Legislature(2019 - 2020)DAVIS 106

03/11/2020 08:00 AM House EDUCATION

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Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
             HB 153-PRE-ELEMENTARY PROGRAMS/FUNDING                                                                         
[Contains discussion of HB 204 and SB 6.]                                                                                       
8:07:43 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND announced  that  the first  order of  business                                                               
would be HOUSE BILL NO. 153,  "An Act relating to early education                                                               
programs provided  by school districts;  relating to  funding for                                                               
early  education programs;  and  relating to  the  duties of  the                                                               
state Board  of Education  and Early  Development."   [Before the                                                               
committee was the proposed committee  substitute (CS) for HB 153,                                                               
Version  31-LS0928\U,  Caouette,  3/4/20, adopted  as  a  working                                                               
document during  the House  Education Standing  Committee meeting                                                               
on 3/9/20.]                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND noted  that the  committee had  been given  an                                                               
explanation of the first part  of the sectional analysis [for the                                                               
CS,  "Version U"]  at  the  prior hearing  on  HB  153 and  would                                                               
continue with the rest now.                                                                                                     
8:08:01 AM                                                                                                                    
ERIN  HARDIN,  Legislative  Liaison, Department  of  Education  &                                                               
Early  Development (DEED),  co-presented  the sectional  analysis                                                               
for HB  153 [included in the  committee packet].  She  noted that                                                               
Section 10  aligned with  Section 6  of HB 204.   She  shared the                                                               
description of Section  10 in the sectional  analysis, which read                                                               
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
     Section 10                                                                                                                 
     AS  14.07.020(c)   is  amended  to  define   an  "early                                                                    
     education  program" as  a  pre-K  program for  students                                                                    
     three  to five  years old  if its  primary function  is                                                                    
     educational. The  3-year-old students are  not included                                                                    
     in the program  this bill proposes but  are included to                                                                    
     ensure they  are not excluded  from existing  State and                                                                    
     Federal programs.                                                                                                          
MS. HARDEN  added that this  is so  that Head Start  programs are                                                               
held harmless by the proposed bill.                                                                                             
8:09:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND asked  whether early pre-kindergarten ("pre-K")                                                               
for  Special Education  students  would be  covered  and, if  so,                                                               
where that was indicated under [Version U].                                                                                     
8:09:16 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HARDIN offered  her understanding  that those  children "are                                                               
covered regardless."   She suggested a  staff person representing                                                               
the  Department of  Education &  Early  Development (DEED)  could                                                               
provide additional  information in  her upcoming time  before the                                                               
committee.   She continued by  describing the changes  that would                                                               
be  made under  Section 11  and  12 of  Version U,  shown in  the                                                               
sectional analysis as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                  
     Section 11.                                                                                                                
     Amends   AS  14.07.050   to   allow   DEED  to   supply                                                                    
     supplemental  reading textbooks  and materials  related                                                                    
     to   intervention   services   established   under   AS                                                                    
     14.30.765 and AS 14.30.770.                                                                                                
     Section 12.                                                                                                                
     Amends AS  14.07.165(a), relating to the  duties of the                                                                    
     state  Board of  Education  and  Early Development,  by                                                                    
     adding  to  those  duties a  requirement  to  establish                                                                    
     regulations  for  pre-K  standards  and  pre-K  teacher                                                                    
     certification requirements.                                                                                                
8:10:41 AM                                                                                                                    
LOKI TOBIN, Staff, Senator Tom  Begich, Alaska State Legislature,                                                               
as co-presenter  of the sectional  analysis, turned  attention to                                                               
new  Sections  13-16,  which  are   described  in  the  sectional                                                               
analysis as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                            
     Section 13.                                                                                                                
     Amends AS  14.17.500 by adding new  subsection (d) that                                                                    
     establishes  an   early  education  student   shall  be                                                                    
     counted   in  the   school  district's   average  daily                                                                    
     membership (ADM) as  a half day student  once the early                                                                    
     education program has been approved by the department.                                                                     
     Section 14.                                                                                                                
     Amends  AS 14.17.905(a)  to include  students in  early                                                                    
     education programs  approved by  the department  in the                                                                    
     definition of an elementary school.                                                                                        
     Section 15.                                                                                                                
     Amends  AS 14.17.905  by adding  new subsection  (d) to                                                                    
     avoid  letting school  districts  count pre-K  students                                                                    
     twice in Foundation Formula ADM calculations.                                                                              
     Section 16.                                                                                                                
     Amends AS  14.20.015(c) to ensure  teaching certificate                                                                    
     reciprocity for teachers moving  to Alaska from out-of-                                                                    
     state  and adds  that  such teachers  must complete  at                                                                    
     least  three credits  or equivalency  in evidence-based                                                                    
     reading  instruction in  order  to be  eligible for  an                                                                    
     Alaska teaching endorsement in elementary education.                                                                       
MS. TOBIN noted that Section  16 and 17 resulted from stakeholder                                                               
8:12:26 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS asked  how the  term "evidence-based"  is                                                               
defined within HB 153.                                                                                                          
8:12:43 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  TOBIN  referred  to  the definitions  section  of  the  bill                                                               
beginning  on page  19 which  provides a  detailed definition  of                                                               
evidence-based reading intervention.                                                                                            
8:13:28 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX  asked  whether  questions  shall  be  taken                                                               
during the  presentation of  the sectional  analysis or  shall be                                                               
held to the end.                                                                                                                
8:13:46 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  indicated to allow the  presentation first and                                                               
that questions shall follow.                                                                                                    
8:13:56 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  TOBIN  shared  section seventeen,  which  read  as  follows:                                                               
 Amends AS 14.20.020  by adding new subsection  (l) that requires                                                               
all teachers  to complete at  least three credits  or equivalency                                                               
in  evidence-based reading  instruction in  order to  be eligible                                                               
for an endorsement in elementary education."                                                                                    
8:14:21 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HARDIN explained  that the  next  sections are  new and  are                                                               
intended  to   ensure  that  gains  realized   by  quality  early                                                               
education are  maintained through  the third  grade and  had been                                                               
developed  following  extensive  feedback from  teachers,  school                                                               
administrators,  and community  stakeholders.    She referred  to                                                               
section  eighteen, which  read as  follows: "Establishes  Article                                                               
15,  Reading Intervention  Programs.   Establishes AS  14.30.760,                                                               
which  directs the  department to  establish a  statewide reading                                                               
assessment and  screening tool to identify  students with reading                                                               
deficiencies; assist  teachers in monitoring student  progress in                                                               
reading proficiency  and provide training to  teachers in reading                                                               
intervention  tools.   Establishes  AS  14.30.765, which  directs                                                               
each  school district  to  offer  intensive reading  intervention                                                               
services  to  K-3  students   exhibiting  a  reading  deficiency.                                                               
Services  must be  implemented  in  a manner  to  include a  high                                                               
amount    of    communication    between    teachers,    parents,                                                               
administrators   and   the   student.     Considerable   detailed                                                               
attention, including written and  verbal parental notification is                                                               
given under this section for  instances when a student failing to                                                               
progress  toward  reading  proficiency  that may  result  in  the                                                               
student not  advancing to the  next grade level.   Establishes AS                                                               
14.30.770, which directs the department  to establish a statewide                                                               
reading  program, specifically  to assist  school districts  in a                                                               
variety  of  ways to  affect  the  reading intervention  services                                                               
described in  AS 14.30.665, above.   The department  shall employ                                                               
and  deploy  reading specialists  to  districts,  in addition  to                                                               
making  complementary   tools  and  resources  to   districts  in                                                               
addressing student reading proficiency.   AS 14.30.775 aligns use                                                               
of the  word "district"  in this Act  with the  definitions given                                                               
elsewhere in statute  when referring to a school  district."  She                                                               
explained  that section  eighteen corresponds  to sections  8, 9,                                                               
13, and 14 of HB 204.                                                                                                           
8:16:53 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. TOBIN shared section nineteen  with the committee, which read                                                               
as  follows:  "Directs  early  education   program  staff  to  be                                                               
included in  those organizations  required to report  evidence of                                                               
child abuse."   She noted  section twenty, which  reads: "Repeals                                                               
AS  14.03.410, the  early education  grant program,  in 11  years                                                               
once   all  school   districts  have   had  the   opportunity  to                                                               
participate." She  added that  section twenty-one  "Establishes a                                                               
Teacher Retention  Working Group as  a new uncodified law  of the                                                               
State of Alaska."                                                                                                               
8:17:32 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.   HARDIN   drew   attention  to   section   twenty-two,   "Is                                                               
applicability  language, relating  to endorsements  in elementary                                                               
education issued  on or  after the effective  date of  this act."                                                               
She  also noted  section twenty-three,  "Is transition  language,                                                               
directing  the department  to use  2018-19 school  accountability                                                               
rankings for purposes  of determining the first  cohort of lowest                                                               
performing  schools, to  identify their  pre-K grant  eligibility                                                               
for  FY  21."    She  concluded  the  presentation  of  sectional                                                               
analysis with the effective date of July 1, 2020.                                                                               
8:18:17 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  asked for clarification as  to what sections                                                               
section  eighteen  refers  to,  as  it appeared  to  be  its  own                                                               
sectional analysis.                                                                                                             
8:18:39 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HARDIN recalled that section  eighteen correlates to sections                                                               
8, 9, 13, and 14 of HB 204.                                                                                                     
8:18:58 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK asked for a description of HB 204.                                                                          
8:19:14 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HARBIN explained  that  HB  204 is  the  bill proposing  the                                                               
Alaska Reads Act by request of the Governor.                                                                                    
8:19:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND added  that HB 204 and HB 153  were assigned to                                                               
committee concurrently  and that HB  153 would be the  bill moved                                                               
out of committee.                                                                                                               
8:19:42 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK asked  for clarification  on which  parts of                                                               
which bills are under consideration.                                                                                            
8:20:00 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HARDIN  answered  that  HB   153  committee  substitute  had                                                               
undergone substantive changes by the Senate Education Committee.                                                                
8:20:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  asked whether  HB 204  should be  passed for                                                               
all  the intended  legislation to  become enacted  and asked  for                                                               
additional explanation on section eighteen  of the analysis of HB
8:20:42 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HARDIN  suggested that HB 204  would not be required  to pass                                                               
the  intended legislation.   She  began a  recitation of  section                                                               
8:21:28 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  interjected by  asking for  clarification of                                                               
section eighteen as it relates to other proposed legislation.                                                                   
8:21:37 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HARDIN  explained that  section  eighteen  of the  sectional                                                               
analysis of HB  153 conforms to the committee  substitute for the                                                               
sponsor substitute for SB 6,  currently being heard in the Senate                                                               
Finance Committee.                                                                                                              
8:21:49 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  expressed his concern  that SB 6 may  or may                                                               
not pass and  based on his understanding, the references  to SB 6                                                               
could be rendered obsolete.                                                                                                     
8:22:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  added that HB 204  was set aside in  the House                                                               
Education  Committee, due  to  its  similarity to  HB  153.   She                                                               
clarified that the  committee substitute for HB  153 is identical                                                               
to SB 6.                                                                                                                        
8:22:51 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  TOM BEGICH,  Alaska State  Legislature,  added that  the                                                               
staff  are   presenting  the  information   on  the   bills  with                                                               
references   to  other   pending   legislation  which   contained                                                               
identical language  however in different sections.   He suggested                                                               
that,  while  the bills  contain  the  same language,  they  were                                                               
independently drafted  by the Department  of Law  and Legislative                                                               
Legal Services, resulting in structural  differences.  He offered                                                               
that the only  language that should be considered  pertains to HB
153 discretely  and allowed that cross-referencing  other pending                                                               
legislation is confounding the hearing on HB 153.                                                                               
8:24:52 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK expressed  his  understanding that  sections                                                               
referred to correspond instead are identical in both bills.                                                                     
8:25:02 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH  confirmed  Representative Tuck's  summation  and                                                               
added that  HB 153  had undergone  substantive changes  since its                                                               
8:25:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND  added  that   committee  procedure  may  have                                                               
contributed to the resulting confusion.                                                                                         
8:25:39 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK asked  that  the reference  in section  nine                                                               
refers to section five and asked section five of which bill.                                                                    
8:26:12 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  noted that  the reference  to comport  with other                                                               
legislation had been made to honor  the work that had taken place                                                               
among the  similar proposed legislation.   He summarized  that HB
153 comports identically with SB 6.                                                                                             
8:27:32 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  STORY  referenced page  nineteen  of  the bill,  noting                                                               
"evidence-based  reading  intervention"  and  asked  whether  all                                                               
districts should already  abide these standards as  part of their                                                               
reading programs.   She asked whether reading  programs have been                                                               
evaluated  and  suggested  that  reading  specialists  conducting                                                               
intervention causes concern because  the standards should already                                                               
exist in all reading programs.                                                                                                  
8:30:04 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  TOBIN offered  that  page  nineteen stating  "evidence-based                                                               
reading  intervention"  was  language  developed  by  Legislative                                                               
Legal  Services, and  the sponsor  requested that  the definition                                                               
should   be  included   in  the   bill.     She  suggested   that                                                               
"intervention"   be   replaced    with   "reading"   to   provide                                                               
clarification  of  the intent  of  the  statewide reading  policy                                                               
proposed  in the  legislation.    She added  that  DEED would  be                                                               
available to  answer questions on  reading programs  currently in                                                               
schools.  She  referred to the DEED requirements  for training in                                                               
evidence-based  reading, and  that several  sections of  the bill                                                               
are instructive to DEED.                                                                                                        
8:31:28 AM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  JOHNSON,  Ed.  D.,  Commissioner,  Department  of  Early                                                               
Education & Development (DEED),  added that the five measurements                                                               
of  reading progress  should be  standards of  a quality  reading                                                               
program, and  local districts use  curriculum to  implement those                                                               
standards  to achieve  legislative  intent.   He suggested  that,                                                               
should   the  bill   pass,   pre-K,   intervention,  and   school                                                               
improvement harmonize to  which funding is attached.   He further                                                               
explained that should students demonstrate  a lack of proficiency                                                               
the  proposed  bill  provides  for  intervention  strategies  and                                                               
instruction from DEED to aid in meeting the standards.                                                                          
8:33:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  STORY  suggested that  schools  are  currently using  a                                                               
comparable model  of standards and  intervention.   She mentioned                                                               
the screening  model Dynamic Indicators  of Basic  Early Literacy                                                               
Skills (DIBELS)  as an example  of intervention  strategies which                                                               
should be already in practice.                                                                                                  
8:34:23 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. JOHNSON  agreed that districts  should have  reading programs                                                               
that  align  with the  standards.    He  indicated that  DEED  is                                                               
limited in  its power to intervene.   He suggested that  the bill                                                               
would  provide   training  and   support  to   achieve  effective                                                               
interventions throughout the state.                                                                                             
8:36:17 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND suggested  that the  proposed bill  should not                                                               
result  in  unfunded  mandates  to  districts  but  would  rather                                                               
position  DEED  to administer  the  reading  interventions.   She                                                               
noted that DEED  staffing has endured significant  cuts during an                                                               
eight- or  ten-year period and  the fiscal notes  associated with                                                               
the bill should provide support in meeting the mandates.                                                                        
8:37:19 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  asked whether the definition  of "reading                                                               
teacher" proposed in  the bill, on page 20, lines  2 -6, would be                                                               
that  a  teacher  shall  advance  a  certain  number  of  student                                                               
performance,   meet   performance   evaluation   standards,   and                                                               
additional regulations to be determined.                                                                                        
8:38:18 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  JOHNSON  deferred  his  answer  to  Representative  Hopkins'                                                               
continued line of questioning.                                                                                                  
8:38:54 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  asked whether a teacher  who is obligated                                                               
to  teach students  to  read at  or above  grade  level would  be                                                               
required  to  demonstrate  a specific  number  or  proportion  of                                                               
student  performance  that  comprise a  baseline  and  measurable                                                               
performance  of  a reading  teacher.    He asked  for  additional                                                               
information on teacher performance  evaluation and how that would                                                               
be measured and by whom should the bill pass.                                                                                   
8:40:01 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. JOHNSON  suggested that the proposed  language is instructive                                                               
to  districts to  recruit teachers  who have  reading credentials                                                               
and  is  not intended  to  be  instructive  on how  teachers  are                                                               
8:40:50 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS asked  for further  clarification on  how                                                               
the  proposed   bill  would  be  implemented   regarding  teacher                                                               
performance and training.                                                                                                       
8:41:32 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  JOHNSON  suggested  that   the  development  of  regulations                                                               
following the  passage of  the bill would  be an  opportunity for                                                               
teachers,   schools,  and   districts  to   contribute  expertise                                                               
regarding teacher performance and evaluation.   He added that the                                                               
bill  also  contains  language  for DEED  to  offer  training  in                                                               
support of  teacher performance and professional  development and                                                               
falls short  of instructing  districts on  performance evaluation                                                               
and retention of reading teachers in districts.                                                                                 
8:42:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   HOPKINS  offered   that  certification   is  not                                                               
necessarily  an indication  of  effectiveness  in the  classroom;                                                               
however,  subject  matter   certifications  provide  for  teacher                                                               
mobility within a district to adapt  to changing needs.  He asked                                                               
whether certification or training  in reading would contribute to                                                               
more  mobility for  teachers within  districts,  or whether  that                                                               
should be left to each district's discretion.                                                                                   
8:43:24 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  JOHNSON  offered  that   endorsements,  badging,  and  micro                                                               
credentialing is  happening within  and outside DEED,  and should                                                               
be more widely available.                                                                                                       
8:44:08 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS added  that  paraprofessionals should  be                                                               
included in  the discussion about training  and certification and                                                               
recommended the consideration of such language in the bill.                                                                     
8:44:14 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH   applauded  the  line  of   questioning  by  the                                                               
committee and  regarded it  as beneficial to  aid in  sorting out                                                               
roles and  responsibilities and the question  of any prescriptive                                                               
intent of  the bill.  He  noted that rural school  districts have                                                               
raised  questions  regarding  certification and  DEED    role  in                                                               
prescribing training.  He conceded  that the language in the bill                                                               
would benefit  from additional scrutiny  in this area.   He added                                                               
that teacher recruitment and  retention are significant obstacles                                                               
and that meaningful flexibility for  districts should be a stated                                                               
goal  of the  legislation.   He  concluded with  a suggestion  of                                                               
collaboration to arrive  at the level of flexibility  that is the                                                               
least  disruptive  to  the  educator  and  provides  the  optimal                                                               
structure to support  reading proficiency in a  variety of school                                                               
8:47:20 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ZULKOSKY   suggested  that   additional  analysis                                                               
should be provided  under section eighteen due to  the length and                                                               
complexity  of the  proposed language.   She  asked what  teacher                                                               
certification  reciprocity  cited  in   section  sixteen  of  the                                                               
analysis  are  currently  either   required  or  in  practice  by                                                               
districts  that  include  cultural knowledge  and  cross-cultural                                                               
communication.    She  added  that  statistics  in  her  district                                                               
reflect  as  much as  thirty-eight  percent  teacher turnover  in                                                               
addition to  estimates of over twenty-five  percent of households                                                               
being non-English  speaking in  the home.   She added  that there                                                               
are  disproportionate  number  of  children in  her  district  in                                                               
foster care,  and social  worker turnover  exacerbates challenges                                                               
faced  by  students in  her  district.    She offered  that  this                                                               
underscores the diversity  of needs throughout a  variety of, and                                                               
particularly rural, communities.                                                                                                
8:50:35 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH noted  that the  pre-K component  of the  bill as                                                               
well as SB  99 [proposed during the 30   Alaska Legislature] each                                                               
contain  language regarding  cultural relevance  obtained working                                                               
with  local communities,  as proposed  by Alaska  Native leaders.                                                               
He  added  that the  retention  section  on page  eighteen,  line                                                               
twelve,  which  is  still   in  development,  addresses  cultural                                                               
relevance especially  regarding English as a  second language for                                                               
students.   He referred  to his testimony  in an  earlier hearing                                                               
regarding   his   experience   in  criminal   justice   and   the                                                               
disproportional   negative  effects   on   Alaska  Natives   with                                                               
nontraditional  family structures  had informed  this topic  as a                                                               
priority.   He  encouraged suggestions  for language  to mitigate                                                               
disproportionally  affecting these  students  and  families.   He                                                               
added that both rural and urban  districts share some of the same                                                               
diversity  among their  populations and  diligent development  of                                                               
proposed  language   would  benefit  all  Alaskan   students  and                                                               
8:56:21 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. JOHNSON  added that the intent  of the proposed bill  is that                                                               
every  child should  learn to  read  proficiently, regardless  of                                                               
[spoken]  language.   He encouraged  collaboration to  evince the                                                               
intent of the bill.                                                                                                             
8:57:08 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH  referred  to  page  eleven,  lines  26-28  which                                                               
contained  suggested  language from  Head  Start  leaders in  the                                                               
state for cultural inclusion at the local level.                                                                                
8:58:15 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ZULKOSKY  reiterated   her  belief  that  section                                                               
eighteen   should  undergo   additional  analysis   and  scrutiny                                                               
including public testimony to ensure  a full understanding of the                                                               
proposed legislation  and allow for modification  of the language                                                               
were  deemed  necessary.    She  reiterated  that  districts  and                                                               
demographic   diversity   across   the   state   are   positioned                                                               
differently to  achieve the  mandates set  forth in  the proposed                                                               
bill.  She added that it  is her intention to ensure equity among                                                               
a  diversity of  students  and backgrounds,  regardless of  their                                                               
readiness and to consider their capability levels.                                                                              
9:01:09 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  TOBIN  shared  that  the   sectional  analysis  for  section                                                               
eighteen had  been condensed from  four pages of analysis  to the                                                               
truncated  version  before the  committee  and  the full  version                                                               
remains available and will be forthcoming.                                                                                      
9:01:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND added  that HB  153  was heard  in the  Senate                                                               
Education Committee  over the course  of eight hearings  and that                                                               
the committee could expect adequate  time to fully scrutinize and                                                               
amend the bill to ensure its efficacy of intent.                                                                                
9:01:50 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX  asked whether students would  be required to                                                               
read English or read any language by third grade.                                                                               
9:03:00 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  JOHNSON explained  that there  exists  in Alaska  "Immersion                                                               
Schools"  where students  are immersed  in  languages other  than                                                               
English.  He stated that the  intent of the bill does not include                                                               
English as  the required language; however,  he acknowledged that                                                               
English is prevalent in Alaska society.                                                                                         
9:04:01 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX  asked whether the proposed  bill compels the                                                               
state  to   fund  resources  to  support   districts  or  whether                                                               
districts may  be faced  with an unfunded  mandate to  meet state                                                               
9:05:35 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND recommended  that the fiscal notes  of the bill                                                               
should  offer clarity  to answer  Representative Prax's  question                                                               
and recalled  the constitutional  obligation for  the legislature                                                               
to provide  education to Alaskans.   She added that  the proposed                                                               
legislation  would result  in DEED    bearing of  the burden  and                                                               
resources to accomplish the intent of the bill.                                                                                 
9:06:51 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX rephrased  his question to ask  what it would                                                               
be that  the legislature would  be appropriating funds  to obtain                                                               
or achieve, and how it should be measured.                                                                                      
9:07:23 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  answered that  it would  be that  all students                                                               
achieve reading proficiency by grade three.                                                                                     
9:07:33 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX  asked  whether  this  includes  reading  in                                                               
language(s) other than English.                                                                                                 
9:07:40 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  suggested that children should  learn language                                                               
as early as  possible and that children who  are raised bilingual                                                               
are better positioned  to learn.  She recalled  her experience as                                                               
a  school board  member during  which she  lamented the  district                                                               
offering students foreign language as  late as the seventh grade.                                                               
She also recalled the existing  immersion programs which are more                                                               
effective the earlier students can participate.                                                                                 
9:09:20 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. JOHNSON  answered Representative Prax's question  of what the                                                               
legislature would be  appropriating with the passage  of the bill                                                               
as  being  akin  to  funding  public safety  to  obtain  a  safer                                                               
society, and  likewise funding public  education should  obtain a                                                               
more  educated   society.    He  noted   that  existing  research                                                               
demonstrates   that   proficiency   in   any   language   enables                                                               
proficiency in English when it is introduced.                                                                                   
9:10:18 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX requested  additional discussion  outside of                                                               
committee to explore the concepts offered by Dr. Johnson.                                                                       
9:10:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON   lauded  section  nineteen   on  teacher                                                               
retention as addressing  a major problem in Alaska  schools.  She                                                               
referred  to  indirect  effects  of  poor  teacher  retention  in                                                               
communities.    She  asked  whether it  had  been  considered  to                                                               
include other community member feedback.                                                                                        
9:12:02 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  JOHNSON   explained  that  the  construct   of  the  teacher                                                               
retention working group was included  in the bill as an amendment                                                               
and expressed  hope that previous  successes in  state government                                                               
programs   working groups  would  be representative  of a  robust                                                               
stakeholder group in the proposed legislation.                                                                                  
9:12:53 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  expressed concern  regarding the  loss of                                                               
accreditation in the University  of Alaska Education program, and                                                               
asked what  strategies and resources  are under  consideration to                                                               
address the teacher shortage that is expected to grow.                                                                          
9:14:04 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  JOHNSON recalled  that University  of  Alaska Fairbanks  and                                                               
University of Alaska Southeast  education programs maintain their                                                               
accreditation.   He  suggested  that passage  of  the bill  would                                                               
provide  incentives for  the University  to align  their programs                                                               
with  the  intent  of  the  bill,  including  accredited  teacher                                                               
training.   He also suggested that  University representatives be                                                               
invited to testify on these matters.                                                                                            
9:14:57 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  noted that the loss  of accreditation has                                                               
resulted  in some  displacement of  students in  the program  and                                                               
asked  whether   consideration  had   been  made  to   aid  those                                                               
candidates in becoming certified teachers.                                                                                      
9:15:38 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. JOHNSON stated that the  bill allows for three evidence-based                                                               
reading instruction  credits "or equivalent" as  approved by DEED                                                               
and should  allow DEED to  work with those candidates  to achieve                                                               
certification  despite   the  loss  of  accreditation   of  their                                                               
9:16:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  STORY  asked whether  DEED  has  surveyed districts  to                                                               
determine  their baseline  reading programs  and their  alignment                                                               
with the proposed legislation.                                                                                                  
9:16:57 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  JOHNSON  stated  that  there  had  been  previously  enacted                                                               
legislation  mandating such  a  survey, which  is  underway.   He                                                               
added  that  DEED  intends  to provide  the  aggregated  data  by                                                               
district publicly on its website.                                                                                               
9:17:39 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR STORY requested  a sample of survey data  in progress be                                                               
made available.                                                                                                                 
9:17:53 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  JOHNSON  agreed  to  provide   a  sample  of  the  data  for                                                               
9:18:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  directed attention to the  fiscal notes, which                                                               
had been  provided to  the committee.   She  noted that  they are                                                               
identical to  the draft fiscal  notes that were provided  as part                                                               
of the bill packet.                                                                                                             
9:18:22 AM                                                                                                                    
HEIDI   TESHNER,   Director,   Finance  and   Support   Services,                                                               
Department of  Early Education & Development  (DEED), referred to                                                               
a summary of all fiscal notes  associated with the bill, and drew                                                               
attention to Fiscal Note number  one, identified as the Office of                                                               
Management  and Budget  (OMB)  component 141  which  is for  zero                                                               
dollars. She then spoke about  Fund Capitalization for the Public                                                               
Education Fund, identified  as HB153CS(EDC)-EED-FP-3-5-20 and OMB                                                               
component 0284.                                                                                                                 
9:19:39 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 9:19 to 9:21 a.m.                                                                            
9:21:40 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND directed  the committee  to refer  to the  OMB                                                               
component numbers  and the draft  number of the fiscal  notes for                                                               
the purposes of discussion.                                                                                                     
9:22:04 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. TESHNER drew attention to  draft fiscal note number five, OMB                                                               
component  2084  Public  Education   Fund  Capitalization.    She                                                               
explained that  the Foundation Formula  is funded as  depicted in                                                               
the fiscal  note.   The note takes  into consideration  the total                                                               
amount  of projected  state aid  and divides  that amount  by the                                                               
Average Daily Membership (ADM) to  establish the average cost for                                                               
ADM.  She  noted that this fiscal note calculates  only half time                                                               
of ADM  and aligns with the  $4,685 in the analysis  as estimated                                                               
per  student average  cost.   She  added that  the  amount is  an                                                               
estimate and  will be  trued up  after ADM  is established.   She                                                               
explained  that  six  cohorts  of students  exist  in  the  Early                                                               
Education Program, beginning  in FY 24 with a  cost of $1,724,100                                                               
and  would increase  to  $4,305,500  in FY  25,  and increase  to                                                               
$6,887,000  in  FY 26.    She  noted  that the  total  foundation                                                               
formula would  increase through FY  29 to a total  $17,217,400 as                                                               
all six  of the projected  cohorts progress from the  pre-K grant                                                               
program into the foundation formula funding mechanism.                                                                          
9:24:38 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  asked  whether  the  fiscal  note  under                                                               
consideration  includes   schools  which  currently   have  pre-K                                                               
programs that are compliant to standards yet to be developed.                                                                   
9:24:58 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. TESHNER indicated  that they are not reflected  in the fiscal                                                               
note and  only the students  who are projected to  participate in                                                               
the  three-year  pre-K  grant  program are.    She  allowed  that                                                               
immediate  costs  could  occur   within  the  foundation  formula                                                               
funding mechanism should schools qualify.                                                                                       
9:25:32 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS asked  whether  any of  the fiscal  notes                                                               
include those schools as described.                                                                                             
9:25:37 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. TESHNER confirmed that they do not.                                                                                         
9:25:48 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX asked whether  a qualified school would begin                                                               
to receive funding  under the foundation formula  should the bill                                                               
9:26:06 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. TESHNER explained that, once  standards had been developed by                                                               
DEED following  the passage of  the bill, schools  that qualified                                                               
to the standards would be  eligible to obtain funding through the                                                               
foundation formula  in lieu of  their own funding programs.   She                                                               
referred to  Alaska Statute  14.30.180 providing  for appropriate                                                               
education for each  child with a disability in  the state between                                                               
ages three  and twenty-two.   She drew attention to  draft fiscal                                                               
note  number  two, OMB  component  2796,  associated with  school                                                               
improvement  program  and  comprehensive  intervention  programs.                                                               
She  noted  that  DEED  would   provide  for  school  improvement                                                               
including one  to two  reading specialists  based on  school size                                                               
for  ten schools  in the  first  year, and  up to  twenty in  the                                                               
second  year and  beyond.   She  explained that  the fiscal  note                                                               
depicts the  maximum number of  reading specialists in  year one,                                                               
and five additional specialists over  each of the succeeding four                                                               
years,  subject  to reevaluation  based  on  actual needs.    She                                                               
highlighted that DEED  would recoup charges of  $9,600 per person                                                               
and a one-time cost of $5,000  per person for time and equipment.                                                               
She noted that FY 21 would  realize a one-time cost of $6,000 for                                                               
legal services for the development  of regulations.  She itemized                                                               
the cost per  student for developing a new  reading curriculum at                                                               
$25,000,  and that  approximately 10,000  students are  estimated                                                               
per cohort,  and that there  are an estimated 40,000  students in                                                               
kindergarten through  grade three.   She  added that  391 schools                                                               
have served  students in kindergarten through  grade three during                                                               
FY  19.   She explained  that 40,000  students divided  among 391                                                               
schools results in 102 kindergarten  through grade three students                                                               
per school  on average and  reading materials would  be estimated                                                               
to cost $255,000.                                                                                                               
9:29:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  STORY   suggested  that  districts  may   already  have                                                               
materials   that    would   meet   the    forthcoming   standards                                                               
qualification  and  asked  whether   that  had  been  taken  into                                                               
consideration in the fiscal note.                                                                                               
9:30:19 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HARDIN  affirmed that  it had  been taken  into consideration                                                               
and  noted that  the  reading materials  had  been identified  as                                                               
"supplemental reading materials."                                                                                               
9:30:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  STORY   suggested  that  there  exists   compliance  to                                                               
standards yet to  be developed and that  actual interventions and                                                               
their associated costs would be nuanced.                                                                                        
9:31:32 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND  suggested  that  the act  of  DEED  providing                                                               
textbooks to schools is unusual.                                                                                                
9:31:46 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. TESHNER confirmed that it would be unusual.                                                                                 
9:31:54 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  asked for clarification on  the amount cited                                                               
per student as $255,000.                                                                                                        
9:32:13 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. TESHNER  stated that the  fiscal note depicts $25,000  as the                                                               
cost per student when adopting  a new reading curriculum, and the                                                               
total amount is $255,000.                                                                                                       
9:32:40 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK   pointed  out  a  potential   decimal  typo                                                               
depicting  0.25  in the  fiscal  note  and  that it  should  read                                                               
$25,000 per student.                                                                                                            
9:32:48 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. TESHNER  acknowledged the  typo and  confirmed the  amount as                                                               
$25,000 per student.                                                                                                            
9:33:07 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 9:33 to 9:34 a.m.                                                                            
9:34:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND  indicated  that   page  two  of  fiscal  note                                                               
identified  as  OMB  component  2796  paragraph  five  should  be                                                               
9:34:57 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK   suggested  that   the  last   sentence  of                                                               
paragraph five should be correspondingly revised.                                                                               
9:35:09 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. TESHNER confirmed that a correction would be forthcoming.                                                                   
9:35:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  suggested that the final  sentence correctly                                                               
aligned  with the  formula as  stated and  would await  a revised                                                               
fiscal note to reconsider.                                                                                                      
9:35:30 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. TESHNER  referred to  the comprehensive  reading intervention                                                               
program  reflected on  fiscal note  identified  as OMB  component                                                               
2796  that  includes  three  staff   and  associated  travel  and                                                               
supplies expenses.  She indicated  that the program would require                                                               
a  statewide screening  tool for  an  estimated 40,000  students,                                                               
with  a cost  of approximately  eight dollars  per student.   She                                                               
noted that  assessment tool  training of  $53,000 is  included in                                                               
the fiscal  note as well.   She summarized the fiscal  note total                                                               
amount  of  $4,221,700   for  FY  21  to   implement  the  school                                                               
improvement and comprehensive reading intervention programs.                                                                    
9:37:35 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND noted  that the numbers depicted  are listed in                                                               
thousands within the fiscal notes as is customary.                                                                              
9:37:59 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. TESHNER drew  attention to the fiscal note  identified as OMB                                                               
component 2912 early education  coordination, which addresses the                                                               
early education  grant program.   She noted  that to  operate the                                                               
development  grant program  and provide  training and  support to                                                               
grantees,  it would  require two  Education  Specialists and  one                                                               
Education Associate  position included  in the  fiscal note.   In                                                               
addition  to  salary  and benefit  costs,  department  chargeback                                                               
costs of  $9,600 per  position would be  needed, plus  a one-time                                                               
cost  of $5,000  per position  for supplies  and equipment.   She                                                               
indicated that a one-time increment of  $6,000 in FY 21 for legal                                                               
services  costs associated  with new  regulations is  included in                                                               
the fiscal note as well.                                                                                                        
9:39:25 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  TESHNER  turned attention  to  page  3  of the  fiscal  note                                                               
identified as  OMB component 3028 pre-kindergarten  grants, which                                                               
provides the funding breakdown by  fiscal year for the three-year                                                               
grant program.   She indicated that the estimated  yearly cost of                                                               
the  three-year  program in  FY  21  is  $1,728,000 for  the  368                                                               
students  from cohort  1; furthermore,  the  total grant  program                                                               
would cost $51,652,100 in FY 28 for cohort 6.                                                                                   
9:41:42 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND remarked:                                                                                                     
     Is this  note that we're  addressing right now  ... the                                                                    
     districts that are  currently delivering preschool that                                                                    
     are folded into  the formula as soon  as the department                                                                    
     approves those particular programs.                                                                                        
MS.  TESHNER said  the  fiscal  notes do  not  reflect any  costs                                                               
associated with  the district that  currently provides  a program                                                               
that could beat the standards adopted by the state board.                                                                       
9:42:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK questioned  whether districts  could receive                                                               
both the grant and the [foundation] formula in FY 24.                                                                           
MS. TESHNER  said it's  one or the  other, adding  that districts                                                               
can't receive  the early  education grant  and be  funded through                                                               
the  foundation  formula.    She explained  that  if  a  district                                                               
currently has  a program that  could meet the standards,  it will                                                               
bypass the  three-year early education  grant program,  submit to                                                               
the state board for approval  and subsequently count the students                                                               
through the  October foundation count.   She expounded that  if a                                                               
district does  not have a  preschool program, it would  enter the                                                               
three-year grant process based on its cohort ranking.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK surmised that the  increases in FY 24, FY 25,                                                               
and FY 26 are reflective of  more schools getting involved in the                                                               
grant program or increased costs in the grants.                                                                                 
MS. TESHNER  noted that  by FY  26 the  program is  serving three                                                               
sets  of cohorts.    She explained  that  cost increase  reflects                                                               
those additional students.                                                                                                      
9:44:59 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND announced that HB 153 would be held over.                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 237 Sponsor Statement 3.3.20.pdf HEDC 3/11/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 237
HB 237 Sectional Analysis 3.3.20.pdf HEDC 3/11/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 237
HB 237 Committee Packet 3.11.2020.pdf HEDC 3/11/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 237
HB 237 Version M.PDF HEDC 3/11/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 237
HB237 FY20 and FY21 by district disbursment 3.4.20 DEED.pdf HEDC 3/11/2020 8:00:00 AM
HB 237