Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/07/1995 03:10 PM House HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
           HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES                         
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                      
                         March 7, 1995                                         
                           3:10 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Cynthia Toohey, Co-Chair                                       
 Representative Con Bunde, Co-Chair                                            
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 Representative Gary Davis                                                     
 Representative Norman Rokeberg                                                
 Representative Caren Robinson                                                 
 Representative Tom Brice                                                      
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 * HB 168:    "An Act relating to temporary permits for certain                
              HEARD AND HELD                                                   
 HB 182:      "An Act allowing a dentist to delegate certain duties            
              to a dental assistant."                                          
              PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                          
 * HB 217:    "An Act relating to employment of teachers."                     
              HEARD AND HELD                                                   
 * HB 215:    "An Act relating to suspension of a student from a               
              public school."                                                  
              PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                          
 * HJR 17:    Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the                
              State of Alaska relating to education.                           
              FAILED TO PASS OUT OF COMMITTEE                                  
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 DR. ROY BOX, Optometrist                                                      
 Eyewear Center Southeast                                                      
 9309 Glacier Highway, Suite A102                                              
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 789-3175                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 168.                          
 CATHERINE REARDON, Director                                                   
 Division of Occupational Licensing                                            
 Department of Commerce                                                        
 9th Floor, State Office Building                                              
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2534                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information for HB 168.                         
 SAM KITO, Lobbyist                                                            
 Representing the Alaska Dental Society                                        
 227 4th Street                                                                
 Juneau, AK  99081                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 586-6253                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 182.                          
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN                                                      
 Room 503, State Capitol                                                       
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4942                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided sponsor statement for HB 217.                   
 CARL ROSE, Executive Director                                                 
 Association of Alaska School Boards                                           
 316 W. 11th Street                                                            
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 586-1083                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 217.                          
 SHEILA PETERSEN, Special Assistant to the Commissioner                        
 Department of Education                                                       
 801 West 10th Street, Suite 200                                               
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2803                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 217.                                     
 STEVE McPHETRES, Executive Director                                           
 Alaska Council of School Administrators                                       
 364 4th Street, Suite 404                                                     
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 586-9702                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 217.                            
 CLAUDIA DOUGLAS, President                                                    
 National Education Association, Alaska                                        
 114 Second Street                                                             
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 586-3090                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 217, in support of HB 215,               
                      and against HJR 17.                                      
 VERNON MARSHALL, Executive Director                                           
 National Education Association, Alaska                                        
 114 Second Street                                                             
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 586-3090                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information for HB 217.                         
 DUANE GUILEY, Director of School Finance                                      
 Department of Education                                                       
 Goldbelt Building                                                             
 801 W. 10th Street, Second Floor                                              
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 465-8679                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HJR 17.                                     
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB 168                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 02/08/95       273    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/08/95       273    (H)   HES, L&C                                          
 03/07/95              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 182                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) TOOHEY,Nicholia                                 
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 02/15/95       369    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/15/95       370    (H)   HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES               
 02/23/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/02/95              (H)   HES AT 02:30 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/02/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/04/95              (H)   HES AT 09:00 AM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/07/95              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 217                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS OF TEACHERS                                    
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) IVAN                                            
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 03/01/95       531    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/01/95       531    (H)   HES, JUDICIARY                                    
 03/07/95              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 215                                                                
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 03/01/95       530    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/01/95       530    (H)   HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES               
 03/07/95              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HJR 17                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: CONTROL & FUNDING OF PUB & PVT SCHOOLS                           
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) VEZEY                                           
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG              ACTION                                      
 01/19/95        81    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/19/95        81    (H)   HES, JUD                                          
 02/28/95              (H)   HES AT 03:30 PM CAPITOL 124                       
 02/28/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/07/95              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 95-15, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR CYNTHIA TOOHEY called the meeting of the House HESS                  
 standing committee to order at 3:10 p.m.  Members present at the              
 call to order were Representatives Bunde, Toohey, Rokeberg and                
 Robinson.  Co-Chair Toohey announced that a quorum was present to             
 conduct business and read the calendar.                                       
 HHES - 03/07/95                                                               
 HB 168 - PERMITS FOR NONRESIDENT OPTOMETRISTS                               
 Number 070                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said HB 168 was introduced by the House HESS                  
 Committee at the request of the Alaska Optometrists Association.              
 This bill is very similar to Section 3 of HB 507, which passed the            
 House last year with 39 "yeas" and one "absent."  The bill was                
 awaiting calendaring in the Senate Rules Committee when the session           
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY explained that the passage of this bill would allow           
 for a locum tenens permit to be issued to a nonresident optometrist           
 for the purpose of assisting or substituting for an optometrist               
 license under AS 08.72.                                                       
 Number 124                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY continued that Alaska has many solo practitioners             
 in remote and semi-remote areas of the state.  If the practitioner            
 becomes injured, seriously ill or must leave temporarily, he or she           
 presently must close down the clinic.  This can be a hardship to              
 patients, especially if the time away extends for several months.             
 Also, this bill would allow for outside specialists in sub-normal             
 visual therapy, etc., to be scheduled to assist local doctors with            
 specialty care where this specialty care does not now exist.                  
 Number 182                                                                    
 DR. ROY BOX, optometrist, said the problem lies in the fact that              
 there are only 50 optometrists practicing in the state of Alaska.             
 Some of them are in locations which are difficult to service.  If             
 optometrists had the ability to do what physicians and dentists can           
 now do, it would make it much easier to maintain an even practice             
 flow when an optometrist is forced to leave town for any reason.              
 These permits are not an uncommon idea in the provision of health             
 care.  This is just an addition to the privileges provided in the             
 Alaska Optometric Act.                                                        
 Number 263                                                                    
 CATHERINE REARDON, Director, Division of Occupational Licensing               
 (DOL), Department of Commerce, said the department is taking a                
 neutral position on this bill and has submitted a zero fiscal note            
 because it thinks it can absorb the costs of issuing these                    
 licenses.  Ms. Reardon did want to bring one issue to the attention           
 of the HESS Committee members.  The Alaska statute permits Alaska             
 licensed optometrists to prescribe drugs if they have received an             
 additional certification.  Some of the states from which the locum            
 tenens optometrists will be coming may also have a prescribing                
 provision for their optometrists.                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS joined the meeting at 3:15 p.m.                     
 MS. REARDON continued that there was a question of whether these              
 temporary optometrists should be able to prescribe drugs in Alaska            
 if they have received training comparable to the Alaska                       
 Number 340                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked what Ms. Reardon's recommendation would be to            
 resolve this dilemma.                                                         
 MS. REARDON thought that language could be added which said if a              
 person has received training comparable to the requirements of                
 Alaska statute they may be granted the temporary right to prescribe           
 drugs in Alaska.  She offered to work on this language if it was              
 the wish of the HESS Committee members.                                       
 DR. BOX said there are now 41 states that license optometrists to             
 prescribe drugs, and 5 more laws are pending.  New Zealand and                
 Australia were included in this bill because their laws are similar           
 to Alaska's.  In New Zealand, Dr. Box believes optometrists have              
 the right to prescribe drugs, whereas in Australia they do not have           
 those privileges.                                                             
 DR. BOX thinks that this could be handled in the board regulations            
 that are written for the bill.  He does not think that a person who           
 is not licensed to prescribe drugs in his or her home area should             
 be allowed that privilege in Alaska.                                          
 Number 430                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG asked if this could be solved with             
 a simple amendment to the effect that a person's training has to              
 meet similar standards of Alaska optometrists.                                
 DR. BOX said currently, there are three classes of optometric                 
 licenses in Alaska.  There are optometrists who are not licensed to           
 use any drugs in their practice.  There are those who are licensed            
 only to use diagnostic drugs, so they may dilate pupils, etc.                 
 Finally, there are licenses to treat eye disease.  Those                      
 classifications are going to slowly but surely go away because all            
 new licensees must have a full education.  These classifications              
 were not grandfathered in when these laws were amended.                       
 DR. BOX expects that in five years, there will not be any                     
 optometrists practicing in Alaska that do not have a full                     
 therapeutic license.  At this point, however, these classifications           
 complicate things.                                                            
 Number 500                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE thought language could be crafted concerning                   
 reciprocity, and stipulating that privileges must be similar to               
 those allowed in the temporary optometrist's home state.  However,            
 Co-Chair Bunde would prefer it if Dr. Box and Ms. Reardon could               
 bring this language back to the HESS Committee members at the next            
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if Dr. Box and Ms. Reardon would work                   
 together on this task.                                                        
 Number 558                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG was looking at the days of excused absence            
 allowed for in HB 168.  The bill allows for a maximum of 180                  
 consecutive days of excused absence.  He asked if there are                   
 situations in which there is educational programming that may go on           
 for an entire school year, perhaps for nine months.  He asked if              
 the bill would be restrictive in this respect.                                
 DR. BOX said he did not think this would be a problem, and that 180           
 days would cover educational programs.                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG was concerned about the length of time used           
 for post-graduate studies.                                                    
 DR. BOX said most post-graduate education courses offered are, at             
 a maximum, two months long.                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY announced that the bill was being held.                       
 HHES - 03/07/95                                                               
 HB 182 - DELEGATION OF DUTIES TO DENTAL ASSISTANTS                          
 Number 647                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said that following the subcommittee meeting on HB
 182 which took place on Saturday, March 4, she would ask the HESS             
 Committee to pass out this bill as amended.  The subcommittee                 
 contends that the authority to license or otherwise regulate dental           
 assistants already rests with the Board of Dental Examiners.  Co-             
 Chair Toohey hopes that after HB 182 becomes law, the board will              
 work with the affected groups to come up with some guidelines or              
 regulations that satisfy everyone.                                            
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said that the subcommittee found that the Board of            
 Dental Examiners does have regulating powers and it, not the                  
 legislature, should be regulating those under its control.  On page           
 121 of the regulations, number 11 states that the dental board has            
 the authority to issue permits or certificates to license dentists,           
 dental hygienists and dental assistants who meet standards                    
 determined by the board for specific procedures that require                  
 specific education and training.                                              
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said that is where the subcommittee made its                  
 Number 755                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said she would like the bill to pass as amended,              
 and then the board should be directed to come up with its                     
 recommendations as to implementation.                                         
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked to clarify what was occurring.  First, Co-               
 Chair Toohey would like to amend HB 182 for federal dentists.                 
 Then, if the bill passes, it would be the will of the HESS                    
 Committee members that the dental board promulgate regulations that           
 would or would not allow the application of sealants, etc., by                
 dental assistants, as they see fit.  This is an enabling kind of              
 bill, the bill is not a mandate.                                              
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said it was discovered from conversations with                
 dental clinics that there is a stack of Occupational Safety and               
 Health Administration (OSHA) regulations in clinics that dental               
 assistants are obliged to read, follow and sign off on.  Indeed,              
 they have an incredible amount of training.                                   
 Number 844                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE moved that HB 182 be adopted.                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said that as Co-Chair Toohey mentioned, if            
 the proper board has the power to make these regulatory changes,              
 why is this statute being passed?                                             
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY answered that the bill allows federal dentists who            
 practice under the Indian Health Service (IHS) to delegate                    
 authorities to dental assistants.                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the word "or" was being removed              
 from Amendment 1.                                                             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the amendment had not yet been adopted, and               
 moved that Amendment 1 be adopted so that discussion may begin.               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked for discussion.                                         
 Number 910                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said Amendment 1 spoke of an assistant to             
 a licensed dentist under that statute, or a federal dentist.                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE continued "...or a dentist licensed under the Alaska           
 statute which regards the IHS."                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said that Amendment 1 had been adopted at last                
 week's meeting.  A Committee Substitute (CS) for HB 182 was now               
 being used.                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the intention of the bill is to              
 just exempt the federal dentists.                                             
 Number 963                                                                    
 SAM KITO, Lobbyist, representing the Alaska Dental Society, said              
 the language in the statute is neither permissive or restrictive in           
 the sense that the language is not present.  But rather than have             
 the legislature, through statute, mandate that these dental                   
 assistants must be licensed to perform the duties in question, the            
 language says, "This section does not prohibit a dental assistant             
 from applying these agents."                                                  
 MR. KITO said that allows, with specificity, that the board can or            
 cannot make that determination as they see fit under the law.  It             
 is not being said through statute that the board must do something.           
 The board will make its determinations.  But because what dental              
 assistants can or cannot do is not specifically addressed under               
 statute, the board can make a determination either way.                       
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked what would occur if the board did not           
 want dental assistants to perform specific duties.                            
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY answered that such decisions are up to the board.             
 MR. KITO said that the statute does not say dental assistants or              
 the board cannot do anything.  It is up to the board to make those            
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said this does not give the dental                    
 assistants, without the proper regulatory framework, permission to            
 MR. KITO said the board oversees whether dentists want or do not              
 want to delegate these duties.                                                
 Number 1035                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said the opinion from the board concerning its                
 authority to grant licenses and permits was given in 1988.  This              
 authority has been known by the dental community for quite awhile,            
 and the repercussions have been tossed about for the last seven               
 years.  Therefore, Co-Chair Toohey feels that HB 182 and the                  
 contentions with dental assistant competency is being placed where            
 it belongs.                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS thought the amendment was adding to the             
 bill, when in fact it is deleting exemptions.                                 
 Number 1082                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that both he and Representative Davis were at             
 another committee meeting when the amendment was adopted.  The only           
 action now necessary is to vote on CSHB 182(HES).  He moved that              
 the bill, as amended, move from the HESS Committee with individual            
 recommendations.  There were no objections and the bill was passed            
 from committee.                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY passed the gavel to Co-Chair Bunde for the                    
 remainder of the meeting.                                                     
 Number 1123                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced that Representative Davis joined the                 
 meeting at 3:15 p.m., and Representative Brice joined the meeting             
 at 3:25 p.m.                                                                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said it was not his intention to move HB 215, HB 217           
 or HJR 17 out of the committee today.  These hearings are for                 
 discussion only.                                                              
 HHES - 03/07/95                                                               
 HB 217 - EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS OF TEACHERS                                      
 Number 1178                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said he introduced this bill to allow school              
 districts some flexibility to deal with rising enrollments and                
 increased costs associated with the educational system.  Should the           
 legislature decide not to increase educational funding, policy                
 questions, such as the one proposed in HB 217, need to be                     
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said this bill would allow school districts to            
 layoff teachers who have acquired tenure rights, but only if the              
 school district finds it necessary to reduce the number of teachers           
 due to declining enrollment, declining revenues, or to better meet            
 the academic program needs of the district.                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said the bill also increases tenure from two to           
 five years, and removes the costly trial de novo portion of Alaska            
 statute.  Trial de novo allows a school district employee who is              
 not satisfied with the district investigation of his or her                   
 release, to go to the court system and begin an entirely new trial.           
 Number 1253                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN continued the district investigation most often           
 must be recreated.  This bill would eliminate the de novo portion             
 if the school district investigation has met standards acceptable             
 to the court.  The deletion of the trial de novo allows educators             
 the same protections as provided to other state employees.                    
 Number 1312                                                                   
 CARL ROSE, Executive Director of the Association of Alaska School             
 Boards (AASB), said that as many are aware, some of the issues                
 contained in the bill have been a concern of the AASB for some                
 time.  Probably, these issues have been focused on more this year             
 because of the legislature's concern to decrease spending and the             
 appropriation for education in this state.                                    
 MR. ROSE asked to comment on specific portions of the bill.  He               
 said there are some things the AASB is asking for, and he would               
 like to share some philosophical comments with the HESS Committee             
 members, as well as the information the AASB has gathered.                    
 MR. ROSE based his discussion of the bill on fairness.  When the              
 acquisition of tenure is studied, the issue is one of fairness, not           
 necessarily to the school district or the profession, but to the              
 new teacher that is entering the profession.  Tenure is achieved              
 after two years of employment.                                                
 MR. ROSE said new teachers have invested time and effort to get an            
 education, and under a two-year scenario, the administration will             
 only have about 18 months to decide whether this person is beyond             
 the standard in which it wants to invest tenure.  If there is a               
 question whether this young teacher is suitable to be in the                  
 classroom as exemplified by behavior and character; and there is a            
 question of whether the administration wants to invest in the                 
 lifetime employment of this person; the person should probably not            
 receive tenure.                                                               
 MR. ROSE said unfortunately, that is what many school districts are           
 doing.  If the administration is not completely sure, it is not               
 going to extend this probationary period.  Mr. Rose thinks it is              
 very unfair for a person who invests at least four years in an                
 education to not have the opportunity to be successful and get the            
 kind of professional development and experience needed.                       
 Number 1406                                                                   
 MR. ROSE continued that is why the issue of tenure and extension              
 has been raised, and the AASB is asking for five years.  This has             
 been a standard for some time as a resolution.  The issue is open             
 for negotiation, but more time is needed.  He understands that the            
 concern will rise about what will be done with the additional time.           
 Will better evaluation processes be provided?  The AASB would love            
 to work on that.  Unfortunately, the AASB is under the same                   
 constraints from the legislature.  The first thing they hear about            
 is administration excess.                                                     
 MR. ROSE added that the administration performs the evaluation.               
 When administration is reduced, the AASB is facing the dilemma once           
 again.  What can be done with the additional time can be discussed.           
 Options are to invest it in evaluation or observation and the                 
 provision of professional development through inservice training to           
 improve the quality of instruction.  This is what the AASB desires,           
 and it is open to discussion on these topics.                                 
 Number 1450                                                                   
 MR. ROSE talked about layoffs.  He said because there is a lack of            
 funding, it is not the intent to teach more kids with less                    
 teachers.  More teachers are needed.  Unfortunately, the money is             
 a problem.  In many school districts, schools cannot keep the staff           
 they currently have without more money.  Some of the school                   
 districts, under the requirements of tenure, do not have the                  
 latitude to lay off some of the tenure staff.  There is no                    
 reduction in enrollment, but there is a reduction in revenue.                 
 MR. ROSE reminded the HESS Committee members that under current               
 law, there are four reasons why a tenure teacher can be                       
 nonretained:  Incompetence, substantial noncompliance with statutes           
 and regulations, immorality, and enrollment decline.                          
 MR. ROSE explained that HB 217 proposes to add fairness to this               
 equation.  It would essentially say that the first three areas of             
 noncompliance, incompetence and immorality are professional and               
 performance standards that should be evaluated.  But nonenrollment            
 and revenue decline are economic circumstances.  No one should be             
 nonretained, as would be done with a felon, because of economic               
 problems.  Instead, a layoff provision should be created within               
 statute that addresses that economic shortfall.                               
 MR. ROSE continued by saying the bill directs the Department of               
 Education (DOE) to promulgate regulations that will protect tenure            
 teacher rights on layoff status.  These regulations would also                
 invoke a rehire provision so laid-off teachers are protected.  It             
 is open for debate whether these layoff provisions will have a time           
 limit.  The promulgation of these regulations should address this.            
 Number 1535                                                                   
 MR. ROSE thinks the issue is really one of fairness.  The three               
 issues of nonretention should remain as a performance standard.               
 The two issues that are economic should be moved to layoff status             
 so it gives school districts the ability to address their economic            
 MR. ROSE concluded by discussing the de novo issue.  Documentation            
 could be found in the HESS Committee members' bill packets.  This             
 documentation is from last year.  De novo trials occurred in five             
 school districts in seven cases.  The total cost to those districts           
 (and some of those cases are not yet resolved) is $721,000.  This             
 is a very costly situation.                                                   
 MR. ROSE explained that under state law, if you are a tenured                 
 teacher, you have a right to judicial review if you are                       
 nonretained.  Normally, if you are nonretained, a hearing is held             
 within three to six months.  The school district's attorney and the           
 defendant's attorney will call witnesses and make a case.  The case           
 will be delivered to a hearing officer and the teacher will be                
 adjudicated.  If the outcome of that hearing is not in favor of the           
 teacher, the teacher has a right to a trial de novo in superior               
 court.  This means a new trial.                                               
 Number 1620                                                                   
 MR. ROSE said that normally that trial takes place in three to four           
 years.  A new trial means that anything put on the record during              
 the hearing is not admissible in the new trial.  This is a new                
 trial.  Attorneys must find people who may have graduated or moved,           
 three to four years later.  Another issue is the judge may not be             
 educated on what is going on in the school districts.  A hearing              
 officer normally has some idea of the operations of school                    
 MR. ROSE said basically, what happens is this:  Three to four years           
 later, the record must be recreated and the school board's case for           
 nonretention must be substantiated.  If the atmosphere under which            
 the nonretention occurred cannot be recreated, and the decision is            
 overturned, the teacher is normally paid for the years that he or             
 she was not working.  The teacher is then placed back into the                
 classroom, never to be reprimanded again for fear of harassment               
 MR. ROSE assured the HESS Committee members that this is a very               
 real situation.  He allowed that these are the worst-case                     
 scenarios, but these things are crippling the school districts.               
 The AASB is asking people to understand what the trial de novo                
 does.  Tenured teachers receive this privilege when no other state            
 employee does.  State employees go through the hearing process.               
 They have a right to appeal to a superior court.  The superior                
 court reviews the record of the agency's hearing and decides                  
 whether the state employee's due process rights have been abridged.           
 If not, the case stands.  They do not get a new trial.                        
 Number 1681                                                                   
 MR. ROSE provided the committee with an example.  Currently, O.J.             
 Simpson is being tried for murder.  A record is being established             
 right now.  Should he be convicted and want to appeal to a higher             
 court, he would never be able to ask for a new hearing where none             
 of the record was admissible for the court's review.  The                     
 principles of jurisprudence would never allow this.                           
 MR. ROSE said currently, the system allows a disgruntled tenured              
 teacher to have a trial de novo.  This is very costly.  In                    
 addition, there is often a failure on the part of the district to             
 recreate the same atmosphere four years later.  Finally, the                  
 district has already "shown its hand" during the hearing process.             
 The defendant knows the evidence against him or her.  He or she now           
 has the opportunity to defend him or herself three or four years              
 later because the school district cannot alter the record.  The               
 school district is bound by the record and cannot introduce new               
 MR. ROSE stressed that this situation is very restrictive.  He did            
 not know if the HESS Committee members were aware of this.                    
 However, people involved in schools are scared to nonretain a                 
 tenured teacher for fear of this situation.  The issue is really              
 one of quality instruction in the classroom.                                  
 MR. ROSE said the AASB has been trying to have the de novo issue              
 addressed for many years.  Currently, it is in a bill that has been           
 before the legislators for the last two sessions.  The AASB is                
 trying to address things that need to be in place so the quality of           
 education can be improved.                                                    
 Number 1780                                                                   
 MR. ROSE made one last point under the layoff provision.  There is            
 a point in the bill that speaks about program need.  Currently,               
 certificated employees of the state are endorsed by either                    
 elementary or secondary endorsements.  Legally, if a person has an            
 elementary or secondary endorsement, he or she is legally deemed an           
 appropriate classroom instructor.  The question for instruction               
 purposes needs to be whether elementary and secondary endorsements            
 are more appropriate than subject area endorsements.                          
 MR. ROSE said the AASB supports subject area endorsements.  It                
 would like to see HB 217 shown to the DOE.  It wants the DOE to               
 promulgate regulations and put together a system that recognizes              
 subject area endorsements rather than just elementary and                     
 secondary.  The reason is that the AASB believes the best form of             
 instruction in the future will lay with subject area endorsements.            
 Based on multiple endorsements, a person provides him or herself              
 with job security.                                                            
 MR. ROSE said right now, elementary and secondary endorsements are            
 not high enough standards to address instruction in the classroom.            
 The AASB would like to see that changed.  That portion of HB 217 is           
 MR. ROSE said the issue of program need cannot be addressed with              
 the passage of this bill.  School districts need to have this                 
 program, however.  It takes time to develop the recommendations and           
 the framework that establishes certification standards for                    
 endorsements.  If these things can be accomplished in a period of             
 two to three years, Mr. Rose can foresee subject area endorsements            
 being part of the layoff provision.  As it stands right now, it               
 will not work.                                                                
 Number 1821                                                                   
 MR. ROSE said the AASB has been talking to the DOE for some time.             
 The layoff provision has not yet been addressed.  Mr. Rose thinks             
 until the DOE is directed by legislation to develop those                     
 provisions, the DOE will not move.                                            
 Number 1833                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if a tenured teacher who had been laid off              
 would be the first hired under the provisions of HB 217 when                  
 funding or enrollment increases.                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said he could not fully answer that question.             
 But his feeling was that if a position opened, he did not see why             
 a laid-off teacher would not be brought back into the system if he            
 or she was a competent teacher, and if he or she knew the people              
 and the district.  He suspects such a teacher would be the school             
 district's first preference.                                                  
 MR. ROSE envisions that tenure would not be lost under this layoff            
 provision.  Seniority status would not be lost.  Hopefully, by the            
 time a layoff provision comes through, the AASB will be able to               
 establish subject endorsements.  If a position came open, the                 
 district would check its rehire list.  A teacher who had multiple             
 endorsements and seniority would presumably receive that position.            
 Number 1900                                                                   
 MR. ROSE said the issue is really with subject endorsements.                  
 Seniority will prevail in any layoff/rehire situation.  The AASB              
 wants to protect tenure and seniority rights.  It does not want to            
 nonretain anyone.  The ability to hire off the layoff list should             
 be based on endorsements.                                                     
 Number 1914                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if historically, tenure rights were             
 placed to protect free speech for professors and institutions of              
 learning.  There was a substantial threat to the academic integrity           
 of professors and teachers that could be compromised.                         
 MR. ROSE said Representative Rokeberg was correct.  The issues of             
 academic freedom and the protection of that freedom is one of the             
 reasons for tenure.                                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if there was a free speech problem              
 occurring in kindergartens in Alaska.                                         
 MR. ROSE said he supposed the HESS Committee members will hear                
 testimony that suggests that.  Mr. Rose does not view this freedom            
 of speech issue as a problem.  He does see some very restrictive              
 statutes that do not provide the AASB with the opportunity to                 
 function the way it would like.                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE suggested there are problems with threats            
 against freedom of speech.  For instance, he knows of an Alaskan              
 state senator who asked that certain teachers be removed because              
 students were writing letters which were in opposition to the                 
 senator's views.  Things like this still happen.                              
 Number 1995                                                                   
 MR. ROSE said HB 217 is addressing the acquisition of teachers,               
 layoff, and de novo.  It is not asking for the repeal of tenure.              
 He recognizes that tenure is an important part of the status quo in           
 education.  What this bill is trying to do is accommodate tenure              
 and still be able to manage the school district.                              
 Number 2010                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said he recently spoke with some of his former           
 principals.  These principals said they never had any problem                 
 finding out which teachers were good or bad, because they made the            
 effort to visit the classrooms.  They asked questions and performed           
 the appropriate evaluations.  This was never a problem for them.              
 Representative Brice asked why principals now cannot do their job             
 and evaluate these people in a timely manner, whereas principals 10           
 and 20 years ago could perform these tasks.  He said that perhaps             
 this issue needs to be addressed.                                             
 MR. ROSE replied he would not speak for principals.  He knows that            
 the cost of administration is high.  Former Juneau Mayor and                  
 Superintendent Bill Overstreet was very concerned about how much              
 administration was required today.  He said that when he was a                
 superintendent, he and three other administrators ran the entire              
 district.  Mr. Rose submitted to the HESS Committee members that 25           
 years ago, there were not as many mandates in place as there are              
 MR. ROSE said that schools are under siege, not only from unfunded            
 mandates, but from tremendous mandates that must be met.  Most of             
 these mandates require the AASB to comply or else funding will be             
 lost.  The penalties are the same whether the noncompliance is a              
 small or large issue.                                                         
 MR. ROSE continued that there is a tremendous responsibility for              
 administration.  The workload is quite large.  The ability to                 
 observe classrooms is hindered somewhat.  Mr. Rose will not say it            
 cannot be done, but there are other priorities in the school                  
 district now.  But for the most part, this observation is not a               
 problem until nonretainment is attempted.  This is a very costly              
 problem.  The system is very cut and dry concerning what can and              
 cannot be done once tenure has been granted.                                  
 Number 2102                                                                   
 MR. ROSE said the unfairness comes when a young teacher is never              
 given the opportunity to show what they can do before a verdict on            
 tenure is given.  Normally, the verdict is to nonretain unless the            
 administration is absolutely sure that this new teacher possesses             
 the ability to be successful.  Mr. Rose thinks it is unfair to                
 expect that in 16 to 18 months of performance.  And not all of that           
 performance takes place in the classroom.                                     
 Number 2122                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if this bill would impact urban and             
 rural areas of Alaska differently.                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said villages are very far removed, and there             
 are many rules, regulations, statutes and laws that must be                   
 followed.  In addition, English is the second language in many of             
 these areas.   When village advisory school boards meet, they find            
 the statutes that govern tenure laws or education are complicated.            
 When village or regional school boards try to develop an                      
 educational plan, there is a large fear of the unknown rules,                 
 regulations and statutes.  They fear liability through the                    
 necessary removal of teachers.                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN believes this legislation will give some                  
 flexibility and assurances to everyone concerned--parents,                    
 children, the community, teachers and administrators--that the                
 state is trying to develop a flexible environment.  The environment           
 must be flexible in the face of declining revenues and enrollment             
 which affect the rights of tenured teachers.                                  
 Number 2200                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE understood that first and second year teachers can             
 be fired essentially at the whim of the school board.                         
 MR. ROSE disagreed, and said that many of the same standards used             
 for tenured teachers have to be followed for the nonretainment of             
 a first or second year instructor.  However, these individuals do             
 not have to be provided with a hearing.  The teachers do have due             
 process rights, however.                                                      
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the bottom line is that if the school board               
 decides not to retain a first or second year instructor, they are             
 gone.  He asked if there were numbers on how many first and second            
 year teachers are not retained.                                               
 MR. ROSE said he did not have exact numbers, but the number has               
 grown considerably in the last five to ten years.                             
 Number 2235                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked how many districts and people were involved in           
 the de novo trials.                                                           
 MR. ROSE answered that documentation is in the bill packets.  The             
 de novo trials spoken of involve seven cases in five school                   
 districts.  He reminded HESS Committee members that some of those             
 trials are still unresolved, and those are not the only                       
 nonretention cases that are presently occurring.   These are only             
 happening in the five school districts that the AASB contacted.               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked about the history of the de novo trial.  The             
 privilege is different from that of other state employees.  Co-               
 Chair Bunde wondered why there originally was a difference.                   
 MR. ROSE did not know.  It has been a part of tenure law since the            
 inception of tenure.  The only concern of the AASB is that it and             
 the school districts are political subdivisions of the state.  If             
 they were recognized, like other state agencies, those hearings               
 would be a matter of the record.  The rules have changed when it              
 comes to tenure.                                                              
 TAPE 95-15, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 024                                                                    
 SHEILA PETERSEN, Special assistant to the Commissioner of                     
 Education, DOE, said all of the areas addressed in HB 217 have been           
 issues for many years.  Much of the public testimony that was taken           
 during a recent Alaska 2000 initiative dealt with tenure and tenure           
 rights.  Comments were heard from both sides, for and against                 
 change of tenure.                                                             
 MS. PETERSEN said that many felt two years was too short.  As Mr.             
 Rose indicated, it was felt that additional time was needed to make           
 that judgement.  HESS Committee members may be aware that last year           
 the DOE did propose to change tenure determinations to include some           
 parental and public involvement.  It is still a concern that the              
 public, who owns the educational system, presently has no mechanism           
 to become involved in the process of acquiring tenure.                        
 Number 109                                                                    
 MS. PETERSEN said it is important that these issues be discussed              
 and that everyone have their opinions and concerns expressed.  As             
 Mr. Rose and Representative Ivan indicated, HB 217 allows layoff              
 status for tenured teachers.  The DOE is charged with promulgating            
 these regulations that will set procedures for this layoff process.           
 If HB 217 is passed, the DOE would approach this writing of                   
 regulations very cautiously.  The State Board of Education (SBE)              
 would seek input from all sources on how to write these procedures.           
 MS. PETERSEN said the SBE would encourage educational                         
 organizations, the general public, parents and students to let the            
 DOE and the SBE know how these regulations should be written.  HB
 217 does represent a change from the status quo.  This change needs           
 to be looked at and analyzed very thoroughly.  However, sometimes             
 change is necessary.                                                          
 MS. PETERSEN said the Governor's and the DOE's paramount concern              
 with education is the funding.  They would like to see the                    
 legislature appropriate full funding for education, so the                    
 education available to students is excellent.  However, if full               
 funding is not available, the DOE feels that the school districts             
 need to have all the tools and options available to them to make              
 the right choices.  Maybe the changes in HB 217 will be in the                
 right direction.                                                              
 MS. PETERSEN remembered that Co-Chair Bunde said he did not plan on           
 passing the bill today.  If there is a group set aside to work on             
 the legislation, the DOE would be very interested in offering                 
 support and suggestions.                                                      
 Number 281                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE thanked Ms. Petersen and the DOE for that offer, and           
 promised that an invitation will be extended.  He asked if the DOE            
 would still support a tenure review committee that incorporated               
 public members.                                                               
 MS. PETERSEN responded that there is a new state board, and a new             
 commissioner that is starting work on Monday, March 13.  Therefore,           
 a formal position has not been taken.  However, the board and the             
 commissioner are leaning toward increased parent involvement.  They           
 have not looked at having a peer review committee for tenure or               
 having parent input, but they would like to extend the tenure                 
 option to include the input of parents.                                       
 Number 340                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if Ms. Petersen could give a history of the de           
 novo issue and why it exists in the first place.                              
 MS. PETERSEN apologized and said she could not.  She just heard the           
 comments of Mr. Rose, but exactly why it was established that way,            
 she does not know.  She also mentioned that the DOE does not                  
 maintain statistics on the number of teachers that have or have not           
 acquired tenure.                                                              
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if the restraints in the teaching system came           
 about because of the union representation.  She asked why there are           
 such restraints with the teaching profession.  If a person goes to            
 school and gets a law or nursing degree, he or she does not receive           
 such privileges as this.  She asked who has done this to the state            
 and to the teachers.                                                          
 Number 421                                                                    
 MS. PETERSEN said she could only hazard a guess that at the                   
 beginning, education was seen as a place to experiment and espouse            
 views that might be contrary to the establishment.  Possibly,                 
 tenure grew up because of that.  Educators wanted some protection             
 to assure that teachers would feel comfortable enough to buck                 
 society and the establishment for the betterment and growth of                
 their students and for personal growth.                                       
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE observed that tenure is mostly based on academic               
 freedom rather than job security.  However, one leads to the other.           
 Depending on the individual, one portion is more important than the           
 MS. PETERSEN said that as far as reduction of attendance, she can             
 only presume that when that was put into statute, there was a                 
 feeling that if there was a reduction in revenue, there would also            
 be a reduction in attendance.  It may have been assumed that both             
 issues were being addressed at the time when "reduction of                    
 attendance" was being written.  It may not have been projected that           
 there would be increased enrollment but decreased revenue.                    
 Number 540                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked Ms. Petersen to speculate on what would                 
 happen if the curriculum for all first through eighth grade                   
 students in the state was the same.  She asked if the problem would           
 then be eliminated.  She asked if a standardized curriculum would             
 eliminate the fear that educators are teaching children ridiculous            
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said there are districts where an educator might               
 feel that teaching HIV/AIDS would result in his or her being fired.           
 He does not think the state wants to mandate one curricula for all            
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said there are different factions with different              
 opinions about what should be taught in schools.                              
 Number 633                                                                    
 MS. PETERSEN explained that our system of education is strongly               
 controlled at the local level, not at the state level.  With that             
 local control, the curriculum is decided locally as well.  That is            
 a cornerstone of Alaska's education system.                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said if a teacher is hired by a school district to            
 represent the feelings of that district and the community, then the           
 teacher should also be fired for not teaching what that district              
 deems fit.  She asked Ms. Petersen if that was correct.                       
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Co-Chair Toohey what would happen if the                 
 district wanted the teacher to teach that the moon is made of green           
 MS. PETERSEN explained that under current statutes, if a teacher              
 has tenure, as Mr. Rose indicated, there are four reasons they can            
 be fired.  Prior to acquiring tenure, a teacher can be fired for              
 other reasons.  That has been established through state guidelines.           
 Number 695                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Ms. Petersen if she has any idea how            
 many certified yet unemployed teachers there are in the state of              
 MS. PETERSEN said she did not have exact figures, but the numbers             
 are very substantial.  She could get the exact number, and there              
 are many certified teachers employed in other professions or who              
 have chosen not to teach.  It is also possible that many teachers             
 are unemployed.  There is a large pool from which to draw certified           
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG clarified that therefore, there was no                
 shortage of teachers.                                                         
 MS. PETERSEN said there may be shortages in certain areas of the              
 state, and in certain areas of expertise.                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY joined the meeting at 4:10 p.m.                          
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE interjected that when Wasilla wanted to open a new             
 school they needed 30 teachers.  They had 3,000 applicants.  In               
 many places in rural Alaska, they still must recruit teachers from            
 the Lower 48 because they cannot find teachers who live in Alaska             
 that may want to work in the rural areas.                                     
 Number 800                                                                    
 STEVE McPHETRES, Executive Director of the Alaska Council of School           
 Administrators (ACSA), said he would like to be testifying for full           
 funding for education.  He truly believes that the short-funding of           
 education will be far more devastating than what HB 217 allows.               
 However, he hopes the arena will soon be created so he can testify            
 on that.                                                                      
 MR. McPHETRES said that his organization has, over the years,                 
 passed resolutions wishing for the extension of tenure to three to            
 five years.  In response to the questions of the HESS Committee               
 members concerning the length of time needed for observation, when            
 Bill Overstreet was superintendent of the Juneau schools, the                 
 district had very few students.  Since then, the enrollment numbers           
 have doubled, tripled and quadrupled.  The need for administration            
 has compounded.                                                               
 Number 865                                                                    
 MR. McPHETRES graduated from Juneau Douglas High School (JDHS) with           
 63 other students in his class.  Now, JDHS graduating classes                 
 number 300 students.  The education profession has become more                
 complex.  If one looks at the teacher training colleges, the                  
 preparation of teachers, the philosophies and the research, one               
 looks at teachers who are very well prepared and seated in                    
 education philosophies for individual children, and also founded in           
 sound research.                                                               
 MR. McPHETRES said a few years ago, that research was not available           
 to education students.  Now, people talk about how the brain works,           
 how the right and left sides of the brain interact, and all the               
 things that scientific research has proven.  Young people now have            
 more technical knowledge than education students of the past.                 
 MR. McPHETRES said there is a time of adjustment for new teachers             
 when they enter a classroom.  The first year of teaching is                   
 probably the most unique experience a person could have.  He has              
 experienced it several times, and his daughter experienced it this            
 last year.  Her experience was like a roller coaster.  She often              
 called her father in tears, or she would call him with the news               
 that something had worked in the classroom.  The first year                   
 requires time for a person to become seated in their philosophy and           
 the direction they want to take within the school.                            
 Number 950                                                                    
 MR. McPHETRES said it is really unfair to pile the pressure of the            
 possibility of tenure on that new teacher in the first year.  The             
 teacher is already nervous.  They are taking all their                        
 philosophies, knowledge and experience into the classroom and                 
 presenting it to 28 little children who have no idea about the                
 level of education this individual has.                                       
 MR. McPHETRES would like to see a mentoring program set up, in                
 which a new teacher works with an older, more experienced teacher.            
 In addition, tenure should be extended so there is more time to               
 review performance and development.  This would be in the best                
 interest of the kids and the schools, and a stronger person will              
 come out of the evaluative process.                                           
 MR. McPHETRES said there are times when some people slip through              
 the cracks, but for the most part, he believes there are some                 
 extremely fine administrators in the state that are doing their               
 job.  They are in the classroom at every opportunity.  It is                  
 difficult, with all the regulations and parents and outside issues,           
 to fill the new roles.  This does take time away from observation.            
 Number 1020                                                                   
 MR. McPHETRES said that members of his organization have talked at            
 conferences and meetings to principals and assistant principals.              
 This is an issue and the ACSA will continue to move it forward.               
 The ACSA will continue to raise these issues at the Capitol.  The             
 ACSA does support the extension of tenure.                                    
 MR. McPHETRES commented on the removal of a tenured teacher due to            
 financial issues.  He said that is an issue the ACSA has also                 
 supported over the years, particularly as districts have                      
 experienced decreasing enrollments.  School districts across the              
 state have reduced budgets for the last eight years.  In some                 
 arenas and in the press it has been said it is time for education             
 to "take a hit."                                                              
 MR. McPHETRES stressed education HAS been taking hits, but the hits           
 have been local or statewide for at least the last eight years.  It           
 is getting to a point now where all that is left are tenured                  
 teachers and administrators.  It is a matter of "where do we go               
 from here."  Staff cannot be reduced.  The schools are not losing             
 enrollment, they are gaining enrollment.  Therefore, the ACSA                 
 supports and would like to further discuss revenue shortfalls to              
 release tenured employees.                                                    
 Number 1090                                                                   
 MR. McPHETRES said the ACSA is in an arena of discussion as far as            
 subject certification.  In the last several years, the issue of               
 subject versus level certification has been an issue approached by            
 a certification process task force between the ACSA and the DOE.              
 Mr. McPhetres says that for the ACSA, the area of level                       
 certification is still more attractive.  As the state looks at                
 staff reduction and combining disciplines and training particularly           
 in small schools, flexibility is needed to put people into areas              
 that need to be covered at that time.                                         
 MR. McPHETRES said a teacher who is teaching grades one through               
 four must have multiple disciplines.  In high school, a person may            
 be teaching social studies, science and maybe a math course.  This            
 issue needs to be looked at more cautiously.                                  
 Number 1148                                                                   
 MR. McPHETRES concluded by hoping that the legislature would fully            
 fund education.                                                               
 Number 1158                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE summarized Mr. McPhetres' testimony.  The ACSA                 
 supports an expansion of the review period, although they are not             
 in opposition to the concept of tenure.  Co-Chair Bunde asked if              
 Mr. McPhetres has any knowledge of the history of the de novo                 
 trial, and why it exists.                                                     
 MR. McPHETRES did not.                                                        
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if Mr. McPhetres knew how many first and                 
 second year teachers are not retained.                                        
 MR. McPHETRES did not have those figures.                                     
 Number 1197                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if there was any way to get that information.           
 Mr. McPhetres said yes, and said he would get that information for            
 Co-Chair Toohey.  Co-Chair Toohey also asked if Mr. McPhetres would           
 object to having tenured teachers who have been laid off be first             
 hired back.                                                                   
 MR. McPHETRES said that was usually standard practice in school               
 districts.  They all have policies that do allow for layoff                   
 provisions.  These policies cover re-hire.  These issues are                  
 usually already in existence in school policy.                                
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if those issues were in law, and Mr. McPhetres           
 said no, they were not laid down in law.  They are in policy.                 
 Number 1226                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG drew comparisons between Mr. McPhetres'               
 description of a first year teacher and that chaotic experience,              
 and the experience of a first year representative.  He also                   
 facetiously asked if a legislator deserves tenure after two years.            
 MR. McPHETRES said a legislator serves at the pleasure of the                 
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG also asked what Mr. McPhetres meant by                
 "full funding."                                                               
 MR. McPHETRES said ideally, full funding is a minimum of a $63,000            
 instructional unit value.                                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if that would be an increase in full            
 MR. McPHETRES said actually, that would allow for full funding,               
 because it gets the schools past the inflation-proofing, and what             
 districts would have this year or next year.                                  
 Number 1300                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented that everyone has a different               
 definition of full funding.                                                   
 MR. McPHETRES said that all the money will go to a very worthwhile            
 cause, which is children.                                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON asked if there has ever been a                  
 situation in which the teachers, parents, administrators and the              
 school board have created a task force to discuss these issues.  It           
 seems like these issues are always the responsibility of the                  
 MR. McPHETRES said unfortunately, a lot of this is done through               
 negotiation processes.  He recently attended a community meeting              
 where there were a lot of parents.  The administration and the                
 school board were also there.   Unfortunately, there were not                 
 enough teachers present.  Many of the issues spoken of today were             
 discussed.  This did not happen, however, on a statewide level.               
 MR. McPHETRES does believe that these issues can be classified as             
 negotiable and non-negotiable through labor relations.                        
 Number 1361                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON summarized that therefore, nothing has ever           
 happened on a statewide level where experts have met.  Mr.                    
 McPhetres indicated that such meetings have happened.                         
 Number 1385                                                                   
 CLAUDIA DOUGLAS, President of the National Education Association              
 (NEA) Alaska, said she does not yet have a written response to this           
 bill.  She will prepare something and present it to the HESS                  
 Committee members.  She said the bill does many things in terms of            
 employment issues for teachers.                                               
 MS. DOUGLAS said NEA does support tenure for teachers.  NEA feels             
 that tenure protects academic freedom in the community, it gives              
 teachers an opportunity to impact knowledge and critical thinking             
 skills to children, it protects schools from becoming a place where           
 the spoils of bureaucracy are dumped, and it protects schools and             
 teachers from assaults by political pressure groups.  There are               
 many more reasons to support tenure, and they will be included in             
 her prepared statement.                                                       
 MS. DOUGLAS said in the last few years, when bills have been                  
 introduced regarding Alaska 2000, there have been a few                       
 opportunities for school boards, NEA Alaska, principals and the DOE           
 to meet and talk about increasing the tenure probationary period              
 from two to three years.  This was worked on for a couple of years.           
 She felt that if the probationary period was extended by a third              
 year, there would be some guarantees on evaluations and procedures            
 for new teachers.                                                             
 Number 1450                                                                   
 MS. DOUGLAS said unfortunately, there was no resolution concerning            
 what would happen during that extra probationary year.  She has a             
 statement from rural educators that she will include in her report            
 to the HESS Committee members.  The rural educators feel that one             
 of the reasons they have been very interested in keeping a two-year           
 tenure in rural Alaska is to increase stability in the schools and            
 the communities and to ensure that teachers will be allowed to stay           
 in a community long enough to develop an appreciation and awareness           
 of local culture.  In many cases, that requires a minimum of two              
 years.  Ms. Douglas does not feel that someone can move into a                
 small community and understand the culture immediately.                       
 Number 1481                                                                   
 MS. DOUGLAS said that increasingly, Alaska Native students and                
 college graduates are being offered a wide range of career                    
 opportunities.  To attract them to teaching, they must be offered             
 some sort of security and an opportunity to be in a system where              
 job security exists.  Native teachers need to have access to                  
 positions anywhere in the state, and they need to be protected from           
 discriminatory personnel practices.                                           
 MS. DOUGLAS had many questions about the section of the bill                  
 regarding layoff procedures.  She asked how many nontenured                   
 teachers are laid off every year, and if that number was increasing           
 significantly over the years.  She is also concerned about the                
 statement in the bill that reads, "...to better the academic                  
 program needs of the district."  She wants to know exactly what               
 that statement means, and what the parameters of that would be in             
 the local school district.  Does that mean keeping the hockey coach           
 because he is able to teach history as opposed to a kindergarten              
 Number 1537                                                                   
 MS. DOUGLAS had questions about how long layoff provisions for                
 tenured teachers would last.  In other words, would there be a time           
 limit set for the layoff period?   In addition, would the first               
 person on the layoff list be the first person hired again?                    
 MS. DOUGLAS asked who would verify claims of decreasing revenue.              
 She asked if there was going to be an agency that would verify                
 these claims.  Right now, Ms. Douglas does not think there are any            
 bills that have been or are going to be introduced that are                   
 decreasing the dollars to schools this year, or for next year.                
 Currently, she understands that there are no decreases in revenue.            
 She understands that the school districts are being held harmless.            
 She asked what "decrease in revenue" means, if it means a decrease            
 in the amount of money that is allotted per pupil.  Ms. Douglas               
 said the bill evokes many issues and questions.                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if Ms. Douglas had a knowledge of the history            
 of the de novo trial.                                                         
 Number 1590                                                                   
 MS. DOUGLAS said she did not know.  But she would like to prepare             
 a statement concerning HB 217.  She would like to work with school            
 boards.  She understands there is a need in the state and there are           
 demands for change.  But tenure has been something that has allowed           
 teachers to enter a classroom or community with a sense of openness           
 and academic freedom.  However, it is not a lifetime guarantee of             
 employment.  The people of Alaska do not want incompetent teachers            
 in the schools.  What is needed are people who care about kids.               
 Number 1610                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked how Ms. Douglas could say that it is not a              
 lifetime guaranteed position.                                                 
 MS. DOUGLAS said it is not easy to fire a tenured teacher.  In the            
 first two years, however, the school districts can nonretain a                
 nontenured teacher for just about any reason, unless something                
 different has been negotiated in the teacher's contract.  According           
 to state law, there is no requirement for keeping those nontenured            
 MS. DOUGLAS responded to Co-Chair Toohey's earlier question.  If              
 the teacher is teaching something the school board does not approve           
 of, often school boards change through elections.  Then, what the             
 teacher is teaching may be considered acceptable.  Or, an                     
 administration may have hired someone they thought was wonderful,             
 and new people arrive on the school board and the teacher may be              
 laid off.  She or he now has a different philosophy from that of              
 the school board.  That is not the intent of the bill, and that is            
 not why teachers should be laid off.                                          
 MS. DOUGLAS said if someone is incompetent, or if they are not                
 following district laws or the written laws of the superintendent,            
 a teacher can be laid off or nonretained.                                     
 Number 1666                                                                   
 VERNON MARSHALL, Executive Director of NEA Alaska, was asked by Co-           
 Chair Bunde to speak briefly on de novo or prepare a short written            
 statement on this subject.                                                    
 MR. MARSHALL explained the entire tenure law must be put into a               
 context of time.  The courts and the profession are determining a             
 lot about the tenure law through the court process.  Mr. Marshall             
 said he would address three items in the tenure law:  Failure to              
 follow the rules, incompetence and immorality.  Case law is                   
 developing definitions of immorality and incompetence.  To change             
 the de novo trial now would, in a sense, sidetrack that process.              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that a working group was being formed, and he             
 wanted to work with the state school board, the new school board              
 and the new superintendent to craft a bill that makes everyone                
 happy.  Co-Chair Bunde wanted to know why Alaska has a de novo                
 trial for teachers when other state employees do not have this                
 Number 1736                                                                   
 MR. MARSHALL said to keep in mind the three reasons he mentioned              
 for nonretainment.  Both incompetence and immorality, if they are             
 proven, could lead to the revocation of a teacher's certificate.              
 Alaska has a Professional Teaching and Practices Commission (PTPC)            
 that functions to revoke licenses at the end of this process.  So             
 the teacher who spends a minimum of four years preparing for a                
 certificate has a likelihood that their certificate will be                   
 MR. MARSHALL said because the whole process can result in the                 
 revocation of a license, the question is, can a person get a fair,            
 unbiased hearing before a school board.  Mr. Marshall said there              
 were many issues also involved in school board elections.  To                 
 resolve this issue, the de novo trial was introduced as a method to           
 deal with this.  The court would then bring the nonretention                  
 situation to a judge.  The opportunity to present facts is                    
 MR. MARSHALL said if the principal of the district charges a                  
 teacher with incompetence, a teacher will try to bring in                     
 professionals who can appear before an impartial judge to outline             
 where the teacher is competent or incompetent.  The de novo trial             
 offers the opportunity for the facts of the case to be heard before           
 an impartial judge.  The case is decided based on the facts that              
 are presented by the school district and the defense for the                  
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE left the meeting at 4:30 p.m.                            
 Number 1833                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted that time will be needed for a work group to             
 meet and exchange ideas on this bill.  He closed public testimony.            
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN commented that he would like to expand the                
 title of the bill to tighten it up.  He is looking into a title               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE agreed that the title of the bill is quite broad.              
 He said that the bill would be studied by a subcommittee, to which            
 he will belong.  He asked the DOE, the State Board of Education,              
 NEA Alaska, the school board representative, the representative               
 from the school administration and any other interested parties to            
 meet on the issues of the bill.                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE still does not know why de novo is in place for                
 tenured teachers only, and not other state workers.  He knows what            
 it does, but he does not know why it is there.                                
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if Co-Chair Bunde was going to be the           
 only member in his subcommittee of one.  He said he was going to              
 chair a subcommittee of one.  She also asked if anyone who was                
 interested could join the subcommittee.  Co-Chair Bunde said                  
 everyone was welcome, and he wanted to make sure the invitation was           
 available to all members of the education community.                          
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE recalled that he was a member of a two-year task               
 force on rewriting the teacher certification.  It drew in people              
 from all aspects of education.  He assured Representative Robinson            
 that there has been group discussion to solve wide-reaching                   
 education problems.                                                           
 HHES - 03/07/95                                                               
 HB 215 - GROUNDS FOR SUSPENSION OF STUDENTS                                 
 Number 1933                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said this bill is sponsored by the HESS Committee.             
 He said the bill was a housekeeping measure.  Currently, statutory            
 language says a student can be suspended for being involved in                
 threatening behavior toward other students that affect the welfare,           
 safety and morals of other students.  However, a loophole says that           
 other pupils have to be present to witness this behavior before the           
 child can be suspended.   This bill will stipulate that if this               
 behavior that is hostile to the welfare, safety or morals of other            
 pupils occurs in the classroom where there is a teacher,                      
 administrator or other school staff, there is cause for suspension.           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said a really bizarre example of the consequences of           
 this loophole could be if a student threatened a principal with a             
 baseball bat and other students were not present, the student could           
 not be suspended.                                                             
 Number 1995                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if a situation has occurred that                
 prompted HB 215.                                                              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the bill came to him by request.  The request             
 noted that there is a loophole in which a student can exhibit                 
 threatening behavior and not be subject to the law if there are not           
 students present.  Co-Chair Bunde then asked for public testimony             
 on the bill.                                                                  
 MS. DOUGLAS presented a very short position paper to the HESS                 
 Committee members.  Earlier this year, there was a report of a                
 student that had been in a situation with the principal and had               
 threatened the principal with a weapon.  Because no other students            
 were present, the school district was not able to suspend the                 
 child.  This has happened in a few other situations.  This is a               
 glitch in the suspension law, and this is why HB 215 has been                 
 Number 2042                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE added that he personally knows of teacher's aides              
 who have been harassed and abused.  He feels these individuals                
 should fall under the purview of the law as well.                             
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said the situation appears to simply be a                
 glitch.  As society evolves, he feels that many bills will be the             
 resolution of glitches in statutes.  He requested that the HESS               
 Committee members move HB 215 from committee with individual                  
 recommendations.  There were no objections, and the bill was                  
 TAPE 95-16, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 HHES - 03/07/95                                                               
 HJR 17 - CONTROL & FUNDING OF PUB & PVT SCHOOLS                           
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY, sponsor of the resolution, said the                     
 resolution was very simple.  It deletes the last two sentences of             
 Article 7, Section 1, of the Alaska Constitution.  The effect would           
 be to delete the restrictions on public funding to private schools            
 or to sectarian control schools.  This would expand the scope of              
 options and authority available to the legislature in terms of                
 providing educational services to the students of Alaska.                     
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked for public testimony of HJR 17.                          
 MS. DOUGLAS said that NEA Alaska is opposed to this deletion from             
 Section 1 of the State of Alaska Constitution.  She needs to have             
 more information as to why this section is being deleted at this              
 time.  At a time when diminishing funds and revenue loss is a                 
 constant concern, this resolution seems like an opportunity to open           
 up public money for use by private schools and private situations.            
 However, right now money is not available to fund public schools.             
 MS. DOUGLAS said this resolution opens up a whole area that the               
 State of Alaska, as well as the United States Constitution has                
 tried to stay away from.  This area is giving people the                      
 opportunity to send their children to a private school to teach               
 their own belief system while using public dollars.  Ms. Douglas              
 does not believe that public dollars should be used for these                 
 programs.  Therefore, at this time NEA Alaska opposes HJR 17.                 
 Number 209                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if there was any other testimony on HJR 17.              
 There being none, public testimony was closed.  Co-Chair Bunde                
 assured Ms. Douglas that he also has some concerns about the                  
 separation of church and state regarding this funding.                        
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said the Kenai Peninsula Borough was involved            
 in the denial of a request to extend a school bus route.                      
 Representative Davis tried to recall the situation.  He remembered            
 that a district was asked to provide transportation to students of            
 a private school.  That, in itself, was not a problem since the               
 children were located along the school bus route.                             
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said that in discussions with the school                 
 district, there were several other ramifications that came up                 
 should that busing be allowed.  Representative Davis is concerned             
 about those ramifications, and he apologized for not having read              
 the sponsor statement and preparing a detailed statement.  He does            
 know that some rather complex and expensive complications were                
 anticipated should the busing be allowed.  Representative Davis did           
 know that there was a cost factor involved in such decisions.                 
 Number 338                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE understands that current state law allows private              
 school students to be picked up and transported on public school              
 buses as long as the bus does not go out of its way.  The students            
 must be dropped off en route to the ultimate destination of the               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE surmised that the reason the resolution was created            
 was the Fairbanks school district was running an entire separate              
 bus route to pick up private school students.  That was disallowed            
 by the courts.                                                                
 DUANE GUILEY, Director of School Finance, DOE, said the routes were           
 upheld by the Fairbanks court.  That is the primary issue here.               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said therefore, Fairbanks can run a separate route             
 for anther $500,000.  He asked why the resolution was introduced if           
 this was the case.                                                            
 Number 440                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Representative Vezey if the Fairbanks           
 judge upheld the right for the district to bus private school                 
 students, was anyone presently appealing the case and could the               
 case reach the Alaska State Supreme Court for resolution without              
 HJR 17.                                                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said in 1993 or 1994, the attorney general               
 made an Attorney General's Opinion that the state could not pay for           
 the busing of students to private schools.  There is, on record, a            
 supreme court decision substantiating the Attorney General's                  
 Opinion.  The district court in Fairbanks ruled in favor of Monroe            
 High School in Monroe High School v. the State of Alaska.  The              
 state decided not to appeal.  Therefore, the appropriations are               
 still allowed.  There is no question, however, that the supreme               
 court decision on the books does not allow this sort of expenditure           
 of public funds.                                                              
 Number 524                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if it would be better to simply leave           
 the Fairbanks situation alone and isolated in Fairbanks.                      
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that would be a policy call that can be                   
 discussed later.  Co-Chair Bunde said this is a very basic question           
 concerning church, state and public funds.  The Chair would rather            
 have Representative Rokeberg and Vezey sort out this issue among              
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if there were not some other                    
 discussions in the course of the last 12 months in the state about            
 the ability of students attending religiously affiliated schools to           
 attend public schools for certain science classes, etc.  He asked             
 if HJR 17 would also have an impact on that issue.  He also asked             
 Representative Vezey if HJR 17 would allow the legislature to fund            
 fully religious schools if it was the pleasure of the legislature             
 to do so.                                                                     
 Number 618                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said HJR 17 does not mandate anything.  It               
 takes away a constitutional prohibition.  With that prohibition               
 gone, responsibility is given to the legislature and the Governor             
 concerning how state funds are spent on education.                            
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE was sure the $500,000 for transporting private                 
 school students in Fairbanks could be found in the capital budget             
 Fairbanks is currently requesting for a new high school.                      
 Number 676                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE has some very serious questions about the                      
 constitutionality of HJR 17.  He announced that it was the will of            
 the Chair that the committee vote on the bill.  He asked for the              
 will of the committee.                                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY motioned that HJR 17 be moved from the HESS              
 Committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note.           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE objected, and a roll call vote was taken.  Voting              
 "yes" on the passage were Representatives Vezey and Rokeberg.                 
 Voting "no" were Representatives Davis, Robinson, Toohey and Bunde.           
 HJR 17 failed to pass the House HESS Committee.                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE adjourned the meeting at 4:50 p.m.                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects