Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/24/1993 01:30 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                        February 24, 1993                                      
                             1:30 p.m.                                         
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Senator Steve Rieger, Chairman                                               
  Senator Bert Sharp, Vice Chairman                                            
  Senator Mike Miller                                                          
  Senator Johnny Ellis                                                         
  Senator Jim Duncan                                                           
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  Senator Loren Leman                                                          
  Senator Judy Salo                                                            
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  SENATE BILL NO. 51                                                           
  "An  Act  providing  for  establishment  of work  camps  for                 
  juveniles  adjudicated  delinquent,  and  extending  to  all                 
  cities  and to nonprofit  corporations authority to maintain                 
  facilities for juveniles."                                                   
  SENATE BILL NO. 61                                                           
  "An  Act implementing certain recommendations of Alaska 2000                 
  to improve the  state's education system; and  providing for                 
  an effective date."                                                          
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
  SB 51 - See HESS minutes dated 2/24/93.                                      
  SB 61 - See HESS minutes dated 2/8/93, 2/10/93, and 2/17/93.                 
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  Sherrie Goll                                                                 
  Alaska Women's Lobby                                                         
  P.O. Box 22156                                                               
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 51.                                     
  Caren Robinson                                                               
  League of Women Voters                                                       
  Southeast Alaska Guidance Association Program                                
  P.O. Box 33702                                                               
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 51.                                     
  Randall Hines, Youth Correction Specialist                                   
  Department of Health and Social Services                                     
  P.O. Box 110630                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 51.                                     
  Claudia Douglas                                                              
  114 Second Street                                                            
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 61.                                     
  Carl Rose, Executive Director                                                
  Association of Alaska School Boards                                          
  316 West 11th Street                                                         
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 61.                                     
  Jerry Covey, Commissioner                                                    
  Department of Education                                                      
  801 W. 10th St.                                                              
  Suite 200                                                                    
  Juneau, Alaska 99801-1984                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 61.                                     
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 93-15, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 001                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN  RIEGER  called the  Senate Health,  Education, and                 
  Social Services Committee  (HESS) to order at  1:30 p.m. and                 
  announced SB 51 WORK  CAMPS FOR JUVENILE OFFENDERS to  be up                 
  for consideration.                                                           
  SENATOR  RANDY PHILLIPS,  sponsor, said  a work  camp is  an                 
  alternative  for juveniles  in trouble, rather  than putting                 
  them   in   McClaughlin.     They  would   have  counseling,                 
  educational programs,  and work  details stressing the  work                 
  Number 61                                                                    
  SHERRIE  GOLL,  Alaska  Women's Lobby,  said  last  year she                 
  testified basically in opposition to the bill because of its                 
  broadness and vagueness.   She didn't know how  "boot camps"                 
  would interface with what we  currently have for residential                 
  child  care.   She  asked if  children  would be  moved from                 
  residential child care  into a labor  situation.  She  asked                 
  where the funding would come from and which facilities would                 
  have to close in order to establish the new program.                         
  CAREN  ROBINSON, League  of  Women  Voters,  and  President,                 
  Southeast  Alaska  Guidance   Association  Program   (SAGA),                 
  commended the sponsor for looking  for alternatives, but she                 
  has concern with a  program that sounds like it  is military                 
  and work camp oriented.                                                      
  MS. ROBINSON was concerned with the $9,000 fiscal note.  She                 
  had a handout that explained SAGA which  has a comprehensive                 
  program  for  youths that  combines  the values,  goals, and                 
  objectives  of   academic  and  outdoor   education,  skills                 
  training, and work  experience.  The youths  involved in the                 
  program  have  to  be  either  in foster  care,  an  alcohol                 
  treatment   program,  a   youth   facility,  have   learning                 
  disabilities, or be  low income.   She said they received  a                 
  federal grant of  $745,000 and  now have a  lodge at  Amalga                 
  Harbor with 30 kids in the  program.  She was concerned what                 
  the model would be with only  $9,000, if we're talking about                 
  rehabilitation and education,  etc.   She said $9,000  could                 
  put another 10 kids into the SAGA program.                                   
  Number 177                                                                   
  RANDALL  HINES, Youth  Correction Specialist,  Department of                 
  Health and Social Services, was there to answer questions.                   
  SENATOR SALO  asked  him to  explain the  fiscal note  which                 
  seemed totally  unrealistic.  MR. HINES said  they view this                 
  as enabling  legislation that would  allow them to  go forth                 
  and develop a model program.                                                 
  SENATOR SALO  said it seemed the  title of the  bill did not                 
  correctly explain that.                                                      
  Number 212                                                                   
  SENATOR PHILLIPS mentioned  that the Federal Control  Act of                 
  1990 authorizes $220 million for programs with "correctional                 
  SENATOR ELLIS asked  what the  educational component of  the                 
  program  would cost?  MR. HINES said that currently programs                 
  operated by  the Department  of Health  and Social  Services                 
  have an educational  component in them.   They would develop                 
  their  model  along   the  same  lines.     The  educational                 
  opportunities in  this program  would be  no different  than                 
  what they have now in existing facilities.                                   
  SENATOR ELLIS commented  that he  had toured  the school  at                 
  McLaughlin Youth Center and it was very inadequate, probably                 
  violated every fire code there was.                                          
  SENATOR ELLIS also  asked how  this related to  Commissioner                 
  Rupp's Project Hope.   He wanted  to be realistic about  the                 
  costs.    MR. HINES  said  the  whole issue  of  funding the                 
  operation of  one of  these camps  is not  addressed in  the                 
  fiscal note, because they don't have a model for it yet.  He                 
  said these  were youth  facilities under  the Department  of                 
  Health   and  Social   Services,   not  the   Department  of                 
  There is an amendment for Section 4 that would  allow a city                 
  or  non  profit  corporation  to  possibly run  a  detention                 
  facility and he wanted the intent clarified.  He recommended                 
  eliminating the juvenile detention facility language.                        
  Number 310                                                                   
  SENATOR LEMAN said he  liked the idea of privatization.   He                 
  didn't  think leaving  the language  in there  would  do any                 
  particular disservice.                                                       
  SENATOR  ELLIS was  bothered by the  broad authority  in the                 
  bill.  Before  he would commit money to  a program like that                 
  he  would have to  know the details  about it.   He said the                 
  Department has full authority to apply  for federal funds to                 
  expand the  youthful offender  programs and  asked why  they                 
  hadn't taken the initiative in those areas.                                  
  MR.  HINES said  there had  been a  number of  discretionary                 
  grant  programs  from  the Office  of  Juvenile  Justice and                 
  Delinquency Prevention for which they  have applied and been                 
  turned down.                                                                 
  SENATOR ELLIS pointed out that they  didn't have a very good                 
  track  record  in  attracting  the  federal funds  they  are                 
  depending on for funding this initiative.                                    
  Number 357                                                                   
  SENATOR RIEGER asked  if their commitment  to the work  camp                 
  would be  following orders  of the  court or  would HESS  be                 
  making those decisions.   MR. HINES explained  under current                 
  regulations,  once  a  child  has  been adjudicated  to  the                 
  custody  of  the  department,  it's   their  decision  which                 
  facility would be best for the  them.  Their primary concern                 
  is what's in  the best interests of  the child.  One  of the                 
  fiscal restraints they've had is in placing kids outside the                 
  state where the program is best for them.                                    
  Number 391                                                                   
  SENATOR  PHILLIPS  asked the  committee to  look at  page 5,                 
  Section 7 for what a "work camp" means.                                      
  SENATOR SALO  questioned the  validity of  the fiscal  note.                 
  SENATOR PHILLIPS  said when the legislature  authorizes them                 
  to set  up the program, they  will tell them  how much money                 
  they can spend.                                                              
  SENATOR DUNCAN pointed out that point holds true only if the                 
  facility is operated  by the state.   If it's operated  by a                 
  city   or  nonprofit,  it  doesn't  have   to  come  to  the                 
  legislature for approval.                                                    
  SENATOR ELLIS says it boggles him  that they are thinking of                 
  granting so much authority to a  department they have had so                 
  many problems with over the years in terms of regulations.                   
  Number 460                                                                   
  SENATOR DUNCAN  said they should  look at  the model  before                 
  they authorize the  establishment of it.  Secondly,  if they                 
  are  having  experts from  "outside"  visit, they  should be                 
  available to talk before the committee.                                      
  SENATOR  RIEGER said  they would hold  the bill  for further                 
  expert testimony.                                                            
  Number 488                                                                   
  SENATOR  RIEGER  announced  SB  61  IMPLEMENT  ALASKA   2000                 
  RECOMMENDATIONS to be up for consideration.                                  
  CLAUDIA DOUGLAS, NEA-AK complimented the  efforts of Senator                 
  Rieger  and Senator  Sharp  for  looking  at some  of  their                 
  concerns in terms of the evaluation process.                                 
  SENATOR DUNCAN asked her if she  was proposing that a school                 
  district  have the  option  of adopting  or  not adopting  a                 
  probationary program.   She said that was correct.   SENATOR                 
  DUNCAN asked if they do adopt it, did it then mean they have                 
  to follow the  guidelines that are on page 2 under 1, 2, and                 
  3?  She said that was correct.  SENATOR DUNCAN then asked if                 
  they  adopt  that program,  after  the second  year,  if the                 
  evaluations  aren't  acceptable,  then  they  can  extend  a                 
  teacher to a third year without tenure.  SENATOR RIEGER said                 
  that was correct.                                                            
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked what  was the basis  for not  granting                 
  tenure?  He  also questioned "the district may terminate the                 
  program at any time" and what happens to a teacher who is in                 
  the middle of the process when the program is terminated.                    
  SENATOR RIEGER referred him  to the last three lines  of the                 
  first page  which reads, "On  termination of a  program, the                 
  provisions of (a) of this section  apply to the probationary                 
  teachers, except that a teacher in a third year of probation                 
  does not  acquire tenure  rights unless  reemployed for  the                 
  school year immediately following the three full  continuous                 
  school years."                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN asked if he was correct in understanding that                 
  if the program  is terminated  and an individual  is in  the                 
  second year, he  falls under the  present tenure law and  if                 
  the individual is  in the  third year, they  could just  not                 
  rehire them.    SENATOR  RIEGER  said he  thought  that  was                 
  correct.  MS. DOUGLAS agreed.                                                
  She said her other concern was  with section (c) which says,                 
  "A  school   district  that   has  a   probationary  teacher                 
  evaluation program may extend..."  She wanted "for cause" to                 
  be inserted which would  allow her to support the  amendment                 
  in a stronger way.                                                           
  SENATOR  DUNCAN said "for cause" should  also be inserted on                 
  the fourth line.  MS. DOUGLAS agreed.                                        
  Number 564                                                                   
  SENATOR MILLER  moved to amend amendment #5.   SENATOR ELLIS                 
  objected  for  a  point  of  information.    SENATOR  DUNCAN                 
  explained that amendment #5  basically deleted the  material                 
  in  the  bill  on  the  tenure  provisions and  sets  up  an                 
  evaluation  procedure.   This  amendment  does not  evaluate                 
  administrators.   His amendment does not have the third year                 
  TAPE 93-15, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 577                                                                   
  SENATOR  SALO  objected  and  there  was discussion  on  the                 
  phrases "for cause"  and "for just  cause."  SENATOR  DUNCAN                 
  said there  has to  be a  reason the  school district  won't                 
  grant tenure.                                                                
  SENATOR RIEGER said he was leery of passing legislation that                 
  invites more  litigation  or that  has language  in it  that                 
  requires an administrative proceeding to interpret.                          
  SENATOR  SHARP  said it  was  his  intent if  tenure  wasn't                 
  granted,  the  only reason  would  be that  there  are still                 
  negative points  that would not  permit them  to employ  the                 
  teacher at the time.                                                         
  SENATOR SALO said  according to  school district people  she                 
  has talked to,  tenure is not a  problem, at all.   The part                 
  that's legitimate about this approach is the small number of                 
  people who need to  be evaluated longer or more  thoroughly.                 
  She suggested  dealing with  that small  number rather  than                 
  dealing with everyone.   She  had a problem  with the  words                 
  "not ready."                                                                 
  SENATOR DUNCAN said  the only  reason he could  see for  not                 
  granting  tenure   would  be  because  of   well  documented                 
  evaluations where performance is not acceptable or not up to                 
  Number 498                                                                   
  SENATOR SALO asked if  in Section 10, line 5  the evaluation                 
  referred to third year or first, second, and third.  SENATOR                 
  RIEGER said he thought it covered first, second, and third.                  
  Number 477                                                                   
  CARL ROSE, Executive Director,  Association of Alaska School                 
  Boards, said they  desire to extend the  probationary period                 
  up to four  years.   If you have  questionable teachers  who                 
  show promise, he thought another year would be  very helpful                 
  and would be a positive approach.                                            
  SENATOR DUNCAN  suggested adding to  the evaluation language                 
  sections (e) and (f), the self improvement plan in the other                 
  amendment, and training for evaluators.                                      
  MR. ROSE said in their proposal they see some responsibility                 
  associated with the  request for  an extension.   He  agreed                 
  there should be something prescribed in terms of what you're                 
  going to provide for this additional year.                                   
  Number 395                                                                   
  SENATOR SALO asked they included the option to terminate the                 
  program.  SENATOR RIEGER  said it seemed to make  sense from                 
  what people were  saying about leaving room  for the program                 
  to improve.  This is one approach.                                           
  Number 346                                                                   
  SENATOR DUNCAN withdrew amendment #5.                                        
  SENATOR DUNCAN then offered amendment #6, although he wasn't                 
  the author.                                                                  
  SENATOR DUNCAN on page  1, Sec. 10, line 3, moved  to insert                 
  "based on the  evaluation and self improvement  program, the                 
  district has determined  there is cause to not  grant tenure                 
  to  the  teacher   on  the  basis   of  the  two  years   of                 
  employment...."  after "subsection and if..." and delete the                 
  rest of the sentence.                                                        
  SENATOR RIEGER objected  for the  purpose of discussion.  He                 
  said he was uneasy  with the word "cause" because  he didn't                 
  know what it meant.  SENATOR  DUNCAN said he had an  opinion                 
  of what "just cause" means, not "cause."  "Just cause" means                 
  the employer must  show the employee committed an  act which                 
  warrants  his discharge.   The  employer must  have  a sound                 
  basis, a reasonable ground,  for his decision.  He  does not                 
  have reasonable ground if the  assumption on which he  makes                 
  his decision is incorrect.                                                   
  SENATOR SALO agreed with SENATOR DUNCAN that "just cause" is                 
  a higher standard than "cause."                                              
  Number 269                                                                   
  SENATOR LEMAN asked what  was the process now if  someone is                 
  not granted tenure  after two years?  Does  cause have to be                 
  shown?  He thought the school district would just not accept                 
  the contract.                                                                
  SENATOR SALO agreed and said if the bill was written to just                 
  apply  to the small number of  teachers the district wonders                 
  about, the affect would probably be to prompt resignation or                 
  to be used, in a limited way, as a shaping tool.                             
  Number 220                                                                   
  SENATOR SHARP  suggested using  Senator Duncan's  amendment,                 
  but adding,  "and if  based on  the existence  of continuing                 
  unsatisfactory   elements   in  the   evaluation   and  self                 
  improvement programs is not ready to..."                                     
  Number 190                                                                   
  MR. ROSE said the issue really comes down to how much  of an                 
  opportunity do we allow our staff to be successful.                          
  Number 166                                                                   
  JERRY  COVEY,  Commissioner  of Education,  said  the  Board                 
  established the  Tenure Review  Committee,  because it  felt                 
  they wanted the public to have more involvement.  The intent                 
  is to add  credibility to the  process, to bring the  public                 
  into the process in a way that builds confidence.                            
  SENATOR DUNCAN said he is not anxious to make any change.                    
  SENATOR SALO said  she would like  to see a draft  amendment                 
  that included Senator Duncan's additions and Senator Sharp's                 
  comments for the next meeting.                                               
  TAPE 93-16, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 001                                                                   
  SENATOR RIEGER adjourned the meeting at 3:05 p.m.                            

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