Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

02/01/2010 08:00 AM House EDUCATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
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+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
        HB 317-EDUC. FUNDING: BASIC/SPEC NEEDS/TRANSPORT                                                                    
8:06:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  317 "An Act increasing the  special needs funding                                                               
and  base student  allocation for  public schools,  and extending                                                               
the adjustment for student  transportation funding; and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
8:06:23 AM                                                                                                                    
KATIE  KOESTER,  Staff,  to Representative  Paul  Seaton,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  introduced HB  317 and a  sectional analysis,                                                               
paraphrasing  from a  prepared statement,  which read  as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
     HB 317  - forward  funding education,  increasing block                                                                    
     grant  funding  &  extending  inflation  adjustment  to                                                                    
     pupil transportation funding.                                                                                              
     Sec. 1                                                                                                                   
     Extends    the   inflation    adjustment   for    pupil                                                                    
     transportation  established  in the  Joint  Legislative                                                                    
     Education  Funding  Task  Force legislation  passed  in                                                                    
     2008 for three more years until 2014.                                                                                      
     Takes the  adjustments from  reflecting any  changes in                                                                    
     the Anchorage Consumer Price Index  to any increases in                                                                    
     the Anchorage  CPI.  This  ensures that in a  year with                                                                    
     negative inflation year we do not reduce funding.                                                                          
     Sec. 2                                                                                                                   
     a.(1)Increases the block funding for special education                                                                     
     gifted and talented, vocational, and bilingual                                                                             
     education by 1.5% (this takes it from 1.2% BSA to                                                                          
     1.215% BSA).  The intent is that this increase be                                                                          
     directed to Vocational Education.                                                                                          
     (2) Second half of Sec.  2 jus tracks current law which                                                                    
     is  phases  in  the  final year  of  the  increases  in                                                                    
     special  needs  funding  as established  by  the  Joint                                                                    
     Legislative Education Funding Task Force in 2008.                                                                          
     Sec. 3, 4 & 5                                                                                                            
     Increases the  Base Student Allocation by  $125 for the                                                                    
     next three fiscal years (FY11, FY12, and FY13).                                                                            
     Sec.   6     the  corresponding   extension  of   pupil                                                                  
     transportation  inflation   adjustment  established  in                                                                    
     Sec. 1                                                                                                                     
     Sec. 7,8 &  9 the corresponding effective  dates to the                                                                  
     increases in the BSA.                                                                                                      
          * the reason the language of the bill references                                                                      
     numbers  in   brackets  is  because  we   are  amending                                                                    
     legislation  that  has not  taken  effect  yet in  each                                                                    
     section,  so  the number  in  brackets  refers to  that                                                                    
     previous number.                                                                                                           
8:09:25 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. KOESTER  pointed out the  fiscal note and indicated  that the                                                               
Department of Education and Early  Development (EED) is available                                                               
for financial  questions.  In  response to a  committee question,                                                               
she stated that  the funding factor of 1.215, page  2, line 3, is                                                               
the actual amount; an increase from current funding.                                                                            
8:10:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON clarified  that the only change to Section  1 is the                                                               
insertion of  the term increases,  and the deletion  of "changes"                                                           
in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).   He reviewed the fiscal note,                                                             
pointing  out  that  the Alaska  Military  Youth  Academy  (AMYA)                                                               
receives seven  times the base student  allocation, and requested                                                               
that the department explain how  this funding takes place and the                                                               
budgetary effect.                                                                                                               
8:12:45 AM                                                                                                                    
EDDY  JEANS, Director,  School  Finance  and Facilities  Section,                                                               
Department of Education and  Early Development (EED), established                                                               
that the AMYA  has, in statute, a unique funding  formula that is                                                               
tied to the  base student allocation (BSA).  Whenever  the BSA is                                                               
increased, the AMYA allocation  is automatically adjusted upward.                                                               
They do have  a residential program, which is why  they receive a                                                               
seven times allocation,  however, he opined, it would  be safe to                                                               
say that their residential costs are  not going up every time the                                                               
BSA is increased.                                                                                                               
8:13:33 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  pointed  out  that  other  schools  have                                                               
residential programs,  and asked  whether they receive  a similar                                                               
level of funding; such as Mt. Edgecombe.                                                                                        
MR. JEANS  responded that Mt. Edgecombe's  residential program is                                                               
funded  by the  department and  comes directly  from the  general                                                               
fund.   When  increases are  requested  for that  program, it  is                                                               
included  as part  of EEC's  budget process.   He  said that  the                                                               
dollar  amount for  the residential  programs in  Galena, Nenana,                                                               
and Bethel  are set in statute.   The funding for  these programs                                                               
can only  be adjusted  through the  legislative process  to alter                                                               
the stipend  amount, and are  not effected by adjustments  to the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER queried how  the total funding per student                                                               
MR. JEANS  recalled that when  the funding mechanism  was created                                                               
for the  AMYA, a dollar  amount was established, and  they backed                                                               
it into  the funding formula to  achieve the amount.   Since that                                                               
time the  BSA has  been increased  several times,  providing AMYA                                                               
and  automatic increase,  which  may have  been an  unforeseeable                                                               
consequence when the statute was originally drafted.                                                                            
CHAIR  SEATON  requested  comparison  information  on  the  other                                                               
programs, and what the effect is on the budget.                                                                                 
MR.  JEANS stated  that  all of  the  residential facilities  are                                                               
required to come before the  legislature and justify the costs of                                                               
their  programs.   The educational  component is  funded via  the                                                               
foundation  formula, and  they are  seeing the  increase benefits                                                               
for  that aspect  of  their program.    He said  that  it may  be                                                               
difficult to  split the  two out,  as the funding  for AMYA  is a                                                               
blended  number   that  covers  the  residential   and  education                                                               
programs.   The department  will provide  the committee  with the                                                               
total costs of each of the programs.                                                                                            
8:16:26 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  P.   WILSON  recalled   that  the  AYMA   has  an                                                               
abbreviated  residency period,  that  is shorter  than the  other                                                               
resident institutions.                                                                                                          
MR. JEANS said he would provide information to the committee.                                                                   
8:17:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH asked  whether the  resident program  at the                                                               
Alaska Vocational Technical Center  (AVTEC), is considered on the                                                               
same basis.                                                                                                                     
MR. JEANS answered  that AVETC is funded 100  percent through the                                                               
Department of Labor & Workforce Development (DLWD).                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH  reported  that   AMYA  has  a  two  session                                                               
curriculum that runs  for 7 months then begins again.   This is a                                                               
program for the  highest risk students, that  have fallen through                                                               
all the cracks, and yet they  produce an 80 percent success rate.                                                               
He stressed the importance for  supporting this type of facility,                                                               
and how it differs from  other residential facilities.  He stated                                                               
that he  was not aware  of the high  level of state  funding, but                                                               
suggested that it is money well spent.                                                                                          
8:19:58 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON stated  that the question is not whether  to cut the                                                               
program, but  to evaluate the  appropriateness of having  a seven                                                               
times increase  built into  the formula.   An alternative  may be                                                               
for the  academy's administrators to come  before the legislature                                                               
to request funding.                                                                                                             
8:20:49 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ  directed attention  to the fiscal  note and                                                               
asked why it is greatest in fiscal year (FY) 2012.                                                                              
MR.  JEANS responded  that  the 2012  year  represents the  block                                                               
funding increase from  20 to 21 1/2 percent, and  raising the BSA                                                               
by  $125.00.   In  year  two,  the  BSA  is increased,  again  by                                                               
$125.00, but  not the block  funding.  The block  funding remains                                                               
at the higher rate.                                                                                                             
8:22:34 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON pointed  out that  an amendment  has been  prepared                                                               
that  will raise  the  block funding  another  1 1/2  increments,                                                               
bringing it to 23 percent, in  the second year.  Additionally, he                                                               
mentioned the  EED chart, in  the committee packet  that reflects                                                               
the  final  ISER  (Institute of  Social  and  Economic  Research)                                                               
increase, and illustrates the block  funding increases.  To avoid                                                               
any  confusion  regarding  the  application  of  the  recommended                                                               
increases,  he  said  he  would  draft  a  letter  of  intent  to                                                               
accompany the bill.                                                                                                             
8:28:44 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON opened public testimony                                                                                            
8:29:02 AM                                                                                                                    
AMY  LUJAN,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Association  of  School                                                               
Business  Officials (ALASBO)  stated  support for  HB  317, as  a                                                               
means to  forward fund education.   She praised the  base student                                                               
allocation adjustment,  previously established, and  reported how                                                               
the new  three year  plan will  provide continuity  to districts.                                                               
The block grant  will allow schools to carry  out the committee's                                                               
intent  to  provide  career and  technical/vocational  education.                                                               
Finally,  she said  that pupil  transportation  contracts are  an                                                               
important  facet that  will also  be served  better with  forward                                                               
funding.   In  response  to  a question  from  Chair Seaton,  she                                                               
agreed to provide information to  the committee regarding how the                                                               
pupil transportation contracts relate to the CPI.                                                                               
8:33:43 AM                                                                                                                    
MARY FRANCIS,  Director, Alaska Council of  School Administrators                                                               
(ACSA), stated  support for HB  317, citing forward funding  as a                                                               
tremendous advantage  to the school  districts, and  praising the                                                               
increase to the  BSA.  Further, she indicated  that ASCA supports                                                               
reestablishing  categorical  funding  for  career  and  technical                                                               
education.  She  offered Position Statements 09-1  and 09-15, for                                                               
inclusion in the committee packet.                                                                                              
8:36:33 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON asked  whether ASCA has any  concern for appropriate                                                               
use of the categorical funding, at the school board level.                                                                      
8:37:40 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  FRANCIS  recalled  the categorical  funding  that  had  been                                                               
provided,  at one  time, for  vocational education.   One  of the                                                               
reasons   vocational  education   foundered   is  because   other                                                               
categories took priority.   If money is not directly  tied to the                                                               
development and  enhancement of  career and  technical education,                                                               
it may not  be spent in that area, she  cautioned.  School boards                                                               
and  districts make  decisions based  on local  needs.   From her                                                               
experience  as a  superintendent, she  reported that  categorical                                                               
funding can work well.                                                                                                          
CHAIR  SEATON solicited  further  input from  the ASCA  regarding                                                               
structuring the block grant, which she agreed to provide.                                                                       
8:41:39 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. ANNMARIE O'BRIEN,  Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent, Northwest                                                               
Arctic  Borough  School  District,  stated support  for  HB  317,                                                               
commending the  committee for recognizing the  importance of, and                                                               
providing for,  forward funding.  She  underscored the importance                                                               
of  the  increase in  the  block  grant funding  and  legislative                                                               
support of vocational education.                                                                                                
8:44:35 AM                                                                                                                    
DAVE  JONES, Assistant  Superintendent,  Kenai Peninsula  Borough                                                               
School  District,  stated  support  for  HB  317,  stressing  the                                                               
importance of forward funding and  the instrumental role it plays                                                               
in  teacher retention,  planning, and  continuity of  educational                                                               
programs.    Morale  has  increased   because  of  this  type  of                                                               
approach,  as teachers  have been  able to  focus on  educational                                                               
programs, rather than focusing concern on budget shortfalls.                                                                    
8:47:18 AM                                                                                                                    
JIM   NYGAARD,   Superintendent,    Cordova   School   District,                                                                
stated  support   for  HB  317,  paraphrasing  from   a prepared                                                                
statement,   which   read  as  follows   [original   punctuation                                                                
        Cordova Schools supports HB317 for the following                                                                        
     Funding   increases   will   help   us  compete   with   the                                                               
     increased  costs  of  fuel/utilities,   food,  staff  costs,                                                               
     and  travel/shipping    costs.     We  liked   the  3   year                                                               
     package,   but  still   appreciate   the   reduced  2   year                                                               
     Cordova  has been  very respectful  of the  increased  block                                                               
     grant  funding  discussion.    With  the "Intensive"   level                                                               
     funding  currently  offered   to the  state,  we  have  been                                                               
     impressed.   However,  in  Cordova  we have  a considerable                                                                
     population  of special  needs  children that  we do not  get                                                               
     adequate  funding  for [and]  that  do not qualify  for  the                                                               
     additional   funding.    Thus,  the  appreciation   for  the                                                               
     increased block grant monies.                                                                                              
     Multiple  year  funding  package  has been  a  blessing  for                                                               
     budgetary purposes.                                                                                                        
MR.  NYGAARD  added  that  the increased   expectations  for  the                                                               
final  year   of  NCLB  have   not  been   discussed,  but   this                                                               
consistent  funding   support  will  help  attain  the  mark  set                                                               
for that program.                                                                                                               
8:49:50 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  requested  further  information  on  the                                                               
itinerant students.                                                                                                             
MR.  NYGAARD replied  that  specialists  must  be brought  in  on                                                               
contract   to  provide  special   services,  such  as   a  speech                                                               
pathologist.    The  service   must  be provided   but  the  cost                                                               
presents a burden.                                                                                                              
8:50:55 AM                                                                                                                    
PETER  HOPPER  (ph),  stated support  for  HB  317, and  said  he                                                               
had nothing further to add.                                                                                                     
8:51:17 AM                                                                                                                    
STEVEN   BRADSHAW,   Superintendent,   Sitka   School  District,                                                                
stated  support  for  HB  317,  and thanked   the committee   for                                                               
furthering  local  control  of  the block  funding,  as  well  as                                                               
for  the  proposed  increases.    The vast  majority  of  the  20                                                               
percent  block,   for  the  past  10  years,  has  gone  towards                                                                
special  education,   and vocational   programs  have  been  cut.                                                               
Additionally,   he   reported  how   needs,   and  funding,   for                                                               
English as a Second Language program have surged.                                                                               
8:54:32 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  said that  the  bill  would be  held,  and  public                                                               
testimony will remain open.  [HB 317 was held over.]                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 206 material.pdf HEDC 3/27/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/3/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
CS HB 206 (EDC) April 22 workdraft.pdf HEDC 8/25/2009 9:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
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
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
HB206_CountChart.xlsx HEDC 1/20/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 206
HB235 version R.pdf HEDC 1/22/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 235
HB235 Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDC 1/22/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 235
Ltr House Ed Comm RE HB235 WICHE.pdf HEDC 1/22/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 235
WICHE Tuition -pharmacy school.xls HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 235
WICHE- Pharmacy Workforce.pdf HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 235
HB235- statistics.doc HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 235
HB 317 materials.pdf HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 317
HB235CS-EED-ACPE-01-29-10.pdf HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 235
HB317_EED_ACYA_1-27-10.pdf HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB317_EED_ESS_1-27-10.pdf HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
Scan001 (5).pdf HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 235
Scan001 (6).pdf HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 235