Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

02/10/2010 08:00 AM House EDUCATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 317(EDC) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
        HB 317-EDUC. FUNDING: BASIC/SPEC NEEDS/TRANSPORT                                                                    
8:07:10 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."                                                                                                         
8:08:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CARL  ROSE,  Executive  Director, Association  of  Alaska  School                                                               
Boards (AASB), stated support for HB  317, and said that the bill                                                               
represented an  extension of the  effort toward  forward funding.                                                               
The other aspects of the bill are also widely supported.                                                                        
8:09:33 AM                                                                                                                    
JOHN ALCANTRA, Government  Relations Director, National Education                                                               
Association  of Alaska  (NEAA), stated  support for  HB 317,  and                                                               
said  forward  funding  is  welcomed  by  teacher  and  education                                                               
support  members.     He  suggested   that  the   state  consider                                                               
expediting the area  cost differentials, due to  the lengthy wait                                                               
period many teachers face.   Further, he reported that, with only                                                               
a $100  base student allocation  (BSA) increase, for  fiscal year                                                               
(FY) ll,  schools are preparing  to eliminate dozens  of teaching                                                               
positions.   The bill may  help alleviate this type  of situation                                                               
in the future.                                                                                                                  
8:12:33 AM                                                                                                                    
LaDAWN DRUCE,  President, Kenai Peninsula  Education Association,                                                               
stated support  for HB  317, and suggested  an effective  date of                                                               
July 2010,  for the BSA rate  increased being made to  Sections 2                                                               
and  3.   She  said  that  maintaining  a reasonable  student  to                                                               
teacher ratio  is important, and  explained what can  happen when                                                               
one full time teaching position is removed from a school.                                                                       
8:16:31 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON closed public testimony.                                                                                           
8:16:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON  agreed   with  the  comments  brought                                                               
forward by the  witnesses, and was sympathetic  for the immediate                                                               
need for a BSA increase, citing legislative restraints.                                                                         
8:17:43 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER disagreed  that this  committee would  be                                                               
unable  to change  recommendations previously  established.   She                                                               
said it  is the responsibility  of the current committee  to take                                                               
action that  is deemed  appropriate at this  time.   Further, she                                                               
asked about the  letter of intent that is  accompanying the bill.                                                               
She  questioned how  it will  be overseen  by EED,  and enforced,                                                               
even though it does not carry the weight of a statute.                                                                          
8:18:46 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON paraphrased  the letter  of intent,  which read  as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
     It is the intent of  the legislature that the increases                                                                    
     in  block funding  for education  in AS.14.17.420(a)(1)                                                                    
     as amended by HB 317  are meant to enhance a district's                                                                    
     ability to offer  career technical/vocational education                                                                    
     as an  addition to  other funds  a district  applies to                                                                    
     career  technical/vocational education.   The  increase                                                                    
     is not to  be interpreted as the only  funds a district                                                                    
     can    designate   for    career   technical/vocational                                                                    
8:19:32 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON expressed confidence that  the letter of intent will                                                               
provide   the   districts   with   appropriate   guidelines   for                                                               
implementing the  funding increase.   The bill language  does not                                                               
specify how  districts are  to spend  the increased  funds; hence                                                               
the letter of  intent versus legal constraints.   The block grant                                                               
funding  was  incorporated,  in response  to  multiple  statewide                                                               
comments,   indicating  that   career  and   technical/vocational                                                               
education programs are being constrained due to lack of funding.                                                                
8:22:12 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH expressed concern,  and anticipation, for the                                                               
funding to be used as directed  in the letter of intent, and said                                                               
the committee  members will be  watchful that  appropriate action                                                               
is taken by the districts.                                                                                                      
8:23:05 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ  recalled that  a 1.50 percent  increase was                                                               
being considered  for the career/technical add-on,  and asked how                                                               
it was settled at the current 1.215 percent.                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON  explained that Amendment 1  [labeled 26-LS1378\E.2,                                                               
Mischel, 2/4/10,  passed at the  2/5/10 meeting] was  the vehicle                                                               
for the change.                                                                                                                 
8:24:02 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON commented that some  school boards have                                                               
indicated that the increase may  end up being directed to special                                                               
education support.   She  agreed that the  letter of  intent will                                                               
help  schools  to  implement  the  programs  that  the  committee                                                               
expects to have benefit by this action.                                                                                         
8:25:25 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  pointed out  that  today,  with the  inception  of                                                               
virtual classes, community  internships, and other possibilities,                                                               
the  funding  will  help  provide  opportunities  that  are  more                                                               
economical  than building/staffing  a lab  style classroom.   The                                                               
benefits can be  as great for less cost, he  opined, and stressed                                                               
the importance for thinking outside the box.                                                                                    
8:27:22 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  EDGMON referred  to  the letter  of  intent and  suggested                                                               
inserting a  second "that" to  the first  line, to read  in part:                                                               
"...  other funds  that a  district  applies ...".   He  received                                                               
agreement from the committee that  the language would be included                                                               
in the final letter.                                                                                                            
8:28:31 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER recalled  the  adage,  "Those that  don't                                                               
ask, don't  get."  She stated  her belief that the  committee has                                                               
the  responsibility  to  ask  for  what  is  really  needed  [for                                                               
education], however, having  no amendment to offer,  she said she                                                               
would not delay movement of the bill.                                                                                           
8:29:24 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON agreed  with the  expressed concern,  and suggested                                                               
the finance  subcommittee could provide  a forum to  continue the                                                               
8:29:55 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  moved to  report HB  317, 26-LS1378\S,                                                               
Mischel,  2/5/10, as  amended, out  of committee  with individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no  objection,   CSHB  317(EDC)  was  reported   from  the  House                                                               
Education Standing Committee.                                                                                                   
8:30:25 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 8:30 a.m. to 8:32 a.m.                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
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 317 version S.pdf HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/10/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 317
HB317-EED-ACYA-2-5-10 (2).pdf HEDC 2/10/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 317
HB317-EED-ESS-2-8-10 (2).pdf HEDC 2/10/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 317
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 numbers with ISER.pdf HEDC 2/10/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 317
HB 317 letter of intent.pdf HEDC 2/10/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 317