Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/17/1993 01:33 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  The last order of business to  come before the committee was                 
  SB  61 (IMPLEMENT  ALASKA 2000  RECOMMENDATIONS).   CHAIRMAN                 
  RIEGER said as he recalls at  the last meeting Senator Ellis                 
  had  offered  Amendment #10  which  deleted references  to a                 
  permanent charter school board and an initial charter school                 
  board.   An  amendment to  the amendment  was offered  which                 
  failed and then the amendment failed.  Chairman Rieger  said                 
  some of  the language in Senator Ellis' amendment is useful.                 
  He moved the following amendment be adopted:                                 
                                                                               
  Page 7, lines 15-16:                                                         
       Delete "in the contract.  A board of directors for                      
       the charter school shall oversee the  operation of                      
       that school."                                                           
                                                                               
  Chairman Rieger  said it would be his  intention to consider                 
  taking out the references  of a separate board of  directors                 
  of a charter school.  He said it would be separate  from the                 
  school board.                                                                
                                                                               
  SENATOR ELLIS asked if there aren't two issues involved.  He                 
  said "in the  contract" is a  sperate issue from a  separate                 
  board of directors.  He said it made sense when other  parts                 
  of the amendment were included.  Chairman Rieger removed his                 
  motion to  adopt the  amendment.   He said  he is trying  to                 
  address  the point  raised  at the  last  meeting about  the                 
  confusion of having two boards.                                              
                                                                               
  SENATOR SALO referred to the reference to the separate board                 
  for the charter school and said  you would have to eliminate                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  most of section (b) as it spells  out the composition of the                 
  board.  SENATOR  DUNCAN said  (b), (c), (d)  spells out  the                 
  composition of the board.  Senator  Salo referred to (c) and                 
  said it could be eliminated or the function could be changed                 
  to another group such as the faculty of that charter school.                 
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER said the next amendment  was to delete lines                 
  17 through  31.  Senator Duncan said  he thinks it should be                 
  all one amendment.                                                           
                                                                               
  Chairman  Rieger  moved  to  delete,   for  the  purpose  of                 
  discussion, on page 7, lines 15 and 16 the last sentence, "A                 
  board of directors for the charter school shall oversee  the                 
  operation of  that school."   He  continued  to propose  the                 
  following amendment:                                                         
                                                                               
  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 boards of a"                              
                                                                               
  Chairman Rieger asked  if the Department of Education  had a                 
  comment regarding  the  amendment.   VINCE BARRY,  Director,                 
  Education Program Support, Department of Education, said the                 
  idea  of  the board  of directors  is  it gives  parents and                 
  teachers an opportunity to put  the charter school together.                 
  He  said  it is  a very  simplistic  kind of  activity where                 
  teachers and parents  can get together and  make suggestions                 
  as to how they can operate this type of a school in a school                 
  setting.  They  would have their own board.   He referred to                 
  "(d)" and said after  the approval of the local  board, they                 
  then have a  permanent charter  school.  The  intent of  the                 
  legislation is  for the school  to operate under  the school                 
  district's  board.    Chairman  Rieger  said he  thinks  the                 
  amendment is a clarifying amendment to make sure that  there                 
  isn't  confusion as  to whether  there is a  separate school                 
  board or not.                                                                
                                                                               
  Chairman Rieger  asked  if  there  is an  objection  to  the                 
  proposed amendment.   SENATOR  LEMAN objected.   He said  he                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  believes  that the amendment guts  one of the key principles                 
  of  the establishment  of charter  schools which  is to  get                 
  parents more involved in a curriculum that  is more tailored                 
  to  a  specific program  that they  want  to establish.   He                 
  indicated there needs to  be more input at the  local level.                 
  There  is the  overall  authority of  the  school board  and                 
  having a board of directors for  the charter school might be                 
  a better way to go.                                                          
                                                                               
  Chairman  Rieger  said  there  is  going  to have  to  be  a                 
  conforming language change on page 7,  around lines 3 and 5.                 
  He  said he thinks  the requirement  for teacher  and parent                 
  involvement might be able to be inserted.                                    
                                                                               
  Number 521                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR  SHARP  said there  has to  be  a driving  force and                 
  parents and teachers have  to be involved in the  welfare of                 
  the children.                                                                
                                                                               
  Chairman  Rieger  said   he  would  like  to   suggest  some                 
  additional  language.   On  page  6, line  30,  after "upon"                 
  delete "the application of the initial board of directors of                 
  a charter school  and the" and replace  with "an application                 
  for  a  charter school,"   It  would  then read,  "A charter                 
  school may be established as provided under sections 12 - 19                 
  of this  Act  upon the  application  for a  charter  school,                 
  approval of the local  school board, and the State  Board of                 
  Education."   Chairman Rieger  referred to  page 7,  line 3,                 
  "after  procedure"  delete the  words  "by which  an initial                 
  board of directors may  apply" and insert the words  "for an                 
  application."  It would read, "Each local school board shall                 
  prescribe   a   procedure   for  an   application   by   the                 
  establishment of a charter school in that school district."                  
                                                                               
  SENATOR  SALO suggested  saying,  "prescribe an  application                 
  procedure."  Chairman  Rieger agreed.   It would then  read,                 
  "Each  local school  board  shall  prescribe an  application                 
  procedure for the establishment of a charter  school in that                 
  school  district."    CHAIRMAN RIEGER  referred  to  Senator                 
  Leman's concern and  said there is  a desire to address  it.                 
  He said, "The application procedure  must be sponsored by at                 
  least  one  parent of  a  perspective student  of  a charter                 
  school and one person  who is a perspective teacher  of that                 
  school."  SENATOR ELLIS  said he had proposed a  much higher                 
  and also  a  lower  standard in  a  previous  amendment  and                 
  neither was  adopted.   He indicated  he doesn't  agree with                 
  Chairman Rieger's suggestion.                                                
                                                                               
  SENATOR  LEMAN said  he  doesn't see  the  problem with  the                 
  organization and calling it a "board of directors."  He said                 
  he doesn't care what it is called.  They are operating under                 
  contract through  the school board,  and if  the problem  is                 
  with  calling  it a  board of  directors,  it can  be called                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  something else.  He said it will be a functioning group that                 
  will  execute on the contract.   It is going to maintain the                 
  highest level of local control  within the confines of  that                 
  contract.  He said he isn't so  concerned with the name.  It                 
  is the function that is important.  Senator Leman said there                 
  would  be  nine members,  and there  would  be at  least one                 
  parent  of  a  perspective  student,   and  one  perspective                 
  teacher.  It forms a nucleus  of people who are going to  be                 
  actively  involved  in the  school.   They  are going  to be                 
  interested in the success of that charter school.                            
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-25, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 001                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER said  language could  be included that  says                 
  that the application must include provisions for an academic                 
  policy committee consisting  of at  least three teachers  in                 
  the school or something similar.                                             
                                                                               
  Chairman Rieger suggested that on page 7, at the end of line                 
  4, insert "The  application must  include provisions for  an                 
  academic policy  committee consisting of faculty and parents                 
  of the school."   SENATOR SHARP asked if there would  be one                 
  for  the  whole school  district  or  if an  applicant  must                 
  consist of  an academic  policy committee  for the  proposed                 
  charter  school.   Chairman  Rieger said  it  isn't for  the                 
  people submitting  the application,  it is  to provide  that                 
  when  a  school is  established  that there  be  an academic                 
  policy committee to  guide the  school through its  charter.                 
  The committee would give additional input to  make sure that                 
  whatever  the  charter   school  is  attempting  to   do  is                 
  implemented.                                                                 
                                                                               
  SENATOR LEMAN said he doesn't have an objection to replacing                 
  "board of directors" with "academic policy committee" if the                 
  function remains the same.                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR SALO said if that is adopted, then on page 10, "(4)"                 
  under the definitions section, the academic policy committee                 
  should be described the way Chairman Rieger just did.                        
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN said what Senator  Leman is proposing is that                 
  all the language on page 7 would remain.  The wording "board                 
  of   directors"  would  be   changed  to   "academic  policy                 
  committee."   He  indicated he  isn't  very enthused  by the                 
  suggestion.  He said nothing is  being changed.  There would                 
  still  be  competing boards.   SENATOR  LEMAN  said it  is a                 
  function that is under contract to  the school board and the                 
  function is restrictive by the contract and the legislation.                 
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER said he would like  to offer a final version                 
  of  that  language to  say,  "The applications  must include                 
  provisions for  an academic policy  committee consisting  of                 
  faculty and parents of the school."                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATOR ELLIS said he is becoming confused and suggested the                 
  amendment be in written form.  Chairman Rieger said he would                 
  have it in written form and suggested reaching a  conceptual                 
  agreement.   SENATOR DUNCAN asked Chairman Rieger if what he                 
  initially suggested in the amendment remains.  He also asked                 
  if Chairman Rieger  is just suggesting changing  language on                 
  lines 3  and 4, on  page 7.   CHAIRMAN RIEGER said  there is                 
  also something on  page 6.   He referred  to Senator  Salo's                 
  suggestion on page 10,  lines 15 and 16, and  said "academic                 
  policy committee"  means "A group  supervising the  academic                 
  operation of the school to help ensure that the measure of a                 
  charter school is fulfilled."                                                
                                                                               
  SENATOR SALO indicated  she has a concern  regarding page 9,                 
  lines 22 and 23,  "(c) In addition to other  requirements of                 
  law, a charter school may not discriminate in  the selection                 
  of  students  on  the  basis  of  intelligence, achievement,                 
  aptitude, or athletic ability."  She  asked if the part that                 
  reads  "In addition  to other  requirements of  the law"  is                 
  meant to encompass race, religion,  etc.  Senator Salo  said                 
  she would like that section to be specific.  Chairman Rieger                 
  said he wouldn't be opposed to Senator Salo's suggestion.                    
                                                                               
  Number 093                                                                   
                                                                               
  Chairman Rieger moved the amendment.  He said on age 6, line                 
  30 and 31, as revised would read "...established as provided                 
  under sections 12 - 19 of the Act upon the application for a                 
  charter  school  and  the  approval   of  the  local  school                 
  board..."  Page  7, lines 3 -  4 would read "(b)  Each local                 
  school board  shall prescribe an  application procedure  for                 
  the establishment of a charter school in that district.  The                 
  application must include  provisions for an  academic policy                 
  committee consisting of faculty and parents of the school.                   
                                                                               
  Senator Salo referred to page 7, line 1, "The State Board of                 
  Education may  not approve more  than 40 charter  schools to                 
  operate in  the state  at any  one time."   She  suggested a                 
  pilot  program to  find out how  the schools  will function.                 
  She suggested changing "40 to "10."  Chairman Rieger said he                 
  doesn't feel it  is necessary  to say "pilot"  as the  whole                 
  program is a pilot program because it repeals in four years.                 
  There was discussion regarding the repeal date.                              
                                                                               
  Chairman Rieger continued to explain the proposed amendment.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Page 7, lines 15-16                                                          
       Delete "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 boards of a"                              
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked Senator Salo if she would like move to                 
  amend the amendment.  SENATOR SALO  referred to lines 22 and                 
  23 and moved to change the wording to read "a charter school                 
  must be non-sectarian and may not discriminate  on the basis                 
  of race, religion,  intelligence, achievement, aptitude,  or                 
  athletic  ability."    SENATOR  ELLIS  suggested   including                 
  gender.   SENATOR  DUNCAN suggested  including disabilities.                 
  SENATOR MILLER said  sometimes when the lists  are expanded,                 
  the courts look  at the list as  all inclusive.  He  said we                 
  must comply with federal law anyway.   SENATOR SALO said the                 
  present laws don't necessarily include discrimination on the                 
  basis of the four things that  are in current section "(c)."                 
  SENATOR SHARP said that would probably make a charter school                 
  less desirable.  He said why  would parents be interested in                 
  establishing a charter school if it didn't have something to                 
  do with the  items listed.  If  you are going to  maintain a                 
  leveling effect in  a charter  school, you may  as well  not                 
  have  a  charter  school.    If  there  isn't  a goal  or  a                 
  particular agenda that  is different  from what the  overall                 
  school board agenda is, what would  be the purpose.  SENATOR                 
  ELLIS said it would be  O.K. to set up a school for math and                 
  science, or  computers,  if the  kids were  picked on  their                 
  interest to go there.  SENATOR SALO said  she believes it is                 
  important  to include  a nondiscriminatory clause.   SENATOR                 
  SHARP asked how a  school can be set up  targeting a special                 
  skill  or  goal if  you  eliminate anyone  that  has special                 
  aptitude or achievements.   CHAIRMAN  RIEGER said he  thinks                 
  that there are two things that you  can be trying to achieve                 
  with  a charter  school.   You  can  be  trying to  give  an                 
  opportunity  to people  who have  demonstrated a  particular                 
  aptitude and they  are not receiving the  opportunities they                 
  want in the public  school system.  The other  purpose would                 
  still be allowed with  Senator Salo's amendment which is  to                 
  treat charter schools as demonstration  projects.  To show a                 
  different format  for education gives better  opportunity to                 
  everybody.                                                                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Number 363                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if there  was an objection to  Senator                 
  Salo's amendment to  the amendment.   Hearing no  objection,                 
  the motion carried.   Chairman Rieger asked if there  was an                 
  objection to the amendment.  SENATOR LEMAN objected.  A roll                 
  call vote was taken.  Senators Rieger, Sharp, Duncan, Ellis,                 
  Miller and Salo  voted in favor  of the amendment.   Senator                 
  Leman voted  against the  amendment.  So  the amendment  was                 
  adopted.                                                                     
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  referred  to Section  16, page  9, and  said                 
  there  is some language on line  31 that needs to be changed                 
  relating to the permanent charter school  board.  He said in                 
  an amendment by Senator Ellis there was a proposal to delete                 
  language on page  9, line  26 through page  10, line 2,  and                 
  replace  it with  other  language.   He questioned  what the                 
  language  in  subsection "(b)"  means,  "(b) After  June 30,                 
  1993, a  local school  board may  not negotiate  or renew  a                 
  provision in a negotiated agreement or collective bargaining                 
  agreement that grants  a teacher  a right to  transfer to  a                 
  charter school based on seniority."  He said Senator  Ellis'                 
  language  is  worthy  of  consideration.     Senator  Ellis'                 
  language was "(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."                                            
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER  asked Mr. Barry to explain why the language                 
  in "(b)" was included in the bill.  MR. BARRY said it is his                 
  understanding that the local school  board may not negotiate                 
  or renew a provision in a negotiated agreement or collective                 
  bargaining agreement that  grants the  teacher the right  to                 
  transfer.  Members  of the Alaska 2000 Committee didn't want                 
  it  to be  set up so  that the  board would be  allowing the                 
  transfer of  teachers.   Chairman Rieger  asked if  teachers                 
  have  the  right  to  choose  their  school  in  negotiation                 
  contracts.  SENATOR SALO said in  most contracts, there is a                 
  section that deals  with transfer  rights so that  if a  job                 
  becomes open in a certain school,  the school district has a                 
  procedure or a means of deciding who, amongst ten applicants                 
  that applied for it,  have rights.  In some districts  it is                 
  wide open  to administrative  discussion.   Mr. Barry  noted                 
  that there are  also involuntary transfers.   SENATOR DUNCAN                 
  indicated concern with  the section  as it says  you can  no                 
  longer negotiate transfers based on seniority.                               
                                                                               
  SENATOR  SALO said  she  would like  to  offer an  amendment                 
  saying  that  all provisions  in  a negotiated  agreement or                 
  collective  bargaining  agreement  shall  apply  to  charter                 
  school teachers and school employees except where provisions                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  of the negotiated agreement have been altered to accommodate                 
  the mission  of the  charter school,  and that  agreement to                 
  change  the  negotiated  terms of  employment  must  be done                 
  between the  bargaining agent  and the  local school  board.                 
  She indicated that the agreement  couldn't be changed unless                 
  both  sides  agree.   Senator  Salo  said a  charter  school                 
  provision  should  not   be  an  end-run  on   a  negotiated                 
  agreement.   Senator Salo said she  thinks wording should be                 
  added to say  that a negotiated agreement remains  in effect                 
  unless  there  is   agreement  to  change  it  in  order  to                 
  accomplish the mission of the  charter school.  The language                 
  should read, "All  provisions of  a negotiated agreement  or                 
  collective  bargaining  agreement  shall  apply  to  charter                 
  schools and charter  school employees  unless exemptions  to                 
  that (those)  agreements are agreed  to by the  district and                 
  the recognized employee bargaining unit(s)."                                 
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-26, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 031                                                                   
                                                                               
  An at  ease was  taken for  the purpose  of copying  Senator                 
  Salo's proposed amendment.                                                   
                                                                               
  When the meeting  was called back to  order, Chairman Rieger                 
  indicated that the members had Amendment #12 by Senator Salo                 
  before  them.   He  said he  will  rule that  Senator Salo's                 
  language  would  be   inserted  as  "(b)"  after   the  word                 
  "assignment" on line 25.   SENATOR SALO asked if the current                 
  wording  in "(b)" would  stay in the  bill as  is.  Chairman                 
  Rieger  said  it  would  as there  wouldn't  be  a conflict.                 
  Senator Salo said they do conflict as all provisions include                 
  transfer provisions.   Chairman Rieger said he  doesn't read                 
  the existing  "(b)" as  overriding any  existing provisions.                 
  Senator  Salo  said  it  limits  the  scope  of  bargaining.                 
  Chairman Rieger said he wouldn't   have a problem if Senator                 
  Salo moved to delete the existing "(b)."  Senator Salo moved                 
  to delete  the  current  "(b)" and  insert  the  new  "(b)."                 
  Chairman Rieger said  the motion  on the table  is to  amend                 
  Amendment #12 to add deletion of  the existing "(b)."  There                 
  was  objection.   A  roll  call  vote was  taken.   Senators                 
  Rieger, Duncan, Ellis and Salo voted in favor of the motion.                 
  Senators Sharp and Miller  were against the motion.   So the                 
  motion carried.                                                              
                                                                               
  Number 118                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER moved to amend page  9, line 29, by deleting                 
  the words "the same" and inserting "an equivalent."  Hearing                 
  no objection, the amendment was adopted.                                     
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN moved  on page 9, line  31, delete "permanent                 
  charter school board" and insert  "charter school."  Hearing                 
  no objection, the motion passed.                                             
                                                                               
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked  if there were any other amendments to                 
  Amendment  #12.  There being none,  he asked if there was an                 
  objection to Amendment #12.  Hearing no objection, Amendment                 
                                                                               
  SENATOR SALO moved to amend page 7, line 1, by changing "40"                 
  to "20."  There were objections to  her motion.  A roll call                 
  vote was  taken.  Senators  Rieger, Duncan,  Ellis and  Salo                 
  were in  favor of  the motion.   Senators  Sharp, Leman  and                 
  Miller were against the motion.  So the motion carried.                      
                                                                               
  Number 196                                                                   
                                                                               
  The next section of  SB 61 the HESS Committee  addressed was                 
  advisory school  boards.  SENATOR  SALO indicated she  had a                 
  proposed  amendment.  She said her idea  was to add a clause                 
  that  didn't  force   the  creation  of  another   layer  of                 
  bureaucracy but  instead validates the  existence of already                 
  active parent involvement  groups.   Her amendment would  be                 
  "The  following  are exempt  from  the requirements  of this                 
  section:  1.  A school district that has only one school and                 
  has a school  board; and 2.  A school in  which there is  an                 
  existing parent advisory group."  She explained that if they                 
  didn't have a  functioning parent advisory group,  then they                 
  would  follow  the  provisions of  the  new  statute in  the                 
  formation  of one.   If a  school had  a very active  PTA, a                 
  portion or all of  its parent advisory group might  serve in                 
  that capacity without having to create a new group.                          
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked Senator Salo  how she would define  an                 
  "existing  parent  advisory group."    Senator Salo  said it                 
  would be a group that has officers and regular meetings.  An                 
  unidentified  speaker  indicated   that  there  is  existing                 
  language in statute  that defines "parent advisory  group."                  
  Senator Salo read from statute:  "advisory school boards and                 
  borough school board  - a borough school district  board may                 
  establish advisory school boards, and by a regulation, shall                 
  prescribe their  manner of  selection, organization,  powers                 
  and duties."   She said  she doesn't believe  that helps  in                 
  this case because  it is the  motivation for her  amendment.                 
  In her experience, those advisory  school boards, which were                 
  created by the districts, had an entirely different function                 
  and purpose than the groups that were purely parental groups                 
  such  as  the  PTA.   Often,  those  groups  were owned  and                 
  controlled by the administration that had formed them versus                 
  the  parent groups  that had  formed purely  to  support the                 
  school's mission  of education.   Senator  Salo referred  to                 
  testimony by Abby Hensley and pointed  out that she had said                 
  the  PTA  could serve  in this  capacity  and has,  in other                 
  instances, for Chapter 1.  She  indicated Chapter 1 has some                 
  very  strict  guidelines  about who  should  serve  on those                 
  boards.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Chairman  Rieger  recommended   the  following   definition:                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  "parent advisory group  means a group which is recognized by                 
  the school  as  representative of  parents  having  children                 
  attending the school which has regular meetings and to which                 
  membership  is  open  to  all  parents within  the  school's                 
  attendance area."  Chairman Rieger said the definition would                 
  be inserted on  page 10, line 19.  Chairman  Rieger asked if                 
  there was an  objection to the  amendment to Amendment  #13.                 
  Hearing no objection,  the motion carried.   Chairman Rieger                 
  asked if there was an objection to the adoption of Amendment                 
                                                                               
  Number 315                                                                   
                                                                               
  Chairman Rieger indicated that SB 61 would be held until the                 
  next meeting and if there were any more proposed amendments,                 
  it would be appropriate to bring them forward then.                          

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