Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

02/13/2009 08:00 AM House EDUCATION

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08:02:32 AM Start
08:03:10 AM Overview(s): Department of Education and Early Development (eed) Special Education, Intensive Needs Programs
09:21:47 AM HB69
10:07:23 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Overview: Dept. of Education & Early TELECONFERENCED
Development Special Education, Intensive
Needs Programs
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
HB 69-EARLY CHILDHOOD ED: RATING & HOME VISITS                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  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."                                                                    
9:21:47 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON reminded  the committee  that  public testimony  is                                                               
still open on  HB 69, and clarified the items  in the packet that                                                               
were added since the last hearing on the bill.                                                                                  
9:23:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON advised  that a  voluntary program  is in  place in                                                               
certain areas of the state.                                                                                                     
9:23:56 AM                                                                                                                    
NICKI  SHELTON, National  Trainer, Parents  and Teachers  Program                                                               
(PAT),  stated  her  support  for  HB 69,  and  offered  a  brief                                                               
biography of  her credentials as  a long time teacher  in Hoonah,                                                               
as a  Parents as Teachers trainer  and as a national  trainer for                                                               
the  program   based  in   St.  Louis,   Missouri.     The  first                                                               
responsibility is  to train  and certify  those who  will deliver                                                               
this service.   The core  of the  program is the  personal visit.                                                               
In  Hoonah, 70  percent requested  that the  visit occurs  in the                                                               
home, and 30  percent prefer another location, such  as the local                                                               
Head Start  center or in  another person's home.   The components                                                               
of the personal  visit are included in the  committee packet, she                                                               
stated.    Before  the  PAT providers  are  certified  they  must                                                               
demonstrate ability  to present the  materials.  The  family will                                                               
decide if other caregivers will also attend the personal visit.                                                                 
MS. SHELTON said  that visits differ with each  family.  Progress                                                               
is tracked on an individual basis.   She provided examples of how                                                               
interactions  occur such  as the  observation of  how a  child is                                                               
responding  to  a  task  previously  suggested  and  the  child's                                                               
development.   She provided anecdotes  of actual  activities that                                                               
have  occurred, and  stressed the  importance  of using  material                                                               
that is  easily found in  the home  or community.   She explained                                                               
that she  brings a  parent/child activity that  is geared  to the                                                               
child's interest.                                                                                                               
9:31:17 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  SHELTON explained  the parent's  role  is to  model for  the                                                               
child, and the PAT provides models  for the parent.  She stressed                                                               
that  the  PAT   provides  coaching  for  the   parents  and  the                                                               
facilitator is not the child's teacher.                                                                                         
MS.  SHELTON   also  explained  another  component   is  literacy                                                               
activity and appropriate reading is  modeled.  She described some                                                               
types  of age  appropriate  reading experiences.   She  explained                                                               
that she  provides activities  for the  families to  perform that                                                               
reinforces the  child's development  that has been  discussed and                                                               
that    reinforces   that    parents   are    assuming   learning                                                               
responsibilities for their children.                                                                                            
9:33:27 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  SHELTON   explained  that   parent  educators   must  become                                                               
certified  in  the  program.    This  maintains  a  standard  for                                                               
material   administration/dissemination.     She   stressed   the                                                               
importance of  local training.   She related that  materials used                                                               
should be germane for the area to meet cultural and local needs.                                                                
MS.  SHELTON   offered  that  the  program   undergoes  a  yearly                                                               
certification  renewal.    The   website  provides  PAT  training                                                               
opportunities and other information  for becoming involved in the                                                               
9:37:06 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  inquired  as  to the  level  of  participation  in                                                               
Hoonah,  if  the  program  is  open  to  all,  or  if  there  are                                                               
limitations in the number of clients served.                                                                                    
MS. SHELTON answered  that she does not  have specific statistics                                                               
but  that  participation  is  high.     She  offered  to  provide                                                               
statistics to the committee.  She  related that after 14 years of                                                               
operation,  the   program  offers  weekly  family   nights,  with                                                               
attendance ranging from  40-65 people in a  town of approximately                                                               
800 residents.                                                                                                                  
9:38:24 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON inquired  as  to  whether the  program  is open  to                                                               
MS. SHELTON  stated the only requirement  is the age of  a child.                                                               
She related that  at one time the program had  waiting lists, but                                                               
the  program has  received  enough grant  money  to train  parent                                                               
educators, which has alleviated the  backlog.  She mentioned that                                                               
the funding is not stable.                                                                                                      
9:39:22 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON asked if she works with the school district.                                                                       
MS. SHELTON answered  that the school district  is the sponsoring                                                               
program, although she recalled  previously some agencies provided                                                               
additional funding.   In  response to  Chair Seaton,  Ms. Shelton                                                               
answered  that the  program is  only offered  through the  school                                                               
9:40:02 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER recalled  the PAT has a  national model and                                                               
inquired as  to whether  a person  applied for a  grant, or  if a                                                               
major foundation identified communities  that would receive these                                                               
MS.  SHELTON  explained that  the  program  was discovered  by  a                                                               
school  superintendent who  proposed  the program.   She  related                                                               
that several years later Title I  funds were used to initiate the                                                               
program.   Since  then  the program  sponsors  have included  the                                                               
Hoonah Heritage,  Central Council, Tlingit &  Haida Indian Tribes                                                               
of  Alaska, and  Ward  Cove  Packing Company.    She stated  that                                                               
funding  has  also come  from  Tribal  Colleges Education  Equity                                                               
Grant funding and Alaskan Children's Trust.                                                                                     
9:42:48 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MUÑOZ asked if she  has tracked the success of the                                                               
students as they go through the high school.                                                                                    
MS.  SHELTON answered  that statistics  were not  gathered.   She                                                               
related anecdotal statistics such as  the first group of thirteen                                                               
families have  provided informal reports.   The vast  majority of                                                               
parents have  commented on how  helpful the PAT program  has been                                                               
for their children.                                                                                                             
9:44:57 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON asked if she supports HB 69.                                                                              
MS. SHELTON offered  her support for HB 69.   She emphasized that                                                               
funding is volatile and some  communities cannot sustain services                                                               
without state funding.                                                                                                          
9:45:55 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON referred to the  definition of family in HB
69, and  recalled her reference  to parents.   He inquired  as to                                                               
whether the terms are interchangeable.                                                                                          
MS. SHELTON  explained that visits  are done with  various family                                                               
configurations,  ranging   from  foster   parents,  grandparents,                                                               
aunts,  or  the  child's  guardian.    Thus,  family  is  a  more                                                               
appropriate term rather than parents.                                                                                           
9:48:05 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. SHELTON,  in response to Representative  Buch, explained that                                                               
the PAT  program has  grown significantly.  She related  that the                                                               
PAT  holds  teleconferences  with   providers.    She  related  a                                                               
scenario  in which  a  woman  provides training  in  Yupik.   She                                                               
opined that the  volunteers are a cadre of unsung  heroes who are                                                               
passionate about their work with families.                                                                                      
9:49:41 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH asked  what  advancements  have occurred  in                                                               
continuing education regarding the parent educators.                                                                            
MS. SHELTON offered that many  of the parent educators have their                                                               
Child Development  Associate, which is  a credential.   Next, the                                                               
person  would  take  distance  delivery  courses  to  earn  their                                                               
Associates of Arts degree (AA) or  Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Early                                                               
Childhood Education.   She stated that she did  not have specific                                                               
statistics to provide.                                                                                                          
9:51:35 AM                                                                                                                    
JANE SULLIVAN, Educator, Parents  as Teachers (PAT), offered that                                                               
she has a  degree in Early Childhood  Education, has homeschooled                                                               
her five children,  and has been a parent educator  in Hoonah, as                                                               
well as  having experience  working for Head  Start.   She stated                                                               
that she decided to home school  her children in order to provide                                                               
the  best educational  opportunities for  them, to  address their                                                               
individual  learning  styles,  and their  interests  in  specific                                                               
subjects.   She said that  homeschooling her children  required a                                                               
lot of discipline  and organizational skills.  She  said she used                                                               
school  resources,  ranging  from auto  shop  classes,  attending                                                               
writing workshops,  science fairs, and using  the school library,                                                               
as well as curriculum materials.                                                                                                
MS.  SULLIVAN participated  in annual  state and  federal testing                                                               
for  her children  to verify  that they  were at  or above  their                                                               
grade  levels.   She explained  that when  she began  working for                                                               
Parents as  Teachers, she  realized it was  an extension  of that                                                               
same dynamic.  Educating parents  about child development and how                                                               
to  respond and  provide resources  for parents  are what  parent                                                               
educators provide.   She related that they  are facilitators that                                                               
help parents understand  the impact they have  on their children.                                                               
She  stated that  the parents  she worked  with in  Hoonah became                                                               
excited  about   the  positive  influences  they   had  on  their                                                               
children's lives.                                                                                                               
9:54:31 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  related   her  understanding  that  some                                                               
opposition  is coming  from home  school parents  who seem  to be                                                               
concerned  with  government intrusion.    It  may be  helpful  to                                                               
provide them with letters of  support from those experienced with                                                               
the program  do not find it  intrusive.  She asked  for a summary                                                               
of Ms. Sullivan's experience.                                                                                                   
MS. SULLIVAN agreed to provide a  summary of her testimony to the                                                               
9:56:44 AM                                                                                                                    
MELISSA  PICKLE, State  Coordinator, Parents  as Teachers  (PAT),                                                               
Rural Alaska  Community Action Program, Inc.  (RurAL CAP), stated                                                               
support  for  HB  69,  and   outlined  her  background  in  early                                                               
childhood education  along with her  credentials.  She  said that                                                               
several of  these programs  have closed due  to lack  of funding.                                                               
Every year the number of  programs changes because of the funding                                                               
9:59:18 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH  asked on a  scale of 1  to 10 how  she would                                                               
rate the program.                                                                                                               
MS. PICKLE stated that she would rate  the program as a 9 or a 10                                                               
on  a scale  of 1  to  10.   She  offered her  belief that  early                                                               
childhood  attention is  critical  and  is a  known  fact.   Many                                                               
research  programs  are  now  including   parental  visits  as  a                                                               
fundamental need.   This program serves young  children who would                                                               
otherwise have limited options.                                                                                                 
10:01:48 AM                                                                                                                   
FAY GALLAGHER  shared her experience  as a  grand parent of  a 4-                                                               
year  old,  and  a  previous school  district  employee  who  was                                                               
working  at the  Hoonah School  in 1995  when the  program began.                                                               
Despite  her  skepticism of  the  benefits  of teaching  a  small                                                               
child, she has  since gained an understanding  of the importance.                                                               
She  praised  the materials  and  the  support that  the  program                                                               
provides.   The program definitely  improves the quality  of life                                                               
for those  involved, and she opined  that the PAT program  is for                                                               
everybody.   She opined that  having the program in  Juneau would                                                               
also be beneficial.                                                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
AK PAT 09 Legislature.ppt HEDC 2/11/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/13/2009 8:00:00 AM
Correspence continued on HB 69.pdf HEDC 2/13/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB 69 Materials I.pdf HEDC 2/11/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/13/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB 69 Materials II.pdf HEDC 2/11/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/13/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
Workdraft CS HB 69.pdf HEDC 2/11/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/13/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB 69 Materials III.pdf HEDC 2/13/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB 69 EED Fiscal Note.pdf HEDC 2/13/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
Intensive Need handbook.pdf HEDC 2/13/2009 8:00:00 AM
special education materials.pdf HEDC 2/13/2009 8:00:00 AM
special education materials II.pdf HEDC 2/13/2009 8:00:00 AM