Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 106

03/30/2012 08:00 AM EDUCATION


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Audio Topic
08:04:15 AM Start
08:04:51 AM Presentation: Southeast Island School District
08:29:01 AM Presentation: Alaska Tech-prep Consortium
09:09:04 AM HB352
09:32:06 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation by Superintendent from Southeast TELECONFERENCED
Island School District
*+ HB 352 RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT CURRICULUM TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Presentation: Alaska Tech Prep Consortium TELECONFERENCED
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
             HB 352-RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT CURRICULUM                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:09:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DICK  announced that the  final order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 352, "An  Act relating to public school curriculum                                                               
and   textbook   restrictions    based   on   science,   resource                                                               
development, and sustained yield principles."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
[Chair Dick passed the gavel to Vice Chair Pruitt]                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:10:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALAN DICK, Alaska  State Legislature, said that,  although HB 352                                                               
was a  simple and forthright  bill, it  was important and  he had                                                               
substantial constituent concern for this  issue.  He presented HB
352,  paraphrasing  from the  sponsor  statement,  which read  as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act  relating  to  public  school  curriculum  and                                                                    
     textbook  restrictions   based  on   science,  resource                                                                    
     development, and sustained yield principles."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska State Constitution                                                                                                  
     Section 2. General Authority                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     "The  legislature shall  provide  for the  utilization,                                                                    
     development, and conservation  of all natural resources                                                                    
     belonging to the State, including  land and waters, for                                                                    
     the maximum benefit of its people".                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Like many  other states, Alaska has  educators who come                                                                    
     from  various backgrounds  who may  be unfamiliar  with                                                                    
     Alaska's  constitutional   directives  regarding  State                                                                    
     resources.   The  purpose of  this bill  is to  clearly                                                                    
     state  that the  curriculum in  local schools  supports                                                                    
     the intent of the Constitution.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Educational   materials  must   give   parity  to   the                                                                    
     viewpoint   of  use   and   development   as  well   as                                                                    
     conservation  of all  natural  resources.   Educational                                                                    
     materials  should  recognize  that the  economic  well-                                                                    
     being of the State is totally dependent upon careful,                                                                      
     sustainable resource development.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:12:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DICK said  that many of the teachers in  the state were not                                                               
familiar  with  the  constitutional  directives  regarding  State                                                               
resources.   He offered his belief  that sustainable, responsible                                                               
resource  development   was  necessary  for   adequate  financial                                                               
management; therefore,  it was important  for an awareness  to be                                                               
brought  to the  educational  field of  an  adequate balance  and                                                               
parity in the curriculum for responsible resource development.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:15:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON asked if  the proposed bill  would also                                                               
include the university.   She encouraged the  sponsor to consider                                                               
that inclusion.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR PRUITT,  referring to the fiscal note,  opined that it                                                               
did not include the university.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DICK, in  response to  Representative P.  Wilson, declared                                                               
that he would  be open to "any friendly amendment  you would like                                                               
to make in that regard."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:16:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON,  reading from  the proposed bill,  page 1,                                                               
line  6,   "shall  base   curriculum  development   and  textbook                                                               
selection" on these principles, asked  how a biology course would                                                               
be  taught using  a textbook  that  did not  meet the  stipulated                                                               
criteria for utilization of wild game.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DICK responded that a portion  of a textbook could be used,                                                               
and  then   other  materials  could   be  used  to   balance  the                                                               
curriculum.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  offered his belief that  the proposed bill                                                               
stated  that   textbook  selection   shall  be  based   on  those                                                               
principles listed in AS 14.30.380(A).                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR   PRUITT  suggested  that  the   perspective  of  the                                                               
Department of Education and Early Development would be useful.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:18:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON acknowledged  that  every school  district                                                               
was  required to  select textbooks,  but as  this was  a proposed                                                               
state  law,  it could  restrict  the  selection.   Declaring  his                                                               
concern   for  unintended   consequences  to   individual  school                                                               
districts, he suggested hearing testimony from the districts.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:19:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DICK expressed  that there  was not  any intent  to "limit                                                               
anybody to anything."  He  suggested a friendly amendment to base                                                               
curriculum development  and implementation on  the constitutional                                                               
principles, and  remove "textbook  selection."  This  would allow                                                               
freedom  for  the   selection  of  textbooks,  as   long  as  the                                                               
curriculum  recognized  "the  balance  that's  reflected  in  the                                                               
constitution."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:20:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  offered her  belief that  the proposed                                                               
bill was  "a policy  call that  we need to  be thinking  about on                                                               
what we  think should  be taught"  and that  it was  necessary to                                                               
teach   that   responsible   resource  development   could   keep                                                               
"everything as pristine as we can."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:22:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DICK suggested listening to public testimony.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:22:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR PRUITT  directed attention  to a  similar program  in                                                               
Utah to  help the  citizens better  understand that  state income                                                               
was derived from resource development.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:24:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DICK  reiterated that  the  proposed  legislation was  not                                                               
intended to create a limiting factor.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:24:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  suggested including  all the  teaching                                                               
institutions of the state in the proposed legislation.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:25:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  PRUITT offered his  belief that  private institutions                                                               
could not have the state dictate curriculum.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:26:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  reminded the  committee that  the proposed                                                               
legislation  would  not  apply   to  the  private  and  religious                                                               
schools, with or  without funding.  He referred to  page 1, lines                                                               
11-13  of  the  proposed  bill,   and  read:    "utilization  and                                                               
development  of   all  nonrenewable  resources  in   addition  to                                                               
encouragement of balancing  resource development and conservation                                                               
...."   He  suggested discussion  with the  state representatives                                                               
involved in the dispute regarding the proposed Pebble Mine.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:27:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DICK, in response to  Representative Seaton, explained that                                                               
the intent  of the  proposed legislation was  to ensure  that any                                                               
teaching reflected the Alaska State  Constitution, not to mandate                                                               
what was being taught.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:28:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  read the  constitutional passage  from the                                                               
sponsor  statement:    "The legislature  shall  provide  for  the                                                               
utilization,   development,    and   conservation    of   natural                                                               
resources...."  He determined that  it had a different focus than                                                               
page 1, lines  11-13, of the proposed  legislation:  "utilization                                                               
and  development of  all nonrenewable  resources  in addition  to                                                               
encouragement    of    balancing   resource    development    and                                                               
conservation...."   He  questioned  whether this  was a  parallel                                                               
construction to the constitution.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:29:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  PRUITT offered his  belief that everyone  should have                                                               
an  understanding  of  what  drives the  state  economy,  and  he                                                               
allowed that the Fiscal Policy  Committee was wrestling with this                                                               
same question.  He declared a  necessity to state that both views                                                               
for resource development were presented.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:30:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON reiterated  that the  construction of  the                                                               
proposed bill needed to ensure that the intent was upheld.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:31:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DICK declared his desire for meaningful legislation with                                                                  
no long term consequences.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR PRUITT reported that other states had done this, as                                                                  
well.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
[HB 352 was held over]                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 352 Version A 032912.pdf HEDC 3/30/2012 8:00:00 AM
HB 352
HB352-EED-TLS-3-23-12.pdf HEDC 3/30/2012 8:00:00 AM
HB 352
HB 352 Sponsor Statement Version A 032912.pdf HEDC 3/30/2012 8:00:00 AM
HB 352