Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

02/17/2020 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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03:16:09 PM Start
03:16:46 PM HB24
04:28:14 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 24 LIMITED TEACHER CERTIFICATES; LANGUAGES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
                       February 17, 2020                                                                                        
                           3:16 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ivy Spohnholz, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Louise Stutes                                                                                                    
Representative Zack Fields                                                                                                      
Representative Sara Hannan                                                                                                      
Representative Andi Story                                                                                                       
Representative Mel Gillis                                                                                                       
Representative Sara Rasmussen                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 24                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to instruction in a language other than                                                                        
English; and relating to limited teacher certificates."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  24                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LIMITED TEACHER CERTIFICATES; LANGUAGES                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KREISS-TOMKINS                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/20/19       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/19                                                                                
02/20/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/20/19       (H)       EDC, L&C                                                                                               
03/29/19       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/29/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/29/19       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/01/19       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
04/01/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/01/19       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/03/19       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
04/03/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/03/19       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/05/19       (H)       EDC RPT 5DP 2NR                                                                                        
04/05/19       (H)       DP: TUCK, ZULKOSKY, JOHNSON, STORY,                                                                    
                         DRUMMOND                                                                                               
04/05/19       (H)       NR: REVAK, HOPKINS                                                                                     
04/05/19       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
04/05/19       (H)       Moved HB 24 Out of Committee                                                                           
04/05/19       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/24/19       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/24/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/24/19       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
05/03/19       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
05/03/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
05/03/19       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
05/13/19       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
05/13/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
05/13/19       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/17/20       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As prime sponsor, explained the changes in                                                               
the committee substitute (CS) for HB 24, Version M, and answered                                                                
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL JOHNSON, Commissioner                                                                                                   
Department of Education & Early Development                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 24 and answered                                                               
questions from the committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ERIN HARRINGTON, Staff                                                                                                          
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on HB
24, on behalf of Representative Kreiss-Tomkins, prime sponsor.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SONDRA MEREDITH, Teacher Certification Administrator                                                                            
Teacher Certification Section                                                                                                   
Department of Education & Early Development                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on HB
24.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BRANDON LOCKE, Director                                                                                                         
World Languages and Immersion Programs                                                                                          
Anchorage School District                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of HB  24 and answered                                                             
questions from the committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:16:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR IVY SPOHNHOLZ called the  House Labor and Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at  3:16 p.m.  Representatives Stutes,                                                               
Hannan, Story,  Gillis, Rasmussen, and Spohnholz  were present at                                                               
the call to order.   Representative Fields arrived as the meeting                                                               
was in progress.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
         HB  24-LIMITED TEACHER CERTIFICATES; LANGUAGES                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:16:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced  that the only order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO.  24, "An  Act relating  to  instruction in  a                                                               
language  other than  English; and  relating  to limited  teacher                                                               
certificates."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:18:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB   24,  labeled  31-LS0290\M,  Caouette,                                                               
2/10/20, as the working draft.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:18:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:18:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    JONATHAN     KREISS-TOMKINS,    Alaska    State                                                               
Legislature, as  prime sponsor,  explained the  changes to  HB 24                                                               
proposed  under Version  M.   He stated  that version  M replaces                                                               
version A,  which was previously  heard and amended in  the House                                                               
Labor  &   Commerce  committee.    Version   M  incorporates  the                                                               
committee's  amendment, which  included  a title  change and  new                                                               
language.  The  amendment addressed a name change  for the Alaska                                                               
Native  Language  Preservation  and  Advisory  Council  (ANLPAC).                                                               
This  CS  would also  add  one  more  change related  to  ANLPAC,                                                               
increasing  the number  of  seats  on the  council  from five  to                                                               
seven.    He noted  that  this  last  change was  not  previously                                                               
discussed in  committee but  has been  requested by  the council.                                                               
He  said "the  meat"  of  the bill  relating  to limited  teacher                                                               
certificates remains the same.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:19:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL JOHNSON,  Commissioner, Department  of Education  & Early                                                               
Development,  reported  that  the   state  is  having  difficulty                                                               
recruiting and  retaining teachers.   He said he  appreciates the                                                               
creativity  and  insight  that  HB  24  represents  in  terms  of                                                               
addressing  those issues.   He  expressed his  support for  HB 24                                                               
moving  through  the committee  process  and  the legislature  to                                                               
assist school districts  and the Alaska state  Board of Education                                                               
& Early Development as they address this problem.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:21:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS asked  how the  Department of  Education &                                                               
Early Development (DEED) can provide  technical support to school                                                               
districts  to implement  and discover  innovative  programs.   He                                                               
asked how  the department  helps school  districts find  the best                                                               
way  to  develop local  talent,  whether  it's an  apprenticeship                                                               
program or another model.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON  pointed out  that over  the last  year, the                                                               
state  board has  been reviewing  all the  regulations associated                                                               
with  teacher certification  to  find any  hindrances that  might                                                               
deter potential candidates.   He further noted  that the governor                                                               
has  called for  a working  group to  explore existing  programs,                                                               
alternative  pathways, quality  maintenance, and  to address  the                                                               
[teacher] shortages.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   FIELDS  questioned   whether  existing   funding                                                               
streams are being fully utilized.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON discussed  "micro-credentialing," as well as                                                               
the possibility of  a certificate being a  culmination of various                                                               
opportunities  through   different  kinds  of   teacher  training                                                               
programs.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  removed her objection.   There being  no further                                                               
objection, Version M was adopted as the working draft.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:25:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  stated  that  HB  24  is  a  bill                                                               
relating to  limited teacher certificates for  immersion language                                                               
programs.   He noted  that this bill  is substantially  similar -                                                               
and  in many  ways identical  to -  a piece  of legislation  that                                                               
unanimously  passed  the  House   in  2017.    That  legislation,                                                               
however, died  in the last  committee of referral in  the Senate.                                                               
HB 24,  he said,  is its encore  act.  This  bill relates  to the                                                               
growing interest  from parents and school  districts in immersion                                                               
language education, and  the growing body of  research that shows                                                               
immersion  education leads  to excellent  outcomes for  students.                                                               
He stated  that the  success of  the Anchorage  School District's                                                               
immersion  language  program  speaks   for  itself,  adding  that                                                               
immersion  language education  is  the only  way  to address  the                                                               
endangerment and  extinction of  Alaska Native  languages because                                                               
it  creates a  new generation  of  fluent speakers.   He  further                                                               
noted  the   difficulty  of   getting  teachers   into  immersion                                                               
classrooms.  HB 24 effectively  serves teachers who have language                                                               
fluency and knowledge and allows  them to get into the classroom.                                                               
He  said the  intent of  the bill  is to  be a  steppingstone for                                                               
teachers  on   the  path  to  getting   fully  and  traditionally                                                               
certified.  He  went on to discuss  the certification application                                                               
process, which consists  of a "triple-layer review."   First, the                                                               
school district  must affirmatively  approve and apply  on behalf                                                               
of  the  teacher;  second,  the   state  board  must  review  the                                                               
application coming from  the school district and  approve or deny                                                               
it; and finally, the certificate  must be reapplied for after one                                                               
year.    He  reiterated  that  HB 24  addresses  the  problem  of                                                               
flexibility in teacher certification.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:31:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN sought  clarification on  the intention                                                               
of the  one-year renewal requirement.   She asked if the  goal is                                                               
for  teachers to  ultimately obtain  full certification  within a                                                               
certain timeframe.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    KREISS-TOMKINS    said   that    because    the                                                               
certification process is so arduous,  there's no expectation that                                                               
a teacher would reapply year after year indefinitely.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN   inquired  as  to   what's  preventing                                                               
teachers from obtaining their full teacher certificate.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  explained that the Praxis  exam is                                                               
administered in  English, which is  a limiting factor  to getting                                                               
certificated for  non-English speaking  teachers.  He  added that                                                               
the  thought  behind  HB  24  is  that  while  an  individual  is                                                               
obtaining English language fluency to  pass the Praxis, he or she                                                               
could  teach in  their native  language under  a limited  teacher                                                               
certificate during "the interim."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  pointed out that it  could be difficult                                                               
for  young children  to communicate  with  a teacher  who is  not                                                               
fluent in English.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  replied   that  if  someone  were                                                               
certified  to   teach  in  Spanish   under  a   limited  language                                                               
certificate,  that certification  would  not  extend to  teaching                                                               
English.   He said in  many immersion  programs the day  is split                                                               
between  instruction in  English  and the  target  language.   He                                                               
directed  attention  to  page  2,  lines  11-13,  which  read  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     A  request  for  a limited  teacher  certificate  under                                                                    
     (a)(4)  of this  section must  specify the  subject and                                                                    
     instructional  language for  which  the certificate  is                                                                    
     valid.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:36:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ recounted her daughter's  experience in a Spanish                                                               
immersion  program.   She  explained  that half  of  the day  was                                                               
taught  in Spanish  and the  other  half was  taught in  English,                                                               
which switched  during the second  half of  the year so  that all                                                               
subjects were taught in both languages.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:36:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN directed attention  to Section 1 of Version                                                               
M.  She  asked if this would only allow  Alaska Native culture to                                                               
be taught in language immersion programs.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:38:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIN HARRINGTON,  Staff, Representative  Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins,                                                               
Alaska  State Legislature,  on behalf  of Representative  Kreiss-                                                               
Tomkins, prime  sponsor, replied  that paragraphs (1),  (2), (3),                                                               
and (4)  are not exclusionary.   She said  it does not  take away                                                               
the Alaska  Native Culture, instead  it adds a  fourth paragraph,                                                               
which is (a)(4),  "any subject if the language  of instruction is                                                               
not  English."   This would  give the  department the  ability to                                                               
issue a new  type of certificate that speaks  specifically to the                                                               
immersion language component.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN expressed her  concern that the way Section                                                               
1  is written,  teachers of  Alaska Native  culture would  not be                                                               
able  to  teach  Native  culture   and  language  outside  of  an                                                               
immersion school.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:40:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS acknowledged  that there  wouldn't                                                               
be any harm in adding "language  and culture" to page 1, line 11.                                                               
He said that was the intent of the bill.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  reiterated  that  she does  not  want  to                                                               
change the  statute and  therefore lose  65 language  and culture                                                               
teachers.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ  assured  Representative Hannan  that  the  bill                                                               
sponsor is amenable to her suggestion.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:42:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES directed attention to  page 1, line 14, and                                                               
asked if  that means a  French speaker, for example,  could teach                                                               
any subject in French without a teacher certificate.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  stated  that is  the  nature  and                                                               
definition  of   immersion  language   programs  -  to   take  in                                                               
everything in the  target language for at least part  of the day,                                                               
which makes  for full fluency  in that  language.  He  added that                                                               
immersion  language  programs   are  generally  primary  schools,                                                               
grades  K-6, and  different  subjects are  taught  in the  target                                                               
language.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES  said she's  not familiar with  the concept                                                               
of  immersion  language  programs,   adding  that  she  finds  it                                                               
interesting that  someone could potentially "come  off the street                                                               
and teach these kids without a teaching certificate."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:44:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  clarified the concept  of an  immersion program.                                                               
She  acknowledged that  Representative Stutes  identified a  main                                                               
concern  - that  people could  be teaching  subjects without  any                                                               
training in  education.   She noted the  importance of  trying to                                                               
figure  out   how  to  meet  Alaska's   educational  goals  while                                                               
accommodating access to language and cultural programs.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  added   that  the  Kodiak  Island                                                               
Borough  School  District  would  never approve  anyone  off  the                                                               
street  because they  care about  the quality  of education.   He                                                               
pointed  out  that   the  bill  specifies  that   the  DEED  sets                                                               
regulations   requiring  that   candidates   have  subject   area                                                               
expertise,  which creates  a  vetting process.    He opined  that                                                               
there are  enough safeguards  built in to  strike a  balance with                                                               
the issue that Representative Stutes identified with.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  asked for a description  of the Type I,  Type M,                                                               
and Type W certificates.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:51:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SONDRA  MEREDITH,  Teacher Certification  Administrator,  Teacher                                                               
Certification   Section,   Department   of  Education   &   Early                                                               
Development, explained that Type M  is, "defined in statutes that                                                               
talk  about  three  different  areas:  the  Alaska  cultural  and                                                               
language piece, there's  also the military science,  and also the                                                               
CTE,  or  career  and  technical education."    That  allows  the                                                               
district to  find local  expertise that they  want to  bring into                                                               
their  classrooms.    It  also  allows  for  the  expert  not  to                                                               
necessarily have  the testing,  the teacher  preparation program,                                                               
or the bachelor's degree that's  required in statutes for regular                                                               
certification.    Type  I is  a  specialized  certificate  that's                                                               
outlined  in  regulation  and  allows   for  an  individual  with                                                               
expertise in a  Native language who's also  working towards their                                                               
bachelor's degree  to be employed  as an associate teacher.   The                                                               
Type  W  allows an  individual  with  a bachelor's  degree  who's                                                               
interested in  becoming fully  licensed to  enroll in  a program.                                                               
It provides  that person with  allowances around the  testing and                                                               
gets them in the classroom sooner rather than later.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:54:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN asked  for insight on why the  Type I isn't                                                               
used  more in  districts other  than the  Lower Kuskokwim  School                                                               
District (LKSD).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEREDITH  replied that the  Type I program requires  a strong                                                               
desire at the local level.   LKSD, she said, has invested a great                                                               
deal  of  time  into  their "career  ladder,"  which  allows  for                                                               
paraprofessionals  to pursue  that route  to certification.   She                                                               
added that  institutionalizing it requires the  prioritization of                                                               
a  strong desire  for a  multi-lingual classroom  opportunity for                                                               
students.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN asked  how many  people have  become fully                                                               
licensed  professional  teachers that  started  from  the Type  I                                                               
pathway.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MEREDITH said  she does  not have  that information  at this                                                               
time.   Nonetheless,  she  offered her  belief  that the  numbers                                                               
aren't large.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:56:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS asked how many  support staff help with the                                                               
[Type I] program.  He recalled  that LKSD had staff who travel to                                                               
different  villages  and  provide   instructional  support.    He                                                               
surmised that  not as  many districts have  the same  capacity to                                                               
support  a labor-intensive  program.   He asked  if Ms.  Meredith                                                               
shared that impression.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEREDITH said that is a good reflection of it.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  offered his  recollection that  fewer than                                                               
50 percent of participants were  completing [Type I] within a 10-                                                               
year window  at the University.   It's great that  the University                                                               
program worked,  he said,  but what was  lacking was  support for                                                               
the associate  teachers at  the entry and  mid-levels.   He added                                                               
that  the pathway  was  not entirely  practical,  which is  where                                                               
there's  an opportunity  for the  state to  provide resources  so                                                               
that people can complete it.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:58:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ asked how many  people are currently certificated                                                               
under Type M.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:58:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN answered 65.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:59:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRANDON LOCKE, Director, World  Languages and Immersion Programs,                                                               
Anchorage School  District, stated the Anchorage  School District                                                               
has been doing immersion programs  since 1989.  At the elementary                                                               
level, students  receive half  of their  core instruction  in the                                                               
target  language and  the other  half in  English.   They receive                                                               
their entire English  language arts curriculum, as  well as their                                                               
math  curriculum, in  English from  an English-speaking  teacher.                                                               
The  target  languages  in the  current  immersion  programs  are                                                               
Japanese, Spanish,  Russian, German, Chinese, French,  and Yupik.                                                               
He  explained that  at  the elementary  level,  the students  are                                                               
taught science, social studies, and  language arts, in the target                                                               
language by  a native  speaker of that  language.   The secondary                                                               
level  is a  continuation model  where the  students receive  one                                                               
course,  as  well as  social  studies,  in the  target  language.                                                               
Finally, in high  school the students take one period  a day of a                                                               
theme-based,  advanced language  course in  the target  language.                                                               
He  continued  by saying  that  in  a  district of  about  48,000                                                               
people,  8,000  students are  enrolled  in  a world  language  or                                                               
immersion program.   In immersion  specifically, there  are 2,300                                                               
students.   One of the biggest  concerns, he said, is  that there                                                               
are  a number  of [immersion]  programs  and no  pool of  teacher                                                               
candidates.  He  stated that there is a shortage  of teachers and                                                               
the  immersion  programs  are  near   impossible  to  fill.    He                                                               
explained  that  they have  attempted  to  remedy this  issue  by                                                               
sponsoring  people on  visas; however,  one of  the catch-22s  is                                                               
that the  teaching certificate  must be  in-hand before  the U.S.                                                               
government will  issue a visa.   He  added that the  visa process                                                               
itself can  take up to  6 months if not  longer.  He  pointed out                                                               
that  many  of the  people  applying  to  teach are  coming  into                                                               
education from  a different career.   He offered his  belief that                                                               
HB 24 is a way to get people certificated in a timely manner.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:04:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   RASMUSSEN  asked   how   many  funded   unfilled                                                               
positions  are currently  in the  budget  for immersion  teachers                                                               
through the world language program.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOCKE said that he is not aware of any right now.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  asked, "what  the cost is  for bringing                                                               
someone  on board  and getting  them up  to speed  if they  don't                                                               
decide  they want  to stay  in Alaska  and continue  the teaching                                                               
path."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOCKE sought to clarify the meaning of "up to speed."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  asked how  children in  kindergarten or                                                               
first grade communicate with their  target language teacher.  She                                                               
asked if there is another adult in the classroom.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOCKE reiterated  that teachers don't speak  English to their                                                               
students in immersion programs.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN  asked  what  happens  if  there  is  a                                                               
communication  issue.   She  surmised that  the  teachers in  the                                                               
system can communicate in English if needed.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LOCKE affirmed  that.    He said  that  the English  partner                                                               
teacher  will be  there too,  as well  as the  administrators and                                                               
many  English   speakers  in  the   school  that   could  assist.                                                               
Nonetheless, he  reiterated that in the  immersion classroom, the                                                               
instruction is never done in English.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:06:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN sought  clarification  on  how the  two                                                               
teachers split  up their  students during the  day, and  how that                                                               
affects costs.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LOCKE established  a scenario  in which  there are  50 first                                                               
graders.   He  explained  that  25 of  them  are receiving  their                                                               
instruction  in English  in the  morning while  the other  25 are                                                               
receiving  their instruction  in French,  for example.   The  two                                                               
groups will  then switch halfway  through the  day.  He  said the                                                               
cost is  the same as  the traditional  setting of one  teacher in                                                               
one classroom.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN asked  if  the two  teachers share  one                                                               
classroom or if each one has their own.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOCKE  replied each teacher  has their own classroom  and the                                                               
students rotate halfway through the day.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   RASMUSSEN  questioned   whether  the   temporary                                                               
licensed teachers have a teacher's aide.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOCKE said  it depends on the program.   Many [teachers] will                                                               
have  interns from  overseas working  with  them.   He shared  an                                                               
anecdotal  example  about a  teacher  from  France who  has  been                                                               
working as a  substitute teacher for 5 years  because she doesn't                                                               
qualify for certification in Alaska.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:10:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  asked what  it costs the  district when                                                               
someone  reapplies  for a  temporary  license  every year.    She                                                               
questioned whether that person would receive full benefits.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOCKE said yes, if that person is certified.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN,  again, asked how much  that would cost                                                               
the school district.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOCKE  explained that the  school district doesn't  incur the                                                               
cost of  teacher certification.   He  said the  only cost  to the                                                               
district would  be maintaining  that person's  employment through                                                               
teacher benefits.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:11:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  pointed out  that a  Type M  certificate already                                                               
exists.   She asked what HB  24 does that's different  and how it                                                               
allows more access for educators.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.   LOCKE  explained   that  Type   M's  language   limits  the                                                               
certificate to  military science,  like ROTC, and  "Alaska Native                                                               
language and culture."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:12:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN asked  what's stopping  the aforementioned                                                               
French teacher  from becoming either fully  certified or becoming                                                               
a world language teacher.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOCKE  said the  teacher prep program  that the  French woman                                                               
took  isn't recognized  in the  U.S. because  she received  it in                                                               
France.  He  explained that when her  transcripts were evaluated,                                                               
the  evaluation company  indicated that  she hadn't  completed an                                                               
American approved teacher certification program.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   HANNAN  asked   if  the   school  district   has                                                               
encountered that situation with every foreign national.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LOCKE said  yes, in  many other  countries teacher  training                                                               
programs   look   different  than   they   would   in  the   U.S.                                                               
Furthermore,   different  terminology   is   used  that   doesn't                                                               
translate.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:17:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  asked  where  the  non-immersion  Spanish                                                               
language  program   in  his  district   could  go  in   terms  of                                                               
continuation  through   middle  school,   and  how   the  limited                                                               
certificate in  HB 24 could  expand language  programs throughout                                                               
Anchorage.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LOCKE  offered his  belief  that  HB  24 could  assist  with                                                               
finding staff  who could continue  to teach and speak  Spanish in                                                               
the Spanish language  program.  Where it will  continue, he said,                                                               
is not his area of expertise.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  said, "right now, the  district is already                                                               
bearing  significant  costs  and  inconvenience  of  continuously                                                               
recruiting  and  replacing  teachers  in world  languages."    He                                                               
surmised that this new program will  not cost more than what they                                                               
are already paying.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LOCKE confirmed  that.   He  added  that HB  24  could be  a                                                               
temporary  fix for  individuals  who  require a  work  visa.   He                                                               
shared an anecdotal example.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:21:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY  mentioned  indigenous  languages  and  her                                                               
daughter's work in the Tlingit  preschool immersion program.  She                                                               
asked  how  teachers  are  found   and  prepared  for  the  Yupik                                                               
[immersion] program.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOCKE  noted that the  Yupik program  is in its  second year.                                                               
He said  it's a unique situation  for the teachers, as  all three                                                               
went through  the UA system.   He expressed concern that  it will                                                               
be challenging to find qualified teachers as the program grows.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ noted that the  Yupik immersion program is in her                                                               
neighborhood.   She said it's  exciting to see a  Native language                                                               
immersion program  in Anchorage where there's  an incredibly rich                                                               
diversity of Native  traditions.  She shared  a personal anecdote                                                               
about  her   daughters'  experience  in  the   Spanish  immersion                                                               
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY   offered  her  belief  that   the  current                                                               
education system resulted in the  loss of [Native] language.  She                                                               
stated that  it's important  to be flexible  and move  quickly to                                                               
bring more teachers  into the classroom to  prevent the continued                                                               
loss of Alaska Native languages.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:26:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced that HB 24 was held over.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:28:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Labor and Commerce Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at                                                                  
[4:28] p.m.                                                                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 24 FIscal Note DEED-ESAS-TC 1.19.2020.pdf HL&C 2/17/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 24
HB 24 Work Draft v. M 2.10.2020.pdf HL&C 2/17/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 24
HB24 Explanation of Changes Ver A to Ver M Feb 13 2020.pdf HL&C 2/17/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 24
HB024 Sectional Analysis 3.5.19.pdf HEDC 3/29/2019 8:00:00 AM
HL&C 2/17/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 24
HB024 Sponsor Statement 3.5.19.pdf HEDC 3/29/2019 8:00:00 AM
HL&C 2/17/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 24
HB024 Supporting Document-Language Immersion and Student Achievement article 3.27.19.pdf HEDC 3/29/2019 8:00:00 AM
HL&C 2/17/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 24
HB024 Supporting Document-Letter of Support 3.27.19.pdf HEDC 3/29/2019 8:00:00 AM
HL&C 2/17/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 24
HB024 Supporting Document-Letters of Support 3.28.19.pdf HEDC 3/29/2019 8:00:00 AM
HL&C 2/17/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 24
HB 24.Backup Additional Support Letter Margi Dashevsky.pdf HL&C 4/24/2019 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 2/17/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 24
HB 24.Backup Support Letter Leslie Harper.pdf HL&C 4/24/2019 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 2/17/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 24
HB 24.Backup Support Letters.pdf HL&C 2/17/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 24
HB 24.Backup Updated Support Letters 4.24.19.pdf HL&C 5/13/2019 3:15:00 PM
HL&C 2/17/2020 3:15:00 PM
HB 24