Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/03/1993 01:45 PM HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE March 3, 1993 1:45 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Steve Rieger, Chairman Senator Loren Leman Senator Mike Miller Senator Bert Sharp, Vice Chairman Senator Jim Duncan Senator Johnny Ellis MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Judy Salo COMMITTEE CALENDAR 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 61 - See HESS minutes dated 2/8/93, 2/10/93, 2/17/93, 2/24/93. WITNESS REGISTER Vernon Marshall, Executive Director National Education Association-Alaska, Inc. 114 Second Street Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 61 Steve McPheters, Executive Director Alaska Council of School Administrators 326 4th Street Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 61. Vince Barry, Director Education Program Support Department of Education 801 W. 10 St., Suite 200 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1894 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 61. Bob Silverman Department of Education 801 W. 10 St., Suite 200 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1894 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 61. Claudia Douglas, President NEA 114 Second Street Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 61. Earl Clark, Professor University of Alaska Juneau 9163 Parkwood Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 61. Marla Huss, Aide %Senator Salo Capitol Bldg. Juneau, Alaska 99801-1802 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 61. John Gillespie Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 61. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-18, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN RIEGER called the Senate Health, Education, and Social Services Committee (HESS) to order at 1:45 p.m. and announced SB 61 IMPLEMENT ALASKA 2000 RECOMMENDATIONS to be up for consideration. VERNON MARSHALL, Executive Director, NEA/AK, said they had two meetings with the representatives from the School Board Association and administrators discussing proposed amendment him. They supported the current practice of offering someone tenure who has performed well for two years. In the third year, if a non-tenured teacher is making progress ( with an individual improvement plan), the district can extend the probationary period one additional year. MR. MARSHALL pointed out language they inserted which says that the district must provide a non-tenured teacher during each year of the teacher's non-tenure with a minimum of two formal observations and two evaluation sessions. Number 199 SENATOR RIEGER asked what was the method of evaluating tenured teachers. MR. MARSHALL said there is a provision in place that does require tenured teachers to be evaluated at least one time annually. Each school district has its own method of evaluation. NEA encourages good staff development programs. Number 252 STEVE MCPHETERS, Executive Director, Alaska Council of School Administrators, said the issue of tenure is a very sensitive one across the state. The basis of the extension of the probationary third year is to help those teachers who have the potential of being good educators. From his experience the first year teacher always has a very difficult time. By their second year they begin to develop their own style of teaching. In their third year they can carry on more independently. The third year is a very important time for the non-tenured teacher, he reiterated. MR. MCPHETERS said they are not in total agreement with the language Mr. Marshall has. Number 369 SENATOR SHARP asked how many tenured teachers were undergoing reevaluation. VINCE BARRY, Director, Education Program Support, asked Bob Silverman, DOE, if he knew the figure. MR. SILVERMAN said he didn't have that data. MR. BARRY added that the Department was very happy to see the length of time issue being discussed. Number 391 SENATOR DUNCAN moved to withdraw amendment #6. There were no objections and it was so ordered. Number 419 SENATOR ELLIS moved amendment #7. There were no objections and it was so ordered. SENATOR ELLIS said he was concerned with the number of allowable charter schools which is currently 40. He is going to propose to reduce that to a pilot project. He was concerned with the vagueness of the language. MR. BARRY commented one concern he had was with the application being made by teachers only. The majority of the advisory committee could be teachers, but public involvement is needed. MR. BARRY personally thought that 40 charter schools would be easy to track through recording mechanisms. Number 496 MR. MCPHETERS said he wasn't that afraid of the charter schools issue. There are currently avenues where a school can be created within a school. One concern they do have is with creating an elitist population. SENATOR DUNCAN commented that it seemed they could do what they wanted to do under present statute. MR. MCPHETERS said they wouldn't look too favorably on Senator Ellis' amendment. They would have to look at what the current restrictions public schools have and compare that to what restrictions there would be for a body to be created within a public school structure. Number 560 CLAUDIA DOUGLAS said that they could support the amendment for a charter school program, because it might provide an opportunity for some people to get together and add reform in a different way. She said that mostly parents don't want to send their children to a separate school; they would like to improve the school they have in their community. TAPE 93-18, SIDE A Number 583 SENATOR LEMAN commented to Ms. Douglas that she was concerned that this would take public dollars and divert it to another program. He personally didn't see any problem with diverting public dollars to other public schools in the school district. MS. DOUGLAS said the way the bill is written there wouldn't be any additional funding to hire more teachers for the kids that are left. If 50 kids and three teachers leave, those kids that are left will have to be placed in other classes making the class sizes go up. Number 534 SENATOR RIEGER asked SENATOR ELLIS to explain the purpose of the fourth part of his amendment. SENATOR ELLIS said he had asked the drafter to address his concerns about governance in that section. Number 467 EARL CLARK, part-time faculty, University of Alaska Southeast, said it is well known that the most crucial year for a teacher is the first year. He likes the idea of the third year. He thought the committee should consider an internship for the first year of teaching and then allow the teacher to earn tenure in the next two years. He thought charter schools was a very clever idea for getting a specialized group of people to have their own school. Instead of breaking up the public school system, he would like to see the purposes of this bill spelled out beautifully by saying "any public school in Alaska that wishes to become a charter school may do so by making application." This would give every public school in Alaska the opportunity to develop their own program, justify it, and run it for three years, and then assess the results. Number 412 SENATOR LEMAN asked who the specialized interests were that everyone was worried about taking over the schools. MR. CLARK said they are the same ones that take advantage of any special program. SENATOR SHARP asked him the difference between special needs and special interests. MR. CLARK said that special interest groups have an agenda. He explained that a separate interest school run outside of the regular program would take away from the public school. He thought the public school system needed to be strengthened, not weakened. MR. CLARK explained that 50% of gifted children (defined as an I.Q. of 130 or over) quit school before they graduate from high school. Many of them go on to college, but many of them don't because they are lost. Special programs are needed for these people. Number 328 MR. MARSHALL pointed out lines 17-23 on page 7 described the organization of the charter school. He felt that the initial group would be parents who understand the rules and procedures for going about acquiring opportunities for their kids. He cautioned the committee against creating opportunities for those who have the good fortune and time to take advantage of them to the detriment of those who may not have the good fortune or means. Number 280 SENATOR DUNCAN said that charter schools do impact the public school system without reducing the cost. Number 157 SENATOR ELLIS withdrew amendment #7 and said he would offer a revised amendment based on comments that he had heard today. There were no objections and it was so ordered. Number 96 SENATOR DUNCAN offered SENATOR SALO's amendment #8. MARLA HUSS, Aide for Senator Salo, said this amendment is a result of concerns raised by the Advisory School Boards that the parent advisory groups at schools would be supplanted. SENATOR LEMAN said he thought that school districts could do this now. MS. HUSS said that statute currently allows REAAs to advise School Boards. SENATOR DUNCAN said there is also an exemption provision which is being deleted by SENATOR SALO's amendment. Her amendment spells things out in detail which present statute doesn't do. TAPE 93-19, SIDE A Number 001 VINCE BARRY said every time the parents and the public participate, the schools are improved. SENATOR DUNCAN said he thought they had public input through election of the School Board members. He asked why Mr. Barry is recommending an exemption for a district that has only one school. MR. BARRY replied it is simply because they are single sites and have a School Board. SENATOR LEMAN asked how many single sites there were in Alaska. MR. BARRY answered 22 and just a few dual sites. Number 040 STEVE MCPHETERS, Alaska Council of School Administrators, supported amendment #8 in changing the "shall" to "may." They hoped this legislation could focus on using existing PTA's for the Advisory Board for that school. Number 070 JOHN GILLESPIE reaffirmed that the parents do have a mechanism for input into the school which is the PTA. Its purpose is to get parental input and to organize that into the school system. The Committee voted on the amendment: SENATOR RIEGER: yes; SENATOR SHARP: no; SENATOR DUNCAN: yes; SENATOR ELLIS: yes, SENATOR LEMAN: no; SENATOR MILLER: no; and the motion failed. Number 087 SENATOR SHARP moved to adopt the amendment #9 on page 3, line 21 after the word "board" delete "at each school." SENATOR LEMAN said he objected to amendment #9. SENATOR LEMAN objected for purposes of discussion. Number 100 SENATOR SHARP withdrew his motion for further consideration. There were no objections and it was so ordered. SENATOR RIEGER adjourned the meeting at 3:33 p.m.