Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

02/05/2010 08:00 AM House EDUCATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
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+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
        HB 317-EDUC. FUNDING: BASIC/SPEC NEEDS/TRANSPORT                                                                    
9:01:48 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON announced  that the next 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."                                                                                                         
9:02:09 AM                                                                                                                    
KATIE KOESTER,  Staff, Representative  Paul Seaton,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, introduced the amendment, stating:                                                                                 
     What  this amendment  does is  it  replicates the  1.50                                                                    
     percent increase in block funding,  for the fiscal year                                                                    
     2012 (FY  12).  If you  recall, in HB 317,  we increase                                                                    
     funding for  the base student allocation  (BSA) by $125                                                                    
     dollars  for  the next  three  fiscal  years, and  also                                                                    
     increase for  the first fiscal  year the  block grants.                                                                    
     This would ...  take that increase and extend  it by an                                                                    
     additional year  that would  make the  first year  be a                                                                    
     1.50 percent increase, and the  second year a 3 percent                                                                    
     increase. ...  The actual  amendment inserts  a section                                                                    
     3,  on  page  2,  following line  9,  that  mimics  the                                                                    
     section  preceding  it  with  a  different  factor  ...                                                                    
     instead of 1.215, it's 1.23.                                                                                               
MS. KOESTER  said the additional  aspects of the  amendment serve                                                               
to renumber the sections appropriately.                                                                                         
9:04:55 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  moved Amendment 1, labeled  26-LS1378\E.2, Mischel,                                                               
2/4/10, which read:                                                                                                             
     Page 2, following line 9:                                                                                                  
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
        "* Sec.  3. AS 14.17.420(a),  as amended by  sec. 6,                                                                
     ch. 9, SLA 2008, and by  sec. 2 of this Act, is amended                                                                    
     to read:                                                                                                                   
          (a)  As a component of public school funding, a                                                                       
     district is eligible for special  needs funding and may                                                                    
     be eligible for intensive services funding as follows:                                                                     
               (1)  special needs funding is available to a                                                                     
     district to  assist the  district in  providing special                                                                    
     education,  gifted and  talented education,  vocational                                                                    
     education,  and  bilingual  education services  to  its                                                                    
     students;  a  special  needs  funding  factor  of  1.23                                                                
     [1.215]   shall    be   applied    as   set    out   in                                                                    
     AS 14.17.410(b)(1);                                                                                                        
               (2) in addition to the special needs funding                                                                     
     for  which a  district is  eligible under  (1) of  this                                                                    
     subsection,  a  district   is  eligible  for  intensive                                                                    
     services  funding for  each  special education  student                                                                    
     who  needs  and  receives  intensive  services  and  is                                                                    
     enrolled on the last day  of the count period; for each                                                                    
     such student,  intensive services  funding is  equal to                                                                    
     the intensive student count multiplied by 13."                                                                             
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
     Page 2, line 13:                                                                                                           
          Delete "sec. 2"                                                                                                       
          Insert "sec. 4"                                                                                                       
     Page 2, line 16:                                                                                                           
          Delete "secs. 2 and 3"                                                                                                
          Insert "secs. 4 and 5"                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 22:                                                                                                           
          Delete "Sections 2 and 3"                                                                                             
          Insert "Sections 2 and 4"                                                                                             
     Page 2, line 23:                                                                                                           
          Delete "Section 4"                                                                                                    
          Insert "Sections 3 and 5"                                                                                             
     Page 2, line 24:                                                                                                           
          Delete "Section 5"                                                                                                    
          Insert "Section 6"                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON, hearing no objection, announced that Amendment 1,                                                                 
to HB 317, was adopted.                                                                                                         
9:06:19 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON offered Conceptual Amendment 2, removing the third                                                                 
year of the forward funding.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER objected for discussion.                                                                                 
9:06:54 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON explained that Conceptual Amendment 2 would remove                                                                 
the necessity for a new legislature to pass a continuation bill                                                                 
in  the first  half  of a  session.   Currently,  a newly  formed                                                               
education committee would need to  come to terms with the funding                                                               
formula,  and craft  an appropriate  continuation bill,  which he                                                               
opined could prove difficult.                                                                                                   
9:08:18 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER pointed  out  that adding  a fourth  year                                                               
would serve the same purpose,  relieving any urgency, and provide                                                               
more security for the school districts.                                                                                         
CHAIR SEATON  stated reluctance  to extending it  as far  as four                                                               
years,  due to  all  of  the variables  involved  in the  funding                                                               
formula.   He opined that it  would be prudent to  have a shorter                                                               
projection  period, which  would allow  adequate time  within the                                                               
legislature to understand the situation  and continue the forward                                                               
funding.   Further,  the  historical aspect  of  the intent,  and                                                               
reasoning,  used   to  develop  forward  funding   has  a  better                                                               
opportunity to be passed on  to the upcoming legislative members,                                                               
but may be lost two legislatures removed.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER recognized that  modifications to the bill                                                               
could  subsequently  occur.   However,  she  maintained that  the                                                               
education  committee has  the  opportunity  to indicate  definite                                                               
intent for  forward funding, and said  it is important to  have a                                                               
plan in place.                                                                                                                  
9:11:38 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER   offered  Conceptual  Amendment   1,  to                                                               
Conceptual  Amendment 2,  increasing the  forward funding  by one                                                               
CHAIR SEATON objected for discussion.                                                                                           
9:12:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON reiterated  his concern for the  difficulty it would                                                               
pose,  in projecting  appropriate  funding  formula figures,  and                                                               
predicted  that  nebulous  fiscal projections  would  hinder  the                                                               
movement  of  the  bill  through the  legislative  process.    He                                                               
expressed hope that  the intent would not become  altered, in the                                                               
future, and  forward funding would  be continued.   He maintained                                                               
his objection.                                                                                                                  
9:13:14 AM                                                                                                                    
A roll call  vote was taken.  Representatives  Wilson and Gardner                                                               
voted  in   favor  of  Conceptual  Amendment   1,  to  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 2.   Representatives Buch and Seaton  voted against it.                                                               
Therefore, the  amendment to Conceptual  Amendment 2 failed  by a                                                               
vote of 2-2.                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON,  hearing  no  further  objection,  announced  that                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                             
9:15:24 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH opined that HB 317  will be a bill which will                                                               
continue to evolve.                                                                                                             
9:16:35 AM                                                                                                                    
CARL  ROSE,  Executive  Director, Association  of  Alaska  School                                                               
Boards (AASB),  expressed support  for the failed  amendment, and                                                               
indicated interest in having the  forward funding extended to ten                                                               
years.   The  idea  for  forward funding  that  came through  the                                                               
education task  force has been crafted  in a suitable way  and is                                                               
supported by the association, as amended.                                                                                       
9:19:11 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  directed the committee's  attention to  the handout                                                               
titled  "The  Department of  Education  and  Early Development  -                                                               
School Finance.  Response to  House Education Committee Questions                                                               
of 2/1/2010," and  asked the department to explain  the five page                                                               
9:20:02 AM                                                                                                                    
EDDY  JEANS, Director,  School  Finance  and Facilities  Section,                                                               
Department of  Education and Early  Development (EED),  said that                                                               
the  document addresses  four questions,  beginning with  funding                                                               
comparisons for the  Alaska Military Youth Academy  (AMYA) to the                                                               
other residential  school programs.   Page 2 provides  a breakout                                                               
of dollars generated  through the foundation funding,  as well as                                                               
residential  funding provided  by  the state.    He reminded  the                                                               
committee  that  the  legislature passed  a  residential  funding                                                               
program  for  Galena,  Lower  Kuskokwim, and  Nenana.    The  Mt.                                                               
Edgecumbe residential program is  funded through the department's                                                               
operating budget.   Question two  regards how AMYA  schedules the                                                               
residential program.   He reported  that the academy runs  two 22                                                               
week residential sessions each year.   Funding is received on the                                                               
basis of  seven times the  base student allocation (BSA)  via the                                                               
funding formula,  and pays  for the residential,  as well  as the                                                               
instructional, programs.  AMYA has  a second allocation, which is                                                               
an adjustment  to provide follow-up mentorship  to the graduates.                                                               
Question  three  addresses   the  pupil  transportation  contract                                                               
adjustments for ties to the CPI  (Consumer Price Index).  Many of                                                               
the  contracts  allow for  upward  or  downward CPI  adjustments.                                                               
Pupil transportation  is covered by  a grant based on  the number                                                               
of students,  and even  if the  number of  students decline  on a                                                               
particular route,  it still must  be run, but state  support will                                                               
be less.   He stated support  for the [proposed language  of CSHB
317,   Version   S]   regarding   the   adjustment   to   student                                                               
transportation funding.   The final question deals  with the 1.50                                                               
percent adjustment,  intended to  provide additional  support for                                                               
career and technical  programs.  He said he  reviewed the history                                                               
of  funding  for  these  programs.   In  1998,  when  categorical                                                               
funding was  in place, 8.5  million was allocated  for vocational                                                               
education, and the total foundation  program was $795 million, or                                                               
1.08 percent  categorically identified for  vocational education.                                                               
He said,  "Even back  then, those dollars  were intended  for the                                                               
additional costs  of vocational  programs, not  the base  cost of                                                               
those programs."  Directing attention  to page 5, of the handout,                                                               
he  explained that  adding 1.215  percent  will identify  roughly                                                               
1.07  percent of  the  total,  or $14.7  million  out  of a  $1.4                                                               
billion dollar  budget.   Increasing it  by the  additional three                                                               
percent, 1.230,  means nearly $30  million would be  provided out                                                               
of a  $1.4 billion  dollar budget,  or 2.14  percent.   He opined                                                               
that this  would be  a good  direction to take  if it  is clearly                                                               
understood that these  are dollars to offset  additional costs of                                                               
running vocational education programs, on  top of what is already                                                               
in place.                                                                                                                       
9:25:01 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON asked  concurrence  from the  committee  to have  a                                                               
letter of  intent crafted  to specify  that the  career technical                                                               
vocational component is not being  supplanted in the block grant,                                                               
by  the increase  proposed in  the bill.   With  no objection,  a                                                               
letter of intent will accompany the bill.                                                                                       
9:25:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH  returned to page  2, of the 5  page handout,                                                               
and  clarified   that  Mt.  Edgecombe   is  funded   through  the                                                               
department's operating budget.                                                                                                  
MR. JEANS confirmed his understanding.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH   recalled  concern  for  loss   of  federal                                                               
funding,  and  the   ability  for  the  state   to  maintain  the                                                               
facilities.   He asked whether  the department expects  the other                                                               
residential programs to be funded similarly in the future.                                                                      
MR. JEANS  said Mt.  Edgecombe is  unique, as  a state  owned and                                                               
operated school, which is why  the residential component shows up                                                               
in  the department's  budget.   However, if  Galena requested  to                                                               
contract  with the  state  to operate  another  state school,  an                                                               
amendments could be  made to the department's budget  to fund the                                                               
residential  component.     The  legislature  passed   a  funding                                                               
mechanism  to provide  the residential  costs  for Galena,  Lower                                                               
Kuskokwim, and  Nenana, as  a separate  component outside  of the                                                               
foundation formula.   These three schools are  not funded through                                                               
the operating  funds, but  rather out  of the  department's grant                                                               
9:28:22 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH   noted  that  the  AMYA   tracks  the  post                                                               
graduates, to  know whether  the young  adults have  continued as                                                               
productive  citizens.   He expressed  an interest  in seeing  the                                                               
AMYA  tracking  model  expanded  to  other  programs,  which  may                                                               
require  a minimal  fiscal  note, but  will  result in  important                                                               
feedback  that  will  validate  the efforts  being  made  by  the                                                               
MR.  JEANS  agreed  that  the  AMYA  fiscal  component  for  post                                                               
graduate  progress  tracking/mentoring  is  not  expensive.    He                                                               
reported tracking,  will be  implemented through  the cooperative                                                               
agreements  that the  department  is entering  into  with the  UA                                                               
system, and  Department of Labor &  Workforce Development (DLWD),                                                               
especially if  students remain  in the state.   A  unique student                                                               
identifier  is  also  under consideration,  which  will  also  be                                                               
helpful for tracking.                                                                                                           
9:30:57 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON commented  that a recent news  article indicated how                                                               
another  state   has  employed  a  unique   identifier  to  track                                                               
students, and  expanded its  use to  track students  across other                                                               
MR. JEANS added that participants  in the K-12 pilot program were                                                               
required to  utilize the EED student  ID [identification] system.                                                               
The progress  of these students  will be tracked and  analyzed to                                                               
enable the department to determine the benefits of the program.                                                                 
9:32:11 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH  indicated  an interest  in  establishing  a                                                               
means  for tracking  homeschooled children.   He  said that  they                                                               
often come into  the system later, perhaps through  the AMYA, and                                                               
there should  be a way  to correct  the information to  reflect a                                                               
student's history.                                                                                                              
CHAIR  SEATON agreed  that the  information is  valuable and  the                                                               
committee is  interested in  supporting the  department's efforts                                                               
to implement  a meaningful  tracking system.   He  requested that                                                               
the department  provide the committee with  information regarding                                                               
any statutes that may need amending  to allow these actions to be                                                               
put into place.                                                                                                                 
9:34:07 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  directed attention to  page 2, of  the departmental                                                               
handout, and stated  that the funding formula applies  a built in                                                               
base student  allocation escalator, of  seven, to be  applied for                                                               
the AMYA program.   With the formula  increases, forward funding,                                                               
and other  legislative actions that have  occurred, the escalator                                                               
needs  to  be  reviewed.   An  unintended  consequence  is  being                                                               
recognized where  the funding mechanism,  the multiplier,  may no                                                               
longer correspond with  the needs of the AMYA program.   He asked                                                               
Mr. Jeans  whether HB  317 would be  the appropriate  vehicle for                                                               
changing that funding program.                                                                                                  
MR. JEANS recommended  that it be addressed in  another bill, and                                                               
also  to have  the academy  express their  needs directly  to the                                                               
CHAIR SEATON  said the  academy would be  invited to  address the                                                               
committee, and provide a full overview of the program.                                                                          
9:40:54 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON solicited  response to  the revisions  made to  the                                                               
bill,  and  announced that  HB  317  would  be held  for  further                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 295 Background.pdf HEDC 1/29/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 295 Fiscal Notes.pdf HEDC 1/29/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 295
Alaska Historic Preservation Act.ppt HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 295
University of Alaska Land Grant Booklet link.docx HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 295
HB 206 material.pdf HEDC 4/15/2009 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
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
HB 317 materials.pdf HEDC 2/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 317
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
House Education questions on HB 295 .doc HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 295
HB 206 Version P February 4, 2010.pdf HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/10/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/12/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/19/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/8/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/17/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 206
HB 206 version P Sponsor Statement February 4, 2010.docx HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/10/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/12/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/19/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/8/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/17/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 206
HB 317 version S.pdf HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/10/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 317