Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/17/1993 01:33 PM HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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.