Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/03/1993 01:45 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  CHAIRMAN  RIEGER called  the Senate  Health,  Education, and                 
  Social Services Committee (HESS) to  order at 1:45 p.m.  and                 
  announced SB 61 IMPLEMENT ALASKA  2000 RECOMMENDATIONS to be                 
  up for consideration.                                                        
                                                                               
  VERNON MARSHALL, Executive  Director, NEA/AK, said  they had                 
  two meetings with the representatives  from the School Board                 
  Association and administrators discussing proposed amendment                 
  him.    They  supported  the  current practice  of  offering                 
  someone tenure who has performed well for two years.  In the                 
  third year, if  a non-tenured teacher  is making progress  (                 
  with an  individual  improvement  plan),  the  district  can                 
  extend the probationary period one additional year.                          
                                                                               
  MR. MARSHALL pointed  out language they inserted  which says                 
  that the district must provide  a non-tenured teacher during                 
  each year of the teacher's non-tenure  with a minimum of two                 
  formal observations and two evaluation sessions.                             
                                                                               
  Number 199                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR  RIEGER  asked  what was  the  method  of evaluating                 
  tenured teachers.  MR. MARSHALL said there is a provision in                 
  place that does require tenured teachers to be  evaluated at                 
  least one time annually.   Each school district has  its own                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  method of evaluation.  NEA encourages good staff development                 
  programs.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Number 252                                                                   
                                                                               
  STEVE  MCPHETERS,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Council  of                 
  School Administrators, said  the issue of  tenure is a  very                 
  sensitive one across the state.   The basis of the extension                 
  of the probationary third year is to help those teachers who                 
  have the  potential  of  being good  educators.    From  his                 
  experience  the  first  year  teacher   always  has  a  very                 
  difficult time.  By their second  year they begin to develop                 
  their  own style of teaching.   In their third year they can                 
  carry  on  more independently.   The  third  year is  a very                 
  important time for the non-tenured teacher, he reiterated.                   
                                                                               
  MR. MCPHETERS said they are not  in total agreement with the                 
  language Mr. Marshall has.                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 369                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR  SHARP   asked  how   many  tenured  teachers   were                 
  undergoing reevaluation.                                                     
                                                                               
  VINCE BARRY, Director, Education Program Support, asked  Bob                 
  Silverman, DOE, if he  knew the figure.  MR.  SILVERMAN said                 
  he didn't have that data.                                                    
                                                                               
  MR. BARRY added  that the Department  was very happy to  see                 
  the length of time issue being discussed.                                    
                                                                               
  Number 391                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN moved to  withdraw amendment #6.   There were                 
  no objections and it was so ordered.                                         
                                                                               
  Number 419                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR ELLIS moved amendment #7.  There  were no objections                 
  and it was so ordered.  SENATOR ELLIS  said he was concerned                 
  with  the  number  of  allowable  charter schools  which  is                 
  currently 40.   He is going to  propose to reduce that  to a                 
  pilot project.  He  was concerned with the vagueness  of the                 
  language.                                                                    
                                                                               
  MR.  BARRY  commented  one  concern  he  had  was  with  the                 
  application being  made by teachers  only.  The  majority of                 
  the   advisory  committee  could  be  teachers,  but  public                 
  involvement is needed.                                                       
                                                                               
  MR. BARRY personally  thought that 40 charter  schools would                 
  be easy to track through recording mechanisms.                               
                                                                               
  Number 496                                                                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
  MR.  MCPHETERS said  he wasn't  that afraid  of the  charter                 
  schools issue.  There are  currently avenues where a  school                 
  can be created within a school.  One concern they do have is                 
  with creating an elitist population.                                         
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN commented that  it seemed they could  do what                 
  they wanted to do under present statute.                                     
                                                                               
  MR.  MCPHETERS  said  they wouldn't  look  too  favorably on                 
  Senator Ellis' amendment.   They would have to look  at what                 
  the  current restrictions  public schools  have and  compare                 
  that to  what restrictions there  would be for a  body to be                 
  created within a public school structure.                                    
                                                                               
  Number 560                                                                   
                                                                               
  CLAUDIA DOUGLAS said  that they could support  the amendment                 
  for a charter  school program, because  it might provide  an                 
  opportunity for some  people to get together  and add reform                 
  in a different way.  She said that mostly parents don't want                 
  to send their children to a separate school; they would like                 
  to improve the school they have in their community.                          
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-18, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 583                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR  LEMAN  commented  to  Ms.   Douglas  that  she  was                 
  concerned that this would take  public dollars and divert it                 
  to  another program.   He personally didn't  see any problem                 
  with diverting public dollars to other public schools in the                 
  school district.                                                             
                                                                               
  MS. DOUGLAS said the way the  bill is written there wouldn't                 
  be any additional funding to hire more teachers for the kids                 
  that are left.   If 50 kids and  three teachers leave, those                 
  kids that are left will  have to be placed in  other classes                 
  making the class sizes go up.                                                
                                                                               
  Number 534                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR RIEGER asked SENATOR ELLIS to explain the purpose of                 
  the fourth part of his amendment.  SENATOR ELLIS said he had                 
  asked the drafter  to address his concerns  about governance                 
  in that section.                                                             
                                                                               
  Number 467                                                                   
                                                                               
  EARL  CLARK,   part-time  faculty,   University  of   Alaska                 
  Southeast, said it is well known  that the most crucial year                 
  for a  teacher is the first year.   He likes the idea of the                 
  third year.   He thought  the committee  should consider  an                 
  internship for the first year of teaching and then allow the                 
  teacher to earn tenure in the next two years.                                
                                                                               
                                                                               
  He  thought  charter schools  was  a  very clever  idea  for                 
  getting a  specialized  group of  people to  have their  own                 
  school.  Instead of breaking up the public school system, he                 
  would like  to see  the purposes  of this  bill spelled  out                 
  beautifully  by  saying "any  public  school in  Alaska that                 
  wishes  to  become a  charter  school  may do  so  by making                 
  application."  This would give every public school in Alaska                 
  the opportunity to  develop their  own program, justify  it,                 
  and run it for three years, and then assess the results.                     
                                                                               
  Number 412                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR LEMAN asked who the  specialized interests were that                 
  everyone was  worried about  taking over  the schools.   MR.                 
  CLARK said they are the same ones that take advantage of any                 
  special program.                                                             
                                                                               
  SENATOR SHARP asked him the difference between special needs                 
  and special interests.  MR. CLARK said that special interest                 
  groups  have  an  agenda.    He  explained that  a  separate                 
  interest school  run outside  of the  regular program  would                 
  take away from  the public  school.  He  thought the  public                 
  school system needed to be strengthened, not weakened.                       
                                                                               
  MR. CLARK explained that 50% of gifted children  (defined as                 
  an I.Q. of  130 or  over) quit school  before they  graduate                 
  from high school.   Many of them go on to  college, but many                 
  of them don't because  they are lost.  Special  programs are                 
  needed for these people.                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 328                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. MARSHALL pointed out lines 17-23 on page 7 described the                 
  organization of  the  charter  school.   He  felt  that  the                 
  initial  group would be parents who understand the rules and                 
  procedures for going about acquiring opportunities for their                 
  kids.     He  cautioned   the  committee   against  creating                 
  opportunities for those who have  the good fortune and  time                 
  to take advantage of them to the detriment  of those who may                 
  not have the good fortune or means.                                          
                                                                               
  Number 280                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR  DUNCAN  said  that charter  schools  do  impact the                 
  public school system without reducing the cost.                              
                                                                               
  Number 157                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR ELLIS  withdrew amendment #7 and said he would offer                 
  a  revised amendment  based on  comments that  he had  heard                 
  today.  There were no objections and it was so ordered.                      
                                                                               
  Number 96                                                                    
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN offered SENATOR SALO's amendment #8.                          
                                                                               
  MARLA HUSS, Aide for Senator Salo,  said this amendment is a                 
  result of concerns raised by the Advisory School Boards that                 
  the parent advisory groups at schools would be supplanted.                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR LEMAN said he thought that school districts could do                 
  this now.                                                                    
                                                                               
  MS. HUSS said that statute  currently allows REAAs to advise                 
  School  Boards.    SENATOR  DUNCAN  said  there is  also  an                 
  exemption provision which is being deleted by SENATOR SALO's                 
  amendment.   Her amendment spells things out in detail which                 
  present statute doesn't do.                                                  
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-19, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 001                                                                   
                                                                               
  VINCE  BARRY said  every  time the  parents  and the  public                 
  participate, the schools are improved.                                       
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN said he thought they had public input through                 
  election of  the School  Board members.   He  asked why  Mr.                 
  Barry is recommending an  exemption for a district  that has                 
  only one school.                                                             
                                                                               
  MR. BARRY replied it is simply because they are single sites                 
  and have a School Board.                                                     
                                                                               
  SENATOR LEMAN  asked how  many  single sites  there were  in                 
  Alaska.  MR. BARRY answered 22 and just a few dual sites.                    
                                                                               
  Number 040                                                                   
                                                                               
  STEVE  MCPHETERS, Alaska  Council of  School Administrators,                 
  supported amendment  #8 in  changing the  "shall" to  "may."                 
  They hoped this  legislation could  focus on using  existing                 
  PTA's for the Advisory Board for that school.                                
                                                                               
  Number 070                                                                   
                                                                               
  JOHN  GILLESPIE  reaffirmed  that  the  parents  do  have  a                 
  mechanism for input  into the school which is the  PTA.  Its                 
  purpose is to get  parental input and to organize  that into                 
  the school system.                                                           
                                                                               
  The Committee voted  on the amendment: SENATOR  RIEGER: yes;                 
  SENATOR SHARP: no; SENATOR DUNCAN:  yes; SENATOR ELLIS: yes,                 
  SENATOR  LEMAN:  no;  SENATOR  MILLER:  no; and  the  motion                 
  failed.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Number 087                                                                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATOR SHARP moved  to adopt  the amendment #9  on page  3,                 
  line 21 after the word "board" delete "at each school."                      
                                                                               
  SENATOR  LEMAN  said he  objected  to amendment  #9. SENATOR                 
  LEMAN objected for purposes of discussion.                                   
                                                                               
  Number 100                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR SHARP withdrew his motion for further consideration.                 
  There were no objections and it was so ordered.                              

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