Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/07/1995 09:15 AM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
    SENATE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE                     
                         April 7, 1995                                         
                           9:15 a.m.                                           
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
 Senator Lyda Green, Chairman                                                  
 Senator Loren Leman, Vice-Chairman                                            
 Senator Mike Miller                                                           
 Senator Johnny Ellis                                                          
 Senator Judy Salo                                                             
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
 All members present.                                                          
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 134                                                           
 "An Act establishing an endowment for the Robert B. Atwood                    
 journalism chair at the University of Alaska Anchorage; and                   
 providing for an effective date."                                             
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 215 am                                                         
 "An Act relating to suspension of a student from a public school."            
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 108                                                            
 "An Act relating to claims on permanent fund dividends for                    
 defaulted public assistance overpayments."                                    
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 124(FIN)                                                
 "An Act transferring the regulation of nursing home administrators            
 to the Department of Commerce and Economic Development; abolishing            
 the Board of Nursing Home Administrators; clarifying the conditions           
 under which a nursing home administrator license may be denied; and           
 providing for an effective date."                                             
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 132                                                           
 "An Act relating to judicial review of decisions of school boards             
 relating to nonretention or dismissal of teachers."                           
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
                                                                               
 SB 134 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated                
          3/27/95.                                                             
                                                                               
 HB 215 - No previous action to record.                                        
                                                                               
 HB 108 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated                
          3/27/95.                                                             
                                                                               
 HB 124 - No previous action to record.                                        
 SB 132 - No previous action to record.                                        
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
 Josh Fink, Staff                                                              
 Senator Kelly                                                                 
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed SB 134.                                         
                                                                               
 Sylvia Broady, Chairman & Professor                                           
 Journalism and Public Communications Department                               
 University of Alaska Anchorage                                                
 University Drive                                                              
 Anchorage, Alaska 99508                                                       
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Stated that with Mr. Atwood's and the state's            
                      money this academic chair could be achieved.             
                                                                               
 Suzan Nightingale, Chair                                                      
 Professional Advisory Council                                                 
 Journalism and Public Communications Department                               
 117 E. Cook Avenue                                                            
 Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                       
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed the benefits of passage of SB 134.             
                                                                               
 Representative Con Bunde                                                      
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime Sponsor of HB 215.                                 
                                                                               
 Wendy Redman, Vice President                                                  
 University Relations                                                          
 Statewide University of Alaska System                                         
 Juneau, Alaska                                                                
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Suggested adding the university to HB 215.               
                                                                               
 Marveen Coggins, Staff                                                        
 Representative Toohey                                                         
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed HB 108.                                         
                                                                               
 Jim Dalman, Program Officer                                                   
 Food Stamp Claims Unit                                                        
 Division of Public Assistance                                                 
 Department of Health & Social Services                                        
 400 W. Willoughby, Suite 302                                                  
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1731                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Stated the support of HB 108 by DHSS.                    
                                                                               
 Benjamin Brown, Staff                                                         
 Representative Toohey                                                         
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed HB 124.                                         
                                                                               
 Barbara Gabier, Program Coordinator                                           
 Division of Occupational Licensing                                            
 Department of Commerce and Economic Development                               
 PO Box 110806                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0806                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Stated that the Department of Commerce is                
                      prepared to take over this licensing program.            
                                                                               
 Portia Babcock, Staff                                                         
 Senator Green                                                                 
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed sectional analysis of SB 132.                   
                                                                               
 Jerry McBeth, President                                                       
 University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                
 Board of Education Member, Fairbanks North Star Borough                       
 Fairbanks, Alaska                                                             
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke in favor of the original SB 132 and                
                      discussed the trial de Novo process.                     
                                                                               
 Cynthia Henry                                                                 
 Fairbanks, Alaska                                                             
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Urged passage of the original bill.                      
                                                                               
 Kimberly Homme                                                                
 Anchorage Teacher                                                             
 Gruening Elementary                                                           
 Lee Street                                                                    
 Eagle River, Alaska                                                           
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed problems with SB 132 and indicated             
                      the need to address those issues in the HESS             
                      committee.                                               
                                                                               
 Mary Beth Shady                                                               
 Anchorage Teacher                                                             
 Dimond High School                                                            
 2909 W 88th Avenue                                                            
 Anchorage, Alaska                                                             
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed concerns with Sections 1, 5, and 7.            
                                                                               
 James Simeroff                                                                
 Eighth Math Grade Teacher                                                     
 Kenai Middle School                                                           
 811 Auke Street                                                               
 Kenai, Alaska                                                                 
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed concerns with SB 132.                          
                                                                               
 Rick Cross, Superintendent                                                    
 Fairbanks and the North Star Borough                                          
 520 5th Avenue                                                                
 Fairbanks, Alaska 99701                                                       
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Urged the committee to consider the trial de             
                      Novo in separate legislation.                            
                                                                               
 Marilyn Pillifant                                                             
 Chinook Elementary                                                            
 3101 W 88th Avenue                                                            
 Anchorage, Alaska                                                             
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Urged the committee to reconsider the passage            
                      of SB 132 to the Judiciary Committee.                    
                                                                               
 Miriam Kiegandean                                                             
 Anchorage School District                                                     
 Counselor, Mears Junior High                                                  
 2700 W 100th Avenue                                                           
 Anchorage, Alaska                                                             
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported the current tenure process.                    
                                                                               
 Vernon Marshall, Executive Director                                           
 National Education Association of Alaska (NEA-AK)                             
 114 2nd Street                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed problems with SB 132.                          
                                                                               
 Shelia Peterson                                                               
 Special Assistant to the Commissioner                                         
 Department of Education                                                       
 801 W 10th Street, Suite 200                                                  
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1894                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Emphasized the need for the full funding of              
                      education.                                               
                                                                               
 Willie Anderson                                                               
 National Education Association of Alaska                                      
 114 2nd Street                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed the tenure and lay off provisions.             
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-27, SIDE A                                                            
                                                                               
                                                                               
         SB 134 ATWOOD CHAIR OF JOURNALISM AT U OF AA                        
                                                                               
 Number 003                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN called the Senate Health, Education and Social                 
 Services (HESS) Committee work session to order at 9:15 a.m.  She             
 introduced  SB 134  as the first order of business.  She noted that           
 an official meeting would be declared when a quorum arrived.                  
                                                                               
 JOSH FINK, staff to Senator Kelly, stated that Bob Atwood's                   
 contribution to Alaska is immense.  SB 134 honors Mr. Atwood by               
 establishing an endowment for the Robert B. Atwood Journalism Chair           
 at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  This Chair which has been             
 nationally recognized has been in existence the past 15 years                 
 through generous personal contributions from Mr. Atwood.  To date,            
 Mr. Atwood's contributions have totalled more than $1 million.  He            
 explained that by establishing this endowment, a mechanism would be           
 in place for both private and public entities to match Mr. Atwood's           
 contributions in order to permanently fund the Chair.                         
                                                                               
 SYLVIA BROADY, Chairman and Professor in the Journalism and Public            
 Communications Department, informed the committee that she had been           
 there for 15 years and has seen what the Chair has done for Alaska            
 and Anchorage students as well as other students around the state.            
 In a time of fiscal cuts, innovative ideas should be used in order            
 to protect pockets of excellence.  Legislators have challenged                
 private money to match their money.  If this could be done at the             
 university level, more academic chairs could be established                   
 throughout the university.  She emphasized that it would be a one             
 time commitment from the state for something that would be                    
 permanent and continuous.  She pointed out that since Mr. Atwood              
 has supported the Chair, many students have graduated and are                 
 working in Alaska in the media.  In conclusion, Ms. Broady                    
 commented that without Mr. Atwood's contributions the program could           
 not have the quality it has and perhaps, the program would not have           
 even been accredited.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 088                                                                    
                                                                               
 SUZAN NIGHTINGALE, Chair of the Professional Advisory Council for             
 the Journalism and Public Communications Department at UAA, felt              
 that the best way to instill budget discipline would be to reward             
 programs that have done the best to maximize public and private               
 partnerships.  The Atwood Chair has a successful 15 year record of            
 private funding.  She emphasized that an endowed Atwood Chair would           
 pay for itself in 10 years and save the state money after that                
 time.  She informed the committee that the Atwood Chair brings the            
 most experienced and seasoned journalists to UAA who works directly           
 with students around the state.  If the Atwood Chair is not funded,           
 the Journalism Department would eventually need a faculty position            
 which brings along all its health and retirement costs.  Mr. Atwood           
 has quietly funded this position for 15 years, but he believes the            
 state should join in the partnership.  Passage of SB 134 would save           
 the state education money in the future as well as setting a                  
 standard for the public and private partnership that Alaska needs;            
 that is budget discipline at its best.                                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN announced that a quorum was present.  She stated               
 that she intended to move this bill today.                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that SB 134 be moved out of committee with                
 individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so                  
 ordered.                                                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
          HB 215 GROUNDS FOR SUSPENSION OF STUDENTS                          
                                                                               
 Number 149                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN introduced  HB 215  as the next order of business              
 before the committee.                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE, prime sponsor of HB 215, stated that                
 HB 215 is an extension of existing legislation.  He explained that            
 existing legislation states that a student can be suspended if that           
 student behaves in a manner inappropriate and dangerous for school            
 if the behavior was exhibited in the presence of other students.              
 The loophole, is when students are not present and a student                  
 exhibits dangerous behavior in the presence of teachers, aides,               
 volunteers, and principals.  In that case, the suspension would not           
 apply.  HB 215 tightens the language so that a student exhibiting             
 serious hostile behavior that would endanger another person could             
 be suspended or expelled even if other students were not present.             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN inquired as to the support HB 215 has received in              
 the school district.   REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE stated that he had            
 not heard any opposition.  Schools across the state feel that this            
 is necessary due to the kinds of students that are in school as               
 well as the increasing level of violence in schools.                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE noted that Wendy Redman would like to                
 include the university in this bill.  He was not opposed to that,             
 however, he questioned whether that addition would fall under the             
 title of the bill.                                                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if there was a definition of public school.               
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE said that by statute a public school is              
 defined as K-12.  SENATOR SALO stated that the title would probably           
 have to specify public school or university.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 210                                                                    
                                                                               
 WENDY REDMAN, Vice President of University Relations, informed the            
 committee that a public school is defined as a school operated by             
 publicly elected or appointed school officials in which the program           
 and activities are under the control of those officials and is                
 supported by public funds.  She said that the definition did not              
 seem to exclude the university.                                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN indicated that HB 215 could be passed out of                   
 committee where it could be handled.                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER pointed out that the next committee of referral was            
 Rules.  He said that the university could be included and a legal             
 opinion regarding that title question could be requested in the               
 meantime.                                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO moved HB 215 am out of committee with individual                 
 recommendations.  Hearing no objections, it was so ordered.                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
       HB 108 USE PFD'S TO RECOVER WELFARE OVERPAYMENTS                      
                                                                               
 Number 240                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN introduced  HB 108  as the next order of business              
 before the committee.                                                         
                                                                               
 MARVEEN COGGINS, staff to Representative Toohey, explained that               
 HB 108 would give the Department of Health & Social Services (DHSS)           
 the authority to collect delinquent public assistance overpayments            
 by administrative garnishment of any individual's permanent fund              
 dividend.  Currently, there is in excess of half a million dollars            
 in outstanding delinquent debts.  She explained that often persons            
 receiving the overpayment agree to repay the debt, but frequently             
 requests to repay the debt are ignored.  HB 108 would allow DHSS to           
 recover overpayments with a less expensive and more expedient                 
 administrative procedure.  She noted that recovery of debt would be           
 handled in the same manner in which delinquent student loans are              
 pursued.  DHSS supports HB 108.  She informed the committee that              
 there are two revenue generating fiscal notes from DHSS and a zero            
 fiscal note from the Department of Revenue.  She urged the                    
 committee's support of HB 108.                                                
                                                                               
 JIM DALMAN, Claims Collection Section of the Division of Public               
 Assistance, said that the department supports HB 108 because it               
 would give the department more leverage in the collection of those            
 overpayment debts.  He pointed out that the state retains a portion           
 of those collections; HB 108 is a good tool in order to have some             
 accountability in the collection of those debts.                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that HB 108 be moved out of the committee with            
 individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes.                 
 Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                                      
                                                                               
       HB 124 ABOLISH BD OF NURSING HOME ADMINISTRATORS                      
                                                                               
 Number 289                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN announced  HB 124  as the next order of business               
 before the committee.                                                         
                                                                               
 BENJAMIN BROWN, staff to Representative Toohey, explained that                
 HB 124 would transfer the regulation of nursing home administrators           
 to the Department of Commerce and Economic Development and abolish            
 the Board of Nursing Home Administrators.  He noted that the Board            
 of Nursing Home Administrators would sunset at the end of this                
 fiscal year.  HB 124 would also clarify the conditions under which            
 a nursing home administrator's license may be denied and provide              
 for an effective date.  He pointed out that HB 124 was requested by           
 the Alaska Hospital and Nursing Home Administration who did not               
 want the board conducting licensing and regulation of those                   
 administrators.  There was also a legislative audit which                     
 recommended the elimination of the board as well.  He informed the            
 committee that approximately $7,000 would be saved with the                   
 elimination of the board due to the elimination of travel costs.              
 He stated that the Division of Occupational Licensing is ready to             
 undertake this responsibility; they have staffed the board for a              
 number of years.  He pointed out that Medicaid funds of $167                  
 million would be put in risk if HB 124 does not pass.                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN inquired as to the number of nursing home                       
 administrators in Alaska.  BENJAMIN BROWN said that there are                 
 currently 86 nursing home administrators in Alaska.                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN noted that legislative policy had been established in           
 which occupational licenses would pay for themselves through fees.            
 He assumed that there would be some cost to administer for which              
 fees would be set up to recover that cost.  BENJAMIN BROWN                    
 explained that the fiscal note illustrates that the amount                    
 collected varies from $19,000 in one year to $2,000 the next year;            
 that is because they are biannual licenses.  Mr. Brown informed the           
 committee that the law to which Senator Leman referred was already            
 in effect.  The division already collects licensing fees to pay for           
 the board.  Perhaps, the licensing fees could be lowered once the             
 board's travel expenses are eliminated.                                       
                                                                               
 BARBARA GABIER, Program Coordinator of the Division of Occupational           
 Licensing, explained that the fees are reviewed annually and                  
 adjustments are made accordingly.  In this case, the cost would be            
 decreasing due to the elimination of the travel costs.  She                   
 reiterated that the Department of Commerce is prepared to take over           
 this licensing program.                                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that CS HB 124 (FIN) be reported out of                   
 committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying                
 fiscal notes.  Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
       SB 132 JUDICIAL REVIEW:TEACHER TENURE DECISIONS                       
                                                                               
 Number 343                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN introduced  SB 132  as the next order of business              
 before the committee.                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER moved, for discussion purpose, the CS Cramer 4/6/95            
 version labelled 9-LSO838\G.  SENATOR ELLIS and SENATOR SALO                  
 objected.                                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO said that she would be happy to speak to her objection           
 and review the bill.  Usually when there is a CS, someone explains            
 the CS.  She inquired as to whose bill this is.                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN indicated that normally a CS would be adopted for               
 discussion purposes and then there is an explanation of the CS.               
 The motion that Senator Miller made was to put the CS before the              
 committee.  He commented that the Aide was already present at the             
 table, whom he assumed would explain the CS.                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS said that the CS process could be done either way,              
 however sometimes problems are avoided if the vote on the CS is not           
 forced.  If there is an objection, then there is an explanation,              
 discussion and then a vote.  He asked if that could be done.                  
                                                                               
 PORTIA BABCOCK, staff to Senator Green, reviewed the sectional                
 analysis of the draft CS which was in the committee packets.                  
                                                                               
 Number 432                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO maintained her objection to the adoption of the CS.              
 She explained that the original bill was a simple bill which dealt            
 with the de Novo trial, however, the current bill, the CS, is very            
 complex which deserves time and attention.  She hoped that the HESS           
 committee would devote the necessary time and attention to this               
 omnibus bill.  This CS would negatively affect the educational                
 employees of Alaska.  She stated that the CS is a serious reduction           
 in due process rights.                                                        
                                                                               
 Senator Salo addressed why she considered it a negative bill for              
 the education employees in Alaska.  She informed the committee that           
 Alaska 2000 surveys and hearings found that tenure was not a major            
 concern; of a survey of 100 issues, tenure was listed as 98.  The             
 overwhelming problems were class size and the basic funding level             
 going to education.  This lengthening of the probationary period              
 would create an increased time of uncertainty for employees while             
 increasing the power and authority of administrators.  She said               
 that in her 25 years of educational experience, the administrators            
 authority should not be increased.  She explained that tenure had             
 stemmed from a Supreme Court case in Seward in which two teachers             
 wrote letters to the local paper stating that the Superintendent              
 was misspending the school district's money.  Those two teachers              
 were fired the next day.  The Supreme Court found that a public               
 employee should not have a reduced freedom of speech right which              
 ultimately lead to the passage of tenure rights in Alaska.  She did           
 not believe the complaints from districts that said removing                  
 tenured teachers was difficult.  When someone's career is being               
 ended, the procedure should not be easy.  She opposed Section 1.              
                                                                               
 Senator Salo commented that the most outrageous part of this is               
 Section 5 regarding the lay off status.  The lay off provisions               
 eliminate tenure in another way.  She questioned why an                       
 administrator would conduct good evaluations, document performance            
 problems or help the person become a better instructor if the                 
 administrator can lay off a teacher "to better meet the academic              
 program needs of the district."  Another seemingly easy way to lay            
 off a tenured teacher under this bill would be in the case of                 
 decreased revenues of the school.  The early retirement program               
 seems to be a "carrot" which does not equal the "stick" in this               
 bill.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Senator Salo emphasized that a good and thorough discussion of the            
 original bill should have happened.  The de Novo trial is an area             
 worth exploring.  Currently when a teacher is fired, there is a               
 hearing.  If there is a dispute over the facts involved at the                
 hearing level, the teacher can go to court.  The judge would review           
 the documents from the hearing as well as allowing evidence to be             
 presented directly to him.  She noted that the de Novo trial is               
 relatively expensive and seldom used.  Perhaps, there is a better             
 manner in which to ensure due process without the cost.  She stated           
 that the original bill could have been scrutinized and served the             
 educational interests in Alaska.  In conclusion, Senator Salo                 
 expressed disappointment in the current omnibus bill and she                  
 strongly objected to the adoption of the CS.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 505                                                                    
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Leman, Miller, and Green voted                
 "Yeah" and Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Nay."  The CS was                   
 adopted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 JERRY MCBETH, President of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and             
 Board of Education member of the Fairbanks North Star Borough,                
 spoke in favor of SB 132, the trial de Novo bill, not the adopted             
 CS.                                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO asked if the meeting was on teleconference and if the            
 teleconference had been noticed on SB 132.  CHAIRMAN GREEN said               
 that she did not know.  PORTIA BABCOCK said yes.                              
 The teleconference moderator clarified that the bill was on                   
 teleconference, but the Fairbanks Legislative Information Office              
 (LIO) was only added at the last minute.  It was not actually                 
 advertised.                                                                   
                                                                               
 JERRY MCBETH expressed appreciation for the introduction of the               
 trial de Novo legislative provisions.  He explained that up until             
 a Supreme Court decision from the Anchorage school district in                
 1989, the trial de Novo meant that after a hearing in front of a              
 school board a tenured teacher could contest the issue.  Then there           
 would be an administrative review before the Superior Court.  There           
 was no re-trial of the substantive issue.  After that late 1980s              
 Supreme Court decision, de Novo was interpreted as from the                   
 beginning and was applied to the substance as well as the                     
 procedure.                                                                    
                                                                               
 In response to Senator Salo's comments that this provision is                 
 rarely used, Mr. McBeth pointed out that Fairbanks has had two                
 cases in the 1990s which have applied the new judicial                        
 interpretation.  The Fairbanks district objects to that application           
 because a double trial is very costly to school districts.  Close             
 to $200,000 in Superior Court costs has been spent in the two                 
 Fairbanks' cases.  He noted that the amount spent on those two                
 cases could employ two or three teachers.  Another objection to the           
 judicial interpretation of the de Novo provisions is the delay                
 brought about by the second trial process.  Often those witnesses             
 before the school board and administration in the initial hearing             
 have graduated and no longer reside in the school district                    
 boundaries which increases the board's effort to present evidence;            
 this is due to the delay between the trials.                                  
                                                                               
 Mr. McBeth pointed out that having a double trial throws off the              
 balance in our adversarial system of justice between the school               
 district and the school board and the teacher.  A double trial                
 affords the teacher and their representative the opportunity to use           
 the first hearing as a discovery process which seems to be an                 
 advantage.  The district or the board are not allowed to give new             
 evidence at the second trial.  He informed the committee that the             
 second trial is an open proceeding, as declared by judges, which              
 exposes student witnesses.  A trial in front of the school board              
 would allow the protection of student witnesses.  He suggested                
 changing the legislation to allow a teacher to proceed to court at            
 the Superior Court level.  That would remove the necessity of the             
 school board's involvement as hearing officers in the process.                
                                                                               
 Number 572                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO thought that Mr. McBeth's suggestion was excellent,              
 however, that would create a different approach than the bill.  She           
 inquired as to what Mr. McBeth meant when he referred to the two              
 trials.  JERRY MCBETH explained that currently when the                       
 administration proposes to remove a tenured teacher, that teacher             
 has a right to a full hearing in front of the school board.  If               
 after that process the school board agrees with the administration            
 that the teacher should be dismissed, the teacher has a right to              
 appeal to the Superior Court.  Until the Supreme Court decision in            
 the late 1980s, that meant the judge would examine the fairness of            
 the proceedings; the case was not retried.  Mr. McBeth objected to            
 the substantive retrial of the case.  Mr. McBeth discussed the Dave           
 Tony case in Fairbanks in which Mr. Tony was represented by his               
 union at the Superior and Supreme Court levels after his                      
 certificate was taken.  That was allowed although there were no               
 substantive issues in his case.                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if Mr. Tony's union represented him although              
 there were no substantive issues in that case.                                
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-27, SIDE B                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 587                                                                    
                                                                               
 JERRY MCBETH believed that a teacher is entitled, if a member of              
 the National Education Association, to full representation up to              
 the Supreme Court level.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO said that whether or not substantive issues were                 
 present could differ from your point of view.  In regards to the              
 two cases in Fairbanks in the 1990s, that seems relatively small              
 considering that Fairbanks is the second largest school district in           
 Alaska.  She asked if those two cases were won.  JERRY MCBETH said            
 that the district did win in the first case which is resolved.  The           
 second case has been heard in the Superior Court and there has not            
 yet been a decision.                                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO acknowledged that there is a delay in the process,               
 however, rights probably should not be aggregated merely to save              
 time.                                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER stated that the Fairbanks school district did win              
 the case with Mr. Tony.  He inquired as to who paid the legal bills           
 for the district.  JERRY MCBETH said that the district paid its own           
 legal bills.  The total costs of Mr. Tony's case was $100,000.                
 Some of those costs include the hearing in front of the school                
 board, probably $30,000.  SENATOR MILLER concluded from that, over            
 50 percent of the costs were those associated with the Superior               
 Court.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 558                                                                    
                                                                               
 CYNTHIA HENRY, representing the Fairbanks School Board, emphasized            
 that the role of the school board is to provide students with the             
 best teachers.  The current law restricts the board's ability to do           
 that when in the situation of a dismissal.  She stated that the               
 current law places undue hardships on the district as Mr. McBeth              
 outlined.  She indicated that the cost and the length of time for             
 two cases are the reasons that there are not more competency case             
 dismissals.  The school board has to present its case twice if the            
 case is contested which favors the defendant.  She explained that             
 even if new evidence or witnesses surface following the review of             
 the school board, that cannot be introduced in the court trial.               
 She urged the committee to pass the original bill.                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER inquired as to the prior position of the Fairbanks             
 School Board regarding tenure.                                                
                                                                               
 JERRY MCBETH said that the consistent position, over the nine years           
 in which he has served, of the Fairbanks School Board has been to             
 seek an increase in the probationary period of teachers.  The                 
 increase has varied, but there has been no question that the board            
 feels that two years is too short to fairly assess the                        
 contributions that a teacher would be likely to make to the                   
 district.  He implied that other school districts in Alaska would             
 hold the same position while NEA probably would not agree.  He                
 commented that at the university level the probationary period is             
 six years.  He expressed amazement that virtually everyone is                 
 tenured.  The additional years of scrutiny would occasionally                 
 reveal those who are not satisfactory for the interests of the                
 students.  He emphasized that two years probation really means one            
 and a half years.                                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO stated that if that argument was true, then there are            
 a large number of marginal teachers which should be watched longer.           
 Perhaps, it would be more beneficial to eliminate those marginal              
 teachers sooner.  JERRY MCBETH said that his districts teachers are           
 good.  The issue is those teachers which cannot be fairly assessed            
 and evaluated in two years.                                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO indicated that two years is enough time to evaluate a            
 teacher and their skills, if that cannot be done then someone is              
 not doing their job.  JERRY MCBETH explained that teachers are not            
 certified at a particular grade level or a series of courses.  For            
 example, teachers are certified as elementary.  He questioned how             
 a teacher could be properly evaluated when they may teach different           
 grades within that two year probationary period.  Mr. McBeth posed            
 the example of a high school teacher certified in Secondary with a            
 specialization in Social Studies.  If that teacher teaches American           
 History, World History, and American Government; how can that                 
 teacher be fairly evaluated in two years?  He said that evaluating            
 a teacher in two years based upon the teachers ability to                     
 proficiently cover those subjects cannot be accomplished.                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO said that was an entirely different subject.                     
                                                                               
 Number 493                                                                    
                                                                               
 KIMBERLY HOMME, an Anchorage teacher at Greening Middle School,               
 commented that she supported Representative Con Bunde's legislation           
 that the committee had heard today.  She explained that she was               
 present because children rely on her to provide a quality education           
 which has become increasingly difficult due to the increased class            
 size.  She indicated that the committee should support the children           
 of their constituents by fully funding education.  SB 132 is a slap           
 in the face to the education community.  She pointed out that SB              
 132 began as a bill to weaken teacher appeal rights, but it                   
 transformed into a "Christmas Tree" bill.  The current bill weakens           
 tenure and made bargaining available in public.  Bargaining in                
 public would create much political posturing.  She questioned how             
 the committee would like minority and majority caucuses being held            
 in public.  The process of this bill is unacceptable, she did not             
 understand how the bill could already be scheduled for the                    
 Judiciary Committee when the public has not had a chance to                   
 comment.  She emphasized that the education community is being                
 defocused from the important issues of funding education with                 
 reduced funding and increased enrollments.                                    
                                                                               
 Ms. Homme said that with regard to tenure, instruction in schools             
 should be improved.  She suggested that one way to achieve                    
 instructional improvement would be through evaluation by                      
 principals.  She informed the committee of a course she had taken             
 relating to the improvement of instruction which is the same course           
 a principal takes.  There is good system of evaluation of teachers            
 which provides feedback to the teacher.  Ms. Homme stated that in             
 Anchorage non tenured teachers are always given pink slips.  She              
 questioned why a bad teacher would be kept for more than two years.           
 She noted that the Anchorage school district does have a mentor               
 program, however it is not available to everyone due to the lack of           
 funding.  The mentor program is a good manner in which to provide             
 a teacher with feedback, especially new teachers.                             
                                                                               
 Ms. Homme stated that this new bill looked at the financial savings           
 with regard to the de Novo trial.  She did not believe there would            
 be any savings because the administrative procedure, as the final             
 process for the dismissal, would increase the costs for the                   
 teacher.  Currently, the teacher has the opportunity to use a                 
 hearing officer in order to determine if their dismissal was                  
 appropriate or illegal.  The teacher can then appeal to Superior              
 Court.  She asked if under this legislation, would the school board           
 members be the hearing officers.  Would the school board members              
 decide whether the administrators who work for the board had                  
 sufficient grounds to dismiss the employee?  In conclusion, Ms.               
 Homme commented that there are some problems with SB 132 which                
 should be worked out in the HESS committee.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 440                                                                    
                                                                               
 MARY BETH SHADY, an Anchorage teacher at Dimond High School,                  
 informed the committee that she had taught at Dimond for 18 years             
 and in addition to that she had taught outside of Alaska for three            
 years.  She expressed concern with Section 1 of SB 132.  In the               
 Anchorage school district the process for evaluation already                  
 exists.  The administration is responsible for the evaluation.  She           
 informed the committee that she had not been evaluated since 1987,            
 although she has an open door policy which is signified outside her           
 door.  Although she is well respected in her building and sponsors            
 several organizations in her building as well as sitting on several           
 committees in the Anchorage school district, she was amazed that              
 she never has an administrator in her room to perform the mandatory           
 two year evaluation.  She noted that there are five administrators            
 in her building.  She believed that if the evaluation process was             
 utilized, it would be effective.  New teachers need administrative            
 evaluation as well as mentoring from other teachers.  She explained           
 that the school district does not provide a mentoring program,                
 although her department does.                                                 
                                                                               
 Ms. Shady pointed out a problem with Section 5 regarding the                  
 meaning of "academic program" on line 6, page 3 of the CS.  How is            
 that term to be interpreted?  She noted that as an English teacher            
 she would circle this language and ask the student for                        
 clarification.  Also the reference to decreased enrollment in                 
 Section 5 would not apply to Anchorage; there would not be a                  
 decrease in enrollment in Anchorage.  She said that the bill gives            
 a carte blanche for the removal of teachers on ambiguous grounds.             
 Ms. Shady emphasized that she was a professional who expected more            
 continuity and professional treatment for a career in which a great           
 deal of time, energy and money had been invested.                             
                                                                               
 Ms. Shady continued with her concerns regarding Section 7.  In                
 Anchorage where there was a recent strike and a very difficult and            
 antagonistic period of negotiations, everyone is trying to build              
 bridges with the community and the school board and throughout the            
 district.  Open negotiations would be a mess.  She informed the               
 committee that currently avenues exist to convey information from             
 negotiations to the public through the media.  That should be                 
 continued.                                                                    
                                                                               
 In conclusion, Ms. Shady explained that she had come to Juneau,               
 taking leave from her classroom, in order to lobby for the full               
 funding of education.  She reiterated the concern with the                    
 defocusing of the need for full funding of education.  The Alaska             
 Constitution states that the state must provide a public education,           
 of which she hoped would be a quality education.  She indicated               
 that the suggested funding cuts to education would merely fund a              
 mediocre education.  If CS SB 132 is adopted, what would happen to            
 the current negotiated contracts with teachers and districts?  She            
 asked if that was clearly stated in the bill.  Ms. Shady expressed            
 the need to clarify the language before the bill is moved from this           
 committee otherwise, teachers would not be afforded their entitled            
 due process.                                                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN assumed that people do get to see some of the results           
 of Ms. Shady's teaching through her productions with her students.            
 He asked if Ms. Shady was also referring to parents when she stated           
 that no one comes in even with her open door policy.  MARY BETH               
 SHADY stated that at the high school level she sees the lack of               
 parental involvement; parents are not involved for a variety of               
 reasons.  Ms. Shady felt that adults seem to be intimidated to come           
 into a high school with 1,800 teenagers.  Ms. Shady had one parent            
 come in this year when she invited every member of the Language               
 Arts Curriculum Committee during the meeting time in the classroom.           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN felt that the lack of parental involvement in their             
 children's education is a travesty.  MARY BETH SHADY interjected              
 that parents do pick up their child's report card, although that is           
 not a classroom setting.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN said that he had been in a number of Dimond High                
 School classrooms in the past.  He discussed his recollection of              
 his visits.                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN reiterated that the committee faced strict time                
 constraints; the testimony would need to be briefer in order to               
 here as many people as possible.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 336                                                                    
                                                                               
 JAMES SIMEROFF, and eighth grade Math teacher at Kenai Middle                 
 School, agreed with Ms. Shady with respect to the changing                    
 environment of public schools.  If everyone was an eighth grade               
 teacher, there would not be a question as to the need for tenure.             
 He informed the committee that he had taken a day of personal leave           
 for another reason, however, he discovered there was a hearing.  He           
 noted that tenure has been a traditional aspect of public school              
 education for many years across the entire nation.  The length of             
 the probationary period is an important part of that tradition.  He           
 noted that for many years the probationary period was two years,              
 now some have been extended to three years.  Mr. Simeroff knew of             
 very few places with five year probationary periods.  In his                  
 opinion, the issue is not tenure, but rather proper evaluation.               
 The length of the probationary period will not matter if an                   
 effective evaluation method is not utilized.  He informed the                 
 committee that in his experience, most evaluations occur just                 
 before teachers obtain tenure.  With a five year probationary                 
 period, there is the likelihood that there would be incompetent or            
 ineffective teachers in the system through five years and then they           
 would be asked to move on.  He expressed concern that it would make           
 the environment in public schools worse.                                      
                                                                               
 With regards to the de Novo trial, Mr. Simeroff pointed out that it           
 was seldom used.  The de Novo trial is needed for certain cases.              
 He indicated that school boards are opposed to the de Novo trial              
 because they often lose the trial.  The lay off section of the bill           
 is vague and does not specify who decides the program needs that              
 may impact teacher lay offs.  He stated that the lay off section              
 would conflict with the negotiated contract agreements in his                 
 school district.  Teachers may be forced to give up something that            
 has been mutually agreed upon.                                                
                                                                               
 Mr. Simeroff did not believe that open negotiations would create an           
 environment that would achieve settlements easily.  Open                      
 negotiations would create much posturing which is not conducive to            
 an agreement.  He believed that if this section were law, Anchorage           
 and Fairbanks would still be striking because an acceptable                   
 agreement would not result in these open negotiations; there would            
 be no room to maneuver in a public forum.  Mr. Simeroff did support           
 the retirement incentive program, but did not understand its                  
 presence in this bill.  Mr. Simeroff did not support the retirement           
 incentive program as a part of this bill.                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN informed everyone that testimony would be limited to           
 two minutes.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 255                                                                    
                                                                               
 RICK CROSS, Superintendent of the Fairbanks North Star Borough                
 School District, informed the committee that he had been                      
 superintendent for the past eight years.  He urged the committee to           
 keep the trial de Novo separate from other issues which have been             
 combined into this bill.  The trial de Novo is worthy of                      
 consideration on its own merit.  He stated that the district was              
 concerned about the issues Dr. McBeth had outlined.  He explained             
 that the current law requires that the school board conduct a full            
 hearing and there is no abbreviated hearing at the school board               
 level because any information not introduced at the school district           
 level may not be introduced by the district at the court level.               
 Two duplicate trials are required.  He stated that the Tony case              
 seems to be a good example of the minimum costs of a teacher                  
 dismissal.  The Tony case was merely an interpretation of the law.            
 He informed the committee that the Tony case cost approximately               
 $100,000 of which half of those costs could be attributed to the              
 subsequent retrial and ultimately at the Supreme Court level.  He             
 felt that a more realistic cost would be twice that amount.                   
                                                                               
 Mr. Cross also expressed concern with student witnesses in open               
 court as well as having them testify twice.  Time delays are a part           
 of the court system.  He discussed the problems in keeping track of           
 student witnesses during those court delays.  He agreed that the              
 trial de Novo is a procedure that has not been used often.  He                
 suggested that the reason for that is the incurred costs of the               
 school district which could fund teaching positions.  He urged the            
 committee to consider the trial de Novo on its own merit in                   
 separate legislation.  The Anchorage Supreme Court decision has               
 placed school districts in an unfair situation with regard to the             
 dismissal of tenured teachers.                                                
 SENATOR SALO stated that regarding the protection of teachers, the            
 concern is that the school board is not an unbiased group in terms            
 of making the final decision.  Is there anything, between the                 
 school board hearing and the de Novo trial, that could be workable            
 and would ensure a neutral third party decision?  RICK CROSS                  
 informed the committee that in his experience the boards have                 
 proven to be fairly balanced in their decisions.  Mr. Cross                   
 emphasized that the major concern is to have only one trial.                  
 Having one trial seems fair especially when, as is often the case,            
 children are involved.  Mr. Cross stated that he would rather go              
 directly to court because the school board hearing is merely                  
 advanced discovery; the board must put on a full trial.  The                  
 current process is untenable.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 163                                                                    
                                                                               
 MARILYN PILLIFANT, teacher at Chinook Elementary in Anchorage,                
 informed the committee that she was in her sixth year of teaching             
 for the Anchorage School District.  She noted that she is currently           
 a second grade teacher.  She explained that her role as a teacher             
 encompasses many other roles:  social worker, counselor, mediator,            
 disciplinarian, nutritionist, and health care provider not to                 
 mention that she volunteers much of her time to the school.  Ms.              
 Pillifant expressed concern with the CS because it seems to                   
 circumvent her rights as a citizen to a fair and impartial review             
 process.  She reiterated Ms. Homme's point that the tenure issue              
 should be refocused on the administration.                                    
                                                                               
 Ms. Pillifant noted that she is currently in an evaluation process            
 in her building.  This year it seems to be working.  She emphasized           
 that this is the first year that she has received constructive and            
 mutually helpful feedback on her teaching skills.  Teachers are               
 professionals.  She questioned the motivation for SB 132.  Ms.                
 Pillifant urged the committee to reconsider the passage of SB 132             
 to the Judiciary Committee.  Teachers deserve respect and they                
 should be provided the opportunity to testify on SB 132.                      
                                                                               
 MIRIAM KIEGANDEAN, representing the Anchorage School District,                
 informed the committee that she was speaking on behalf of parents.            
 Currently, she is a counselor at Mears Junior High.  She discussed            
 her background in the elementary system and her eight years as a              
 Vocational Work Counselor with the Save Alternative Program.  Ms.             
 Kiegandean urged the committee to pass the governor's full funding            
 of education as well as the increased enrollment funding.  As a               
 parent, teacher and counselor, Ms. Kiegandean expressed concern               
 with the issue of tenure.  She supported the current tenure                   
 process.  NEA supports tenure.  Tenure does not give life-time                
 appointment.  If the administration does their job correctly, there           
 should not be a problem with unsatisfactory teachers especially               
 when they are in the probationary period.  Ms. Kiegandean explained           
 her evaluation process.  There should not be a problem with the two           
 year probationary period, if administrators evaluate teachers every           
 quarter which equals four evaluations each year.  She expressed               
 concern with the notion that a mediocre teacher would be kept on              
 for five more years with this new probationary period.  The two               
 year probationary period is long enough.                                      
                                                                               
 Number 050                                                                    
                                                                               
 VERNON MARSHALL, NEA-AK, said that if he is held to a two minute              
 limit, then he would prefer to discuss the need for school funding.           
 If the CS of SB 132 passes, the current problem of class size would           
 continue to increase while teachers would be placed in situations             
 where they cannot succeed.  Public frustration would increase and             
 the public school system would suffer.  Mr. Marshall explained that           
 he was prepared to speak to SB 132 in its original form as it                 
 applied to the administrative hearing.  He said that he could                 
 attempt to dissect the CS, but the two minute limit on testimony              
 would not be enough.  Mr. Marshall deferred to the Chair.                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said that the choice was Mr. Marshall's.  Chairman             
 Green said that Mr. Marshall could testify for his one minute                 
 however he chose.                                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if Mr. Marshall was down to one minute.                   
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said yes that Mr. Marshall had spent about one                 
 minute in his introduction and there are others to testify.                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if this would be the only HESS committee                  
 hearing on the CS for SB 132.  CHAIRMAN GREEN responded that she              
 thought it would be the only hearing in HESS for this bill.                   
                                                                               
 VERNON MARSHALL noted that the committee had been provided                    
 information regarding the history of tenure as well as the de Novo            
 hearing.  July 1, 1966 teachers were given the right to a de Novo             
 hearing.                                                                      
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-28, SIDE A                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 010                                                                    
                                                                               
 Mr. Marshall explained that the standard of review under the                  
 Administrative Procedures Act is the substantial evidence test                
 which is not applied consistently.  He pointed out that using the             
 Administrative Procedures Act as the vehicle for hearing                      
 nonretentions would place a teacher in a quandary.  The first                 
 aspect of that quandary would involve the teacher having to go to             
 a school board.  The school board is acting on the advice of staff            
 and does not know the teachers side of the story; the board votes             
 to dismiss the teacher.  The teacher would then face a hearing                
 officer that had been unilaterally selected by the school board               
 which is the second aspect of the quandary.  The third aspect of              
 the quandary would be the recommendation of dismissal of the                  
 teacher by the hearing officer due to the knowledge of the staff              
 and the board' s objections.  Fourthly, the teacher would be there            
 because the board would have reconfirmed its initial decision to              
 dismiss the teacher.  Mr. Marshall asserted that the problem was              
 the lack of an objective and impartial authority to decide if their           
 was cause to dismiss the teacher.  He noted that this was in                  
 reference to the original version of SB 132.  He encouraged the               
 committee to review the Lum decision.  Mr. Marshall stated that               
 school boards do not have expertise with regard to teacher quality.           
                                                                               
 Mr. Marshall pointed out that currently the trial de Novo is an               
 opportunity for a teacher who would very likely face the loss of              
 their certificate.  The trial de Novo provides a safety valve or a            
 fairness to tenured teachers in this process.  He clarified that              
 NEA-AK does not guarantee their members an automatic right to                 
 appeal to the Supreme Court.  NEA-AK attempts to provide a teacher            
 the chance to appear before the administrative level which would              
 generate a decision.  Then the decision is made by NEA-AK to                  
 determine whether or not to fund the appeal to the Superior Court             
 and further to the Supreme Court.  Mr. Marshall clarified that in             
 the two cases in Fairbanks, the cases were not funded by them at              
 the Superior Court level.  NEA-AK did provide the administrative              
 step.  He emphasized that NEA-AK would not restrict an individual's           
 rights to appeal a decision at the Superior Court or the Supreme              
 Court as well as the administrative level.                                    
                                                                               
 Mr. Marshall felt that Mr. McBeth had a good idea regarding going             
 directly to court without an administrative hearing.  He said that            
 NEA-AK was willingly to review that suggestion.  Without the option           
 to go directly to court, tenured teachers should be guaranteed an             
 unbiased hearing body which is not likely from a biased school                
 board.  The school board employees the superintendent and                     
 principals and also determines the direction of the school.  He               
 indicated that binding arbitration could be an option for review.             
 In conclusion, Mr. Marshall said that NEA-AK supported retirement             
 incentive programs and SB 137.  NEA-AK does not support retirement            
 incentive programs if that means trading tenure rights to gain a              
 retirement incentive program process.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 117                                                                    
                                                                               
     SHELIA PETERSON, Special Assistant to the Commissioner of                 
 Education, explained that at the last State Board of Education                
 meeting, the board discussed many of the concepts that are in the             
 CS.  The board could not come up within a consensus.  However, the            
 board wanted to relay to the committee their strong support for the           
 full funding of education.  Even with full funding of education,              
 the school districts will have a difficult time addressing all the            
 educational needs in each school district.  The provision in the CS           
 for the early retirement incentive would help those school                    
 districts; the provision would allow the school district to decide            
 whether or not to participate as well as the designation of                   
 categories of employees to participate.  The school board felt that           
 it does ensure that the quality of education will continue while              
 giving the school districts some management tools.  As the CS is              
 currently written, the Department of Education would be responsible           
 to write the regulations to promulgate the lay-off of tenured                 
 teachers; the process would be done in a very cautious manner and             
 involve the public in every step of the way.  In conclusion, Ms.              
 Peterson reiterated the board's strong commitment to full funding             
 of education.                                                                 
                                                                               
 WILLIE ANDERSON, NEA-AK, informed the committee that with regards             
 to tenure, a recent survey found that less than 10 states have a              
 five year probationary period.  Tenure is not the problem, the                
 problem is the evaluation process.  He emphasized that proper                 
 evaluation could eliminate non professional and mediocre teachers.            
 Mr. Anderson pointed out that many of the nonretention cases do not           
 come before the school board because NEA-AK often advises teachers            
 in this position to resign.  Such situations occur on a routine               
 basis.  The lay-off of teachers has been negotiated in retirement             
 incentive programs which are in practically every contract.  There            
 is no provision for tenured teachers to be laid off unless                    
 enrollment decreases which is not likely.  He said that adding                
 teachers is necessary not laying them off.  He asserted that the              
 lay off contingent is the result of the inappropriate funding of              
 the state legislature in the last seven years.  He emphasized the             
 need to appropriately fund education in order that the issues of              
 funding and the lay off tenured teachers would not be before this             
 body.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 203                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN informed everyone that Senator Taylor had agreed to            
 hear more testimony on SB 132 as it moves through the committee               
 process.  She assumed that testimony would be heard on Monday or              
 Wednesday.                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if there were other teleconference sites.                 
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said that she did not know of more sites.  SENATOR             
 ELLIS stated, in an attempt to understand, that Fairbanks was the             
 only site and the teleconference was not advertised.                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN reiterated that there would be an opportunity for              
 interested persons to testify on Monday.  She said that she did not           
 know how Mr. Cross knew to call in.                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO felt that the testimony had been interesting and could           
 inspire ideas to solve some of the problems SB 132 hopes to                   
 address.  There was also testimony that indicated that areas of SB            
 132 are unnecessary.  She emphasized that the problems with SB 132            
 are not judiciary problems; the problems are inherent to education            
 and should be worked on in the HESS committee.  SB 132 should not             
 leave the HESS committee.  Senator Salo stated that she would like            
 to amend the bill which could be in writing if enough notice had              
 been given.  She asked if SB 132 could be heard Monday; is that an            
 unreasonable request?                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN stated that SB 132 was slated to be passed out of              
 committee today.  She noted that the Judiciary Committee would be             
 happy to hear the amendment on Monday.                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO found that unacceptable because she is not a member of           
 the Judiciary Committee.  Furthermore, SB 132 is a HESS committee             
 bill.  She discussed the response she had received in regards to SB           
 132 which she did not even know about at the time.  Senator Salo              
 offered an amendment to eliminate Sections 1 and 2 from the CS,               
 Amendment 1.                                                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER objected.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN indicated the need to come up with a fair bill.  In             
 response to those who see SB 132 as a teacher bashing bill, the               
 bill is fair to the school districts and the public.  He did not              
 know of many professions with tenure opportunities.  A good teacher           
 would welcome this in order to elevate the profession to higher               
 levels.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 272                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS reiterated Senator Salo's point regarding the good              
 testimony heard although, the witnesses indicated surprise by the             
 CS.  Everyone seemed to come to testify on the original bill which            
 Senator Ellis felt could have made some progress.  He supported the           
 amendment.  Senator Ellis expressed concern with having the CS                
 before the committee with little notice and opportunity of the                
 public to testify.  He emphasized that the HESS committee's                   
 responsibility with education.  This treatment is unnecessary;                
 goals can be achieved while demonstrating respect to the public and           
 the institution.  This is an insult.                                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN pointed out that many of the provisions in this                
 legislation are included in legislation in the House and Senate.              
 These are not new issues.                                                     
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote on Amendment 1, Senators Miller, Leman and              
 Green voted "Nay" and Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Yeah."                   
 Amendment 1 failed to be adopted.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 310                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO moved Amendment 2 which would delete Sections 1                  
 through 7.  SENATOR MILLER objected.                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if the repealers in Sections 19 and 20 were the           
 same as repealers or sunset dates in other bills or different.                
 PORTIA BABCOCK clarified that they were the same.                             
 SENATOR SALO indicated that the sections of the bill which do not             
 address the de Novo trial prevent positive change to education.               
 She did not feel that she had adequate time to change the de Novo             
 issue.  The testimony regarding the retirement incentive programs             
 does seem to indicate that in general districts do favor that                 
 approach.  That program allows flexibility and options.  She wanted           
 to deal with the retirement incentive programs, but not in an                 
 omnibus bill.  Amendment 2 would delete Sections 1 through 7.                 
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Leman, Miller and Green voted "Nay"           
 while Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Yeah."  Amendment 2 failed to            
 be adopted.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 351                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that CS SB 132(HES) be moved out of committee             
 with individual recommendations.  Senators Ellis and Salo objected.           
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senatos Leman, Miller and Green voted "Yeah"           
 and Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Nay."  CS SB 132(HES) was passed           
 out of committee.                                                             
                                                                               
 There being no further business before the committee, the meeting             
 adjourned at 11:10 a.m.                                                       
                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects