Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

03/23/2009 08:00 AM House EDUCATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
HB 137-COMPACT: EDUCATION OF MILITARY CHILDREN                                                                                
8:04:26 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 137, "An Act  relating to an interstate compact on                                                               
educational opportunity  for military children; amending  Rules 4                                                               
and 24,  Alaska Rules  of Civil Procedure;  and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
8:04:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  asked if there  was further public testimony  on HB
137.  There being none, public testimony remained closed.                                                                       
8:05:02 AM                                                                                                                    
LARRY  LEDOUX, Commissioner,  Department of  Education and  Early                                                               
Development (EED), related that his  support for HB 137 is driven                                                               
by 30  years worth  of experiences working  in a  school district                                                               
with a substantial military population.                                                                                         
8:05:40 AM                                                                                                                    
EDDY  JEANS, Director,  School Finance,  Department of  Education                                                               
and Early  Development (EED), related his  understanding that the                                                               
Anchorage   School  District   supports  HB   137.     Mr.  Jeans                                                               
highlighted that the  fiscal note for HB 137 is  for $22,300.  He                                                               
explained  that   the  interstate  compact  requires   an  annual                                                               
membership fee.   The fee is $1 per military  child in the state.                                                               
Alaska  has  approximately  16,200   students  who  are  military                                                               
dependents.   The remaining $6,100  would be for  travel expenses                                                               
for the mini  cabinet in Alaska that  oversees the implementation                                                               
of the  compact.  The  department, he related, would  advise that                                                               
the  cabinet  consist   of  the  commissioner  of   EED  and  the                                                               
superintendents of the Anchorage  and Fairbanks School Districts.                                                               
The department  would also recommend  that a state  legislator be                                                               
appointed to the  council as well as the military  advisor who is                                                               
currently appointed  to EED.   Mr.  Jeans reminded  the committee                                                               
that the interstate  compact is a compact  between state agencies                                                               
and  governments.   He  explained  that  Section 1  outlines  the                                                               
enactment of  the compact at the  state level.  Article  II, page                                                               
2, specifies the definitions the  compact will use.  Article III,                                                               
the  applicability  provision, outlines  who  is  covered by  the                                                               
compact,  which  is  basically  all  of  the  military  families.                                                               
Article  IV, Educational  Records and  Enrollment, specifies  the                                                               
timelines for record receipt.                                                                                                   
8:09:03 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. JEANS informed the committee  that although Alaska is already                                                               
performing 95 percent  of what is included in  the compact, there                                                               
are a few  areas in the compact that are  different than existing                                                               
state law.  For example,  existing state immunization records are                                                               
required  to be  provided prior  to  a child  attending a  public                                                               
school.   However,  HB  137  allows families  up  to  30 days  to                                                               
produce  immunization  records.    The  state  currently  has  an                                                               
agreement  with  the Department  of  Health  and Social  Services                                                               
(DHSS)  that  provides  homeless  children  30  days  to  produce                                                               
immunization  records  as  well.    Another  difference  is  that                                                               
existing state  law has a  waiting period, 90 days,  for students                                                               
wishing  to  participate  in school  athletic  activities.    The                                                               
[compact]  includes a  waiver provision  for which  districts can                                                               
apply.   Through the waiver,  military students would  be allowed                                                               
to  participate in  school athletic  activities immediately.   In                                                               
response to Chair  Seaton, Mr. Jeans relayed  that the [athletic]                                                               
associations don't have any objections to that.                                                                                 
8:10:42 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER,  referring to  subsection (c)  of Article                                                               
III, surmised that  there is no prohibition  against applying the                                                               
compact to those who aren't otherwise defined.                                                                                  
MR.  JEANS  stated  his  agreement.     In  further  response  to                                                               
Representative   Gardner,  related   his  belief   that  military                                                               
families   likely  have   more   readily   available  access   to                                                               
immunization records.                                                                                                           
8:12:02 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER   related  her  understanding   that  the                                                               
existing prohibition  against students being allowed  mobility in                                                               
terms  of athletics  is  an effort  to  discourage students  from                                                               
moving simply because of athletics.   Representative Gardner said                                                               
that  she  would have  many  of  these  provisions apply  to  all                                                               
students, save the athletic provision.                                                                                          
COMMISSIONER LEDOUX  noted his agreement that  generally transfer                                                               
rules are  in place  to prevent recruiting  of students  for high                                                               
school athletic teams.   He commented that serving  four years on                                                               
the State Athletic Board has  illustrated to him that there can't                                                               
be enough rules to stop the aforementioned.                                                                                     
8:13:53 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. JEANS,  continuing his review of  differences between current                                                               
state  practices and  the proposed  compact,  explained that  the                                                               
compact specifies  that military students  don't have to  wait to                                                               
be placed  in advanced classes.   In fact, military  students who                                                               
are said to have taken  advanced placement courses at their prior                                                               
school will be  placed immediately in the receiving  school.  The                                                               
other  difference  is  that  the  compact  specifies  that  those                                                               
students  who have  passed a  High  School Graduation  Qualifying                                                               
Exam (HSGQE) in another state  would be exempt from the receiving                                                               
state's test.  Furthermore, those  military students who are high                                                               
school seniors would be exempt  from the receiving state's HSGQE.                                                               
He  noted   that  the  aforementioned   is  already   in  [EED's]                                                               
regulation.  In  response to Chair Seaton, Mr.  Jeans related his                                                               
understanding that the compact  wouldn't require athletic tryouts                                                               
to be  redone when a  military student  arrives.  The  premise is                                                               
that the  student would be accepted  to the athletic team  or the                                                               
advanced placement course, if space  is available.  If a position                                                               
became  available at  a later  date,  students would  be able  to                                                               
apply for the open position.                                                                                                    
8:18:22 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  LEDOUX  noted  that  most  schools  have  protocols                                                               
established to address transferring  students and acceptance onto                                                               
athletic teams.   The  [compact] doesn't  guarantee a  spot above                                                               
other students.                                                                                                                 
8:19:04 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ asked if  military students entering schools                                                               
in Alaska have  been hindered by current regulations.   She noted                                                               
her support for HB 137.                                                                                                         
COMMISSIONER LEDOUX provided an example  of a student who arrived                                                               
five  days prior  to graduation  at the  student's prior  school.                                                               
The sending  district wouldn't grant  credit to the  student, and                                                               
therefore the student faced not  graduating.  Commissioner LeDoux                                                               
said that  he chose  to offer  credit for  all of  that student's                                                               
classes.      "That   shouldn't  have   occurred,"   he   opined.                                                               
Commissioner  LeDoux characterized  HB  137 as  a  law of  common                                                               
sense.  In fact, most Alaska  schools follow the protocols in the                                                               
proposed  compact.   Therefore, he  said he  viewed HB  137 as  a                                                               
statement of  what Alaska wants other  states to do in  regard to                                                               
military youth.                                                                                                                 
8:21:30 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON suggested that perhaps  there was a lack of                                                               
communication between  the family of  the student who  moved five                                                               
days prior to graduation and the  school.  She questioned why the                                                               
parents wouldn't  have requested that  the student be  allowed to                                                               
take the final exams prior to moving.                                                                                           
COMMISSIONER LEDOUX  said that  the school  knew exactly  what it                                                               
was doing  when it refused the  student credit.  He  then related                                                               
that  the stress  on military  families when  they move  is real.                                                               
Furthermore, sometimes  the bureaucracy of a  school becomes more                                                               
important than the  student.  This proposed  legislation places a                                                               
higher value on the student.                                                                                                    
8:22:56 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  moved to  report HB  137 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 184.pdf HEDC 3/23/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
HB 184
HB 184 Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDC 3/23/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
HB 184
HB137-EED-ESS-3-17-09.pdf HEDC 3/20/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/23/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
HB0137A.pdf HEDC 3/20/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/23/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
img-3191420-0001.pdf HEDC 3/20/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/23/2009 8:00:00 AM
img-3191549-0001.pdf HEDC 3/20/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/23/2009 8:00:00 AM
Sponsor statement HB 137.doc HEDC 3/20/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/23/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
Sectional HB 137.doc HEDC 3/20/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/23/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
UA Bond Debt Cap 1990 Statute.pdf HEDC 3/23/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/25/2009 9:00:00 AM