Legislature(2009 - 2010)Anch LIO Rm 220

08/25/2009 09:00 AM EDUCATION


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Audio Topic
09:03:27 AM Start
09:04:22 AM Overview: Reports/updates by Department of Education and Early Development (eed)
02:16:52 PM HB206
03:37:01 PM HB33
05:05:01 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Reports/Updates by Dept. of Education & TELECONFERENCED
Early Development re:
-Early Childhood RFP & Pilot Program
-Commissioner's Graduation Rate Working
Group
-Single Site School Districts
-High School Qualifying Exam Relevancy
-WorkKeys Assessment
-Funding of High School Students
Postsecondary Education per HB 206
-Dual Student Count/Count Averaging per
HB 206
-Increase Compulsory Attendance to Age 18
-Rural Education Director Position
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
[Contains discussion of HB 33.]                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:37:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  committee would next discuss the                                                               
compulsory school age.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 3:38 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:45:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CURRAN  said that  the compulsory school  laws in  the nation                                                               
were quite old and ranged in  requirement, but that more and more                                                               
states  were considering  an increase  of  the compulsory  school                                                               
age.  She  shared that half the states allowed  an exemption with                                                               
certain criteria.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. JEANS reported  that the compulsory school age  in Alaska was                                                               
between   seven  and   sixteen,  and   that  there   were  twelve                                                               
exemptions, which  made it difficult  to enforce attendance.   He                                                               
said that, as  a parent, he viewed  this as a law.   He expressed                                                               
his opinion  that he had  more influence  on his children  if the                                                               
age was increased, and less if it was decreased.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:50:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JEANS, in  response to Chair Seaton, read  the 12 exemptions,                                                               
which included:  comparable education to public  schools; attends                                                               
school operated  by the federal  government; physical  or medical                                                               
condition  which  makes  attendance impractical;  in  custody  of                                                               
court  or  law  enforcement;  temporarily ill  or  injured;  been                                                               
suspended or  expelled; resides outside of  transportation routes                                                               
provided by  school authority;  excused by  action of  the school                                                               
board;  has  completed the  12th  grade;  enrolled in  the  state                                                               
boarding school  or state funded correspondence  program; equally                                                               
served by  an approved educational  experience; and,  educated at                                                               
home by parent or legal guardian.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DAVIS asked if these were regulation or statute.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. JEANS replied that it  was AS 14.30.010, although he admitted                                                               
to not reading the statute exactly as written.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER asked what was the penalty for violation.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. JEANS, in  response, relayed that each five  days of unlawful                                                               
absence was a separate violation.   He said that he believed this                                                               
had been enforced, but only on a very limited basis.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:56:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE TROXAL,  Superintendant, Matanuska-Susitna  Borough School                                                               
District, stated  that the  district did  give tickets  and fines                                                               
for truancy.   He said  that enforcement was very  time intensive                                                               
and  didn't  result  in  a  subsequent  increase  in  attendance,                                                               
although it  was a good  policy.  He  shared that the  parents of                                                               
truants  had expressed  a wish  for compulsory  school attendance                                                               
until 18.  He offered support  for amending the compulsory age to                                                               
18.  In response to a question,  he said it would be difficult to                                                               
estimate the  attendance increase  from such a  law, but  that it                                                               
would  alleviate  "some  of  the  struggle  in  getting  kids  to                                                               
school."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:00:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM  HICKERSON, Superintendent,  Bering  Strait School  District,                                                               
concurred  with Superintendent  Troxel to  raise the  age to  18,                                                               
however,  he acknowledged  that raising  the age  won't have  any                                                               
consequence unless  enforcement efforts  are also increased.   He                                                               
offered  his   belief  that  currently   for  the   rural  school                                                               
districts, there was not enough enforcement.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:02:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH asked  what  efforts were  taken in  dealing                                                               
with the parents.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HICKERSON  replied that  parents  of  younger students  were                                                               
encouraged to  bring the students  to school, but if  the parents                                                               
weren't willing then little can be done.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON   asked  at  what  age   students  stopped                                                               
attending school.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. HICKERSON,  in response, said  that students as young  as ten                                                               
years stop  coming, and although  the district  followed through,                                                               
student  truancy  was  not  a  high  priority  with  support  and                                                               
enforcement agencies.   In response  to a question, he  said that                                                               
the total  number of students  not coming  at all was  small, but                                                               
the  number that  missed 50-70  days  each school  year was  very                                                               
large.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  surmised that changes  in the budget  process would                                                               
have  to be  made, and  resources reallocated  from instructional                                                               
service to  enforcement.   He emphasized  that the  Department of                                                               
Public Safety (DPS)  had never included an  increment for truancy                                                               
enforcement, and would not enforce the truancy laws.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:08:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HICKERSON  relayed that  districts  were  now considering  a                                                               
school attendance/resource officer.   He opined that  DPS and the                                                               
Office of  Children's Services (OCS)  were responsible  to uphold                                                               
the  law,  but because  they  refused,  the school  districts  no                                                               
longer asked.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  LEDOUX opined  that  violators of  the current  law                                                               
would not be  intimidated by a new  law.  He said that  a law for                                                               
compulsory attendance  until 18 would support  the parents trying                                                               
to keep their  children in school, but it would  not change those                                                               
in violation.  He opined that  it was a crisis when ten year-olds                                                               
were not going to school, and  that needed to be addressed, maybe                                                               
with different legislation.  He stated  that there is no means to                                                               
know how many students there  are in Alaska, unless they register                                                               
for school.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON surmised that  truancy enforcement could be                                                               
less expensive than the cost to society in the long run.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER LEDOUX agreed.   He offered his  belief that success                                                               
was the greatest  narcotic, and that success  would keep students                                                               
in school.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:14:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAROL  COMEAU, Superintendant,  Anchorage  School District,  said                                                               
that the Anchorage School Board  had made this a priority because                                                               
the  wrong  message  was  being  sent to  students  that  it  was                                                               
acceptable to  leave school at 16.   She relayed that  the school                                                               
board  had  expressed  that  18  or a  high  school  diploma  was                                                               
acceptable.  She detailed the  difficulties faced by many parents                                                               
in keeping their  children in school, and she  voiced support for                                                               
amending the  compulsory age to  18.   She emphasized that,  at a                                                               
minimum, a high school diploma makes  it easier to get a job, and                                                               
be self supportive  without resorting to crime.   She stated that                                                               
this  sends a  message  to  students that  education  and a  high                                                               
school  diploma is  very  important.   She  said that  graduation                                                               
support staff had been hired for  every high school, and for some                                                               
middle schools, to  assess student strengths and get  them on the                                                               
proper track.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. COMEAU, in response to  a question, declined to speculate how                                                               
many more students would attend  school if the compulsory age was                                                               
raised  to 18.   She  relayed that  the business  community would                                                               
certainly support the  effort.  She explained  the intense effort                                                               
being  made to  contact students  who are  truant and  to educate                                                               
them on the benefits of school.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON   observed  that  data   could  illustrate                                                               
whether such an increase would  accomplish the goal of decreasing                                                               
truancy.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:25:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON questioned  how the  district  expected to  enforce                                                               
compulsory education,  especially for  17 year  olds who  did not                                                               
want to be there.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:26:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. COMEAU offered  her belief that it was  the responsibility of                                                               
the school  district to find  out why and correct  the situation.                                                               
She stated  that it was most  important to know the  students and                                                               
their  interests.    She  said  that  the  broad,  comprehensive,                                                               
instructional  programs, including  the art  and music  programs,                                                               
have really contributed  toward keeping students in  school.  She                                                               
opined  that, currently,  children are  not seeing  any value  in                                                               
attending school.  She conceded it  is a huge issue, and stressed                                                               
the  need   to  help   young  people   view  the   school  system                                                               
differently.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:30:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    BUCH    expressed   concern    regarding    the                                                               
sustainability  of many  programs,  including  the in-school  out                                                               
reach.   He  reflected  that at  one time  every  high school  in                                                               
Anchorage had a vocational education  program, and he suggested a                                                               
return to this.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. COMEAU explained that the  Anchorage School District, as well                                                               
as  other  districts,  had  added   career  tech,  replacing  the                                                               
vocational  education programs,  in  all  the comprehensive  high                                                               
schools.   She  listed  the courses  to  include drafting,  basic                                                               
construction  trades, accounting,  and family  consumer sciences.                                                               
She noted that there was also  a movement for these classes to be                                                               
offered in more of the middle schools.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. COMEAU  offered that  should the  results continue,  she will                                                               
suggest  that   these  programs  continue,  even   if  it  became                                                               
necessary  to cut  in  some other  areas.   She  opined that  the                                                               
optimal  size  class of  15  students  would never  be  attained;                                                               
instead,  it was  necessary  for teachers  to  better engage  the                                                               
students.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
090522 LowerKuskokwimSD.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Early Childhood
090522 AnchorageSD.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Early Childhood
Alaska Pilot Pre-k 1 pager.doc HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Early Childhood
Career Readiness Certificates CRC & Worldwide Interactive Network WIN.mht HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
WorkKeys Assessment
Briefing paper for high schoolers taking postsecondary courses HB206.doc HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 206
Post Secondary courses for High School Students - HB 206
CS HB 206 (EDC) April 22 workdraft.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
Compulsory School Age.doc HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Increase Compulsory Attendance Age to 18
Alaska Pilot Prekindergarten Project.docx HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Early Childhood
090526 Yukon-KoyukukSD.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Early Childhood
090526 JuneauSD.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Early Childhood
090526 BeringStraitSD.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Early Childhood
090522 NomePublicSchools.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Early Childhood
DEED Pre-K pilot program Q&A.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Early Childhood
DEED Pre-K pilot RFP.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Early Childhood
Funding Student Learning - How to Align Education Resources with Student Learning Goals.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Further Information
Graduation Working Group Goals and Actions Supt Meeting.doc HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Graduation Rate Working Group
HB 206 Sponsor statement.doc HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 206
Post Secondary courses for High School Students - HB 206
HB 206 Student Count Briefing.doc HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
Dual student count/count averaging - HB 206
HB 206
HB 33 Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
HB 33
Increase Compulsory Attendance Age to 18
HB0033A.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
HB 33
Increase Compulsory Attendance Age to 18
HB033-DPS-DET-03-31-09.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
HB 33
Increase Compulsory Attendance Age to 18
Informational paper regarding single site school districts.doc HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Single Site School Districts
HSGQE and WorkKeys Comparison - Final.doc HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
High School Qualifying Exam
Link to more information on meeting topics discussed August 25th, 2009.docx HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Further Information
HSGQE Relevancy.doc HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
High School Qualifying Exam
Model Borough Boundaries Study.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Single Site School District
Single Site School Districts
National Center for Higher Education Management Systems - 10 Myths.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Further Information
Rural ed director (3).doc HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Rural Education Director Position
School Consolidatio Study - Part I.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Single Site School District
School Consolidation Study - cover letter.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Single Site School District
School Consolidation Study - Cover.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Single Site School District
School Consolidation Study - Part II A.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Single Site School District
School Consolidation Study - Part II B.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Single Site School District
School Consolidation Study - Part II C.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Single Site School District
School Consolidation Study - Part II D.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Single Site School District
School Consolidation Study - Part III.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Single Site School District
School District and Law Enforcement comments on Truancy Enforcement.docx HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Public Comment
School District Comment on Exam Relevancy.docx HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Public Comment
School District Comment on student count averaging.docx HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
Public Comment
WorkKeys program information.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
WorkKeys Assessment
WorkKeys.doc HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
WorkKeys Assessment