Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

03/09/2009 08:00 AM House EDUCATION

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08:04:41 AM Start
08:05:58 AM Overview(s): Avant-garde Learning Foundation's Alaska Native Teacher Initiative and Education Alignment Study
09:11:37 AM HB126
10:07:36 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
+ Overview: Avant-Garde Learning TELECONFERENCED
Foundation's Alaska Native Teacher
Initiative and Education Alignment Study
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HB 126-FOSTER CARE/CINA/EDUCATION OF HOMELESS                                                                                 
9:11:37 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 126, "An  Act relating to continuing the secondary                                                               
public education of  a homeless student; relating  to the purpose                                                               
of certain laws  as they relate to children;  relating to tuition                                                               
waivers,  loans, and  medical assistance  for a  child placed  in                                                               
out-of-home care by the state;  relating to foster care; relating                                                               
to children  in need of  aid; relating to foster  care transition                                                               
to  independent living;  and relating  to  juvenile programs  and                                                               
9:13:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  reminded the committee  that it had before  it CSHB
126, Version  26-LS0309\S, Mischel, 2/24/09, adopted  on February                                                               
25, 2009.                                                                                                                       
9:13:13 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LES  GARA, Alaska  State Legislature,  speaking as                                                               
the sponsor  of HB 126,  pointed out  that the amendments  in the                                                               
committee packet  address the concerns expressed  during the last                                                               
committee hearing.                                                                                                              
9:14:28 AM                                                                                                                    
AMANDA  METIVIER,  Coordinator,  Facing  Foster  Care  in  Alaska                                                               
(FFCA),  informed  the  committee  that  she  is  an  alumnus  of                                                               
Alaska's foster  care program as  well as  a foster parent.   Ms.                                                               
Metivier related support  for HB 126 on behalf of  FFCA, which is                                                               
Alaska's  only  statewide  advocacy  organization  consisting  of                                                               
youth and foster  care and those who have aged  out of the foster                                                               
care system.   The FFCA  works to improve child  welfare, policy,                                                               
and practice  by sharing personal  experiences regarding  life in                                                               
foster care in  Alaska.  This legislation reflects  what youth in                                                               
and from foster care have identified  as a need.  Last year, FFCA                                                               
created a policy  agenda.  Ms. Metivier opined  that children and                                                               
youth  in foster  care deserve  the same  opportunities as  those                                                               
children  who grow  up with  their  natural parents.   The  state                                                               
ultimately becomes a child's parent  when he/she comes into state                                                               
custody.  Currently,  the state provides support  to children and                                                               
youth  awaiting foster  care placement  under the  McKinney-Vento                                                               
Homeless   Education   Assistance   Improvement   Act   of   2001                                                               
("McKinney-Vento Act").  The FFCA  believes that school stability                                                               
should  be made  available to  all children  in youth  and foster                                                               
care.   She opined that it's  an injustice to move  children from                                                               
foster  home to  foster home  and allow  school changes  as well.                                                               
Ms. Metivier  then highlighted that  for most young  people, your                                                               
18   birthday doesn't mean  that your parents  automatically stop                                                               
providing financial  and emotional  support.  However,  for those                                                               
young  people in  foster  care who  are  16-years-old and  older,                                                               
permanency  is highly  unlikely.   Therefore, these  young people                                                               
age out  of the system and  statistics show that for  these young                                                               
people there's a high rate  of homelessness, substance abuse, and                                                               
incarceration.   Therefore,  providing  opportunities for  higher                                                               
education for  these young people  allow the cycle  of dependence                                                               
on the system to be broken.                                                                                                     
9:18:22 AM                                                                                                                    
THERESA LOMBARDO,  Casey Family  Programs, began by  offering the                                                               
Casey Family Programs  as a resource to the committee.   She then                                                               
related that  the Casey  Family Programs has  been involved  in a                                                               
collaborative project  with the  Alaska Court System,  the Office                                                               
of  Public  Advocacy,  the Office  of  Children's  Services,  the                                                               
Anchorage School  District, Facing Foster Care  in Alaska (FFCA),                                                               
and other  organizations.  The  focus of [Casey  Family Programs]                                                               
has been to improve the  educational outcomes for children and/or                                                               
youth in  foster care because  the data clearly  illustrates that                                                               
the  more placement  changes youth  experience,  the less  likely                                                               
they'll  finish school.   The  legislation  before the  committee                                                               
places, for  the first  time, the term  "education" in  the child                                                               
welfare  statute and  places  the terms  "child  welfare" in  the                                                               
education statute in Alaska.   The aforementioned is a remarkable                                                               
step and necessary  in this [dual] system to  raise awareness and                                                               
change the work in both fields.   Ms. Lombardo then turned to the                                                               
judicial education checklist that judges  use any time a child in                                                               
need of aid  is before the court.  Although  that checklist is an                                                               
optional  tool  for  judges  to use,  it  has  raised  awareness.                                                               
Furthermore, the checklist  seems to have united people  in a way                                                               
that hasn't occurred before.                                                                                                    
9:21:50 AM                                                                                                                    
BARBARA DEXTER,  Educator, Child In Transition  Homeless Project,                                                               
Anchorage  School  District;  District  Liaison,  McKinney-Vento,                                                               
Anchorage School  District (ASD), testified in  favor of allowing                                                               
foster children/youth  staying in the  school of origin.   Of the                                                               
420 K-12  youth in foster  care in  the ASD, the  school district                                                               
has  worked  with about  150  in  emergency situations  and  some                                                               
transportation    support   has    been    provided   to    those                                                               
children/youth.    She  advised  that  transportation  costs  are                                                               
expensive, but  allowing foster children/youth  to remain  in the                                                               
school  of  origin  avoids the  months  of  educational  lagging.                                                               
Additionally,   Ms.   Dexter  said   she's   in   favor  of   the                                                               
postsecondary funding  and the support  that will be  offered for                                                               
children/youth in foster care.                                                                                                  
9:23:37 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  closed public  testimony.  He  then noted  that the                                                               
committee packet includes amendments for consideration.                                                                         
9:25:13 AM                                                                                                                    
MIKE LESMANN,  Community Relations Manager, Office  of Children's                                                               
Services (OCS), Department of Health  and Social Services (DHSS),                                                               
related DHSS's support for the  educational components of HB 126.                                                               
He  recalled   that  last  year  very   similar  legislation  was                                                               
introduced  in  the   Senate  by  Senator  Bettye   Davis.    The                                                               
educational comments  of HB  126 and  the McKinney-Vento  Act are                                                               
important to OCS  as well as the children and  families served by                                                               
the department.                                                                                                                 
9:26:33 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ  asked  if  the  McKinney-Vento  Act  funds                                                               
transportation in the state [for  foster children/youth that stay                                                               
in their school of origin].                                                                                                     
MR. LESMANN  stated his  belief that the  funding is  provided to                                                               
the school districts.                                                                                                           
9:27:13 AM                                                                                                                    
EDDY  JEANS, Director,  School  Finance  and Facilities  Section,                                                               
Department  of Education  and Early  Development (EED),  reported                                                               
that currently  about $150,000 comes  through the  department for                                                               
the  transportation component.    The  aforementioned funding  is                                                               
spread through  the Anchorage, Juneau,  Kenai, and  Mat-Su School                                                               
Districts.  He recalled  Superintendent Comeau's recent testimony                                                               
that the Anchorage School District  has to transfer $175,000 from                                                               
operating   funds   to   cover   the   entire   cost   of   ASD's                                                               
[transportation]  program.    Superintendent  Comeau's  testimony                                                               
illustrates  that   all  the  funding   doesn't  come   from  the                                                               
department or the federal government.   Therefore, [HB 126] would                                                               
require additional state support.   However, Mr. Jeans noted that                                                               
he hasn't  had an opportunity  to work with the  school districts                                                               
to formulate a fiscal note.                                                                                                     
9:28:27 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  opined  that  the  fiscal note  is  likely  to  be                                                               
indeterminate  due to  its dependence  upon what  the legislature                                                               
MR.  JEANS noted  his understanding  that the  Finance Committees                                                               
won't  accept  an  indeterminate  fiscal  note.    Therefore,  he                                                               
expressed his  desire to provide  a fiscal note that  specifies a                                                               
range, which would be subject to appropriation.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ  pointed out that the  legislation does have                                                               
fiscal notes from DHSS.                                                                                                         
9:29:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER,  referring to page  2 of Version  S, asked                                                               
if "out-of-home care" refers to all foster care.                                                                                
MR.  LESMANN  replied yes.    If  DHSS  petitions the  court  for                                                               
custody  of a  child,  then that  child has  to  be removed  from                                                               
his/her home  and placed elsewhere,  that is  considered "out-of-                                                               
home care" or foster care.                                                                                                      
9:30:32 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  asked  if  a child  living  at  a  state                                                               
facility such as Covenant House is considered foster care.                                                                      
MR. LESMANN  explained that  for a  child who  is awarded  to the                                                               
department/state, the  stay at Covenant House  would hopefully be                                                               
temporary  and  DHSS  would  work  to return  the  child  to  the                                                               
placement made by the department.                                                                                               
9:31:13 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  related her understanding that  under the                                                               
McKinney-Vento  Act,  which the  state  is  already following,  a                                                               
child  in  Covenant  House  would   be  classified  as  homeless.                                                               
However, the point  of HB 126 seems to  apply McKinney-Vento when                                                               
a foster home  is found for a child in  state custody that hasn't                                                               
already been in foster placement.                                                                                               
MR.  LESMANN   opined  that   he  and   Representative  Gardner's                                                               
understanding is  the same.   This  legislation applies  to those                                                               
children/youth  awaiting foster  care  placement  that have  been                                                               
removed from their home and placed in an emergency setting.                                                                     
MR.  JEANS related  his  understanding that  HB  126 expands  the                                                               
McKinney-Vento Act  beyond those children/youth who  are awaiting                                                               
placement to include children who are actually placed.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER   explained  that   one  is   a  homeless                                                               
population  who  receives   the  [McKinney-Vento  Act]  services.                                                               
Although the  child/youth is  no longer  homeless when  there's a                                                               
foster care placement,  the desire is for  the McKinney-Vento Act                                                               
provisions to apply to those children/youth, she surmised.                                                                      
9:33:04 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ asked  if there  will be  a fiscal  note to                                                               
identify  the costs  associated with  the waiver  of tuition  for                                                               
state institutions.                                                                                                             
MR. JEANS  specified that  such information  would come  from the                                                               
University  of   Alaska  System  or  the   Alaska  Commission  on                                                               
Postsecondary Education (ACPE).                                                                                                 
9:33:31 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER, referring  to page 3, line  31, of Version                                                               
S, asked if  the term "adequate" is used elsewhere  in statute to                                                           
define the public education system.                                                                                             
MR. JEANS opined  that the term "adequate" won't  appear in Title                                                               
XIV  to help  define  the  public school  education  system.   In                                                               
further response  to Representative  Keller, Mr.  Jeans suggested                                                               
that  the  committee  would  need  to  ask  Legislative  Legal  &                                                               
Research Services  whether the state  is incurring  any liability                                                               
by using the term "adequate."                                                                                                   
9:35:36 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   EDGMON  inquired   as   to   whether  the   term                                                               
"permanently  housed"   on  page  2,   line  21  is   defined  in                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   GARA  specified   that  the   term  "permanently                                                               
housed,"  which  is language  used  in  McKinney-Vento to  define                                                               
homeless  children,  will  be  removed by  one  of  the  proposed                                                               
amendments because it's not relevant to HB 126.                                                                                 
9:36:51 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ moved that  the committee adopt Amendment 1,                                                               
labeled 26-LS0309\S.4, Mischel, 3/5/09, which read:                                                                             
     Page 1, line 9, following "(b)":                                                                                           
          Insert "and (d)"                                                                                                      
     Page 2, following line 12:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new subsection to read:                                                                                           
          "(d)  A school district is required to comply                                                                         
     with this section only                                                                                                     
               (1)  if the legislature appropriates funds                                                                       
     for the purpose; and                                                                                                       
               (2)  to the extent possible using funds                                                                          
     appropriated for the purpose."                                                                                             
     Reletter the following subsection accordingly.                                                                             
     Page 3, following line 8:                                                                                                  
     Insert a new subsection to read:                                                                                           
          "(d)  A state-supported educational institution                                                                       
     in the state is required  to provide a waiver under (a)                                                                    
     of this  section only  if the  legislature appropriates                                                                    
     funds for the purpose  of offsetting waivers under this                                                                    
     section.  If  an  appropriation is  not  sufficient  to                                                                    
     fully  offset waivers  for each  person  entitled to  a                                                                    
     waiver under  (a) of this section,  the institution may                                                                    
     offer full  or partial  waivers to  eligible applicants                                                                    
     as  funding  permits  and  at  the  discretion  of  the                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER objected.                                                                                                 
9:37:42 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA explained  that  Amendment  1 addresses  the                                                               
non-state  entities  that are  financially  burdened  by HB  126.                                                               
Amendment 1  makes changes such  that school districts  only have                                                               
to comply  with the additional transportation  requirements in HB
126  to the  extent  the  state provides  funding.   Amendment  1                                                               
further  allows  tuition  assistance  to  the  extent  the  state                                                               
provides for  those services.   The  amendment specifies  that if                                                               
state  funding  isn't  provided, the  non-state  entities  aren't                                                               
required   to  comply   with  the   transportation  and   tuition                                                               
requirements.    Amendment  1, he  explained,  ensures  that  the                                                               
legislature doesn't pass an unfunded mandate.                                                                                   
9:39:02 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  removed  his objection  to  Amendment  1.                                                               
There being no further objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                      
9:39:25 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ moved that  the committee adopt Amendment 2,                                                               
labeled 26-LS0309\S.5, Mischel, 3/5/09, which read:                                                                             
     Page 1, line 9:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Except as provided in (b) of this                                                                             
     section, the"                                                                                                              
          Insert "The"                                                                                                          
     Page 1, line 12:                                                                                                           
          Delete "during the homelessness"                                                                                      
          Insert "for the remainder of the current school                                                                       
       year or, if the student is attending school for a                                                                        
     summer term, for the remainder of the summer term,"                                                                        
     Page 1, line 13, following "2001)":                                                                                        
          Insert ", as those provisions existed on                                                                              
     February 1, 2009"                                                                                                          
     Page 2, line 2:                                                                                                            
          Delete "(1)"                                                                                                          
     Page 2, line 3:                                                                                                            
          Delete "; or"                                                                                                         
          Insert "."                                                                                                            
     Page 2, lines 4 - 7:                                                                                                       
          Delete all material.                                                                                                  
     Page 2, lines 20 - 21:                                                                                                     
          Delete   "that    the   student    attended   when                                                                    
     permanently housed or the school"                                                                                          
     Page 2, line 31:                                                                                                           
          Delete "loans, grants,"                                                                                               
          Insert "grants"                                                                                                       
     Page 3, line 1:                                                                                                            
          Delete "and"                                                                                                          
     Page 3, following line 1:                                                                                                  
          Insert a new paragraph to read:                                                                                       
               "(4)  has applied for an available federal                                                                       
     education loan; and"                                                                                                       
     Renumber the following paragraph accordingly.                                                                              
     Page 3, lines 3 - 4:                                                                                                       
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
          "(b)  The amount of the waiver to which a person                                                                      
     is entitled under  this section is the  amount of unmet                                                                    
     need  for   tuition,  room,  and  board   expenses,  as                                                                    
     determined  by  the  commission,  after  deducting  all                                                                    
     available funding  for the  school year  from education                                                                    
     loans, grants,  or scholarships  for a  person eligible                                                                    
     for a waiver."                                                                                                             
     Page 3, line 5:                                                                                                            
         Delete "including a loan under AS 14.43.112,"                                                                          
     Page 3, lines 9 - 22:                                                                                                      
          Delete all material.                                                                                                  
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
     Page 9, following line 15:                                                                                                 
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
        "* Sec. 9. AS 47.10.080(c) is amended to read:                                                                      
          (c)  If the court finds that the child is a child                                                                     
     in need of aid, the court shall                                                                                            
               (1)  order the child committed to the                                                                            
     department for placement in  an appropriate setting for                                                                    
     a period  of time  not to  exceed two  years or  in any                                                                    
     event not to extend past  the date the child becomes 19                                                                    
     years  of  age,  except  that  the  department  or  the                                                                    
     child's  guardian ad  litem may  petition  for and  the                                                                    
     court may grant in a hearing                                                                                               
               (A)  one-year extensions of commitment that                                                                      
     do not extend  beyond the child's 19th  birthday if the                                                                    
     extension is in the best interests of the child; and                                                                       
               (B)  one-year extensions of commitment that                                                                  
     do  not extend  beyond  the child's  21st birthday  [AN                                                                
     ADDITIONAL  ONE-YEAR PERIOD  OF STATE  CUSTODY PAST  19                                                                    
     YEARS OF AGE] if the  continued state custody is in the                                                                    
     best interests  of the person  and the  person consents                                                                    
     to it;                                                                                                                     
               (2)  order the child released to a parent,                                                                       
     adult family  member, or  guardian of  the child  or to                                                                    
     another  suitable person,  and,  in appropriate  cases,                                                                    
     order  the parent,  adult family  member, guardian,  or                                                                    
     other  person  to provide  medical  or  other care  and                                                                    
     treatment; if  the court releases  the child,  it shall                                                                    
     direct  the  department  to   supervise  the  care  and                                                                    
     treatment  given  to  the  child,  but  the  court  may                                                                    
     dispense  with  the  department's  supervision  if  the                                                                    
     court  finds  that  the  adult to  whom  the  child  is                                                                    
     released  will adequately  care for  the child  without                                                                    
     supervision;  the  department's   supervision  may  not                                                                    
     exceed two years  or in any event extend  past the date                                                                    
     the  child reaches  19 years  of age,  except that  the                                                                    
     department  or  the  child's   guardian  ad  litem  may                                                                    
     petition for and the court may grant in a hearing                                                                          
               (A)  one-year extensions of supervision that                                                                     
     do not extend  beyond the child's 19th  birthday if the                                                                    
     extensions are in the best interests of the child; and                                                                     
               (B)  an additional one-year period of                                                                            
     supervision  past  19 years  of  age  if the  continued                                                                    
     supervision is in the best  interests of the person and                                                                    
     the person consents to it; or                                                                                              
               (3)  order, under the grounds specified in                                                                       
     (o) of  this section  or AS 47.10.088,  the termination                                                                    
     of parental rights and responsibilities  of one or both                                                                    
     parents  and commit  the child  to the  custody of  the                                                                    
     department, and  the department shall  report quarterly                                                                    
     to the court on efforts  being made to find a permanent                                                                    
     placement for the child."                                                                                                  
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
     Page 11, line 9:                                                                                                           
         Delete "receiving services under the program"                                                                          
          Insert "eligible for services under the program                                                                       
     who has left out-of-home care"                                                                                             
     Page 11, line 10:                                                                                                          
          Delete "less"                                                                                                         
          Insert "more"                                                                                                         
     Page 11, line 12:                                                                                                          
          Delete "after the individual leaves out-of-home                                                                       
          Insert "and shall end before the individual is 23                                                                     
     years of age"                                                                                                              
9:39:49 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                  
9:39:54 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA explained  that Amendment  2 clarifies  that                                                               
the McKinney-Vento  concept will be  adopted, and therefore  as a                                                               
child  in foster  care moves  through various  placements, he/she                                                               
stays in the same school if  the parent, guardian, and child feel                                                               
that's in the child's best  interest.  The McKinney-Vento Act has                                                               
standards for involving the youth,  parent, and guardian.  If the                                                               
foster child/youth stays in the  same locality, he/she would stay                                                               
in the same  school and transportation funding  would be provided                                                               
through the end  of the school year or summer  school term.  When                                                               
the  new  term  begins,  the   presumption  is  that  the  foster                                                               
child/youth will  attend the  school where  he/she resides.   The                                                               
amendment also clarifies,  with changes to page 1,  line 13, that                                                               
the  legislation  refers  to  federal law  as  it  exists  today.                                                               
Amendment 2 also makes changes to  clarify that HB 126 applies to                                                               
foster children.                                                                                                                
9:42:16 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON  requested clarification regarding  what is                                                               
considered the school of origin.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA specified that  with the passage of Amendment                                                               
2 the school of origin will  be the school the foster child/youth                                                               
was in prior to the new placement.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON  questioned  how   the  school  of  origin                                                               
provision is  applied in  a situation in  which a  child attended                                                               
school while  living with his/her parents,  then attended another                                                               
school once placed  in emergency foster care and  would remain in                                                               
that  school if  the child  was placed  in a  second foster  home                                                               
[during the school year].                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE GARA answered  that in such a  situation the child                                                               
would remain  in the first  school [the child attended  when with                                                               
his/her parents]  through the end  of the  term.  The  desire, he                                                               
stated,  is for  the  child not  to have  to  change school  once                                                               
he/she receives a foster care  placement [or even a second foster                                                               
care placement].                                                                                                                
9:43:42 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  interjected that oftentimes when  a child                                                               
is removed from  his/her parents, there is no way  of knowing how                                                               
long the child will be out of  the home.  Therefore, the child is                                                               
often placed  in a  temporary home that's  not intended  for more                                                               
than say  30 days.   The desire is to  not change schools  due to                                                               
that  temporary placement.   If  the parents  don't do  what they                                                               
need  to  do,  then  the  child is  moved  to  a  more  permanent                                                               
placement.   Thus, the child  is often moved several  times early                                                               
9:44:33 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  clarified  that [the  amendment  and  legislation]                                                               
aren't  addressing the  child's placement,  but rather  discusses                                                               
maintaining the child in his/her original school.                                                                               
9:44:52 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA related  that  the federal  funding for  the                                                               
class  of children  covered by  the McKinney-Vento  Act, homeless                                                               
children and  those foster  children awaiting  placement, largely                                                               
covers  the cost.    He  noted that  in  Anchorage an  additional                                                               
$170,000  has to  be  obtained just  to meet  the  class of  kids                                                               
covered  by the  McKinney-Vento  Act.   The  state would  provide                                                               
funds  for those  foster children  not covered  by the  McKinney-                                                               
Vento Act.                                                                                                                      
9:45:24 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  opined that the federal  requirements that                                                               
exist  today [under  the McKinney-Vento  Act]  must include  more                                                               
than  just  transportation.    He   requested  a  list  of  those                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  said  that  the   focus  has  been  on  the                                                               
McKinney-Vento Act provisions regarding  maintaining the child in                                                               
the same school.  There may  be some additional provisions of the                                                               
Act  that [HB  126]  doesn't necessarily  intend to  incorporate.                                                               
The McKinney-Vento  Act addresses keeping  the child in  the same                                                               
school and  forwarding the child's  transcript to the  new school                                                               
as soon as  possible.  If a  child is moved to a  new school, the                                                               
child has a  right to attend that school, even  if the transcript                                                               
hasn't yet arrived.                                                                                                             
9:47:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  pointed  out then  that  the  legislation                                                               
needs work  because the  language on  page 2,  line 1,  refers to                                                               
"the requirements  in (a)", "requirements" plural.   Furthermore,                                                               
the seven-day transfer is not included in subsection (a).                                                                       
9:48:21 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA said  that the  desire [with  HB 126]  is to                                                               
address the  school of origin  and transportation aspects  of the                                                               
McKinney-Vento Act.  To that end,  he said he would entertain the                                                               
following conceptual amendment:                                                                                                 
     Page 1, line 11, following "origin";                                                                                       
          Delete "for providing comparable education"                                                                           
9:49:22 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  requested  a clean  committee  substitute                                                               
(CS) prior to action on the legislation.                                                                                        
9:49:45 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON returned the committee's attention to Amendment 2.                                                                 
9:50:11 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  explained that the legislation  provides for                                                               
financial   assistance  for   foster   youth  for   postsecondary                                                               
education.  Amendment 2, on page  2, lines 3-24 of the amendment,                                                               
allows part  of the  financial assistance  to include  loans, not                                                               
just funds  from the  grant.  There  is no need  to create  a new                                                               
state  loan   program,  and  thus  Amendment   2  eliminates  the                                                               
provisions  of HB  126  that  create a  new  state loan  program.                                                               
Therefore, foster  youth will apply  for available  federal loans                                                               
and  the financial  assistance will  be  for the  amount of  need                                                               
beyond  what's available  in federal  grants and  loans.   Foster                                                               
youth will  also be  required to apply  for whatever  other funds                                                               
are available in order to minimize the state's costs.                                                                           
9:51:50 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARA then  turned to page 3 of  Amendment 2, which                                                               
has to  do with the  ability of the  state to extend  foster care                                                               
and  the  associated  benefits  to  age 21.    There  is  federal                                                               
funding, he  noted, to extend foster  care to age 21.   Referring                                                               
to page 4, line 8,  of Amendment 2, Representative Gara explained                                                               
that the  state has  a transitional  services program  for foster                                                               
youth, the  Independent Living Program, which  helps foster youth                                                               
to  age 23.   Currently,  the  help that  the Independent  Living                                                               
Program provides  has some gaps  that the  aforementioned portion                                                               
of  Amendment  2 attempts  to  fill,  including providing  rental                                                               
assistance for foster youth coming out of care.                                                                                 
9:53:35 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  reminded the sponsor  that the  committee's purview                                                               
is  limited  to  education-related  matters.    Therefore,  Chair                                                               
Seaton  offered  an  amendment  to  Amendment  2  such  that  the                                                               
language on pages 3 and 4 of Amendment 2 would be deleted.                                                                      
9:55:06 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER, indicating objection  to the amendment to                                                               
Amendment 2,  remarked that  she doesn't  find it  problematic to                                                               
incorporate the amendments requested  by the sponsor that include                                                               
matters not related to education.   Incorporating the portions of                                                               
Amendment  2 that  aren't related  to education  would allow  the                                                               
legislation to contain the elements  desired by the sponsor prior                                                               
to the next committee of referral.                                                                                              
9:55:45 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  said that he  has been clear that  consideration of                                                               
HB  126   would  only  address  the   education-related  aspects.                                                               
Therefore, he  said he is uncomfortable  incorporating amendments                                                               
that include provisions that aren't  related to education.  Chair                                                               
Seaton  then  reiterated  his  motion to  amend  Amendment  2  by                                                               
deleting pages 3 and 4 of Amendment 2.                                                                                          
9:56:24 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH  asked if  deleting  the  provisions of  the                                                               
amendment is common practice.                                                                                                   
CHAIR  SEATON said  that  normally he  doesn't  request that  the                                                               
committee  restrict  its  consideration  to  one  aspect  of  the                                                               
legislation.     However,  the  sponsor   desired  to   move  the                                                               
legislation  from  committee  fairly  quickly  and  deleting  the                                                               
provisions not  related to  education is a  method in  which that                                                               
can be achieved.   Since the committee hasn't  taken testimony on                                                               
the provisions of  HB 126 not related to  education, Chair Seaton                                                               
said  that he's  uncomfortable  considering  amendments on  those                                                               
9:59:41 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER removed her  objection to the amendment to                                                               
Amendment 2.  There being  no further objection, the amendment to                                                               
Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                                        
10:00:04 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER asked if the  committee could inquire as to                                                               
the  [definition] of  the term  "adequate" prior  to moving  this                                                               
legislation.   He opined of  the potential downside to  using the                                                               
term "adequate."                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON indicated agreement with the suggestion.                                                                           
10:00:39 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEATON  removed his objection  to Amendment 2,  as amended.                                                               
There being  no further objection,  Amendment 2, as  amended, was                                                               
10:01:15 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEATON moved that the  committee adopt Conceptual Amendment                                                               
3, which read:                                                                                                                  
     Page 1, line 11,                                                                                                           
          Delete "and for providing comparable education"                                                                       
10:01:36 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ objected for discussion purposes.                                                                          
10:02:15 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ  removed her  objection.    There being  no                                                               
further objection, Conceptual Amendment 3 was adopted.                                                                          
10:02:45 AM                                                                                                                   
The committee took an at-ease from 10:02 a.m. to 10:04 a.m.                                                                     
10:04:29 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ offered Conceptual Amendment 4, which read:                                                                
     Page 3, line 31,                                                                                                           
          Delete "adequate"                                                                                                 
CHAIR SEATON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  said that  although  he  doesn't share  the                                                               
concern with use  of the term "adequate," he doesn't  want to add                                                               
educational  requirements  that  change those  in  the  education                                                               
code.  Therefore, he said he was fine with the amendment.                                                                       
10:05:30 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  SEATON  removed  his  objection.     There  being  further                                                               
objection, Conceptual Amendment 4 was adopted.                                                                                  
10:06:20 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEATON announced that he would  honor the request to have a                                                               
CS  drafted  for  the  committee's   consideration  at  its  next                                                               
10:06:52 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   BUCH  noted   his  objection   to  holding   the                                                               
10:07:31 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEATON  suggested that members  review the CS prior  to the                                                               
next  meeting in  order that  the legislation  could be  reported                                                               
from committee if there are no questions.                                                                                       
[HB 126 was held over.]                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Avant Garde Learning Foundation Alaska Native Teacher Initiative and Education Alignment Study.pdf HEDC 3/9/2009 8:00:00 AM
CS126 amendment S 4 (2).pdf HEDC 3/9/2009 8:00:00 AM
hb 126 materials.pdf HEDC 2/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/2/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/9/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 126
workdraft HB 126.pdf HEDC 2/25/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/2/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/9/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 126
Testimony to the House Education Subcommittee - Avant Garde.doc HEDC 3/9/2009 8:00:00 AM
CS126 amendment S 5 (2).pdf HEDC 3/9/2009 8:00:00 AM