Legislature(2015 - 2016)Anch LIO Auditorium

05/19/2015 11:00 AM EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
11:03:18 AM Start
11:04:01 AM HB44
01:36:44 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ HB 44 SEX ABUSE/ASSAULT/DATING VIOL PREV. PROGS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
        HB 44-SEX ABUSE/ASSAULT/DATING VIOL PREV. PROGS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
[Includes discussion outlining  that language from HB  80, SB 89,                                                               
and  SB  102  has  been   incorporated  into  a  proposed  Senate                                                               
committee substitute (SCS) for HB 44.]                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:04:01 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR DUNLEAVY  announced that the  only order of  business would                                                               
be CS  FOR HOUSE  BILL NO.  44(FIN), "An  Act relating  to sexual                                                               
abuse  and sexual  assault awareness  and  prevention efforts  in                                                               
public  schools;  and  relating  to  dating  violence  and  abuse                                                               
awareness and prevention efforts  in public schools." Included in                                                               
members'  packets  was  a proposed  Senate  committee  substitute                                                               
(SCS) for HB 44, labeled 29-LS0258\G, Glover, 5/18/15.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:05:33 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  CHARISSE   MILLETT,  Alaska   State  Legislature,                                                               
sponsor, remarking upon the high rate  of sexual abuse of a minor                                                               
crimes  occurring  in  Alaska,  posited that  HB  44  would  help                                                               
educate Alaska's children  about such crimes and how  to get help                                                               
if they become  a victim.  Currently, only 21  of Alaska's school                                                               
districts provide  any such  training.   Mentioning that  no such                                                               
training was  provided to her when  she was a child,  she relayed                                                               
that HB 44  attempts to remedy this lack of  training in Alaska's                                                               
schools,  thereby  further  raising   public  awareness  of  such                                                               
crimes,  and positively  impacting the  lives of  every child  in                                                               
Alaska.  She offered her understanding that such training would                                                                 
come at  no cost to the  State, and that preventing  sexual abuse                                                               
of a minor crimes in Alaska would reduce future costs.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS  characterized CSHB 44(FIN)  as a good  bill that                                                               
makes a  lot of sense.   He expressed concern, however,  with the                                                               
proposed Senate  committee substitute (SCS)  for HB 44  - labeled                                                               
29-LS0258\G, Glover, 5/18/15 - included  in members' packets, due                                                               
to the fact that it  now contains language from [three unrelated]                                                               
bills.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  also expressed concern with  the proposed                                                               
SCS, remarking  that CSHB 44(FIN)  addresses a  stand-alone issue                                                               
and  is focused  on  requiring that  Alaska's  youth be  educated                                                               
about sexual  abuse/assault prevention.  Under  the proposed SCS,                                                               
however,  providing such  training would  no longer  be mandatory                                                               
and this,  she opined,  essentially guts the  bill passed  by the                                                               
House.   This makes  her uncomfortable,  she added,  expressing a                                                               
preference for the language in CSHB 44(FIN).                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:14:16 AM                                                                                                                   
GRACE  ABBOTT,  Staff,  Representative Charisse  Millett,  Alaska                                                               
State   Legislature,  on   behalf  the   sponsor,  Representative                                                               
Millett,  explained   that  Section  1  of   CSHB  44(FIN)  would                                                               
stipulate  that  the  bill  may  be known  as  the  "Alaska  Safe                                                               
Children's  Act".   Section 2's  proposed new  AS 14.30.355 would                                                               
require the governing  body of each school  district to establish                                                               
a  training  program  for staff  and  students  regarding  sexual                                                               
abuse/assault   awareness/prevention,    and   provide   parental                                                               
notification.    Section  2's proposed  new  AS  14.30.356  would                                                               
require the governing  body of each school  district to establish                                                               
a  training  program  for staff  and  students  regarding  dating                                                               
violence/abuse   awareness/prevention,   and   provide   parental                                                               
notification.   The  awareness/prevention training  programs must                                                               
include   age-appropriate   information,   warning   signs,   and                                                               
[referral]  information;  furthermore,  a  procedure  allowing  a                                                               
student  to  be excused  from  such  training must  be  provided.                                                               
Section  2's  proposed  new AS  14.30.355  pertains  to  students                                                               
enrolled   in  grades   K-12,  and   Section  2's   proposed  new                                                               
AS 14.30.356  pertains   to  students  enrolled  in   grades  [7]                                                               
through 12.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
At ease from 11:16 a.m. to 11:25 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:25:56 AM                                                                                                                   
CINDY  MOORE,  mentioning that  her  daughter  Breanna Moore  was                                                               
killed last  summer by her  boyfriend in what Ms.  Moore referred                                                               
to  as an  incidence  of dating  violence,  expressed favor  with                                                               
CSHB 44(FIN).  She noted that AS 14.03.015 reads:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 14.03.015.  State education policy.                                                                                   
     It  is the  policy of  this state  that the  purpose of                                                                    
     education  is to  help ensure  that  all students  will                                                                    
     succeed in  their education and work,  shape worthwhile                                                                    
     and  satisfying  lives  for themselves,  exemplify  the                                                                    
     best values  of society, and be  effective in improving                                                                    
     the character and quality of the world about them.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOORE offered  her  belief that  that  statute reflects  the                                                               
intention of CSHB 44(FIN), which,  she opined, addresses a public                                                               
safety issue.   Referring to Alaska's high  crime statistics, she                                                               
proffered that  [a training program] about  dating violence could                                                               
be implemented in  the schools at low or no  cost, and noted that                                                               
such  training programs  already  exist.   She characterized  the                                                               
proposed  SCS  as turning  a  well-manicured  bill into  a  "junk                                                               
yard"; specifically, replacing the phrase  "shall adopt" - in the                                                               
bill's  proposed new  AS 14.30.355  and AS  14.30.356 -  with the                                                               
phrase  "may  adopt",  would completely  change  the  purpose  of                                                               
HB 44,  which,  she  opined,  is   to  protect  all  of  Alaska's                                                               
children, to provide  them with all the information  they need to                                                               
protect themselves.   In  conclusion, she opined  that it  is not                                                               
appropriate  for only  certain school  districts to  be providing                                                               
such training, and asked that CSHB  44(FIN) be the version of the                                                               
bill that moves from committee.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:30:01 AM                                                                                                                   
BUTCH MOORE, mentioning that he  is Breanna Moore's father, asked                                                               
that  CSHB  44(FIN)  be  passed rather  than  the  proposed  SCS;                                                               
ventured that passage of the  bill would save lives; and provided                                                               
some  statistics  regarding sexual  assault,  sexual  abuse of  a                                                               
minor, and domestic violence crimes in Alaska.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEVENS   referred  to   CSHB  44(FIN)'s   proposed  new                                                               
[AS 14.30.355(b)(7)  and]  AS  14.30.356(b)(7) -  providing  that                                                               
upon  written  request,  a  student   may  be  excused  from  the                                                               
aforementioned training  and from  receiving notifications  - and                                                               
questioned why such provisions were included in the bill.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. MOORE expressed disfavor with  those provisions, offering his                                                               
belief that  they could  be misused  by a  parent who  is abusing                                                               
his/her  child or  knows that  his/her child  is being  abused by                                                               
someone else in the family.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:43:03 AM                                                                                                                   
LES  MORSE,  Deputy  Commissioner, Office  of  the  Commissioner,                                                               
Department of  Education and  Early Development  (EED), explained                                                               
that  those provisions  of the  bill  were included  in order  to                                                               
address the  rights of parents  to determine what  their children                                                               
are  being  taught.    In response  to  questions  regarding  the                                                               
language    in    proposed    new    AS    14.30.355(b)(7)    and                                                               
AS 14.30.356(b)(7) stipulating  that the written request  must be                                                               
made  by the  student's parent  or  guardian, or  by the  student                                                               
himself/herself  if  he/she   is  either  18  years   of  age  or                                                               
emancipated,  Mr. Morse  explained  that it  is  the courts  that                                                               
determine whether  to emancipate a particular  minor.  Expressing                                                               
disfavor  with those  provisions  of the  bill, he  acknowledged,                                                               
however,  that  their inclusion  is  a  policy decision  for  the                                                               
legislature to make.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT  concurred  that  those  provisions  were                                                               
included in order to address  the rights of parents; for example,                                                               
she's  heard from  some  parents  who say  they  would prefer  to                                                               
provide  such  training  themselves.   However,  sexual  assault,                                                               
sexual  abuse  of  a  minor, and  domestic  violence  crimes  are                                                               
continuing to occur in Alaska, and  so something new must be done                                                               
to  address  the problem,  and  more  students will  receive  the                                                               
necessary training if it becomes mandatory.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
At ease from 11:53 a.m. to 11:55 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:56:01 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  HUGGINS moved  to adopt  the  proposed Senate  committee                                                               
substitute  (SCS)   for  HB  44,  labeled   29-LS0258\G,  Glover,                                                               
5/18/15, as the working document.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DUNLEAVY objected.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:56:36 AM                                                                                                                   
SHEILA  PETERSON,  Staff,  Senator Mike  Dunleavy,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  on behalf  of  Senator  Dunleavy, Chair,  explained                                                               
that the  proposed Senate  committee substitute  (SCS) for  HB 44                                                               
now contains language from  HB 80, SB 89, and SB  102.  Section 1                                                               
of the  proposed SCS stipulates that  Section 16 of the  bill may                                                               
be  known  as the  "Alaska  Safe  Children's  Act".   Section  2,                                                               
containing language from SB 89, would  provide for the right of a                                                               
parent   to  withdraw   his/her  child   from  a   state-required                                                               
standards-based  assessment,  or  from   a  class,  activity,  or                                                               
program  pertaining to  human  reproduction,  sexual matters,  or                                                               
personal  or  private affairs,  or  for  religious holidays;  and                                                               
would provide for parental notification  of a class, activity, or                                                               
program addressing human reproduction  or sexual matters not less                                                               
than two  weeks but not  more than  six weeks before  such class,                                                               
activity,  or  program occurs.    Absences  based on  withdrawals                                                               
under this  section shall  not be  considered unlawful,  but each                                                               
withdrawal  must  be  requested  by   the  parent.    Section  3,                                                               
containing language from SB 102,  would limit who may challenge a                                                               
course  and,  if  successful,  obtain  credit  for  it,  to  only                                                               
students enrolled in  grades 9 through 12.   Referring to Section                                                               
4, she said a school district  would not be required to establish                                                               
an assessment tool for every  course offered, and that the school                                                               
district itself could decide which  courses to allow a student to                                                               
challenge.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
12:01:49 PM                                                                                                                   
MS.  PETERSON  explained  that  Sections  5,  6,  and  7  contain                                                               
language from SB 89.   Section 5 would prohibit school districts,                                                               
and educational services organizations  that have a contract with                                                               
a  school district,  from contracting  with an  abortion services                                                               
provider.    Section 6  would  prohibit  a school  district  from                                                               
administering   a  questionnaire   or   survey  without   written                                                               
permission from a student's parent.   Referring to Section 7, she                                                               
explained  that  it stipulates  a  parent  shall know  where  the                                                               
results of a survey will  reside and what the distribution system                                                               
will be  for the results.   She also offered that  Sections 8, 9,                                                               
and 10 -  containing language from SB 102 -  would allow required                                                               
training to be  provided once every five years  rather than every                                                               
year. Required training,  however, may be provided  more often if                                                               
the governing body of a school  determines that the number of new                                                               
employees warrants  more frequent  training.  Section  8 pertains                                                               
to  regional school  boards, Section  9 pertains  to city/borough                                                               
school  boards, and  Section 10  pertains to  the State  Board of                                                               
Education and Early Development  as the administrator of Alaska's                                                               
state boarding schools.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
12:05:52 PM                                                                                                                   
MS. PETERSON  explained that Section  11 addresses  the frequency                                                               
of  training pertaining  to  [identifying sex-biased  materials],                                                               
Section  12 addresses  the frequency  of  training pertaining  to                                                               
employee evaluations,  and Section 13 addresses  the frequency of                                                               
training pertaining  to alcohol-  and drug-related  awareness and                                                               
prevention.   Section 14 -  together with a provision  of Section                                                               
23,  proposing to  repeal  certain statutes  -  would remove  the                                                               
requirement  that  school  districts   provide  for  and  require                                                               
students starting  school to undergo a  physical examination, and                                                               
would  instead make  any physical  examinations of  students, and                                                               
any cost reimbursement thereof, discretionary  on the part of the                                                               
Department of  Health and Social Services  (DHSS); these proposed                                                               
changes - initially included in SB  89 - address a concern raised                                                               
by  school  districts.    Section 15  stipulates  that  a  school                                                               
district may  require teachers to undergo  a physical examination                                                               
as a  condition of employment, but  will not pay for  the cost of                                                               
such  examinations.   Section 16  states  school districts  "may"                                                               
elect to  offer sexual abuse  and sexual  assault/dating violence                                                               
and  abuse  awareness  and   prevention  programs.  The  previous                                                               
version  of  HB  44  required   school  districts  to  offer  the                                                               
programs.  Ms. Peterson  mentioned that  even without  passage of                                                               
the bill,  school districts  can already  choose to  address such                                                               
crimes, and some school districts are.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
12:10:27 PM                                                                                                                   
MS. PETERSON explained that Section  17, containing language from                                                               
SB 89, would prohibit school  districts from allowing an abortion                                                               
services provider  to offer,  sponsor, furnish  course materials,                                                               
or provide  instruction relating  to human sexuality  or sexually                                                               
transmitted  disease.   Section 18  provides a  conforming change                                                               
related  to Section  23's proposed  repeal  of certain  statutes.                                                               
Section  19,  containing  language  from SB  102,  addresses  the                                                               
frequency of crisis response training.   Section 20 addresses the                                                               
frequency of training pertaining to  domestic violence.  She said                                                               
that  Section   21,  containing  language  from   SB  89,  allows                                                               
certified teachers applying  to work in a child  care facility to                                                               
use  their  background  check  conducted  by  the  Department  of                                                               
Education  to  satisfy   background-check  requirements  for  the                                                               
Department of Health  and Social Services.   Section 22 addresses                                                               
the  frequency  of  training for  mandatory  reporters  of  child                                                               
abuse/neglect; new  staff shall receive training  within 45 days,                                                               
and existing  staff shall  receive training  at least  once every                                                               
five  years,  or more  frequently  if  necessary.   Referring  to                                                               
Section   23,  she   explained  that   the  proposed   repeal  of                                                               
AS 14.03.075(a)-(c)  and (e)(1)  and AS  14.07.165(a)(5) and  (b)                                                               
comes from HB  80, and would eliminate  the statutory requirement                                                               
passed  in  2014  that  students undergo  a  college  and  career                                                               
readiness assessment  in order to  obtain a high  school diploma;                                                               
and that the proposed repeal  of AS 14.30.070(a) and AS 14.20.120                                                               
comes  from  SB 89,  and  would  eliminate the  requirement  that                                                               
school  districts  provide  for  and  require  students  starting                                                               
school to undergo a physical examination.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PETERSON additionally  offered  that  requiring college  and                                                               
career readiness  assessments did not  seem to meet  the intended                                                               
goal,  and  yet providing  for  the  assessments cost  the  State                                                               
$525,000.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
12:16:31 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN GATTIS,  Alaska  State  Legislature, as  the                                                               
sponsor of HB  80, concurred that Section 23 of  the proposed SCS                                                               
for HB 44 would repeal  the requirement - established via passage                                                               
of  House   Bill  278  during  the   Twenty-eighth  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature  - that  all students  undergo a  college and  career                                                               
readiness assessment  in order to  obtain a high  school diploma.                                                               
She  mentioned that  testimony  from  school districts  indicates                                                               
that  administering and  preparing for  such assessments  uses up                                                               
teacher/student  time  and   creates  an  administrative  burden.                                                               
Repealing the  requirement will save teachers  and students time,                                                               
and  the  State  both  time  and money,  but  will  not  preclude                                                               
students   from   undergoing   college   and   career   readiness                                                               
assessments  at their  own expense  should  they so  choose.   In                                                               
response   to   comments   and   questions,   she   offered   her                                                               
understanding  that  assessment-fee  waivers  are  available  for                                                               
students meeting certain criteria;  and that because "exit" exams                                                               
are no  longer required, once the  bill passes and a  college and                                                               
career  readiness assessment  is  no longer  required, a  student                                                               
will  be  able  to  obtain   a  diploma  simply  by  meeting  the                                                               
graduation criteria established by his/her high school.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. MORSE  added that for  purposes of ensuring that  the State's                                                               
education  dollars   are  being  spent   wisely,  "accountability                                                               
assessments" will still be required and conducted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS noted that  requiring students to undergo a                                                               
college and  career readiness assessment  does nothing  to ensure                                                               
that Alaska's schools are doing a good job.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MORSE  offered his  belief that  the intent  behind requiring                                                               
students  to undergo  a college  and career  readiness assessment                                                               
was  to get  students to  start thinking  about and  planning for                                                               
what they wanted  to do after high school.   He, too, offered his                                                               
understanding  that  assessment-fee  waivers  are  available  for                                                               
students meeting certain criteria.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
12:35:10 PM                                                                                                                   
NORM  WOOTEN, Executive  Director, Association  of Alaska  School                                                               
Boards  (AASB),  referring  to  the   proposed  SCS  for  HB  44,                                                               
expressed concern with  Section 6, which would  prohibit a school                                                               
district from  administering any questionnaire or  survey without                                                               
written  permission  from  parents   and  legal  guardians.    He                                                               
explained that currently the AASB  administers the School Climate                                                               
and  Connectedness Survey  (SCCS),  an  evidence-based tool  that                                                               
helps school  districts eliminate unhealthy behavior  and instead                                                               
promote positive behavior  and the success of  students.  Results                                                               
of a school's  SCCS are directly linked  to academic achievement;                                                               
for example,  the higher a  school's "climate  and connectedness"                                                               
ratings  are,  the   higher  also  are  its   rates  of  student-                                                               
proficiency  in reading,  writing,  and mathematics.   If  school                                                               
districts had  to obtain written  permission from  parents before                                                               
administering  a  survey such  as  the  SCCS,  it is  likely,  he                                                               
predicted,   that    school   districts   would    simply   forgo                                                               
administering  it  because   obtaining  and  maintaining  written                                                               
permission from  every parent  would be  too labor  intensive. In                                                               
2014 the SCCS was administered to 32,600 students.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOOTEN, in  response  to comments  and questions,  predicted                                                               
that if schools choose not to  administer the SCCS as a result of                                                               
passage of  Section 6  as currently  written, then  they couldn't                                                               
take steps to correct problems  such as bullying and alcohol/drug                                                               
abuse; concurred that as currently  written, Section 2 might also                                                               
be  problematic for  similar  reasons  - it  would  be too  labor                                                               
intensive to  obtain and maintain  written permission  from every                                                               
parent; and  pointed out that  parents already have the  right to                                                               
prevent  their children  from engaging  in certain  activities at                                                               
school.  He  ventured that school districts  could simply provide                                                               
parents with  notice of upcoming assessments,  tests, activities,                                                               
classes, programs,  questionnaires, and surveys at  the beginning                                                               
of  the school  year,  along with  information  regarding how  to                                                               
withdraw their children  from any they choose to.   This would be                                                               
much less  onerous than having  to obtain written  permission for                                                               
all such things from all parents.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
12:46:00 PM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  HUGGINS  pointed  out, however,  that  school  districts                                                               
already obtain  written permission  from parents for  things like                                                               
engaging in extracurricular activities,  going on field trips, or                                                               
being administered medication.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOTEN countered that the  numbers involved are far less, and                                                               
thus,  from  an  administrative   standpoint,  require  far  less                                                               
effort.    In  response  to   comments  and  questions  regarding                                                               
surveys,  he  pointed out  that  it's  important to  have  enough                                                               
students taking  a particular survey  to ensure that  the results                                                               
and  the  assumptions  based  thereon   are  valid  for  a  given                                                               
population;  again  predicted that  under  the  SCS as  currently                                                               
written  school   districts  would  simply   forgo  administering                                                               
surveys like  the SCCS because obtaining  and maintaining written                                                               
permission from every  parent would be too  onerous. He explained                                                               
that of the  two types of parental permission  sought by schools,                                                               
"active"  permission requires  parents  to specify  that they  do                                                               
give  permission, whereas  "passive" permission  requires parents                                                               
to  specify  that  they  do  not  give  permission.    Currently,                                                               
administering the SCCS involves the use of passive permission.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS, noting how important  testing can be in terms of                                                               
determining  whether   a  school   is  succeeding   in  educating                                                               
students, questioned  whether federal  funding would  be impacted                                                               
if  too  many  parents  refused  to let  their  children  take  a                                                               
particular test.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOTEN  surmised that the  Department of Education  and Early                                                               
Development (EED)  could better  address that  issue.   He noted,                                                               
though, that a lack of sufficient  data on each and every student                                                               
could  have  a  detrimental  effect on  the  decisions  a  school                                                               
district makes for its students.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS surmised,  then, that if too  many parents refuse                                                               
to let  their children take  a particular test or  assessment, it                                                               
could jeopardize a school district's education efforts.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DUNLEAVY disagreed  and cautioned  that  the approach  was                                                               
coercive.  He provided  an example  of a  parent who  was against                                                               
testing for  their child  and maintained  that a  school district                                                               
could make  use of the data  of students who did  take the tests.                                                               
He  spoke  of  problems  with schools  "gaming  the  numbers.  He                                                               
stressed  that  the   purpose  of  school  is   to  educate,  not                                                               
indoctrinate. He  questioned the value of  over-regulating public                                                               
schools.  He emphasized  that  kids belong  to  parents, not  the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS  pointed out that testing  and assessing students                                                               
is  the  only way  to  determine  whether  a school  district  is                                                               
succeeding in educating  its students - whether  public funds are                                                               
being well spent.   He again asked whether  federal funding would                                                               
be impacted by low participation rates.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MORSE  concurred  that tests  and  assessments  can  provide                                                               
accountability  if   the  results  are   valid  due  to   a  high                                                               
participation rate. He explained  that although low participation                                                               
rates could result in a decrease  in federal funds, it is not yet                                                               
known whether this will be the case in Alaska.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:12:36 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS  expressed  concern   with  Section  16  of  the                                                               
proposed SCS due  to the fact that under it,  the bill's proposed                                                               
new AS 14.30.355  and AS 14.30.356 are  discretionary rather than                                                               
mandatory.   He expressed a  preference for requiring  all school                                                               
district  to   establish  training  programs   addressing  sexual                                                               
abuse/assault awareness/prevention.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. MORSE concurred that under  both current law and the proposed                                                               
SCS, each school  district can decide whether  to provide teacher                                                               
training programs  to address sexual  assault, sexual abuse  of a                                                               
minor,  and  dating  violence  crimes.    Many  school  districts                                                               
currently choose not to, and  nothing under either current law or                                                               
any version  of the bill  would require school districts  to hold                                                               
public meetings to address the  issue.  He expressed a preference                                                               
for using  the word "shall", surmising  that it would do  more to                                                               
eradicate  the problem.   In  response  to a  question about  the                                                               
fiscal note  submitted by the  EED for  HB 44, he  indicated that                                                               
school districts themselves would  be responsible for funding any                                                               
training     programs     addressing     sexual     abuse/assault                                                               
awareness/prevention.    In  response  to  a  question  regarding                                                               
Section  15  of the  proposed  SCS,  he  said he  would  research                                                               
whether  school  districts  are currently  required  to  pay  for                                                               
teachers' physical exams.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:21:50 PM                                                                                                                    
JANE   URBANOVSKY,  Certification   &  Licensing   Administrator,                                                               
Certification &  Licensing &  Background Check  Program, Division                                                               
of  Health  Care  Services,  Department   of  Health  and  Social                                                               
Services  (DHSS),  in  response   to  questions,  explained  that                                                               
Section 21  of the proposed SCS  for HB 44 was  included in order                                                               
to allow  the EED  to share  the background-check  information of                                                               
its certified teachers with the DHSS.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. PETERSON indicated concurrence.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:26:40 PM                                                                                                                    
LISA SKILES PARADY, Ph.D., Executive  Director, Alaska Council of                                                               
School Administrators (ACSA);  Alaska Superintendents Association                                                               
(ASA), referring  to Section 16  of the  proposed SCS for  HB 44,                                                               
said that  students must be  kept safe, and that  educators share                                                               
in that  responsibility.  She  characterized that section  of the                                                               
bill  as  originally written  was  unfair  to the  public  school                                                               
system because  training programs were to  be implemented without                                                               
any support.  The original proposal  added one more thing  to the                                                               
already-enormous   list   of   items   educators   must   provide                                                               
instruction for without  taking into account the  staff time lost                                                               
from  the  regular  curriculum. School  districts  will  have  to                                                               
absorb  the cost  of creating  and evaluating  a new  policy, and                                                               
writing or purchasing a curriculum  and related materials for the                                                               
teachers.   And  given the  very sensitive  nature of  the topics                                                               
addressed by Section  16, any curriculum chosen would  need to be                                                               
fully examined  by qualified professionals,  and not  just chosen                                                               
because  it's  short  or  can  be  obtained  for  free  from  the                                                               
Internet.   School districts  will have  to provide  training for                                                               
the teachers themselves, and this too  comes at cost, as will the                                                               
curriculum  materials   for  students   and  teachers,   and  the                                                               
notifications to students, parents, and teachers.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PARADY, noting  that the  proposed  SCS for  HB 44  contains                                                               
language from  SB 102, expressed  the ACSA/ASA's support  for the                                                               
provisions that  eliminate what  she termed  "unfunded mandates."                                                               
She also expressed support for the  fact that under Section 16 as                                                               
currently written,  it would  no longer  be mandatory  for school                                                               
districts   to  provide   students   with  sexual   abuse/assault                                                               
awareness/prevention  training -  this is  a welcome  change from                                                               
the original  language.   In some  ways, HB 44  is trying  to use                                                               
schools to fix  the problems with families,  law enforcement, and                                                               
child protective services throughout Alaska.   Schools are a part                                                               
of that  solution, and they  will embrace  it.  But  a legitimate                                                               
question is whether  "this partial effort" is  the right solution                                                               
to  the underlying  problems,  she  remarked, particularly  given                                                               
anticipated forthcoming budget  cuts.  Adding more  to the plates                                                               
of  school districts,  when they  are already  faced with  making                                                               
deep cuts to  existing programs, isn't right.  If legislators are                                                               
going   to  pass   legislation  providing   sexual  abuse/assault                                                               
awareness/prevention training to students,  then they should also                                                               
provide  sufficient  resources  to   ensure  that  such  training                                                               
programs can be successfully implemented.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEVENS  indicated  a  belief  that  since  some  school                                                               
districts   are   absorbing   the  cost   of   providing   sexual                                                               
abuse/assault  awareness/prevention  training,  that  all  school                                                               
districts should do so.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  44(FIN)  was  held  over,  with the  motion  to  adopt  the                                                               
proposed Senate  committee substitute (SCS)  for HB 44  - labeled                                                               
29-LS0258\G, Glover, 5/18/15 - pending.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
1. HB 44 Legislation.PDF SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
2. HB 44 Sponsor Statement.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
3. HB 44 Sectional Analysis.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
4. HB 44 FNSB School Board Policy.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
5. HB 44 Districts with HB44 curriculum.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
6. HB 44 Child Sexual Abuse in the Bering Strait Region.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
7. HB 44 Bar Association Dating Violence Facts.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
8. HB 44 CDC Dating Violence Fact Sheet.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
9. HB 44 CDVSA 2014 Dashboard.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
10. HB 44 Curriculum - Child Lures.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
11. HB 44 Curriculum - Committee for Children.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
12. HB 44 Letter of Support ANDVSA.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
13. HB 44 Letter of Support Vera Starbard.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
14. HB 44 Letter of Support Cindy Moore.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
15. HB44 OCS Child Sexual Abuse Stats FY14.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
16. HB 44 OCS Child Sexual Abuse Stats Jan thru March 15.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
17. HB 44 OCS Reporting Child Abuse in AK.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
18. HB 44 Teen Power and Control Wheel.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
19. HB 44 Anchorage District Parent Info.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
20. HB 44 Letter of Support APOA.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
21. HB 44 Fiscal Note.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
22. SCS for CS HB 44 ( ) Legislation.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
23. SCS for CS HB 44 ( ) Sectional Analysis.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44
24. SCS for CS HB 44 ( ) Sponsor Statement.pdf SEDC 5/19/2015 11:00:00 AM
HB 44