Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/08/1993 02:20 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  The last  measure to come  before the Senate  HESS Committee                 
  was SB 61 (IMPLEMENT ALASKA 2000 RECOMMENDATIONS).  CHAIRMAN                 
  RIEGER  indicated   that  Senator   Salo  was   present  via                 
  teleconference.  He said  at the last meeting Senator  Ellis                 
  had introduced  an amendment.   SENATOR  ELLIS explained  he                 
  withdrew  it  to  come  up  with  a  new  improved  version.                 
  Chairman Rieger noted that the  committee was addressing the                 
  section of the bill that deals with charter schools.                         
                                                                               
  Senator Ellis referred  to concerns  raised at the  previous                 
  meeting  and  said  the  original  bill  allows  40  charter                 
  schools.  He  said he reduced that  to 4.  Then  some people                 
  thought that wasn't enough so he  raised it to 10.  He  said                 
  the State of California, which is experimenting with a pilot                 
  project, has allowed  100 pilot schools.   There was also  a                 
  concern about the government of charter schools.  He said in                 
  his amendment,  at least  25 percent of  the teachers  would                 
  need  to sign  a  petition and  be in  favor of  the charter                 
  school  concept, and  50 percent  of the  parents.   Senator                 
  Ellis said  he  would personally  prefer a  much larger  and                 
  significant buy-in by the professional  staff of the school.                 
  He read a section of the Anchorage School District's summary                 
  of responses to the Alaska  2000 recommendations relating to                 
  charter  schools:    "We  support  a group  of  parents  and                 
  teachers coming forward with a plan  for a school within the                 
  policies and  mission of  the district but  not outside  the                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  public school system."  Senator Ellis gave committee members                 
  a list of all the current alternative programs that parents,                 
  teachers  and students have  brought forward in  the past to                 
  meet specialized needs.                                                      
                                                                               
  Senator Ellis' amendment follows:                                            
                                                                               
  Page 1, lines 1-2:                                                           
       Delete  "implementing  certain  recommendations of                      
       Alaska 2000 to improve"                                                 
       Insert "relating to"                                                    
                                                                               
  Page 6, lines 30-31:                                                         
       Delete "the application  of the  initial board  of                      
       directors of a charter school and the approval of"                      
       Insert "approval of a charter school petition by"                       
                                                                               
  Page 7, line 1:                                                              
       Delete "40"                                                             
       Insert "10"                                                             
                                                                               
  Page 7, lines 3-8                                                            
       Delete all material.                                                    
       Insert new subsections to read:                                         
            "(b)  Each local school board shall prescribe                      
       a procedure by  which an  individual may submit  a                      
       charter school petition  for the reorganization of                      
       a school within the district  as a charter school.                      
       The procedure may  include a  proposed form for  a                      
       charter between  a  charter school  and the  local                      
       school board,  setting out  the charter  elements.                      
       The petition for the establishment  of a school in                      
       a district as  a charter school may  be circulated                      
       by  one or  more individuals seeking  to establish                      
       the  charter  school.   A charter  school petition                      
       must be signed by not less  than 50 percent of the                      
       parents of the  school attendance area and  by not                      
       less than 25  percent of the teachers  employed by                      
       the school at the time the petition is circulated.                      
            (c)  The  charter  school  petition shall  be                      
       submitted to the school board for review.                               
            (d)  The  school  board  shall   hold  public                      
       hearings on the provisions  of the charter  school                      
       and determine  the  level of  parent and  employee                      
       support for the charter  school.  Following review                      
       of the  charter school petition,  the board  shall                      
       either grant or deny the petition                                       
            (e)  A charter school  petition must  include                      
       the following:                                                          
       (1) a  description of  the educational program  of                      
       the school designed  to identify those individuals                      
       that the school is attempting to educate;                               
       (2) the  measurable pupil outcomes  identified for                      
       use  by  the  charter school;  in  the  paragraph,                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
       "pupil outcomes" mean the  extent to which  pupils                      
       of the school demonstrate that they  have attained                      
       the skills, knowledge,  and attitudes specified as                      
       goals in the school's educational program;                              
       (3)  the   governing  structure  of   the  school,                      
       including the process to be followed by the school                      
       to ensure parental involvement;                                         
       (4)  a  description  of  how  new  and  innovative                      
       teaching methods will be encouraged;                                    
       (5)    a    description   of    how   professional                      
       opportunities  for  teachers   will  be   created,                      
       including  the opportunity  to be  responsible for                      
       the learning program at the school site.                                
            (f)  A local  school board  shall forward  to                      
       the  state  Board  of Education  a  charter school                      
       petition that has been approved or denied."                             
                                                                               
  Page 7, lines 15-16:                                                         
       Delete "in the contract.  A board of directors for                      
       the  charter school shall oversee the operation of                      
       that school."                                                           
                                                                               
  Page 7, lines 17-31                                                          
       Delete all material.                                                    
       Insert "(b) The charter school shall"                                   
                                                                               
  Page 8, line 3                                                               
       Delete "(e)"                                                            
       Insert "(c)"                                                            
                                                                               
  Page 8, lines 6-7                                                            
       Delete "permanent charter school board"                                 
       Insert "charter school"                                                 
                                                                               
  Page 8, lines 27-28                                                          
       Delete "permanent charter school board"                                 
       Insert "charter school"                                                 
                                                                               
  Page 9, line 8:                                                              
       Delete "initial and permanent board of a"                               
                                                                               
  Page 9, line 21, after "drawing":                                            
       Insert "A school board in a district may not require a                  
       pupil to attend a charter school."                                      
                                                                               
  Page 9, lines 22-23:                                                         
       Delete all material and insert:                                         
            "(c) A charter school shall be                                     
       nonsectarian and shall comply  with the conditions                      
       of its charter school petition.   A charter school                      
       may  not discriminate on  the basis  of ethnicity,                      
       national origin, gender, or disability."                                
                                                                               
  Page 9, line 26, through page 10, line 2:                                    
                                                                               
                                                                               
       Delete all material and insert:                                         
            "(b) The provisions contained in a                                 
       negotiated  agreement  or   collective  bargaining                      
       agreement   applicable   to   teachers  or   other                      
       employees who  transfer into a charter  school may                      
       not  be altered  or  changed as  a  result of  the                      
       creation of a charter school.                                           
            (c)  A  teacher  in  a  charter  school  shall  be                 
  evaluated      in  the  same  manner  as  all                                
                 other teachers  in the  school                                
                 district."                                                    
                                                                               
  Page 10, after line 9                                                        
       Insert "(2) `district' has the meaning given in AS                      
       14.17.250;"                                                             
                                                                               
  Renumber the following paragraphs accordingly.                               
                                                                               
  Page 10, lines 15-16:                                                        
       Delete all material                                                     
                                                                               
  Renumber the following paragraphs accordingly.                               
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER questioned  the meaning of the  amendment on                 
  Page 7, lines 17-31,  Delete all material.  Insert  "(b) The                 
  charter school  shall."   Senator Ellis  explained that  the                 
  drafter had made  a mistake on  the amendment.  The  drafter                 
  deleted  what needs  to be  deleted but  didn't  insert what                 
  should have been inserted.   He said the new language is  in                 
  the amendment but is placed earlier in the bill.                             
                                                                               
  Chairman Rieger referred to part of Senator Ellis' amendment                 
  on page 7 relating to a charter school petition that must be                 
  signed by not  less than 50  percent of  the parents of  the                 
  school attendance area  and by not  less than 25 percent  of                 
  the teachers employed by the school at the time the petition                 
  is circulated.  He  said it sounds like a  major undertaking                 
  and  said  he  thought  it  would  be  something  much  more                 
  experimental   and  a   small   scale  effort   rather  then                 
  disassembling  an  entire  school  and  restarting it  as  a                 
  different school.   Senator Ellis said  he thinks that is  a                 
  major issue and the amendment limits the experiment or pilot                 
  project.    At  the last  meeting,  Senator  Leman raised  a                 
  concern about  how charter  schools won't  cost more  money.                 
  Senator  Ellis  said  he  believes  that  they  will.    New                 
  resources are needed or existing  resources will be diverted                 
  from their current use.  Unless there is more money, it will                 
  be a disservice to students who will be left behind.                         
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Number 514                                                                   
                                                                               
  Chairman  Rieger  asked  Senator  Ellis  to comment  on  his                 
  amendment  on  page  9,  line  26,  relating  to  collective                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  bargaining.    Senator  Ellis said  he  didn't  believe that                 
  charter schools should be a way to circumvent the collective                 
  bargaining  process  for   the  certificated   professionals                 
  involved in delivering  education to kids.   Chairman Rieger                 
  asked  if  the  creation of  a  charter  school  would be  a                 
  bargainable issue.   Senator Ellis  said he thinks  that all                 
  terms and conditions  of employment  are bargainable  items.                 
  He  said  the way  he  reads subsection  (b)  is when  a the                 
  teacher transfers from a regular school to a charter school,                 
  they wouldn't lose their rights under collective bargaining.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATOR SALO said it is important to note that all contracts                 
  between districts and employee groups have a method by which                 
  they  can  be  changed  which is  called  a  "Memorandum  of                 
  Agreement."    Both  parties  would  have to  agree  to  any                 
  changes.                                                                     
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-21, SIDE B                                                           
                                                                               
  SENATOR ELLIS moved that Amendment #10 be adopted.  CHAIRMAN                 
  RIEGER objected.   He said his  primary objection is at  the                 
  bottom of page 1 of the amendment  relating to the number of                 
  charter schools to be reviewed at any time.  He indicated he                 
  wants  more  latitude for  the  creation of  charter schools                 
  within the existing  school district  and within the  actual                 
  school.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Number 029                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR  SHARP said he would like to make sure that there is                 
  an  opportunity for  all major  school districts to  have at                 
  least one charter  school.  He said if the  policy was first                 
  come, first serve without any limits  set, the larger school                 
  districts could  apply for all  the charter schools.   There                 
  should be some control.                                                      
                                                                               
  Chairman  Rieger referred  to  the  amendment and  suggested                 
  rewording page 3, lines  3-8:  "(b) Each local  school board                 
  shall prescribe a  procedure for  application to the  school                 
  board for formation of a charter  school.  The procedure may                 
  include  a proposed  form for  a charter  between a  charter                 
  school and the local  school board, setting out  the charter                 
  elements."   He  then  suggested deleting  the  rest of  the                 
  paragraph.                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR  DUNCAN said  perhaps  amendments  to the  amendment                 
  would be appropriate.  He said he willing to support Senator                 
  Ellis' amendment as written.   If it is  too loose, he  will                 
  not support the amendment.  Senator  Duncan said he won't be                 
  supportive if the wording that  Chairman Rieger suggested is                 
  inserted.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Chairman Rieger referred  to the proposed amendment  on page                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  9,  line  26, through  page  10,  line 2,  paragraph  (c) "A                 
  teacher in a charter  school shall be evaluated in  the same                 
  manner as all  other teachers in  the school district."   He                 
  suggested deleting the  words "the  same" and inserting  the                 
  words "an  equivalent."  Senator Ellis said he wouldn't have                 
  any problem with the new wording.  He said he would consider                 
  it a friendly amendment.                                                     
                                                                               
  Senator Ellis asked  that there be  a vote on Amendment  #10                 
  which would  include Chairman Rieger's suggestion  to change                 
  "the same" to "an equivalent."                                               
                                                                               
  There  was discussion  regarding whether Senator  Salo could                 
  vote on the amendment via teleconference.  It was determined                 
  that she may vote on amendments but could not vote to move a                 
  bill  from  the  committee  as   that  actually  requires  a                 
  signature on a bill reporting form.                                          
                                                                               
  Number 170                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER moved  to amend Amendment  #10.  On page  7,                 
  lines  3-8,  replace paragraph  (b)  with the  following new                 
  language:   "(b) Each local  school board shall  prescribe a                 
  procedure for application to the  school board for formation                 
  of a charter school.   The procedure may include  a proposed                 
  form for a  charter between a  charter school and the  local                 
  school board, setting  out the  charter elements."   SENATOR                 
  ELLIS objected to  the amendment to  the amendment.  A  roll                 
  call  vote was  taken.   Senators Rieger,  Sharp, and  Leman                 
  voted in favor of the amendment  to the amendment.  Senators                 
  Duncan, Ellis, Salo voted "no."  So the motion failed.                       
                                                                               
  A  roll call  vote was  then taken  on the  motion to  adopt                 
  Amendment #10.   Senators Duncan,  Ellis, Salo voted  "yes."                 
  Senators Rieger,  Sharp, Leman voted  "no."   So the  motion                 
  failed.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Number 210                                                                   
                                                                               
  Chairman  Rieger  asked   Mary  Gregory,  Mat-Su   Education                 
  Association  to  give  testimony on  SB  61.    MARY GREGORY                 
  referred to  the tenure  section of  the bill  and said  she                 
  feels that there is a lot of misconception.  It is something                 
  that addresses the dismissal of teachers,  but it is done in                 
  a proper form.   There  are evaluation  tools set  up.   The                 
  problem is that many principals don't  want to do their part                 
  of the evaluations.   They fail to,  don't know how, or  are                 
  reluctant to do it.  Ms. Gregory referred to charter schools                 
  and  said  if  there  are  guidelines  and  the  same school                 
  district rulings  are available  and imposed  in a  friendly                 
  manner,  she believes  that the  people in  the state  could                 
  accept that.  She referred to  extending the school year and                 
  said there would need  to be funding as she  doesn't believe                 
  people will work for  nothing.  Ms. Gregory said  if truancy                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  and attendance is a concern, why  isn't there any state laws                 
  or regulations to address the issue.   She continued to give                 
  general testimony on SB 61.                                                  
                                                                               
  CHARLIE CRANGLE informed  the committee  he is from  Seward.                 
  He said  the committee  is discussing  education.   It seems                 
  that many times the focus is on the quantity of money rather                 
  than the end product which is quality for kids.  In the long                 
  run, you either pay now or pay later.  He discussed problems                 
  with overcrowded classrooms.  Mr.  Crangle urged that before                 
  we start engaging  in new programs such  as charter schools,                 
  increasing  the  school  year,  etc.,  we need  to  consider                 
  working with what we already have and doing a  better job of                 
  it.  He indicated  concern that teachers aren't part  of the                 
  process and discussed problems with truancy.                                 
                                                                               
  JERRY DIXON, from  Seward, was next to testify.   He said he                 
  came to Alaska 26 years ago and has been in public education                 
  for 10 years.  Mr. Dixon said he is very concerned about the                 
  direction of Alaska 2000.   He indicated concern with budget                 
  cuts and  laying off  teachers.   Mr. Dixon  asked that  the                 
  committee look at the entire agenda and address things  like                 
  pupil/teacher ratio.  He thanked the committee for listening                 
  to him.                                                                      
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN  RIEGER said  the  bill would  be  back before  the                 
  committee at a later date.                                                   

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