Legislature(2019 - 2020)DAVIS 106

03/11/2020 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 237 APPROP: EARLY LITERACY PROGRAMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 153 PRE-ELEMENTARY PROGRAMS/FUNDING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
             HB 237-APPROP: EARLY LITERACY PROGRAMS                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:45:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND announced  that  the final  order of  business                                                               
would   be  HOUSE   BILL  NO.   237,  "An   Act  making   special                                                               
appropriations from the general  fund for early literacy programs                                                               
in public schools; and providing for an effective date."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:45:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDI STORY,  Alaska State  Legislature, as  prime                                                               
sponsor,  introduced  HB  237.     She  paraphrased  the  sponsor                                                               
statement [included in the committee packet], which read in its                                                                 
entirety as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Reading  is   a  foundational  skill,  critical   to  a                                                                    
     student's  continued  progression   and  success.    As                                                                    
     "Alaska's   Education   Challenge"   states,   research                                                                    
     suggests that  school readiness  at an  early age  is a                                                                    
     critical   strategy   for  improving   future   student                                                                    
     outcomes and closing achievement gaps.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     School   districts   across    Alaska   recognize   the                                                                    
     importance of  early literacy and  have taken  to heart                                                                    
     the goal of children reading  at grade level by the end                                                                    
     of third  grade.  Many  districts have  already devoted                                                                    
     considerable  resources  to  this end,  even  in  these                                                                    
     times of budget constraints.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     HB  237  provides  resources  to  bolster  and  support                                                                    
     school   districts  in   this  important   work.     It                                                                    
     distributes  $10 million  in early  literacy grants  to                                                                    
     districts outside  the formula,  as though  through the                                                                    
     foundation  formula.     This  approach  ensures  every                                                                    
     district   receives  funds   to  support   their  early                                                                    
     literacy  initiatives.   In directing  funds to  school                                                                    
     districts, HB  237 honors local control  and community-                                                                    
     based decisions  in meeting the  literacy needs  of its                                                                    
     youngest students.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The  proposed appropriation  for FY21  is $10  million,                                                                    
     and for FY22, an inflation adjusted $10,225,000.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     HB   237  recognizes   the  value   of  community-based                                                                    
     services, interventions and  choices in determining the                                                                    
     most  effective and  culturally relevant  strategies to                                                                    
     increase  the number  of students  who  are reading  at                                                                    
     grade level by the end of third grade.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     HB  237  includes  intent  language  that  directs  the                                                                    
     Department  of  Education   and  Early  Development  to                                                                    
     report on  the use of  the early literacy funds  to the                                                                    
     Alaska Legislature by January 31, 2021.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The  data  from this  report  will  highlight the  ways                                                                    
     schools  are  supporting  students  and  meeting  early                                                                    
     literacy goals.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:48:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY  HAKALA,  Staff,  Representative Andi  Story,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  addressed   the  sectional  analysis  for   HB  237                                                               
[included in  the committee packet], on  behalf of Representative                                                               
Story, prime  sponsor.   The sectional  analysis read  as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section  1. Reflects  legislative  intent that  directs                                                                    
     school  districts  to  report   to  the  Department  of                                                                    
     Education  and Early  Development on  the use  of early                                                                    
     literacy funds  appropriated in  section 2,  by January                                                                    
     15,  2021.    The  Department of  Education  and  Early                                                                    
     Development is to compile  district reports and present                                                                    
     a  summary to  the  Alaska Legislature  by January  31,                                                                    
     2021 for early literacy programs.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section  2(a). Appropriates  $10,000,000 to  the Alaska                                                                    
     Department  of Education  and Early  Development to  be                                                                    
     distributed to school districts  as grants "outside the                                                                    
     formula", as though through  the foundation formula for                                                                    
     FY21 for early literacy programs.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section  2(b). Appropriates  $10,225,000 to  the Alaska                                                                    
     Department  of Education  and Early  Development to  be                                                                    
     distributed to school districts  as grants "outside the                                                                    
     formula", as though through  the foundation formula for                                                                    
     FY22 for early literacy programs.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3. Effective date for  Section 2(b), is July 1,                                                                    
     2021.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section  4.  Immediate  effective date  for  all  other                                                                    
     sections of the bill.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HAKALA  directed  attention   to  the  HB  237  project                                                                    
distribution   by  district   [included  in   the  committee                                                                    
packet], which  was prepared  by DEED.   She  explained that                                                                    
the document illustrates how the  money would be distributed                                                                    
across  the state.   She  noted that  the distribution  is a                                                                    
projection.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:50:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX asked if the distribution is based on the                                                                   
number of students [in each district].                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:50:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  STORY  said it  would  be  run through  the  foundation                                                               
formula, which accounts for school size and other components.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:51:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HAKALA  added that the  distribution was prepared by  DEED to                                                               
estimate how $10 million would  be allocated under the foundation                                                               
formula.    She  deferred  to  the department  to  speak  to  the                                                               
specific mechanics of the formula.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:51:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX  sought clarification as to  why the Aleutian                                                               
Region would  be allocated $7,872  in FY 22, while  the Fairbanks                                                               
North Star Borough would receive $1,000,847.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:52:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY deferred to the department.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  in response to Representative  Prax, explained                                                               
that the  projected amounts are  adjusted through  the foundation                                                               
formula.   She explained  that the  formula accounts  for special                                                               
needs students, as well as  different programs, later adding that                                                               
accomplishing set  goals with  the projected  allocations becomes                                                               
more feasible once the actual number of students is known.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:52:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. TESHNER  stated that the  costs on the  distribution document                                                               
represent the  adjusted average daily membership  (ADM), which is                                                               
not a true  head count.  She explained that  the adjusted ADM has                                                               
gone  through the  formula,  which adjusts  for  factors such  as                                                               
school   size  and   district  cost   factor,  and   subsequently                                                               
distributes the  $10 million accordingly.   She pointed  out that                                                               
for the current  fiscal year, the Aleutian Region  district has a                                                               
total of 28 students; however, the Adjusted ADM is 200.04.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:54:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX  contended that the startup  cost per student                                                               
would  be   higher  for   smaller  districts;   consequently,  he                                                               
questioned  whether   the  foundation  formula   is  underfunding                                                               
smaller districts and overfunding larger districts.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:55:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY  noted that the  appropriation provided in  HB 237                                                               
would not fund a startup program.   She explained that the intent                                                               
of  the  bill is  to  ensure  every  district receives  funds  to                                                               
support  their  early  literacy   initiatives.    She  said  each                                                               
district could  use the  money to reach  their literacy  goals as                                                               
they see fit.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:57:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND announced that HB 237 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