Legislature(2013 - 2014)CAPITOL 106

03/13/2013 08:00 AM EDUCATION


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08:04:15 AM Start
08:04:36 AM HB142
10:00:36 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 120 PUPIL TRANSPORTATION FUNDING TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
*+ HB 142 STIPEND FOR STATEWIDE BOARDING SCHOOL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled from 3/11/13>
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 13, 2013                                                                                         
                           8:04 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Lynn Gattis, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Lora Reinbold, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Dan Saddler                                                                                                      
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 142                                                                                                              
"An Act increasing the monthly stipend available for students                                                                   
attending a statewide boarding school operated by a school                                                                      
district; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 120                                                                                                              
"An Act adjusting pupil transportation funding; and providing                                                                   
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 142                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: STIPEND FOR STATEWIDE BOARDING SCHOOL                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) GATTIS                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/25/13       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/25/13       (H)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
03/11/13       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/11/13       (H)       <Bill Hearing Rescheduled to 3/13/13>                                                                  
03/13/13       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LINDA SYLVESTER, Staff                                                                                                          
Representative Lynn Gattis                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented the proposed committee substitute                                                              
for HB 142, on behalf of the bill sponsor, Representative                                                                       
Gattis.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ERIC GEBHART, Superintendent                                                                                                    
Nenana City Public School District                                                                                              
Nenana, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 142.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS REITAN, Superintendent                                                                                                    
Galena City School District                                                                                                     
Galena, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Responded to questions, during discussion                                                                
on HB 142.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR. NORMAN ECK, Superintendent                                                                                                  
Northwest Arctic Borough School District                                                                                        
Kotzebue, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Responded to questions, during discussion                                                                
of HB 142.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MIKE HANLEY, Commissioner                                                                                                       
Department of Education and Early Development (EED)                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during discussion of HB 142.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT BALLARD, Superintendent                                                                                                   
Iditarod Area School District                                                                                                   
McGrath, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during discussion of HB 142.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LISA RIEGER                                                                                                                     
Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC)                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 142.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DOREEN LORENZ, Chair                                                                                                            
Friends of Jesse Lee Home                                                                                                       
Seward, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 142.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:04:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  GATTIS called the House  Education Standing Committee                                                             
meeting  to  order  at  8:04 a.m.    Representatives  Gattis,  P.                                                               
Wilson, Seaton, Reinbold, and LeDoux  were present at the call to                                                               
order.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          HB 142-STIPEND FOR STATEWIDE BOARDING SCHOOL                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:04:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO. 142,  "An  Act  increasing the  monthly  stipend                                                               
available  for students  attending  a  statewide boarding  school                                                               
operated by  a school  district; and  providing for  an effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:05:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB   142,  labeled  28-LS0570\C,  Mischel,                                                               
3/11/13.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:05:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD objected for discussion.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:05:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDA SYLVESTER, Staff, Representative  Lynn Gattis, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, said that proposed HB  142 focused on an increase to                                                               
the  stipends   for  reimbursement  to  school   districts  which                                                               
operated state funded boarding schools.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  suggested that  it would be  preferable to                                                               
remove the objection before discussion of the proposed CS.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:06:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  removed her  objection, and  there being                                                               
no  further  objection, Version  C  was  adopted as  the  working                                                               
document.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:06:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER  noted that  the State  of Alaska  currently funded                                                               
and operated  a boarding school,  Mt. Edgecumbe High  School, and                                                               
that,  in  2005,  school  districts  which  operated  residential                                                               
schools were also recognized.   These were in Galena, Nenana, and                                                               
the  Bethel Alternative  boarding school.   In  2005, legislation                                                               
had  been  passed  for  a modest  stipend  for  reimbursement  of                                                               
residential  costs to  these school  districts.   The  reimbursed                                                               
costs included  food, lodging,  and full  time supervision.   She                                                               
directed  attention  to the  increased  funding  in the  proposed                                                               
committee  substitute,  and  mentioned  that  the  aforementioned                                                               
school  districts were  the only  districts  which qualified  for                                                               
funding.   She lauded the  successful results from each  of these                                                               
schools.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:08:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SYLVESTER presented  a brief  video of  the Galena  Interior                                                               
Learning Academy.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:12:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked if  these  were  the only  boarding                                                               
schools in the state.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SYLVESTER replied  that there  were  other boarding  schools                                                               
operating, and that she would further explain.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:13:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SYLVESTER referred  to the  handout titled  "Galena Interior                                                               
Learning  Academy,  Residence  Life Revenues  and  Expenditures."                                                               
[Included in  members' packets]   She  directed attention  to the                                                               
second  page,  which  listed  the   26  school  districts  in  67                                                               
communities which were  home for the 181 students.   She moved on                                                               
to page  4, which  listed the offered  curriculum.   She declared                                                               
that the  Academy's appeal  was as an  alternative to  very small                                                               
schools or home schooling.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:14:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX directed attention to  the bottom of page 2                                                               
and asked about the Anchorage notation.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER offered  her belief that a student  could arrive at                                                               
the school from  the Anchorage area, although  they had community                                                               
ties  to  another school  district.    She deferred  for  further                                                               
clarification.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:15:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON asked  for  an explanation  of the  column                                                               
headers on page 2, "Community" and "District of Residence."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:16:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SYLVESTER opined  that  the "community"  was  in the  school                                                               
"district of residence."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:16:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON expressed her agreement.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:17:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SYLVESTER directed  attention  to  page 1,  line  4, of  the                                                               
proposed  committee substitute,  Version C.   She  explained that                                                               
this would  eliminate the original time  restriction for stipends                                                               
to schools in  operation prior to January 1, 2005.   She declared                                                               
that,  as the  model had  proved to  be successful,  the programs                                                               
were encouraged  by the State of  Alaska.  She reported  that the                                                               
Department  of   Education  and   Early  Development   (EED)  had                                                               
presented  a   request  for  proposal  (RFP)   to  qualify  three                                                               
additional programs for reimbursement.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:18:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  asked why there was  not a 5 or  10 year                                                               
period for evaluation.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER replied  that there were tight  checks and balances                                                               
built into the system.  She  explained that, as the schools which                                                               
were approved for  the RFP would request funding  from the Alaska                                                               
State Legislature in the future,  it was possible for legislators                                                               
to approve  continued funding.   She detailed that, in  2005, the                                                               
original  legislation had  provided  a small  stipend, which  had                                                               
remained in place until 2011, when  it was doubled for a two year                                                               
period.   She  pointed out  that this  would expire  on June  30,                                                               
2013, and,  if no action was  taken, the stipend would  be halved                                                               
for the  three participating schools  and there would not  be any                                                               
expansion for the program.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:20:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON, recalling  that financial  support had                                                               
been doubled from  its initial amount, asked to  clarify that the                                                               
proposed   committee   substitute   would  triple   the   initial                                                               
reimbursement.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.   SYLVESTER  clarified   that   the   proposed  increase   to                                                               
reimbursement  would  be 33.5  percent  larger  than the  current                                                               
amount.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:21:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GATTIS  responded  to Representative  Wilson's  query  and                                                               
indicated  that further  information would  be presented,  noting                                                               
that the intent of the original  bill was for contributions to be                                                               
made by the participants and their communities.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:22:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   asked  how  the  student   test  results                                                               
compared with public schools.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER deferred to testimony from other witnesses.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:23:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  asked  to clarify  that  the  legislature                                                               
would have the option to fund individual schools.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER directed  attention to the proposed  CS, Version C,                                                               
page  2, line  21, and  she read:   "a  district under  terms and                                                               
conditions required for  licensing in the state  and as specified                                                               
by the  department in regulation."   She elaborated that  the EED                                                               
had regulations and conditions for  school funding, some of which                                                               
were listed in Version C, page 1, lines 12 - 13.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:25:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   GATTIS  suggested   posing  the   question  to   the  EED                                                               
commissioner.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:25:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SYLVESTER  explained  that the  proposed  CS  also  included                                                               
schools  with variable  length, flexible  programs, although  the                                                               
school still had to be a 180-day public school.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:27:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  referred  to  page  1,  line  10  of  the                                                               
proposed CS and  asked if Mt. Edgecombe High  School was operated                                                               
by a district or the state.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SYLVESTER replied  that Mt.  Edgecombe High  School was  not                                                               
included in  the proposed  bill, as  it was  state owned  and was                                                               
funded  through  appropriations  from  the  state  operating  and                                                               
capital budgets.   She shared that the schools  referenced in the                                                               
proposed CS were operated by school districts.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:28:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON  asked  about the  requirement  for  a                                                               
student dormitory  on page 1, line  12, of the proposed  CS.  She                                                               
asked for clarification  regarding the students who  did not have                                                               
the need for a dormitory.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER,  in response,  said that  some students  in Galena                                                               
lived  at home,  and these  students did  not receive  a stipend.                                                               
She  pointed  out that  Chugach  School  District had  a  similar                                                               
situation, applied for the aforementioned  RFP, and had submitted                                                               
a letter of  support for the proposed bill  [Included in members'                                                               
packets].                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON  asked for  more  testimony  regarding                                                               
students living in dormitories and living at home.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:30:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked if Galena Interior  Learning Academy                                                               
was the only option for high school in Galena.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER replied that it was the high school in Galena.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:30:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON directed  attention to page 1,  line 14 and                                                               
asked if average daily membership  (ADM) and regular funding were                                                               
also applied for the variable term length programs.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER  replied that  the students  would qualify  for the                                                               
base  student  allocation, and  the  school  district could  seek                                                               
reimbursement.  She deferred to EED for further response.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:32:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER  directed attention to page  2, lines 18 -  22, and                                                               
explained  that this  section allowed  for a  school district  to                                                               
cooperate with a  non-profit organization for the  operation of a                                                               
boarding school  on behalf of  the school district.   She pointed                                                               
out that  page 2,  line 23, repealed  the "preclusion  in statute                                                               
that a charter school may not have a boarding school component."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:34:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked about the rationale  for restricting                                                               
the ability to contract for the  provision of room and board with                                                               
only  Alaska  Native or  non-profit  organizations,  and did  not                                                               
allow for a bid from for-profit organizations.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER deferred.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  GATTIS replied  that this  had been  a concern  during the                                                               
drafting of  the bill.   She stated that,  as the sponsor  of the                                                               
proposed  bill,  she  would  welcome   a  further  expansion  for                                                               
inclusion of other organizations.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:35:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SYLVESTER directed  attention  to the  fiscal  note for  the                                                               
proposed  bill  included  in members'  packets  reflects  a  33.5                                                               
percent increase to the current funding.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:37:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIC   GEBHART,  Superintendent,   Nenana   City  Public   School                                                               
District, explained that the Nenana  Student Living Center, where                                                               
students lived  while attending  the city school,  was a  part of                                                               
the Nenana City  School District.  He reported  that the facility                                                               
had been  in operation for 12  years.  He stated  his support for                                                               
the proposed CS  for HB 142.   He said that the  actual costs for                                                               
food, housing,  and student care  were considered  in formulating                                                               
the request for a stipend  increase.  He declared that commitment                                                               
from the community was significant,  and that community resources                                                               
were drawn on to support the  facility.  He shared that, although                                                               
part of  the student  application required  that grades  and test                                                               
scores be submitted, the primary  consideration was for retention                                                               
and success for an entire school  year.  He noted that the school                                                               
district had  not attained Adequate Yearly  Progress (AYP) during                                                               
the last  two years; however,  the vast majority of  students who                                                               
remained  in  the program  for  at  least  two years  had  become                                                               
successful  and graduated.   He  noted that  data indicated  that                                                               
students who did not finish  school in Nenana, but graduated from                                                               
high school  in their home district,  also had a higher  level of                                                               
success.    He  described  the  opportunities  that  the  program                                                               
offered students,  which included college level  math courses, an                                                               
excellent  music   program,  a  student  leadership   team,  work                                                               
experiences, and local civic assistance.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:43:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked for quantification to  the statement                                                               
that the community provided significant support.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GEBHART  replied  that  the  City  of  Nenana  provided  the                                                               
financial  support  for  the  student  housing,  and  that  local                                                               
activities and engagement included the students.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked  for a comparison of  AYP test scores                                                               
at  the Nenana  High School  to those  at the  schools which  the                                                               
students had previously attended.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. GEBHART  replied that the returning  student scores indicated                                                               
that AYP  was being achieved, noting  that it took time  to raise                                                               
the level of achievement.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  restated her question for  a comparison of                                                               
scores  from Nenana  High School  with the  students' originating                                                               
schools.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GEBHART   offered  to  provide   this  information   to  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:47:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON asked  what grades  were served  by the                                                               
Nenana boarding school.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. GEBHART replied that the school was for grades 9-12.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON asked for  the total number of students,                                                               
and how many were from the immediate area.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. GEBHART, in response, stated  that there was an enrollment of                                                               
200 students, with 85 student residents at the living center.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON asked  if this  enrollment was  for all                                                               
grade levels.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. GEBHART replied that the enrollment  was for K - 12, and that                                                               
there were 10-12 students per grade.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON inquired about the application process.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. GEBHART explained that the  parents and students completed an                                                               
application,  which  included  a statement  explaining  why  they                                                               
would like to attend.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  asked for  more information  regarding                                                               
the retention rate.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. GEBHART reported  that in July, 2008, when  he first arrived,                                                               
the  living  center  had  40  students  and  there  were  now  70                                                               
students.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   P.  WILSON   asked  about   the  percentage   of                                                               
retention.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. GEBHART reported  that 70 students remained  from an original                                                               
88 students, which approached the goal of 80 percent retention.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  asked about  the number  of graduating                                                               
students each year.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. GEBHART replied  that, in 2013, there would  be 11 graduates,                                                               
and, in 2012, there were about 22 graduates.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:51:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON,  directing attention to the  variable term                                                               
length  proposed in  the  CS,  asked how  that  would affect  the                                                               
Nenana High School compared with the full school year option.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. GEBHART  replied that Nenana  had a full school  year program                                                               
and would  not participate  in the variable  length program.   He                                                               
stated  his support  for  the variable  length  program at  other                                                               
schools as it provided additional choices for students.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:53:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD reported  that  she  was "worried  about                                                               
long term sustainability  and we wanna get a good  rate of return                                                               
on our  investment."   She asked if  Nenana City  School District                                                               
anticipated an increase in its AYP.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. GEBHART replied that the  school district endeavored annually                                                               
toward  this  end.    He  clarified that  the  priority  was  for                                                               
substantial growth  by every student,  but the level  of increase                                                               
could  be dependent  on their  educational  background and  their                                                               
work ethic.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  questioned  the  low  graduation  rate,                                                               
citing graduation of  only 34 students out of 500  students.  She                                                               
then asked  about the cost  per student, and whether  the parents                                                               
contributed.  She declared that  "it just seems like where people                                                               
invest themselves, you  tend to get, you know, more  buy-in and a                                                               
commitment."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GEBHART  questioned  the  figures  cited  by  Representative                                                               
Reinbold, pointing out that,  although approximately 500 students                                                               
had attended  the Nenana Student  Living Center and  134 students                                                               
had  graduated, virtually  all of  them had  graduated from  high                                                               
school  somewhere.   He emphasized  that  there was  a very  high                                                               
graduation rate of students who had attended the center.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   REINBOLD  stated   that  the   Anchorage  School                                                               
District  had a  70 percent  graduation rate.   She  repeated her                                                               
question regarding parental contributions.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GEBHART explained  that the  stipend provided  for room  and                                                               
board at the living center,  while the students paid for personal                                                               
entertainment and  needs.  He  reported that the State  of Alaska                                                               
reimbursed the school  district for student travel  to the school                                                               
at the  beginning of the school  year, and then return  travel at                                                               
the end of  the school year.  He pointed  out that any additional                                                               
travel was the responsibility of the  family.  He noted that some                                                               
students could not afford to  return after the Christmas holiday.                                                               
He  reported that  activity fees,  including  travel for  sports,                                                               
music  events,  or  similar,  were   the  responsibility  of  the                                                               
student.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:59:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS  REITAN,  Superintendent,   Galena  City  School  District,                                                               
explained   that,  although   Galena  and   Nenana  had   similar                                                               
operational  nuances,  each had  a  different  focus and  program                                                               
offering, which  allowed for  student choices  to best  fit their                                                               
needs.   He addressed the  question for  "skin in the  game," and                                                               
pointed  out  the  difficulty  for  parents  to  not  have  their                                                               
children at  home.  He  lauded this selfless commitment  to offer                                                               
the best  opportunity to  their child.   Regarding  the financial                                                               
aspect  for "skin  in the  game," he  reported that  there was  a                                                               
student activity fee  of $150.00 each per semester.   He reported                                                               
that occasionally local students in  Galena had applied and lived                                                               
in the  dormitory for  specific personal reasons.   He  said that                                                               
the school district  was not funded for these  students, but that                                                               
it  was  "best  for  the  family and  best  for  that  particular                                                               
student."   Directing  attention  to  the aforementioned  handout                                                               
titled   "Galena  Interior   Learning  Academy,   Residence  Life                                                               
Revenues  and  Expenditures,"  he noted  the  difference  between                                                               
"District of  Residence" and "Community"  and explained  that the                                                               
data  reflected   the  District   from  which  the   student  had                                                               
previously  attended  school,  but  the Community  could  be  the                                                               
result of  a family  move after  acceptance into  the residential                                                               
program, and  was the current  home of  the family.   He reported                                                               
that   the  graduation   data  and   the   AYP  were   considered                                                               
independently, noting  that there  was 100 percent  graduation by                                                               
any student who  had arrived into the boarding  school program as                                                               
a freshman.  He pointed out  that, when students arrived, the AYP                                                               
may  not indicate  proficiency, but  by the  senior year,  if the                                                               
student was retained, graduation would  occur.  He explained that                                                               
the  application for  Galena was  completed entirely  online, and                                                               
then an interview was conducted  with the parent and the student.                                                               
Galena had  a focus on  career and technical education,  and that                                                               
should be  reflected in the application.   He said there  was not                                                               
extensive  screening  of academic  background.    He shared  that                                                               
Galena also  had a local  high school,  but would accept  a local                                                               
student based on interest and need.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:07:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON  asked  if  the  application  process,                                                               
specifically the interview aspect, had  changed over time to give                                                               
a better feel  for the student.  She asked  whether students were                                                               
allowed to solely  focus on the vocational  education classes, or                                                               
were required to also take other course work.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. REITAN  replied that the  previous paper  application process                                                               
had been streamlined  from the back and forth  telephone calls to                                                               
the current  online application with  a telephone interview.   He                                                               
repeated  that it  was  most important  to  ensure that  students                                                               
would  be a  good fit  in  the residence  hall.   He shared  that                                                               
students would  leave for interpersonal  reasons but  not because                                                               
of  the  academic classes.    In  response to  Representative  P.                                                               
Wilson, he said that full  high school requirements were in place                                                               
for students  to complete the high  school graduation requirement                                                               
exam.  He  said that it was impossible for  a student to complete                                                               
the  required hours  for  a technical  certificate,  such as  the                                                               
requirements   for  cosmetology,   and  still   meet  the   other                                                               
graduation  requirements.    He  said that  many  students  would                                                               
return for a  semester as a postsecondary  student, or transition                                                               
into another  program, in order  to complete the  necessary hours                                                               
to qualify for the state boards.   He reported that most students                                                               
took  at  least  two  career  technical  education  (CTE)  course                                                               
programs.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:12:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  if  the students  were  allowed  a                                                               
stipend for postsecondary work.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. REITAN  replied that postsecondary students  paid 100 percent                                                               
of the costs.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:13:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON,  pointing to  the variable  length program                                                               
proposed  in the  CS  for HB  142, asked  how  that would  impact                                                               
school districts, specifically for the ADM funding.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:15:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  REITAN replied  that the  proposed  variable length  program                                                               
would not impact  the Galena City School District, as  all of the                                                               
CTE programs were long term.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:15:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON asked to clarify  whether students were                                                               
present for the entire school year, or for the calendar year.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. REITAN  stated that the school  year began in August  and was                                                               
completed in May.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:16:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. NORMAN  ECK, Superintendent, Northwest Arctic  Borough School                                                               
District, declared  support for  the proposed bill,  sharing that                                                               
the  Northwest  Arctic Borough  School  District  would apply  to                                                               
become a boarding school district.   He stated that, although the                                                               
school district planned  to primarily offer a  full year program,                                                               
the variable  length program could  also be offered  for semester                                                               
length  courses  such  as   Process  Technology,  which  prepared                                                               
students for trades work in the  mines, the pipeline, and the oil                                                               
fields.   He  declared that  a  goal was  to be  a magnet  school                                                               
district in  order to attract  students, and would  specialize in                                                               
Process  Technology, Education,  Culinary Arts,  and Health  Care                                                               
training.  He  declared that the Northwest  Arctic Borough School                                                               
District  was the  only school  district in  Alaska with  a post-                                                               
secondary technical  center, and,  after renovation,  would serve                                                               
both high  school and adult  students.   He pointed out  that the                                                               
current  kitchen  and  cafeteria  were  being  remodeled  into  a                                                               
teaching kitchen  for the culinary  arts, which would  allow high                                                               
school students to  graduate with a certificate  in Culinary Arts                                                               
and be ready for a job.   He announced that these variable length                                                               
programs  were   important  for  specific  certifications.     He                                                               
declared his support for the  increase to reimbursement costs, as                                                               
the  current amount  was not  sufficient.   He stated  that rural                                                               
Alaska  students  needed  programs   which  provided  the  skills                                                               
necessary to be  job and career ready.  He  reported that, as his                                                               
school  district had  five  schools with  fewer  than 3  teaching                                                               
positions,  it  was  difficult  for these  schools  to  have  the                                                               
variety of  curriculum to offer  students the  necessary options.                                                               
He  stated  that "the  time  for  boarding facilities  for  Rural                                                               
Alaska has come again."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:23:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX, referring  to the  aforementioned "Galena                                                               
Interior   Learning   Academy,   Residence  Life   Revenues   and                                                               
Expenditures," pointed out that 18  of the 181 students attending                                                               
Galena were  from the Northwest  Arctic Borough  School District,                                                               
and she asked for further clarification.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR.  ECK  explained  that  his  district did  not  yet  have  the                                                               
residential program, but it was  applying.  He declared that this                                                               
was  about  choice and  options  for  students, and  that  Galena                                                               
offered many  excellent programs.   He stated that  Anchorage and                                                               
Matanuska-Susitna  students were  some of  the only  ones in  the                                                               
state that had viable options close to home.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:26:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked to clarify that  currently there was                                                               
not a residential program in  the Northwest Arctic Borough School                                                               
District.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. ECK  explained that the district  application for residential                                                               
schooling was currently being considered.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:27:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  asked how the  ADM funding would  work for                                                               
the variable courses at the  proposed magnet school.  As students                                                               
would only be in attendance for  a shorter period, this needed to                                                               
be fair to all the schools.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:28:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  HANLEY, Commissioner,  Department  of  Education and  Early                                                               
Development  (EED), pointed  out  that, as  the  Alaska Board  Of                                                               
Education &  Early Development had recently  adopted a regulation                                                               
to  recognize variable  term  programs, a  student  would not  be                                                               
funded for  a full  year, if attending  a variable  term program.                                                               
He  stated  that  the  regulation only  allowed  for  a  boarding                                                               
stipend, while  the basic student allocation  (BSA) remained with                                                               
the student's home district.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON asked  to clarify  that it  would only  be                                                               
stipend funding for the variable term program.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HANLEY  expressed his  agreement, pointing  out that                                                               
it was the home school  districts which had brought this question                                                               
forward.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:30:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  about  program  opportunities  for                                                               
urban students, similar to those provided in Galena.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HANLEY  offered his belief that  these programs were                                                               
not  available  "to  the  extent  that  Galena  does,"  but  that                                                               
components were available in many other districts.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:31:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HANLEY, in  response to  Representative P.  Wilson,                                                               
explained that these  were monthly stipends for  student room and                                                               
board.  He noted that a  one day student count would be performed                                                               
for  the  variable   term  programs  in  October   and  based  on                                                               
enrollment this  would be  the annual  average.   This regulation                                                               
would  also allow  for the  average number  during a  full school                                                               
year.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON  asked if the State of  Alaska would pay                                                               
for a student to attend any school of choice.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HANLEY  replied that there were  currently statewide                                                               
programs which  were open to  any students.   He stated  that the                                                               
proposed bill  would also  allow programs that  were less  than a                                                               
full year.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON, observing  that students from  a rural                                                               
area could  go to  any school,  questioned if  the same  would be                                                               
true  for urban  students, with  the State  of Alaska  paying for                                                               
room  and board,  when it  was possible  for similar  programs in                                                               
their home area.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HANLEY  replied that this opportunity  was currently                                                               
allowed, and that  the proposed bill did not  change that option.                                                               
He pointed  out that it was  unusual for a student  to apply from                                                               
an urban area.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  countered that  the proposed  bill did                                                               
change  that, as  the  state  would now  pay  $1,230.00 for  each                                                               
student,  which was  a substantial  increase.   She asked  if any                                                               
school would  consider this to  be a  money making venture.   She                                                               
suggested  that an  unintended consequence  of the  proposed bill                                                               
could be a greater expense for education to the state.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HANLEY  explained that this reimbursement  was up to                                                               
$1,230.00  of the  actual  cost,  and was  not  changed with  the                                                               
proposed bill.   He  offered his  belief that  the intent  was to                                                               
provide equity between full year  and variable term programs.  He                                                               
pointed out that the travel  component allowed for one round trip                                                               
per student  count, based  on the  average cost  for transporting                                                               
students to residential boarding schools.   He clarified that, as                                                               
the  funding  was received  by  the  school, the  district  would                                                               
determine how to  distribute the fund to  maintain equity between                                                               
the variable term and the full year programs.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:38:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SYLVESTER   directed  attention   to  an   earlier  question                                                               
regarding  the  expansion of  the  RFP  and  the programs.    She                                                               
explained  that  the  RFP  process  allowed  for  a  response  in                                                               
cooperation  with  the department,  an  acceptance,  and then  an                                                               
approval for funding by the  legislature, which would control the                                                               
growth of the program.  She  asked that the commissioner speak to                                                               
this mechanism.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:40:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HANLEY explained  that  the student  counts in  the                                                               
boarding programs  were considered for additional  needs prior to                                                               
the approval of  new facilities.  After approval,  EED would work                                                               
with  the Governor  to include  these schools  in the  Governor's                                                               
budget.   He declared that  there was an obligation  for funding,                                                               
if a  school was approved.   He pointed out that  the success and                                                               
quality of the school was always open for review.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:41:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  shared her concern for  a large expansion,                                                               
which  had been  previously expressed  by Representative  Wilson.                                                               
She  pointed  out that  37  students  from urban  areas  attended                                                               
Galena  which was  20  percent  of the  total  enrollment of  181                                                               
students.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:42:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS  explained that, although  there was a  large influx                                                               
of  people  moving into  the  Matanuska-Susitna  area from  Rural                                                               
Alaska, many  students chose  to stay in  the villages  to finish                                                               
school.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:43:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  offered his  belief  that  not very  many                                                               
institutions  would provide  a variable  length  program, as  the                                                               
cost  to the  district was  not supportable.   He  requested more                                                               
information,  if  this  was  the intent  of  the  proposed  bill;                                                               
however, if this bill did  not accomplish this, he questioned why                                                               
the bill was being introduced.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER HANLEY said  that the school districts  had "skin in                                                               
the game," as  the state was not building these  schools, and the                                                               
school districts  would not  make money.   He clarified  that the                                                               
proposed  bill  allowed  for  some basic  measures:    a  funding                                                               
increase  to recognize  program costs;  a variable  term program;                                                               
and, district-wide programs.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked if EED  anticipated that the variable                                                               
term programs would be provided  on a district-wide basis, as the                                                               
BSA  had  already  been  allocated   to  the  district  for  cost                                                               
coverage.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  HANLEY directed  attention  to  the Chugach  model,                                                               
"The  Voyage   to  Excellence,"  which  had   an  Anchorage-based                                                               
program, and  brought students for  variable term  programs after                                                               
contracts  to  support  the  students  had  been  established  on                                                               
district levels.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR. ECK added  that, although his school district  had an overall                                                               
54 percent  graduation rate, students  who had taken two  or more                                                               
CTE  classes in  a career  pathway had  an 83  percent graduation                                                               
rate.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:49:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT  BALLARD, Superintendent,  Iditarod  Area School  District,                                                               
said that the school district  would like to offer an in-district                                                               
residential  learning  center,  which  would  support  the  small                                                               
school sites and  expand the curriculum by  offering more choices                                                               
to students, especially in preparation  for qualification for the                                                               
Alaska Performance Scholarship.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  asked  how many  schools  were in  the                                                               
district for the residential learning center to draw students.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BALLARD replied that there  were seven schools, in a district                                                               
comparable in size to the State  of Ohio, with about 200 students                                                               
district wide.   He declared that  four of the seven  schools had                                                               
less than 30 students.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:51:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA RIEGER,  Cook Inlet Tribal  Council (CITC), stated  that the                                                               
Alaska  Native organizations  were  working  in cooperation  with                                                               
school  districts   to  provide  residential  components.     She                                                               
declared support for  the proposed CS for HB 142  by CITC and the                                                               
Alaska  Federation   of  Natives  (AFN)  as   there  was  general                                                               
consensus that  more partnerships  would lead to  greater success                                                               
for students.  She briefly  described the CITC program, which was                                                               
a public-private partnership with  the Anchorage School District.                                                               
She reported that CITC supplied  the room, board, and residential                                                               
components,  while the  Anchorage  School  District provided  the                                                               
academic and  extra-curricular programs.  She  explained that the                                                               
residential program was designed to  be an Alaska Native culture-                                                               
based leadership  program with social  and academic  support, but                                                               
the program was not a  therapeutic environment for drug, alcohol,                                                               
or emotional  issues.  She said  that 43 percent of  the students                                                               
arriving in  Anchorage were not  accompanied by  parents, sharing                                                               
that students  could be homeless,  or have home  disruptions, and                                                               
"just  need a  stable  place to  live  and go  to  school."   She                                                               
pointed  out  that  the  Alaska Native  graduation  rate  was  50                                                               
percent,  compared  to  the  Anchorage  School  District  general                                                               
population rate  of 70 percent.   She mentioned that  the stipend                                                               
increase did  not cover the  entire cost  of room and  board, and                                                               
CITC   would  be   leveraging  other   monies  to   provide  this                                                               
opportunity and support.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:57:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOREEN LORENZ,  Chair, Friends of  Jesse Lee Home, said  that the                                                               
school was  very different  than any school  in Alaska  and would                                                               
begin a  variable term program in  2014.  She described  that the                                                               
education was  hands-on, esteem based,  and would  allow students                                                               
to experience  different types of  vocations, in order  to better                                                               
determine what direction  they would like to pursue.   She listed                                                               
the  opportunities for  learning in  the Seward  area.   She said                                                               
that  this  approach  would  be similar  to  the  Chugach  model,                                                               
although unique to all other institutions.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:59:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked  to clarify that the  model would not                                                               
require a  base student allocation  through the school,  but that                                                               
the funding would be through contracts with school districts.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. LORENZ expressed her agreement.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:00:36 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR GATTIS said that HB 142 bill would be held over.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Education Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 10:00 a.m.                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
00 HB 142 Bill Text.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
01 CS HB 142 Version C.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
02 HB 142 Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
03 HB 142 Sectional Analysis.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
04 HB 142 Fiscal Note - EED.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
05 HB 142 Background Data - Residence Life Costs FY 11 - FY 13.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
06 HB 142 Background Data - Communities Spring 2013.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
07 HB 142 Background Data - Offerings Spring 2013.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
08 HB 142 Background Data - Graduating Classes.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
09 HB 142 Background Data - White Paper 3-3-13.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
10 HB 142 Letter Support - Cook Inlet Tribal Council.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
11 HB 142 Letter Support - Nenana School.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
11.1 HB 142 Letter Support - Chugach School Dist.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
11.2 HB 142 Letter Support - Galena City School Dist.PDF HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
11.3 HB 142 Letter Support - North Slope Leadership Team.PDF HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
12 HB 120 Bill Text.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 120
13 HB 120 Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 120
14 HB 120 Fiscal Note - EED-K12.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 120
15 HB 120 Fiscal Note - EED-PEF.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 120
16 HB 120 Backup - Leg Research History of Transportation of Pupils 2013.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 120
17 HB 120 Letter Support - Anchorage School District 2-28-2013.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 120
18 HB 120 Letter Support - Saddler 2-27-2013.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 120
19 HB 120 Letter Support - Kenai Peninsula Borough School Dist.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 120
20 HB 120 Letter Support - North Slope Borough 2-18-2013.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 120
21 HB 120 Letter support - Fairbanks 2-22-2013.pdf HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 120
22 HB 120 Letter Support - MatSu 2-19-2013.PDF HEDC 3/13/2013 8:00:00 AM
HB 120