Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

04/10/2009 08:00 AM House EDUCATION

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08:06:59 AM Start
08:07:17 AM Confirmation Hearings (s): || State Board of Education|| University of Alaska Board of Regents - Ashton Compton
08:25:03 AM HB69
09:17:02 AM HB130
09:27:31 AM HB215
09:47:07 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearing: TELECONFERENCED
Board of Education & Early Development
University of Alaska Board of Regents
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 69(EDC) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 130(EDC) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 215(EDC) Out of Committee
HB  69-EARLY CHILDHOOD ED: RATING & HOME VISITS                                                                               
CHAIR SEATON announced  that the next 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."                                                                    
8:25:03 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS TUCK, Alaska  State Legislature, thanked the                                                               
committee for taking up the bill.                                                                                               
8:25:32 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON moved  to adopt  Amendment 1,  labeled 26-                                                               
LS0281\C.2, Mischel, 4/7/09, which read:                                                                                        
     Page 3, line 29, following "shall":                                                                                        
          Insert new material to read:                                                                                          
               "(1)  apply for and maximize federal and                                                                         
         private funding sources to support the program                                                                         
     established under this section;                                                                                            
               (2)  identify and engage private partners to                                                                     
     support the program;                                                                                                       
               (3)  limit the number of participating                                                                           
       families to 650 for the first two years of program                                                                       
      implementation and thereafter increase the number of                                                                      
     participating families based on demand; and                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON objected for discussion.                                                                                           
8:26:02 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  explained that Amendment 1  accomplishes two                                                               
mandates:  First,  it requires Department of  Education and Early                                                               
Development  (EED)  to  maximize   federal  and  private  funding                                                               
sources to support the Parents  as Teachers method.  The existing                                                               
Parents as Teachers programs are  100 percent funded by non-state                                                               
sources,  which can  be used  to  leverage state  dollars in  the                                                               
future.  Second,  it limits the participating families  to 650 in                                                               
the first two  years of the program, augmenting  the 800 families                                                               
that are already being served in the state.                                                                                     
8:26:43 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH asked  how the fiscal note  would be effected                                                               
by the proposed amendment.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK indicated that it lowers it to $1,950,000.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH  clarified that this reduction  in funds will                                                               
still provide a means to accomplish the expectations set forth.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  assured  the  committee  that  because  the                                                               
Parents as  Teachers program is  already in place,  the requested                                                               
funding will  allow the  state to  directly monitor,  assess, and                                                               
make determinations regarding the program.                                                                                      
8:27:50 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ  queried  how  the  650  families  will  be                                                               
distributed around the state.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK read from page 3,  line 6, of the bill, which                                                               
     (c) A  local agency  may apply  for funding  to provide                                                                    
     services   under   the   program   by   submitting   an                                                                    
     implementation  plan for  review  and  approval by  the                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK pointed  out that  existing services  are in                                                               
place,  which  may  qualify for  these  funds,  additionally,  he                                                               
opined that  neighboring villages,  observing the success  of the                                                               
Parents as Teachers program, will  also apply.  He suggested that                                                               
allowing 650  slots is a  generous number  that may not  be fully                                                               
8:29:26 AM                                                                                                                    
EDDY  JEANS, Director,  School  Finance  and Facilities  Section,                                                               
Department of  Education and  Early Development  (EED), responded                                                               
to  Representative Buch's  previous  question,  stating that  the                                                               
amended fiscal  note will  be $1,950,000,  and will  be submitted                                                               
following the committee meeting.                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  asked  whether the  department  has  any  concerns                                                               
regarding Amendment 1.                                                                                                          
MR. JEANS  replied, no, and said  it is clear that  the intent is                                                               
to provide a competitive grant process.                                                                                         
8:30:25 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON mentioned  that the  department's existing  request                                                               
for proposal (RFP) to establish  pilot programs for four year old                                                               
kindergartener classrooms,  should not get confused  with what is                                                               
included  in this  bill.   He clarified  that stimulus  money may                                                               
exist  for  assisting  communities  to adopt  and  institute  the                                                               
Parents  as Teachers  model, but  it is  important to  understand                                                               
that  continued funding  is not  being guaranteed  by the  state.                                                               
The  current  Parents  as  Teachers  programs  are  federally  or                                                               
privately  funded,   and  those   resources  would  need   to  be                                                               
cultivated  to  sustain  stimulus   established  programs.    The                                                               
development/implementation  of a  template for  parent/home based                                                               
programs are held separate from  the department's RFP and intent,                                                               
he underscored.                                                                                                                 
8:32:18 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER stated  his understanding  that the  funds                                                               
for the bill will be administered by EED.                                                                                       
CHAIR  SEATON said  that  is  correct, and  whether  the bill  is                                                               
ratified this session, or not,  a template will be developed, and                                                               
districts  will have  options available  in order  to meet  their                                                               
8:34:12 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  read the proposed language  being added to                                                               
the bill  via the  amendment, which  states, "(d)  The department                                                               
shall  (1) apply  for and  maximize federal  and private  funding                                                               
sources to  support the program established  under this section;"                                                               
and asked how it will apply.                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  explained that  this  is  corollary to  the  grant                                                               
program that  the department  has in  place as  an RFP,  and will                                                               
provide options  to school  districts.  He  predicted that  HB 69                                                               
will not  be enacted  this session,  but the  RFP will  allow the                                                               
districts to pursue early childhood program possibilities.                                                                      
8:36:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  inquired whether the bill  would be better                                                               
served if it were to be held in committee for further review.                                                                   
CHAIR SEATON established that, as  of this meeting, the committee                                                               
will have  allowed adequate  review and  amendment opportunities,                                                               
and if  the committee supports the  intent of HB 69,  it would be                                                               
appropriate to move it to the next committee of referral.                                                                       
CHAIR SEATON opened public testimony                                                                                            
8:38:05 AM                                                                                                                    
JOY LYON, Representative, Association  for the Education of Young                                                               
Children in SE Alaska, Member,  Juneau Drop-out Prevention & Drug                                                               
Free  Schools  Advisory Board,  stated  support  for HB  69,  and                                                               
stressed  the  importance  of  providing  direction  to  families                                                               
during the  early years of  parenthood.  The Parents  as Teachers                                                               
program is considered the gold  standard, and leadership for this                                                               
approach,  from  the  state,  would be  helpful.    Programs  are                                                               
established under  short term  grants, but  long term  support is                                                               
needed for sustainability.   State funds could  be leveraged with                                                               
grant money, she suggested.   Additionally, passing the bill will                                                               
support enrollment  of children  in the Imaginarium  (ph) Library                                                               
program.    Each child  enrolled  receives  a book  every  month,                                                               
establishing  a pattern  for literacy,  which dovetails  with the                                                               
Best  Beginnings   approach.    She  reported   that  her  office                                                               
routinely  fields  calls  from  parents  requesting  support  and                                                               
resource  materials.     The  Parents  as   Teachers  program  is                                                               
empowering,  respectful,  cost  effective,  and  appropriate  for                                                               
everyone.   She estimated that  10,000 new  kindergarteners enter                                                               
Alaskan  schools  each year,  who  could  be better  prepared  by                                                               
having participated in an early childhood program.                                                                              
8:42:56 AM                                                                                                                    
DEBBIE BALDWIN, Director, Child  Development Division, RurAL Cap,                                                               
stated support for  HB 69, and indicted that  RurAL Cap considers                                                               
funding for  Parents as  Teachers to  be an  important investment                                                               
for  the  fiscal year  2009-10.    She acknowledged  the  various                                                               
public  forums  that recommend  and  support  services for  early                                                               
childhood  education and  the importance  for providing  services                                                               
both in and out  of the home.  The out of  home options have been                                                               
increased  via support  for Head  Start funding,  as well  as the                                                               
governor's pilot pre-kindergarten program.   However, the options                                                               
for in-home programs have not  progressed.  She stated her belief                                                               
that, because of the demands  on the educational Title I stimulus                                                               
funding,  the  districts  will   not  make  Parents  as  Teachers                                                               
programs  a top  priority.   Early work  with parents  in a  home                                                               
environment has proven  to be effective, she  reported, as proven                                                               
throughout the state/nation  via the programs that  are in place.                                                               
Early  engagement  of  the  parent is  essential,  and  the  home                                                               
environment as the best place for  education to begin.  Handing a                                                               
four year  old off to a  classroom environment is not  the key to                                                               
their  future success,  or  a lower  drop-out  rate, she  opined.                                                               
Head  Start  has  an  effective   in-home  component  and  family                                                               
involvement aspect;  a model worth  emulating.  Keeping  a parent                                                               
engaged in  their child's  education for  a sustained  period, as                                                               
well  as  empowering  them  to be  advocates  for  their  child's                                                               
learning, is essential.  Further,  she stressed that establishing                                                               
parental  involvement,  during   the  crucial  developmental  age                                                               
timeline,  would  be  difficult  to attain  through  a  classroom                                                               
model.     RurAL  Cap  supports  the   committee's  interest  for                                                               
investing in programs to provide  high quality, in-home services,                                                               
for parents who choose to participate.                                                                                          
8:49:34 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER touted  that Parents  as Teachers  plays a                                                               
vital  role  in Alaskan  education.    However, this  program  is                                                               
dependent on  local contributions, he  pointed out, and  asked if                                                               
the parental involvement  is a fundamental aspect  of the funding                                                               
MS. BALDWIN  responded that Parents  as Teachers does not  have a                                                               
mandate  that a  specific amount  of in-kind  or non-federal/non-                                                               
state funding be  donated by the community; Head  Start does have                                                               
this requirement.   However, communities do tend  to be generous,                                                               
and contributions  of goods  and services  occurs on  a regularly                                                               
basis.  The  communities tend to become very  involved in Parents                                                               
as Teachers, and it is not  unusual to receive voluntary help, or                                                               
monetary  support   from  the  local  Native   agencies,  village                                                               
councils, businesses, or individuals.                                                                                           
8:52:36 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER acknowledged that  47 programs exist in the                                                               
state, and he asked whether  factors can be identified to suggest                                                               
what  makes Parents  as Teachers  successful in  some communities                                                               
and not others.                                                                                                                 
MS. BALDWIN  citing two reasons,  said short term funding  is one                                                               
issue, which makes  it difficult to build  a meaningful community                                                               
program.   The primary funding source,  to date, is a  three year                                                               
federal project program, not a  program funding stream.  It would                                                               
be important  to have  follow up  funds to  keep students  in the                                                               
program, and to  afford progress monitoring.   Secondly, the most                                                               
successful  program continues  to  be Head  Start;  which has  an                                                               
extremely  effective training  and technical  assistance network.                                                               
The Parents as Teachers program  does not have this capacity, nor                                                               
does it have  a centralized analysis program to  collect data and                                                               
generate  reports.    RurAL  Cap has  established  a  Parents  as                                                               
Teachers state office to work towards improving this area.                                                                      
8:56:04 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  asked whether Parents as  Teachers, a long                                                               
established program,  has been supported  in other states  with a                                                               
steady  funding stream  and  if  there is  a  correlation on  the                                                               
MS. BALDWIN acknowledged  that the program has been  in place for                                                               
twenty years, and  said she is studying how the  funding has been                                                               
continued in the various areas  to provide a sustainable program.                                                               
She offered to  provide information to the committee  on the ways                                                               
and means that states employ.  It  is her goal, she said, to gain                                                               
a full  understanding of the funding  sources, and opportunities,                                                               
that  are available  for Parents  as  Teachers.   In response  to                                                               
Chair  Seaton  she  agreed  to   submit  a  written  response  to                                                               
Representative Keller's full line of questioning.                                                                               
CHAIR SEATON closed public testimony.                                                                                           
8:59:34 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON removed  his objection to Amendment 1.   There being                                                               
no  further   objection,  Amendment  1,   labeled  26-LS0281\C.2,                                                               
Mischel, 4/7/09, was adopted.                                                                                                   
9:00:25 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON moved to adopt conceptual Amendment 2, as follows:                                                                 
     Page 2, line 18, before "services,"                                                                                        
     Delete "indentified"                                                                                                       
     Insert "identified"                                                                                                        
CHAIR SEATON  called for  objection.   There being  no objection,                                                               
conceptual Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                             
9:00:55 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ  indicated that  the  fiscal  note is  also                                                               
CHAIR SEATON acknowledged that the  fiscal note now reflects $1.9                                                               
million,  provided  verbally,  with   the  official  document  to                                                               
9:01:50 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  stated opposition  to HB  69 based  on the                                                               
need for further information  regarding funding opportunities for                                                               
the Parent's as Teachers programs.                                                                                              
9:02:30 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  commented  that  the intent  is  to  expand                                                               
resource  and  knowledge  opportunities  to  parents.    The  650                                                               
expansion figure  will allow existing  programs to  capitalize on                                                               
the funding.   He opined that this will maximize  the private and                                                               
public partnerships and allow state funds to be leveraged.                                                                      
9:04:12 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  stated support for the  bill, despite her                                                               
utopian  desire  for  young  children  to  be  at  home  with  an                                                               
attentive parent.   The original  concerns that she  harbored for                                                               
the ability to  afford in-home support of  an educational nature,                                                               
when case  workers are unable  to provide regular home  visits to                                                               
families in  need, has been laid  to rest she said.   The turning                                                               
point was  testimony taken in  a previous meeting, from  a Galena                                                               
school district representative, who  reported how the rural-urban                                                               
divide  has  been  erased  among   the  first  and  second  grade                                                               
students,  due  to   the  Parents  as  Teachers   program.    She                                                               
     I think  when kids  start from  a variety  of different                                                                    
     places, and they come to  school with no assistance, we                                                                    
     just  see that  the  gaps ...  continue [through  their                                                                    
     educational career].  I think  that this is a very cost                                                                    
     effective program ... well  demonstrated in other parts                                                                    
     of the country.   One of the things that  I didn't know                                                                    
     in  my initial  opposition was  that we  have it  in 17                                                                    
     sites right  now.  ... A  lot of the e-mail  we get are                                                                    
     from people  talking about  the state  interfering with                                                                    
     families; I  don't see it  that way now.   I understand                                                                    
     we  ...   are  acknowledging   and  working   with  the                                                                    
      strengths that families offer as the first teachers                                                                       
      for their [children].  ... This approach just builds                                                                      
     on that.                                                                                                                   
9:06:31 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  pointed out  that Parents as  Teachers may                                                               
be funded  by a bill  that was just  passed, and he  stressed his                                                               
support for the program.                                                                                                        
9:07:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   BUCH  stated   that   various  early   childhood                                                               
education    entities    exist,   along    with    administrative                                                               
machinations, and asked if the  RFP process allows the department                                                               
appropriate  coordination/oversight of  all  the facets  involved                                                               
across the state.                                                                                                               
MR. JEANS responded  that the department is  already pursuing the                                                               
direction  of  early childhood  education.    The department  has                                                               
included a  parent resource center in  the pilot pre-kindergarten                                                               
program.  The  difference is the home visit  component.  However,                                                               
the department's intent  is to offer a menu of  options for early                                                               
childhood development, he reported.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK agreed  that a tapestry of  options is needed                                                               
and the department is working to that end.                                                                                      
9:09:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON clarified  that he supports the  program, and stated                                                               
his interest in  learning from RurAL Cap  why certain communities                                                               
find success and what is the  key to that success.  Involving the                                                               
department  will also  ensure the  qualifications of  individuals                                                               
administering early childhood programs.                                                                                         
9:11:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ  moved  to  report  CSHB  69,  Version  26-                                                               
LS0281\C,  Mischel, 2/9/09,  as  amended, out  of committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations  and the  amended fiscal note.   There                                                               
being no  objection, CSHB 69(EDC),  Version C, was  reported from                                                               
the House Education Standing Committee.                                                                                         
The committee took a brief at ease from 9:12 to 9:16 a.m.                                                                       
9:16:49 AM                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 130 information.pdf HEDC 4/6/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 130
Carol Shaeffer.pdf HEDC 4/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB130-EED-ESS-4-3-09.pdf HEDC 4/6/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 130
HB 215 material.pdf HEDC 4/8/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 215
HB 130 Workdraft version S.pdf HEDC 4/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 130
HB 215 material April 10.pdf HEDC 4/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 215
Resume - University of Alaska Board of Regents Ashton Compton.pdf HEDC 4/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 69 Materials I.pdf HEDC 4/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB 69 Materials II.pdf HEDC 4/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB 69 Materials III.pdf HEDC 4/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB 69 EED Fiscal Note.pdf HEDC 4/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB 69 material - April 10th.pdf HEDC 4/10/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 69