PM                                                                                                                    
HOLLY  HOLMAN,  UNALASKA  CITY  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,  UNALASKA,                                                                    
testified against the  bill. She relayed that  her child had                                                                    
applied for the scholarship and  had decided to go to school                                                                    
in  Fairbanks.  She  said that  students  in  Unalaska  were                                                                    
working extra  hard in  order to qualify  for APS,  and that                                                                    
these students wanted to go to  college and then make a life                                                                    
in  Alaska.  She  believed  that   the  scholarship  was  an                                                                    
investment in the future.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:22:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MAXIMILIAN ERICKSON,  SELF, FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  opposition to the  bill. He voiced  strong support                                                                    
for APS.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:23:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GRETCHYN  O'DONNELL,  SELF,   JUNEAU  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  opposition to  the bill.  She shared  that she                                                                    
was a  first generation college  student in her  family. She                                                                    
relayed that the APS became  available her sophomore year of                                                                    
high  school.  She  believed  that  investment  in  students                                                                    
through the APS  gave students hope that  their dreams could                                                                    
be achieved. She  said that she would not have  been able to                                                                    
attend college without the APS.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:26:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PETE  HOEPFNER,   CORDOVA  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,   CORDOVA  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  opposition to  the bill.  He                                                                    
spoke of  the increased academic  rigor in his  district due                                                                    
to the APS. He said that  many students had planned on using                                                                    
the  scholarship to  go  to college.  He  worried that  only                                                                    
having  grants available  would pit  districts against  each                                                                    
other because  some would  be better  at grant  writing than                                                                    
others. He did not think  that districts should compete with                                                                    
each  other  for  funding.  He   felt  that  the  additional                                                                    
administrative  costs  of  crafting  the  innovative  grants                                                                    
would  add  more work  to  the  already  full plate  of  the                                                                    
reduced personnel  at the Department of  Education and Early                                                                    
Childhood Development.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:28:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOE NELSON,  UNIVERSITY OF  ALASKA SOUTHEAST,  JUNEAU, spoke                                                                    
in  opposition  to  the  bill. He  echoed  the  comments  of                                                                    
previous  testifiers.  He  expressed understanding  for  the                                                                    
fiscal situation in the state.  He felt that the scholarship                                                                    
was  impacting systemic  change  and helping  to change  the                                                                    
culture  of education  district-by-district.  He noted  that                                                                    
districts were  initially challenged by the  requirements of                                                                    
the APS, but that the idea  had been proved to be thoughtful                                                                    
and  innovative,   as  it  tied   the  scholarship   to  the                                                                    
curriculum, standardized test scores,  the G.P.A, and took a                                                                    
three tiered approach to qualifying levels.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  believed  that  of  the  5  percent  of                                                                    
students that applied for the  grant and received it, only 5                                                                    
percent of the student graduated in 6 years' time.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Nelson  agreed that the  issue of persistence  should be                                                                    
addressed.  He  thought  that   graduation  rates  could  be                                                                    
improved.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon restated  that 5  percent of  all Alaska                                                                    
high school  freshmen would graduate  from college  within 6                                                                    
years.  She noted  that the  statistic was  farther reaching                                                                    
than just the scholarship.  She wondered whether the dollars                                                                    
were being used to the greatest benefit through the APS.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:33:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALYSE  GALVIN,  SELF, JUNEAU,  spoke  in  opposition to  the                                                                    
bill. She believed that the  scholarship served students who                                                                    
may not have believed that they could ever attend college.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:36:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JACK  WALSH, SUPERINTENDENT,  CRAIG SCHOOL  DISTRICT, CRAIG,                                                                    
testified in opposition to SB  103. He recognized that there                                                                    
was a  need for  innovation in  education. He  believed that                                                                    
eliminating the  scholarship would  be harmful to  the state                                                                    
overall. He felt  that the legislature could  craft a fiscal                                                                    
plan while maintaining the scholarship.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:39:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Micciche asked how Mr.  Walsh made the connection of                                                                    
K-12 education and the APS part of his mission.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Walsh responded that  scholarships in education provided                                                                    
hope  and opportunity  to Alaskan  students  and could  lead                                                                    
people out  of poverty  and into successful  livelihoods. He                                                                    
believed  that   not  only  K-12  education   needed  to  be                                                                    
encouraged, but  also postsecondary education. He  felt that                                                                    
education should not  end with the 12th grade,  and that all                                                                    
of  the research  stated  that  postsecondary education  was                                                                    
necessary in the future.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:42:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIM PARKER, NEA  ALASKA, JUNEAU, spoke in  opposition to the                                                                    
bill. He  believed in innovation  in K-12 education,  and he                                                                    
stressed  that   every  good  teacher   in  the   state  was                                                                    
innovating  on a  regular basis.  He said  that 2  out of  3                                                                    
students  needed financial  aid in  order to  attend college                                                                    
and that the APS was needed by those students.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:44:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRENDA TAYLOR,  GREAT ALASKA  SCHOOLS, JUNEAU,  testified in                                                                    
opposition to the  bill. She said that she  had initially be                                                                    
against the  APS because of  the pressure that it  placed on                                                                    
school districts  to meet  the scholarship  requirements for                                                                    
class offerings.  She said  that her  mind had  been changed                                                                    
and she  had realized that  the advanced rigor  had resulted                                                                    
in students working harder toward  the goal of postsecondary                                                                    
education.  She  said  that  college  counselors  at  Juneau                                                                    
Douglas  High School  had been  cut, which  had resulted  in                                                                    
students  having less  guidance when  seeking resources  and                                                                    
financial aid for college.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:47:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHY  TODD, SELF,  VALDEZ  (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
opposition  to  the bill.  She  believed  that the  APS  had                                                                    
proved  successful in  her district  in  motivating kids  to                                                                    
take  more  academic classes,  and  in  raising grade  point                                                                    
averages. She  said that the  scholarship had  provided much                                                                    
needed  funding  for  financial  aid.  She  added  that  the                                                                    
scholarship fed the University  budget while helping Alaskan                                                                    
students. She  believed that the  APS was an  innovative way                                                                    
to  change  school culture  for  the  better and  give  more                                                                    
students a range of postgraduate educational opportunities.                                                                     
3:51:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN  NIMAN, SELF,  VALDEZ (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in  opposition to  the bill.  She thought  that taking  away                                                                    
money from a  group that did not have the  power to vote was                                                                    
unfair.  She   felt  that  education  funding   should  take                                                                    
priority  over  funding   juvenile  detention  centers.  She                                                                    
echoed the points made by previous testifiers.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:52:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  COONS, SELF,  PALMER  (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
support of the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:55:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TODD SMOLDON,  SELF, WILLOW (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in support the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:58:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon specified  that  amendments  for SB  103                                                                    
were due by 5pm, Tuesday, April 11, 2017.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Stephanie Butler,  Executive Director, Alaska Commission                                                                    
on  Postsecondary  Education,  Department of  Education  and                                                                    
Early  Development offered  to  provide further  information                                                                    
that supported not eliminating the APS program.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon reminded  the committee  and the  public                                                                    
that Alaska was  facing a fiscal crisis.  She explained that                                                                    
a direct draw from the  earnings reserve account (ERA) would                                                                    
jeopardize the Alaska Permanent  Fund Dividend. She stressed                                                                    
that it  was critical to  examine important issues  in order                                                                    
to address the current budget shortfall.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SB  103  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon discussed housekeeping.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
4:02:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 4:02 p.m.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 102 - Sectional Analysis.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 102
Copy of SB 102 Alaska Schools Under 25mbps.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 102
SB 102 Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 102
SB 103 2015-2016 Graduation Rates.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 AEG.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 APS.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 High School to College.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 HS Grads UA Table and Remediation Rates.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 Public Testimony Hoza.msg SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 Sectional Analysis.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 104 - Sectional Analysis.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 104
SB 104 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 104
SB 103 APS UA Scholars Overlap.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 – Alaska Performance Scholarship Azpilcueta.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 – Alaska Performance Scholarship Schrage.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 – Alaska Performance Scholarship Keene.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 – Alaska Performance Scholarship Brekke.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 - Alaska Performance Scholarship Sosnowski.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 – Alaska Performance Scholarship Echaverria.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103-Alaska Performance Scholorship Doner.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103
SB 103 ACPE Testimony.pdf SFIN 4/10/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 103