Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106

02/08/2017 09:00 AM EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
09:05:51 AM Start
09:07:43 AM HB52
09:47:16 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
*+ HB 52 PRE-ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAMS/PLANS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
           HB 52-PRE-ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAMS/PLANS                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:07:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DRUMMOND  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO.  52, "An  Act relating  to  providing a  pre-                                                               
elementary program  within a school  district; and  providing for                                                               
the certification of early childhood education plans."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:08:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT KAWASAKI, Alaska State Legislature,                                                                        
introduced HB 52, paraphrasing from the sponsor statement, which                                                                
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska remains  one of  the only  states that  does not                                                                    
     provide pre-kindergarten  education to its  children on                                                                    
     a statewide  basis. HB  52 seeks to  add Alaska  to the                                                                    
     ranks of  the majority  of states that  have recognized                                                                    
     the need to properly invest in our children's future.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Children who  benefit from early education  earn higher                                                                    
     incomes as adults, enter the  job market in much larger                                                                    
     numbers,   are  more   likely  to   obtain  a   college                                                                    
     education,  remain off  of public  assistance and  stay                                                                    
     out  of  prison. A  report  published  by the  National                                                                    
     Center for  Education Statistics found that  53 percent                                                                    
     of prison inmates are either  illiterate or have a very                                                                    
     low  literacy  level.  Children  who  enroll  in  early                                                                    
     education  programs have  a much  higher literacy  rate                                                                    
     than those who do not.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska  has  a  responsibility   to  provide  the  best                                                                    
     education   possible  for   its  children.   Currently,                                                                    
     outside of a few  school district classrooms, the state                                                                    
     only provides  early education  through the  Head Start                                                                    
     program,   which  is   only  available   to  low-income                                                                    
     children and  which is chronically underfunded.  Due to                                                                    
     lack  of funding,  the  Alaska  Head Start  Association                                                                    
     estimates  that more  than 50  percent of  children who                                                                    
     qualify cannot receive  Head Start education. Providing                                                                    
     additional  opportunities is  a crucial  stepping stone                                                                    
     to improving the future of young Alaskans.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Extensive  research shows  that a  child's intellectual                                                                    
     development  is especially  important before  age 6.  A                                                                    
     study by the National  Institute for Early Education in                                                                    
     2004  found  that  children who  attended  state-funded                                                                    
     pre-Kindergarten   programs   showed  improvements   in                                                                    
     vocabulary 31 percent greater  than other children, and                                                                    
     44 percent greater in math.  Young children who receive                                                                    
     high  quality early  education do  better academically,                                                                    
     show behavioral  improvements in  school, and  are more                                                                    
     likely  to  stay in  school,  graduate,  and go  on  to                                                                    
     complete post-secondary education.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     There  is   also  a  significant  economic   impact  of                                                                    
     providing early education.  Multiple studies have shown                                                                    
     that funds invested in  early education pay substantial                                                                    
     dividends  in the  long run.  Every dollar  invested in                                                                    
     high-quality  pre-K programs  save taxpayers  up to  $7                                                                    
     long-term. Pre-K  saves money by reducing  the need for                                                                    
     remedial and  special education, welfare  programs, and                                                                    
     criminal  justice  services.  An ongoing  study  of  40                                                                    
     year-old  adults in  Michigan who  participated in  the                                                                    
     1962  Perry Preschool  project found  that adults  with                                                                    
     pre-K were  more likely  to be  employed and  earned 33                                                                    
     percent  higher average  incomes than  their peers  who                                                                    
     did not have state-funded early education.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Additionally, a study prepared for  the SEED program at                                                                    
     the  University  of  Alaska  Southeast  state  that  87                                                                    
     percent of  Alaska residents think it  is important for                                                                    
     state  government  to  provide  financial  support  for                                                                    
     early  education  and  childcare. It's  time  to  start                                                                    
     thinking  long-term and  ensuring  a prosperous  future                                                                    
     for all of Alaska's children.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:12:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
OLIVIA  GARRETT,  Staff,  Representative Kawasaki,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,   provided   a   sectional  analysis   of   HB   52,                                                               
paraphrasing  from a  prepared statement,  which read  as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1.                                                                                                                 
     Establishes that elementary  schools shall also consist                                                                    
     of a  pre-elementary program for children  3-5 years of                                                                    
     age which operates  as a Head Start  Program or located                                                                    
     in a  public school. Pre-elementary  students, however,                                                                    
     do  not   count  towards   a  school's   average  daily                                                                    
     membership.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2.                                                                                                                 
     Establishes  that a  child may  enter  a public  school                                                                    
     pre-elementary program  if they are three  years old on                                                                    
     or before September 1st.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3.                                                                                                                 
     Defines "pre-elementary  school" as  a pre-kindergarten                                                                    
     program  provided by  a  school  district for  children                                                                    
     ages 3-5 years whose primary function is educational.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4.                                                                                                                 
     Directs  the  board   to  adopt  regulations  regarding                                                                    
     funding as  well as statewide and  local goals. Directs                                                                    
     the board to develop  approval regulations for charter,                                                                    
     state  boarding,  or  public schools  before  they  can                                                                    
     provide  domiciliary  services.  Directs the  board  to                                                                    
     develop   regulations   for   the   certification   and                                                                    
     implementation of  a statewide plan to  implement early                                                                    
     childhood education.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5.                                                                                                                 
     The number  of schools  in a district  is subject  to a                                                                    
     community  having an  average daily  membership between                                                                    
     10  and   100.  A  community  with   an  average  daily                                                                    
     membership between 101 and 425  is considered as either                                                                    
     one  elementary school  (with a  pre-k program)  or one                                                                    
     secondary  school. Communities  with  an average  daily                                                                    
     membership  over  425   are  administered  as  separate                                                                    
     schools.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 6.                                                                                                                 
     A  school district  cannot  include  students in  their                                                                    
     average  daily  membership who  are  part  of the  pre-                                                                    
     elementary program  or who  receive funding  other than                                                                    
     funding from this legislation                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:14:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON asked whether the funding attached to                                                                   
the proposed bill could effectively be used to enlarge Head                                                                     
Start programs.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:14:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI explained  that the  concept is  for any                                                               
early  education   effort  in  a   school  district  to   have  a                                                               
possibility to qualify for the  program, which could include Head                                                               
Start.  To a follow-up questions  he said the governance would be                                                               
provided by the State Board  of Education but the district school                                                               
boards would tailor programs specific to locales.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:15:43 AM]                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO questioned  whether every school district                                                               
would be required to offer a voluntary pre-K program.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KAWASAKI  responded   that  the   bill  provides                                                               
permissive  language authorizing  districts to  act on  their own                                                               
behalf and interests.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:16:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP pointed  out the fiscal note  is $51 million,                                                               
representing a  huge number given  the state's  current financial                                                               
situation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  opined that education is  the foundation                                                               
of the state, it's addressed  in the constitution and educational                                                               
investment is a priority.   However, the early development aspect                                                               
of  education   has,  heretofore,  not  been   prioritized.    He                                                               
acknowledged that it's an expensive  ticket, but the value gained                                                               
by implementing early learning is well documented.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:18:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KOPP  acknowledged   that   the  House   Finance                                                               
Committee will review  the fiscal viability, and  the policy call                                                               
is  to provide  avenues for  early education.   He  asked whether                                                               
Alaska  has performed  any rigorous  studies that  track randomly                                                               
assigned students,  attending pre-school early  learning programs                                                               
and children who do not,  which aren't from a singular community.                                                               
The  studies   that  have  been  available,   are  from  singular                                                               
communities and  based on a narrow  sample group, he noted.   Two                                                               
broad studies,  one based  in the  U.S. and  one in  Europe, have                                                               
indicated that  children do  better when  entering school  at age                                                               
six; citing  the importance of  a healthy  early home life.   The                                                               
majority of  the benefits touting  universal preschools  point to                                                               
statistically  small  scoped   programs,  and  follow-up  studies                                                               
indicate that whatever lead the  study group may have had quickly                                                               
fades, when  they enter school.   Unless something  is rigorously                                                               
documented  to benefit  youth, he  maintained, caution  should be                                                               
taken in adopting a policy change of this magnitude and cost.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  pointed out that many  studies have been                                                               
conducted,  and  called attention  to  several  contained in  the                                                               
committee  packet.    Further,  in  2009,  a  pilot  program  was                                                               
introduced in Alaska,  and still continues.  Like  any good pilot                                                               
this program is  ready to go prime time.   The data analysis have                                                               
been conducted  to assess a  variety of standards, and  show good                                                               
result.   He directed attention to  a chart, which he  offered to                                                               
make available to the committee  and read the percentages that it                                                               
contained, indicating outcome of the state's pilot program.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:23:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  whether the  sponsor is  aware of                                                               
the  current  assessment  efforts  of  the  State  Commission  of                                                               
Education regarding Alaska's educational approach.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI acknowledged  that the new administration                                                               
will  review and  address  the state  approach.   However,  early                                                               
education has been,  and will possibly remain, at the  top of the                                                               
priority list; the outcome of the review is not yet available.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON  regarding the  allocation of  funds, she                                                               
asked, "Does this leave an  opportunity for other than Head Start                                                               
and other than school districts?"                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  responded  that the  program  could  be                                                               
expanded to Head Starts, Early  Head Starts, and possibly private                                                               
parochial schools.   The intent  is to open-up  opportunities for                                                               
3-5 year  olds through  voluntarily programs.   The  parents will                                                               
make the decision  for placing their child in a  program.  The HB
52  language   will  augment,  not  detract   from  any  existing                                                               
programs, he opined.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:26:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ referred  to  the sponsor's  statement,                                                               
"Every dollar invested  in high quality pre-K  programs saves tax                                                               
payers  up to  seven dollars  in the  long term,"  and asked  for                                                               
elaboration.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  responded  that  reports  indicate  the                                                               
socio-economic  savings as  a  generally  accepted principle  and                                                               
documentation  is  available.    He offered  to  provide  further                                                               
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:27:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  noted that many working  families struggle                                                               
with the  high cost  of child  care, neither  can they  afford to                                                               
stay home  with their children.   He asked if any  of the figures                                                               
in  the   packet  account  for  savings   to  individual  working                                                               
families.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI answered  that available  statistics are                                                               
based on  assumptions that  either a  parent will  participate in                                                               
the program or be home with the child.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:29:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ABBBE HENSLEY,  Director, Best Beginnings, stated  support for HB
52,  paraphrasing  from  a  prepared  statement,  which  read  as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Last week  was my second  week of  Grand Jury duty.   I                                                                    
     can't  share  details with  you,  but,  if you've  been                                                                    
     reading the  Alaska Dispatch News  during the  past few                                                                    
     months, you can  imagine the felony cases  we've had to                                                                    
     review.   The ADN  provides information  about murders,                                                                    
     attempted murders,  robberies, thefts, and so  on   and                                                                    
     so many of  those charged have been so young    just in                                                                    
     their teens  or early  20s    some with  young children                                                                    
     whose  parents may  spend the  rest of  their lives  in                                                                    
     prison.    And  the  murder  victims  who  leave  young                                                                    
     children  behind.   It's heartbreaking  to think  about                                                                    
     all  those little  kids.   We know  there's no  one big                                                                    
     fabulous idea  or program that can  prevent things like                                                                    
     this.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     But we do  know about one kind of effort  that can make                                                                    
     a  big impact.   That  is high-quality  early care  and                                                                    
     learning programs.   Early and  sustained participation                                                                    
     in quality PreK and early learning settings leads to:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     More children graduating high school                                                                                       
     Higher earning rates                                                                                                       
     Reduced  public  spending  on  remedial  education  and                                                                    
     services, and                                                                                                              
     Lower incarceration rates.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     We  support state  investment  in educational  programs                                                                    
     for young  children whether they are  called preschool,                                                                    
     pre-elementary, PreK,  early kindergarten,  Head Start,                                                                    
     Parents  as  Teachers,   Imagination  Library,  quality                                                                    
     child care    all  of which can  be included  under the                                                                    
     umbrella term "early care and  learning programs."  And                                                                    
     it  almost   goes  without   saying,  here   in  Alaska                                                                    
     especially,   that  these   programs   should  all   be                                                                    
     voluntary.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     The  bill under  discussion  today, HB  52, focuses  on                                                                    
     "providing  a pre-elementary  program  within a  school                                                                    
     district and  for the certification of  early childhood                                                                    
     education plans."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Thank  you, Rep  Kawasaki, for  making sure  this issue                                                                    
     gets a hearing.  I would  like to focus on two sections                                                                    
     of the bill in particular.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4. (a) (5)                                                                                                         
     "The   board   shall    adopt   regulations   for   the                                                                    
     certification  and implementation  of a  statewide plan                                                                    
     to  establish an  effective means  for providing  early                                                                    
     childhood   education   using  the   model   curriculum                                                                    
     developed by the department."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     I  would  add  that  it   is  also  critical  that  the                                                                    
     Department of  Education &  Early Development  have the                                                                    
     capacity to  provide technical assistance  to districts                                                                    
     to help ensure their  programs are research-based, show                                                                    
     outcomes, and  reflect community needs.   The technical                                                                    
     assistance provided  by DEED to  current Pre-elementary                                                                    
     Grantees  demonstrates  the  value   of  this  kind  of                                                                    
     ongoing support  and should be  part of any  new state-                                                                    
     funded PreK effort.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section 6 (c) (1) and (2)                                                                                                  
     (1) This point is confusing  to me because it says that                                                                    
     children  in programs  that comply  with the  statewide                                                                    
     plan  mentioned  earlier  may not  be  counted  in  the                                                                    
     average daily membership of a  school.  I thought those                                                                    
     were the children we are  trying to include rather than                                                                    
     exclude.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     (2)  While I  expect  it is  unintentional, this  point                                                                    
     would continue to promote  providing services in silos,                                                                    
     an inefficient and uneconomical  way of doing business,                                                                    
     something  neither the  state  nor  private sector  can                                                                    
     afford these days.   We need to be able  to blend funds                                                                    
     to make the best use of them, with the best outcomes.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Many  states offer  PreK in  what are  called mixed  or                                                                    
     diverse   delivery  settings.     For   example,  North                                                                    
     Carolina  and New  Mexico offer  more  than half  their                                                                    
     PreK  classrooms  through  child care  centers.    This                                                                    
     works  because parents  need  full-day  care for  their                                                                    
     children, not full "school day"  care but full "working                                                                    
     day" care.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Of course, there are some  families and communities who                                                                    
     would want  a traditional,  half day  preschool program                                                                    
     for their children.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     PreK can  be school-based, but  does not have to  be to                                                                    
     meet  the needs  of children  and families.  Supporting                                                                    
     quality PreK in community-based  child care programs is                                                                    
     a  sound example  of public-private  partnership.   How                                                                    
     will we  know which  programs are  of high  quality and                                                                    
     eligible  for   this  kind  of   partnership?  Alaska's                                                                    
     recently  launched  voluntary quality  recognition  and                                                                    
     improvement   system  for   early  care   and  learning                                                                    
     programs, called Learn & Grow, will help.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Our   own  Pre-Elementary   Grant  program   encourages                                                                    
     collaboration  with   community-based  early  childhood                                                                    
     programs     and  children reap  the  benefits  through                                                                    
     partnerships with Head Start,  a private preschool, and                                                                    
     others.  It doesn't appear  that this would be possible                                                                    
     for programs provided under this bill.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     I think we  can all agree that we want  our children to                                                                    
     grow  and  develop   into  happy,  healthy,  productive                                                                    
     citizens who  contribute to the vitality  of our state.                                                                    
     Research  tells   us  the  best  time   to  build  that                                                                    
     foundation is when children are  very young.  Providing                                                                    
     opportunities  for  families   to  have  choices  among                                                                    
     various  programs  and  supports for  their  children's                                                                    
     growth, development, and learning is critical.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Thank you  to Rep Kawasaki  for inviting me  to testify                                                                    
     today.  I encourage  you, Rep  Kawasaki and  others who                                                                    
     are  interested in  moving this  bill forward,  to meet                                                                    
     with  the Alaska  Early Childhood  Coordinating Council                                                                    
     (AECCC) to  flesh out the  ideas in the bill  to ensure                                                                    
     the  best possible  outcomes for  children.   The AECCC                                                                    
     includes both  public and  private sector  members with                                                                    
     expertise  and  experience  that   I  believe  will  be                                                                    
     helpful.  As one of  my early childhood colleagues said                                                                    
     to me  when we were  discussing the bill,  our partners                                                                    
     are ready to do this.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:36:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TREVOR  STORRS,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Children's  Trust,                                                               
stated  support   for  HB  52,   paraphrasing  from   a  prepared                                                               
statement,   which   read   as  follows   [original   punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Thank you for  this opportunity to testify  today on HB
     52.    I'm Trevor  Storrs,  Executive  Director of  the                                                                    
     Alaska Children's  Trust, which  is the  statewide lead                                                                    
     organization focused  on the prevention of  child abuse                                                                    
     and neglect.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Over the  past decade, we  have come to  understand one                                                                    
     of the  most effective  ways of preventing  child abuse                                                                    
     and neglect  is by  addressing the  social determinants                                                                    
     that  foster an  environment that  promotes trauma  and                                                                    
     does  not   build  the  skill  set   (i.e.  resilience)                                                                    
     necessary to manage it.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Children are our most valuable  resource.  As our state                                                                    
     struggles  to  find a  solution  to  the nearly  three-                                                                    
     billion-dollar  deficit, HB  52  provides  a long  term                                                                    
     solution.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Various economic solutions are  being examined from new                                                                    
     revenue  sources,  changing  current  revenue  sources,                                                                    
     privatization,  and even  further cuts.   All  of these                                                                    
     may  address the  budget challenge  we  are faced  with                                                                    
     today but it does not address the issue for tomorrow.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     With all  of these  solutions, it  does not  change the                                                                    
     level of  demand for the  services that cost  our state                                                                    
     the most.  Eligibility for  services can be changed but                                                                    
     it  does not  change the  demand.   A great  example of                                                                    
     truly addressing the  demand is the work  our state has                                                                    
     completed in  the area of  criminal justice  reform and                                                                    
     Medicaid expansion.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The  demand  on  our   justice  system  was  increasing                                                                    
     annually   reaching costs we  could not sustain.   With                                                                    
     reform, the state re-examined how  we held our citizens                                                                    
     accountable to  better reflect our community  norms and                                                                    
     values  resulting  in  major cost  savings  across  all                                                                    
     departments, not  just the  justice system  while still                                                                    
     keeping our communities safe.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     HB 52  is another  step our state  can take  to address                                                                    
     the issue of demand.   Nearly 8% of Alaska's population                                                                    
     is under the age of 5  and each year, 12,000 new babies                                                                    
     are born in Alaska.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Zero to five is the  most critical time in a children's                                                                    
     life.  It  is a time that can greatly  influence on who                                                                    
     that child becomes as an adult.   It is a time when the                                                                    
     vast majority of brain development occurs.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Science  shows  that  when a  child  experiences  toxic                                                                    
     stress like poverty, child  abuse or neglect, witnesses                                                                    
     domestic  violence, historical  trauma, it  impairs the                                                                    
     development of  their brains  and bodies  so profoundly                                                                    
     that the  effect persists throughout their  life and is                                                                    
     passed on to  the next generation.   This experience is                                                                    
     known as Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     ACEs cause most of  the physical, social and behavioral                                                                    
     ills our  communities struggle with  every day.   These                                                                    
     include  diabetes, obesity,  not graduating,  substance                                                                    
     abuse, homelessness, and entering the justice system.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     While exposure  to some  adversity during  childhood is                                                                    
     normal   and   necessary   for   healthy   development,                                                                    
     sustained  or  repeated  exposure  to  sever  adversity                                                                    
     without   supportive   relationships   is   toxic   for                                                                    
     children.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     HB  52  is  offering   one  solution  to  reduce  these                                                                    
     adversities  and provide  the need  space for  children                                                                    
     and families to develop the  skill set   the resilience                                                                    
       they need to bounce back from these adversities.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     By  investing in  our children  at the  start of  their                                                                    
     lives versus addressing their  struggles later in life,                                                                    
     we  begin  to address  the  issue  plaguing our  fiscal                                                                    
     struggle  high demand.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     James Heckman,  a noble  laureate economist,  has shown                                                                    
     that for every  dollar we invest in  early childhood we                                                                    
     save taxpayers up  to $7 long-term.   Heckman says, "In                                                                    
     an era  of tight  government budgets?the  real question                                                                    
     is how  to use  the available funds  wisely.   The best                                                                    
     evidence supports  the policy prescription.   Invest in                                                                    
     the very young".                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     How do we do this?                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Early  childhood development  programs help  remove the                                                                    
     economic stress  placed on families.   No  parent wakes                                                                    
     up  one day  and says  they will  want to  expose their                                                                    
     child  to adversities  like  child  abuse and  neglect.                                                                    
     Yet,  nearly 3,000  Alaskan  children experience  child                                                                    
     abuse and neglect  each year.  Nearly 50%  of those are                                                                    
     under the age of 6.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Early  childhood development  programs  provide one  of                                                                    
     the  key  protective factors  for  both  the child  and                                                                    
     parents   support.  When  a child has 2-3 loving adults                                                                    
     in their life other  than their primary care providers,                                                                    
     the impacts  of adversity  are greatly decreased.   For                                                                    
     parents, they gain access to  social supports that help                                                                    
     them through those stressful times.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Early childhood development  programs are certified and                                                                    
     implement  evidence based  programing.   These programs                                                                    
     show they provide  children the skill set  they need to                                                                    
     be prepared for school and workforce.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Children who  have attended early  childhood programing                                                                    
     have  a  higher  rate  of graduating,  higher  rate  of                                                                    
     employment,  healthier, and  less strain  on the  state                                                                    
     system.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Children  in these  programs experience  less adversity                                                                    
     and  when  they  do,  they  and  the  family  gain  the                                                                    
     resilience they need to overcome it.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska  Children's Trust  supports investment  in early                                                                    
     childhood development.   HB 52 is one  investment.  But                                                                    
     I would be remiss to  not take this opportunity to also                                                                    
     support  the existing  funding for  other key  programs                                                                    
     for early childhood development.   It is important that                                                                    
     we also  safeguard these current investments  and build                                                                    
     on to them with HB 52.   We need to continue to support                                                                    
     home visiting  programs like Parents as  Teachers, work                                                                    
     of Best  Beginnings, child care subsidies,  and current                                                                    
     head  start   programs.      Although   we  have  these                                                                    
     programs, the  investment is small  or their  impact is                                                                    
     limited.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     I want to echo Abbe  Hensley's suggestion of connecting                                                                    
     with  the Alaska  Early Childhood  Coordinating Council                                                                    
     (AECC) to get  their perspective of how  best to invest                                                                    
     in early childhood programing.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:44:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH recalled that, annually, about 3,000                                                                      
Alaskan children are abused and neglected, and he asked what                                                                    
percent are under the age of six.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. STORRS responded it would be about 50 percent.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH queried by how much that number might be                                                                  
reduced if pre-K programs were implemented.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. STORRS said offering an  answer would require a crystal ball;                                                               
however, for families that can't  afford childcare, having a pre-                                                               
K  program reduces  stress.   Many of  the participants  may come                                                               
from working  poor households, and  he predicted that  a decrease                                                               
in abuse and neglect would be evident.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DRUMMOND announced that HB 52 would be held.                                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB52A.PDF HEDC 2/8/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 52
HB52_Sponsor.pdf HEDC 2/8/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 52
HB52_EED_FP_Fiscal_Note.pdf HEDC 2/8/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 52
HB52_EED_PEF_Fiscal_Note.pdf HEDC 2/8/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 52
HB 52 Supporting Documents.pdf HEDC 2/8/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 52
HB52 Sectional Analysis.pdf HEDC 2/8/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 52
HB 52 Support Harvard.pdf HEDC 2/8/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 52
HB 52 Support Heckman_OnePager_120516.pdf HEDC 2/8/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 52
HB52 Opposition CATO.pdf HEDC 2/8/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 52
HB52 Support ICW.pdf HEDC 2/8/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 52
HB52_Support_ICW_EarlyChildhoodReport_2010.pdf HEDC 2/8/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 52