HB 69: "An Act establishing in the Department of Education and Early Development a voluntary parent education home visiting program for pre-elementary aged children; and establishing a rating system for early childhood education."

00 HOUSE BILL NO. 69 01 "An Act establishing in the Department of Education and Early Development a 02 voluntary parent education home visiting program for pre-elementary aged children; 03 and establishing a rating system for early childhood education." 04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 06 to read: 07 SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the Alaska Parents as Teachers Act. 08 * Sec. 2. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 09 read: 10 FINDINGS. The legislature finds that 11 (1) a parent is a child's first and most influential teacher; 12 (2) a parent's ability to enhance a child's development and ability to enter 13 school ready to succeed can be significantly enhanced through parent education and family 14 support that will help parents prepare their child to succeed in school;

01 (3) undiagnosed and unaddressed developmental and health problems can 02 impede overall development and school readiness and can contribute to grade retention for a 03 child; 04 (4) early childhood home visits can lead to positive outcomes for children and 05 families, including increased school readiness, sustained school success, improved child 06 health and development, positive parenting practices, and reductions in child maltreatment. 07 * Sec. 3. AS 14.03 is amended by adding a new section to article 1 to read: 08 Sec. 14.03.165. Parent education home visiting program. (a) The statewide 09 voluntary parent education home visiting program is established in the department. 10 The program shall be implemented through an implementation plan submitted by a 11 local agency and approved by the department to provide home visits and resource 12 information to participating parents of a pre-elementary aged child, birth through five 13 years of age. 14 (b) The program must include 15 (1) home visits to a participant's home or a mutually agreed on location 16 by a qualified caseworker employed by a local agency not less than once a month 17 unless 18 (A) the caseworker determines that more frequent visits are 19 required to provide indentified services; or 20 (B) available funding is insufficient to provide monthly visits; 21 (2) parent group meetings, arranged by the local agency, to occur not 22 less than once a month; 23 (3) annual developmental and health screenings as recommended by 24 the Department of Health and Social Services; 25 (4) referrals to and information on available community resources; 26 (5) research and evidence based interventions; 27 (6) program outcomes that demonstrate, five years or less after 28 implementation of the program, 29 (A) enhanced school readiness; 30 (B) increased parent understanding of child development and 31 developmental milestones;

01 (C) a reduction in the incidence of child abuse and neglect; 02 (D) increased identification of health problems and 03 developmental delays through regular screenings; 04 (E) improvement of child health indicators, including 05 immunization rates; and 06 (F) increased parental involvement. 07 (c) A local agency may apply for funding to provide services under the 08 program by submitting an implementation plan for review and approval by the 09 department. The implementation plan must include 10 (1) an outline of the agency's plans for delivering the services required 11 for the program under (b) of this section; 12 (2) a description of the collaborative agreements the agency will form 13 with community service providers to meet the needs of the families participating in the 14 program; 15 (3) a needs assessment for the community to be served by the agency; 16 (4) an annual evaluation of and reporting on the program that includes 17 the 18 (A) number of families and children served; 19 (B) number of aggregate visits and average number of visits 20 conducted for each family; 21 (C) demographic information for participating families; 22 (D) number and type of health and developmental delays 23 identified; 24 (E) number of group parent meetings held; 25 (F) average cost for each family served; 26 (G) number of children screened and receiving referrals for 27 further evaluation; and 28 (H) the number of referrals to other community organizations 29 and resources. 30 (d) The department shall adopt regulations to implement this program, 31 including standards for the qualification and approval of caseworkers that require

01 fingerprinting and criminal justice history screening of applicants. 02 (e) In this section, 03 (1) "developmental and health screening" means the process of 04 measuring the progress of a child to determine whether the child suffers a delay or 05 potential delay in normal development or is advanced in one or more areas of 06 development including understanding and use of language, perception through sight or 07 hearing, motor development and hand-eye coordination, health, and physical 08 development; 09 (2) "local agency" means a school district, regional educational 10 attendance area, or a not for profit organization that provides community services. 11 * Sec. 4. AS 14.07.020(a) is amended to read: 12 (a) The department shall 13 (1) exercise general supervision over the public schools of the state 14 except the University of Alaska; 15 (2) study the conditions and needs of the public schools of the state, 16 adopt or recommend plans, administer and evaluate grants to improve school 17 performance awarded under AS 14.03.125, and adopt regulations for the improvement 18 of the public schools; 19 (3) provide advisory and consultative services to all public school 20 governing bodies and personnel; 21 (4) prescribe by regulation a minimum course of study for the public 22 schools; the regulations must provide that, if a course in American Sign Language is 23 given, the course shall be given credit as a course in a foreign language; 24 (5) establish, in coordination with the Department of Health and Social 25 Services, a program for the continuing education of children who are held in detention 26 facilities in the state during the period of detention; 27 (6) accredit those public schools that meet accreditation standards 28 prescribed by regulation by the department; these regulations shall be adopted by the 29 department and presented to the legislature during the first 10 days of any regular 30 session, and become effective 45 days after presentation or at the end of the session, 31 whichever is earlier, unless disapproved by a resolution concurred in by a majority of

01 the members of each house; 02 (7) prescribe by regulation, after consultation with the state fire 03 marshal and the state sanitarian, standards that will assure healthful and safe 04 conditions in the public and private schools of the state, including a requirement of 05 physical examinations and immunizations in pre-elementary schools; the standards for 06 private schools may not be more stringent than those for public schools; 07 (8) exercise general supervision over pre-elementary schools that 08 receive direct state or federal funding; 09 (9) exercise general supervision over elementary and secondary 10 correspondence study programs offered by municipal school districts or regional 11 educational attendance areas; the department may also offer and make available to any 12 Alaskan through a centralized office a correspondence study program; 13 (10) accredit private schools that request accreditation and that meet 14 accreditation standards prescribed by regulation by the department; nothing in this 15 paragraph authorizes the department to require religious or other private schools to be 16 licensed; 17 (11) review plans for construction of new public elementary and 18 secondary schools and for additions to and major rehabilitation of existing public 19 elementary and secondary schools and, in accordance with regulations adopted by the 20 department, determine and approve the extent of eligibility for state aid of a school 21 construction or major maintenance project; for the purposes of this paragraph, "plans" 22 include educational specifications, schematic designs, and final contract documents; 23 (12) provide educational opportunities in the areas of vocational 24 education and training, and basic education to individuals over 16 years of age who 25 are no longer attending school; 26 (13) administer the grants awarded under AS 14.11; 27 (14) establish, in coordination with the Department of Public Safety, a 28 school bus driver training course; 29 (15) require the reporting of information relating to school disciplinary 30 and safety programs under AS 14.33.120 and of incidents of disruptive or violent 31 behavior;

01 (16) establish by regulation criteria, based on low student performance, 02 under which the department may intervene in a school district to improve instructional 03 practices, as described in AS 14.07.030(14) or (15); the regulations must include 04 (A) a notice provision that alerts the district to the deficiencies 05 and the instructional practice changes proposed by the department; 06 (B) an end date for departmental intervention, as described in 07 AS 14.07.030(14)(A) and (B) and (15), after the district demonstrates three 08 consecutive years of improvement consisting of not less than two percent 09 increases in student proficiency on standards-based assessments in math, 10 reading, and writing as provided in AS 14.03.123(f)(2)(A); and 11 (C) a process for districts to petition the department for 12 continuing or discontinuing the department's intervention; 13 (17) notify the legislative committees having jurisdiction over 14 education before intervening in a school district under AS 14.07.030(14) or redirecting 15 public school funding under AS 14.07.030(15); 16 (18) devise and implement a statewide early childhood education 17 rating system to assess, improve, and publicize the quality of all public and 18 private pre-elementary programs in the state; the system must rate providers on 19 a scale of one to five according to effectiveness in achieving early learning goals; 20 (19) establish standards and provide technical assistance and 21 oversight for the statewide parent education home visiting program under 22 AS 14.03.165.