Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

02/26/2010 08:00 AM EDUCATION


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 297 POSTSECONDARY SCHOLARSHIPS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 350 PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING: LOCAL CONTRIBUTION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled from 02/22/10>
               HB 297-POSTSECONDARY SCHOLARSHIPS                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:09:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL   NO.  297,  "An  Act   establishing  the  governor's                                                               
performance  scholarship program  and  relating  to the  program;                                                               
establishing  the  governor's  performance scholarship  fund  and                                                               
relating  to  the  fund;  relating  to  student  records;  making                                                               
conforming amendments; and providing for an effective date."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:10:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:10 a.m. to 8:11a.m.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:11:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON continued with public testimony.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:11:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARL  ROSE,  Executive  Director, Association  of  Alaska  School                                                               
Boards  (AASB), stated  support  for HB  297,  and declared  that                                                               
anytime there is  assistance provided for young  people to attend                                                               
college it  is a good  idea.   The association does  have concern                                                               
for every district to provide the  means for students to meet all                                                               
of  the  requirements.     Educational  opportunities  are  being                                                               
expanded via  digital learning,  and virtual  school initiatives,                                                               
which will be helpful in addressing these concerns.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH  reported that the Bush  caucus has expressed                                                               
concern  regarding  the  workability  of this  program  in  rural                                                               
Alaska, and the committee is addressing that issue.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:14:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  clarified that two educational  tracks are proposed                                                               
for  the  scholarship program  to  provide  support for  students                                                               
following an  academic education  or choosing  to enter  a career                                                               
technical institution.   He asked whether these  tracks have been                                                               
discussed and are supported by AASB.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROSE said, "Yes."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:15:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER indicated that  the companion bill, in the                                                               
Senate,   is   different,   particularly   regarding   the   math                                                               
requirement.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:15:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROSE noted  that the association did discuss  that variant as                                                               
a fundamental aspect.   The University of Alaska  (UA) system has                                                               
cited math as the number one  factor for a student not completing                                                               
a degree.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:16:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON closed public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:16:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON moved to take from the table Amendment 3, labeled                                                                  
26-GH2771\A.9, Mischel, 2/16/10, tabled at the 2/17/10 meeting,                                                                 
which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, lines 3 - 4:                                                                                                       
          Delete "university or college in this state"                                                                          
          Insert "postsecondary institution as described in                                                                     
     AS 14.43.835"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 8:                                                                                                            
          Delete "university or college"                                                                                        
          Insert "postsecondary institution"                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, line 5, following "maximum awards":                                                                                
          Insert "and allowable uses"                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, line 12, following "achievement;":                                                                                 
          Insert "for purposes of this paragraph, a student's                                                                   
     academic achievement must be determined by the student's                                                                   
     high school grade-point average and score on an examination                                                                
     described in AS 14.43.820(b)(3);"                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, lines 16 - 18:                                                                                                     
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
               "(3)  subject to (e) of this section, a student                                                                  
     who  qualifies for  a merit-based  academic scholarship  may                                                               
     apply  the  award to  the  costs  of attending  a  qualified                                                               
     career  and   technical  school  program  as   described  in                                                               
     AS 14.43.835(a)(2);"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, lines 27, following "courses":                                                                                     
          Insert ", or for up to two calendar years of                                                                          
     attendance at a qualified career and technical school"                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:17:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON objected for discussion.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:17 a.m. to 8:18 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:18:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON said this amendment will allow either award, the                                                                   
merit-based or performance scholarship of any level, to be used                                                                 
at either  a vocational or  an academic college of  the student's                                                               
choice.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:18:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON questioned whether the  intention is to                                                               
ensure that the institution is accredited or certified.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  said a qualified  student should be allowed  to use                                                               
the award at the institution of  the student's choice, and not be                                                               
restricted to  a college or  university.   A student my  earn the                                                               
highest academic  award, but  may choose  to attend  a vocational                                                               
institute.  The amendment will  allow a student to pursue his/her                                                               
personal goals at  a Department of Labor  & Workforce Development                                                               
(DLWD) accredited/certified postsecondary institution.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:20:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON clarified that the  bill will stipulate                                                               
that the institution will be qualified by DLWD.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:21:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ  stated her original understanding  was that                                                               
a student receiving  an academic award could  use the scholarship                                                               
to attend a  vocational institution.  She  expressed concern that                                                               
the amendment may not achieve that intent.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:21:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER pointed out  that Amendment 3 does provide                                                               
appropriate flexibility.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:22:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH,  referring to Amendment  3, page 1,  line 3,                                                               
indicated  that   the  qualifications   are  set  forth   in  the                                                               
referenced statute.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:22:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON commented  on  the  importance of  not                                                               
prioritizing college over a vocational school, in the GPS.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  declared that  the intent is  to allow  someone who                                                               
attains  the  most rigorous  scholarship  level  free choice  for                                                               
applying the award.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:24:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ   asked  if  the  program   will  have  two                                                               
application  tracks, or  will a  student who  achieves a  certain                                                               
academic level  be automatically  considered for  a corresponding                                                               
award.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON said  there are  specific curriculum  requirements,                                                               
and those taking the most rigorous  courses will be able to apply                                                               
the award to the program of  their choice.  Some of the technical                                                               
schools are  as expensive as  those schools offering  an academic                                                               
degree.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ   inquired  as  to  whether   two  separate                                                               
applications will be involved when  a student submits criteria to                                                               
receive this scholarship.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   SEATON  responded   that   a  student   will  submit   an                                                               
application,  for a  GPS, in  the student's  senior year  of high                                                               
school.  There  may be two basic sets of  curriculum from which a                                                               
student can choose  when preparing for their career:   a standard                                                               
course plan, or  a rigorous course of study.   A student may have                                                               
more options if  he/she chooses to take the  rigorous course over                                                               
the standard plan.   He pointed out that a  student who takes the                                                               
current  requirements to  earn  a high  school  diploma will  not                                                               
qualify for a GPS.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:28:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ  stated her  need to further  understand the                                                               
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:28:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  clarified  that   passing  Amendment  3  will  not                                                               
preclude a future amendment.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:29:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON removed her objection.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
[The  objection by  Representative Munoz  at the  2/17/10 hearing                                                               
was treated as withdrawn.]                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON,  hearing  no  further  objection,  announced  that                                                               
Amendment was 3 adopted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:29 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:30:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON   stated  that  Amendment  4   was  withdrawn  from                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:30:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:30 a.m. to 8:31 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:31:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON rescinded the previous  statement and announced that                                                               
Amendments  4, 5,  and 6  [text included  in the  2/17/10 meeting                                                               
minutes]  would remain  on the  table.   He  then announced  that                                                               
Amendment 7 is withdrawn.  [Amendment  7, with the same text, was                                                               
later reintroduced in this meeting and numbered Amendment 12.]                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:32:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  moved to take  from the table Amendment  8, labeled                                                               
26-GH2771\A.16, Mischel, 2/18/10, tabled  at the 2/19/10 meeting,                                                               
which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 14, following "established":                                                                                  
          Insert "for the purpose of ensuring that a                                                                            
      rigorous curriculum is available in all high schools                                                                      
     in the state and"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 16, following "opportunities":                                                                                
          Insert ";                                                                                                             
               (9)  providing a rigorous curriculum in all                                                                      
     high schools in the state"                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ objected for discussion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:33 a.m. to 8:34 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:34:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER asked about the impact of Amendment 8.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  said that one  of the purposes  for the bill  is to                                                               
provide a rigorous  curriculum, but it was not  stipulated in the                                                               
bill  that  required  courses  would be  available  in  all  high                                                               
schools  in  the  state.     This  amendment  will  rectify  that                                                               
oversight.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:35:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ withdrew her objection to Amendment 8.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
[The  objection  by  Representative  P.  Wilson  at  the  2/19/10                                                               
meeting was treated as withdrawn.]                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON,  hearing  no  further  objection,  announced  that                                                               
Amendment 8 was adopted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:36:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved to take  from the table Amendment 9,                                                               
labeled  26-GH2771\A.10,   Chenoweth,  2/17/10,  tabled   at  the                                                               
2/19/10 meeting, which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 10, line 1, following "error":                                                                                        
          Insert "less any scholarship award payments                                                                           
      previously expended if the error in the award of the                                                                      
     scholarship was not due to any fault of the student"                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON objected for discussion.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER directed attention to  HB 297, pages 9 and                                                               
10, lines 31 and 1 respectively, and read:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
      (c) A student who is awarded a scholarship in error                                                                       
     shall be required to refund to the state the amount of                                                                     
     the scholarship awarded in error.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER argued  that if an award is  made in error                                                               
through no fault of the student,  the money is used, it would not                                                               
be fair  for the student  to be liable  for repayment.   She used                                                               
the example of  the state miscalculating a GPA,  thus awarding an                                                               
inappropriate amount, which is discovered  later during a program                                                               
audit.   The student  would have  been acting  in good  faith and                                                               
utilizing  the  funds  appropriately,   but  ending  up  with  an                                                               
unexpected debt.   Certainly, she said  if it is discovered  in a                                                               
timely  manner,  any  unspent  portion  of  the  award  could  be                                                               
withdrawn by the state.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:37:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EDDY  JEANS, Director,  School  Finance  and Facilities  Section,                                                               
Department of  Education and Early  Development (EED),  said that                                                               
the department has not taken a  position on this Amendment 9.  He                                                               
pointed out that  once the scholarships are awarded  they will be                                                               
administered by the Alaska  Commission on Postsecondary Education                                                               
(ACPE), and deferred to the ACPE.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON indicated  that ACPE has not provided  a comment for                                                               
the  committee's consideration  on Amendment  9.   He stated  his                                                               
hesitancy to  impune that  a problem  exists, lacking  input from                                                               
the department.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:39:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER indicated it is  an area that has not been                                                               
addressed, and stated her hope that  these types of errors do not                                                               
occur.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:40:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON removed her objection to Amendment 9.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
[The  objection  by  Chair  Seaton at  the  2/19/10  hearing  was                                                               
treated as withdrawn.]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON stated  his  understanding  that false  information                                                               
submitted by  a student,  would be considered  the fault  of that                                                               
student.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  concurred, and clarified that  the intent                                                               
of Amendment 9 is to hold  harmless a student who is not involved                                                               
in creating the error.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:42:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON,  hearing  no  further  objection,  announced  that                                                               
Amendment 9 was adopted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:42:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER moved  to take  from the  table Amendment                                                               
10,  labeled  26-GH2771\A.17,  Mischel, 2/18/10,  tabled  at  the                                                               
2/19/10 meeting  with an objection pending,  which read [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, lines 16 - 19:                                                                                                     
          Delete "The program includes a merit-based                                                                            
     academic  scholarship  and  a  merit-based  career  and                                                                    
     technical school scholarship.  The merit-based academic                                                                    
     scholarship  consists of  three levels  of awards.  The                                                                    
     merit-based  career  and technical  school  scholarship                                                                    
     consists of one level of award."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 17:                                                                                                           
          Delete "an academic"                                                                                                
          Insert "a performance"                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 18:                                                                                                           
          Delete "academic"                                                                                                     
          Insert "performance"                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 21:                                                                                                           
          Delete "academic"                                                                                                     
          Insert "performance"                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, lines 29 - 30:                                                                                                     
          Delete "academic scholarship"                                                                                         
          Insert "scholarship award"                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, lines 2 - 3:                                                                                                       
          Delete "academic scholarship"                                                                                         
          Insert "scholarship award"                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, lines 3 - 4:                                                                                                       
          Delete "university or college in this state"                                                                          
          Insert "postsecondary institution as described in                                                                     
     AS 14.43.835"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 8:                                                                                                            
          Delete "university or college"                                                                                        
          Insert "postsecondary institution"                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 11, through page 7, line 15:                                                                                  
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
     "Sec. 14.43.825.  Maximum awards. (a) Subject  to (b) -                                                                  
     (f)  of  this section,  the  maximum  awards under  the                                                                    
     program are                                                                                                                
               (1)  for a student who demonstrates very                                                                         
     high  academic   achievement,  the  cost   of  approved                                                                    
     tuition  for a  full-time student  in school  year 2009                                                                    
     through   2010    at   the    qualified   postsecondary                                                                    
     institution at which the student intends to enroll;                                                                        
               (2)  for a student who demonstrates high                                                                         
     academic  achievement, 75  percent of  approved tuition                                                                    
     for  a full-time  student in  school year  2009 through                                                                    
     2010  at  the  qualified postsecondary  institution  at                                                                    
     which the student intends to enroll;                                                                                       
               (3)  for a student who demonstrates moderate                                                                     
     academic  achievement, 50  percent of  approved tuition                                                                    
     for  a full-time  student in  school year  2009 through                                                                    
     2010  at  the  qualified postsecondary  institution  at                                                                    
     which the student intends to enroll."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, line 16:                                                                                                           
          Delete "(3) a"                                                                                                        
          Insert "(b) A"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Reletter the following subsections accordingly.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, line 19:                                                                                                           
          Delete "merit-based academic"                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, line 25:                                                                                                           
          Delete "merit-based academic"                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, line 27:                                                                                                           
          Delete "university or college"                                                                                        
          Insert "postsecondary institution as described in                                                                     
     AS 14.43.835"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, lines 27 - 29:                                                                                                     
          Delete "A student receiving a merit-based career                                                                      
     and technical  scholarship may remain eligible  for two                                                                    
     calendar years of attendance at  a qualified career and                                                                    
     technical  school. A  student may  not receive  both an                                                                    
     academic and a career and technical scholarship"                                                                           
          Insert "A student may not receive more than one                                                                       
     scholarship award"                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON renewed her objection to Amendment 10.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:42:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER   said  she   is  troubled  by   the  two                                                               
distinctive educational  tracks that  are presented in  the bill.                                                               
She opined that it is  important to provide pupils choices, which                                                               
may be changeable;  a commitment to one track may  not remain the                                                               
suitable  choice as  a student  matures.   Parents and  educators                                                               
should  be   opening  doors  for   students,  and   she  espoused                                                               
eliminating the  two track  system and simply  having a  GPS will                                                               
accomplish that  effort.  When  the award is provided,  a student                                                               
should be able  to begin an academic track in  college, switch to                                                               
a vocational institute,  or move back and forth  during the eight                                                               
semesters covered  by the scholarship.   The award  amount should                                                               
reflect the student's merit level,  and be applied to the tuition                                                               
costs  of the  institution the  student is  attending during  any                                                               
given semester; not necessarily the same amount.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:44:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  requested further information on  how the financial                                                               
distribution would be handled in the scenario presented.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER explained  that  if a  student  has a  50                                                               
percent award level to the  University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA),                                                               
and decides to go to  a vocational institution, the funding would                                                               
be  adjusted to  the 50  percent rate  at the  vocational school.                                                               
One of the  concerns has been that career  schools would consider                                                               
raising tuition,  in anticipation of  the state funding  via this                                                               
legislation.   She directed  attention to  Amendment 10,  page 2,                                                               
line  20, to  indicate  the language,  included  to inhibit  such                                                               
action.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON clarified  his understanding  that a  student would                                                               
receive an award based on  the tuition charged at the institution                                                               
that the student has chosen to attend.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:46:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER restated that  the intent of the amendment                                                               
is not to adjust the academic  award amount, but rather to "put a                                                               
lock on the  tuition for the vocational career."   Further intent                                                               
is to  allow students  to keep  their options  open.   She opined                                                               
that the  core of the bill  should not be about  awarding college                                                               
scholarships, but should be about  reforming the K-12 educational                                                               
culture to  help students  make future  plans, choose  a rigorous                                                               
curriculum, and  have flexible options.   She opined  that having                                                               
to choose and adhere to a  particular track, early in a student's                                                               
school  career, may  be constraining  as  the student  approaches                                                               
postsecondary  readiness.   Additionally, she  stated her  belief                                                               
that every student  should be required to take  the same standard                                                               
of academic curriculum.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:48:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER drew  attention to  the committee  packet                                                               
and the  EED correspondence labeled "Responses  to Questions from                                                               
(H)EDC Members from 2/12/2010 Hearing,"  dated 2/16/10, pages 3-5                                                               
relate the  American College Testing (ACT)  percentiles listed by                                                               
state,  and  focused  primarily  on   the  column  headed  "%  of                                                               
Graduates tested."   The data  indicates that only 29  percent of                                                               
Alaskan graduates take  the ACT while 99 percent  of graduates in                                                               
Wyoming  take the  ACT and  their scores  are slightly  less than                                                               
those of  Alaskan graduates.   She suggested comparing  the score                                                               
data of Alaska and Wyoming  because the Hathaway Program has been                                                               
implemented   in  Wyoming,   which   requires  similar   rigorous                                                               
curriculum  standards  as  those  proposed   in  the  GPS.    One                                                               
difference  is that,  in Wyoming,  every student  is required  to                                                               
take  the  rigorous  curriculum.   With  proper  preparation  and                                                               
commitment, she opined,  Alaskan students can take  four years of                                                               
math,  whether  they  see  themselves  as  academic,  career,  or                                                               
vocational  achievers; it  will  prepare them  to  reach for  the                                                               
highest goal, direction, or dream.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:50:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON agreed  that high school  students need                                                               
to be challenged, throughout their school career.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  declared that  the cited document  is the                                                               
most exciting information  that she has received  during her two-                                                               
year tenure serving on this committee.  She said:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Ninety-nine percent  of students in Wyoming  taking the                                                                    
     ACT.    Awesome.    That's  what  I  want  for  Alaskan                                                                    
     [students], four  years of  high school  math.   And if                                                                    
     we're not  going to change  our high  school graduation                                                                    
     requirements, let's  at least offer  them a way  to see                                                                    
     it and to do it.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:51:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ  agreed with  the intent of  simplifying the                                                               
program and providing one GPS award.   She stated concern for not                                                               
maintaining consistency  in the dollar amount  awarded, having it                                                               
vary depending on the institution attended.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:52:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER said, as sponsor,  she would not object to                                                               
changing  that part  of the  amendment.   However, she  cautioned                                                               
against  putting the  state  in a  position  of awarding  tuition                                                               
beyond what  is actually needed.   It may  be a matter  of simply                                                               
deleting the language that includes the tuition maximum awards.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:53:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON offered that the  bill does have an award provision,                                                               
which is fixed  at a percentage of an amount  for the performance                                                               
scholarship  and  a $3,000,  per  year  maximum, for  the  career                                                               
technical  [scholarship].    It  is stipulated  that  the  amount                                                               
awarded  cannot   be  greater  than   what  is  charged   by  the                                                               
institution.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:53:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  welcomed  a friendly  amendment  to  the                                                               
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:53:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  pointed  out  that   the  high  school  graduation                                                               
requirements have not been changed,  and conjectured that perhaps                                                               
that is what  is attempting to be  accomplished through Amendment                                                               
10.  It  would require every student to take  four years of math,                                                               
regardless of the track the student  chooses.  He said he did not                                                               
object,  however, to  the  current structure  of  the bill  which                                                               
allows the 70 percent of students,  who are not college bound, to                                                               
have  a  means   to  receive  a  scholarship   for  a  vocational                                                               
education.    The amendment  would  remove  that possibility,  by                                                               
requiring that every student take  four years of math; unless the                                                               
math courses are  not stipulated.  A student could  choose from a                                                               
variety of math  courses.  The bill stipulates  that the academic                                                               
track  math  courses  will  be higher  math,  such  as  geometry,                                                               
trigonometry,  and  calculus.   The  vocational  technical  track                                                               
requires four  years of math,  also, but will consist  of courses                                                               
such as  business math.   If the requirement  to earn the  GPS is                                                               
based only on the GPA,  without stipulated courses, a student may                                                               
decide that  he/she can  maintain a  higher GPA,  thus qualifying                                                               
for a  higher GPS  award, by taking  less rigorous  math courses.                                                               
Segregating  the vocational  and academic  class structures  does                                                               
not  prevent a  student from  choosing rigorous  courses, but  it                                                               
does allow  a vocational  student the  possibility of  earning an                                                               
award without taking higher math courses.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:57:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH noted  that it  is a  complex issue  and the                                                               
bill function  is twofold:   a scholarship  and how  to construct                                                               
it.   The curriculum will  be established by the  department, and                                                               
course  design will  address  a student's  interest.   The  award                                                               
amount is a separate question,  and the qualifying student should                                                               
be eligible for the cost  of the education, regardless of whether                                                               
it's  the  academic  track or  the  vocational  education  track.                                                               
"There shouldn't be a distinction  between the types of education                                                               
we're  offering;  it  should  be  a choice  that's  made  by  the                                                               
student," he opined.  He  then reminded members that Amendment 10                                                               
addresses curriculum requirements.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON agreed that both  price and curriculum are contained                                                               
in  the  amendment,  and  suggested that  the  entities  be  kept                                                               
separate to avoid confusion.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:01:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ said  that an assumption is  being made that                                                               
vocational education  math requirements  would be less  than what                                                               
is  required  for an  academic  career.    She  said that  is  an                                                               
erroneous assumption, and asked  the amendment sponsor to provide                                                               
language  to  clarify  the  intent  and  include  flexibility  of                                                               
curriculum.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:01:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON opined  that having two  different math                                                               
tracks is not a good approach.   She emphasized that the approach                                                               
shouldn't be "dumbed down."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON maintained  that requiring four years  of math means                                                               
a student's  fourth year  will be pre-calculus.   Because  a high                                                               
school diploma  only requires  two years,  many students  will be                                                               
eliminated  from applying  for  the  GPS.   The  options will  be                                                               
limited to  either two years  of math  or four years  of rigorous                                                               
math.   He opined that  there will  be no incentive  for students                                                               
who do not  want to take pre-calculus, to have  access to the GPS                                                               
or a different scholarship program.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON  held her opinion that if  there is only                                                               
one track it wouldn't matter.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON insisted  that establishing  a single  track [makes                                                               
the GPS] unachievable for many  students, because students who do                                                               
not take the highest level of  math courses won't qualify for the                                                               
possibility of an award.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON said it should be achievable.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:05:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  said that students  make different  choices; making                                                               
this  requirement  will eliminate  choice  and  may exclude  some                                                               
students.  He  provided an example of a student  deciding to take                                                               
applied mathematics, or business  math, rather than pre-calculus,                                                               
and  underscored  what is  considered  rigorous  for an  academic                                                               
degree may  be different than  what is rigorous for  a vocational                                                               
certificate.   He  stated  his  belief that  only  30 percent  of                                                               
students will continue  education at a college, and  the other 70                                                               
percent should  also have the  possibility of receiving  an award                                                               
from the state to complete the training of their choice.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:06:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON surmised that  it's being assumed that a                                                               
properly prepared  student cannot  handle four  years of  math at                                                               
the high school level.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON clarified that both  scholarship tracks require four                                                               
years of math,  and the difference will be  the specific courses.                                                               
The question  is whether the  math courses have  more application                                                               
and desirability to a full segment  of the students that exist or                                                               
will only  the students who  leave high school  with pre-calculus                                                               
count.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:07:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER clarified  that the  Hathaway system  has                                                               
three levels:  the top two  require four years of math, the third                                                               
level  requires  two.   She  offered  to withdraw  Amendment  10.                                                               
Further,  she  said  she  would   research,  and  report  to  the                                                               
committee, what math classes are offered in Alaska's schools.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON pointed  out that  the  rigor required  in the  GPS                                                               
requires four years  of math.  The intent is  that the four years                                                               
of math won't necessarily be the  four years of math required for                                                               
the GPS.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON opined that  those students who take the                                                               
less  rigorous math  courses will  automatically not  be eligible                                                               
for the college scholarship.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:08:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  directed   attention  to  the  Executive                                                               
Summary Introduction,  American Institutes for Research,  page 1,                                                               
paragraph  1,   paraphrasing  the  text,  which   read  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Singaporean  students  ranked  first in  the  world  in                                                                    
     mathematics on the  Trends in International Mathematics                                                                    
     and Science  Study-2003; U.S. students ranked  16th out                                                                    
     of 46 participating nations at  grade 8 (Mullis, et al,                                                                    
     2004).  Scores for U.S.  students were among the lowest                                                                    
     of  all  industrialized  countries.     Because  it  is                                                                    
     unreasonable to  assume that Singaporean  students have                                                                    
     mathematical abilities inherently  superior to those of                                                                    
     U.S.  students,  there  must  be  something  about  the                                                                    
     system   that   Singapore   has  developed   to   teach                                                                    
     mathematics that  is better than  the system we  use in                                                                    
     the United States.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:09:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER touted  the  need to  emphasize math  and                                                               
science  education,   and  paraphrased  quotes  further   in  the                                                               
document, which read:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     When I compare our high schools  to what I see when I'm                                                                    
     traveling abroad,  I am terrified for  our workforce of                                                                    
     tomorrow.  - Bill  Gates, Chairman  and Chief  Software                                                                    
     Architect of Microsoft Corporation                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Where once nations measured their  strength by the size                                                                    
     of  their armies  and  arsenals, in  the  world of  the                                                                    
     future knowledge will matter most. - President Clinton                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Science and  technology have never been  more essential                                                                    
     to  the defense  of the  nation and  the health  of our                                                                    
     economy. - President George W. Bush                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:10:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON asked the department to comment.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. JEANS  referred to the  comparison of the Alaska  and Wyoming                                                               
ACT  performance outcomes,  and  said that  the  GPS was  modeled                                                               
after  the Wyoming  program, which  does  have two  tracks.   The                                                               
department  will establish  mathematical requirements  to present                                                               
to  the state  board.   The  tracks will  require  the same  math                                                               
classes until the  fourth year, and that is  when the opportunity                                                               
to select  enters.   A student planning  to attend  college would                                                               
choose a college preparation course,  and one planning to enter a                                                               
vocational  field might  choose business  math.   He assured  the                                                               
committee that  it is not about  dumbing down math for  one track                                                               
over another;  both will involve  rigor.  The  previous amendment                                                               
provides the best of both worlds, he said.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   P.    WILSON,   provided    the   aforementioned                                                               
understanding, opined that it does not present a problem.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:12:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JEANS  indicated that it is  the intent of the  department to                                                               
take  rigorous  course  requirements   to  the  state  board,  as                                                               
recommendations for  structuring the  GPS curriculum.   Following                                                               
the department's recommendations the  state board will follow the                                                               
regulatory   process,  which   encompasses   public  review   and                                                               
hearings.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  said it is  helpful to understand what  courses the                                                               
department plans  to consider as  requirements for  these tracks.                                                               
Perhaps  that   can  be   provided  to   the  committee   by  the                                                               
commissioner.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:14:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON asked if the  requirements for science,                                                               
language, and social studies will also  be the same for the first                                                               
three years, for both tracks.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. JEANS replied  that social studies will  require U.S. History                                                               
and  Alaskan History,  prior to  electives  being available,  but                                                               
declined comment  regarding the other  subjects.  He  pointed out                                                               
that the GPS,  two track system, is based on  the Hathaway model,                                                               
as used in Wyoming, which has reported successful ACT outcomes.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:15:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER directed  attention to  page 5,  line 17,                                                               
"Eligibility for an  academic scholarship." and page  6, line 11,                                                               
"Eligibility for a career and  technical school scholarship." and                                                               
pointed out  that the requirements  appear to be identical.   She                                                               
asked  where   the  distinction  will  appear,   perhaps  in  the                                                               
regulations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JEANS responded yes, the  menu of courses will be established                                                               
through the regulatory process, and adopted by the state board.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER clarified that it  will only be the senior                                                               
year when  the electives chosen  by a student will  determine the                                                               
student's track, based on the choice of math.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. JEANS said  the department envisions three  years of required                                                               
math courses, but  refrained from describing the  sequence of how                                                               
those requirements will occur.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER suggested  that  the  elective option  be                                                               
directed to the senior year,  the latest possible branching time.                                                               
With that, she withdrew Amendment 10 from consideration.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:17:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH  requested that  Amendment 11, remain  on the                                                               
table [text provided in the 2/19/10 minutes], at this time.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:17:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  moved Amendment  12, labeled  26-GH2771\A.11, Kane,                                                               
2/17/10, which read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 16, following "opportunities":                                                                                
          Insert ";                                                                                                             
               (9)  increasing participation of Alaska high                                                                     
     school students in Alaska postsecondary institutions"                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[Amendment  12 was  originally numbered  Amendment  7, which  was                                                               
withdrawn earlier in this meeting.]                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON objected for discussion.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:19:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  indicated that Amendment 12  deals with stipulating                                                               
that  the intent  of  the  GPS is  to  increase participation  in                                                               
postsecondary institutions in Alaska.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:20:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER surmised that  the difference between page                                                               
4, line  15, paragraph (8),  of the bill, and  proposed paragraph                                                               
(9)  is the  number of  high school  students who  pursue further                                                               
education  and the  number  of high  school  students who  pursue                                                               
further education  in Alaska, respectively.   Paragraph (8) seems                                                               
to indicate the intent to  have more students continue education,                                                               
while proposed paragraph (9) intends to keep them in Alaska.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON concurred.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:22:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON removed her objection.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON,  hearing  no  further  objection,  announced  that                                                               
Amendment 12 was adopted.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:22:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   SEATON  moved   to  adopt   Amendment  13,   labeled  26-                                                               
GH2771\A.21, Mischel,  2/25/10, which read  [original punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 22, following "curriculum":                                                                                   
          Insert ", which may include virtual curriculum,"                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 17, following "curriculum":                                                                                   
          Insert ", which may include virtual curriculum,"                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH objected for discussion.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:23:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH asked whether by  stating "may include" it is                                                               
at   the  discretion   of  the   department   to  allow   virtual                                                               
opportunities,  or will  it  be  at the  discretion  of a  school                                                               
district.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  responded  that  the  school  districts  have  the                                                               
ability to  adopt text books  and other  instructional materials,                                                               
and Amendment  13 would allow  the inclusion of  virtual learning                                                               
opportunities.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:24:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH  expressed  concern  for  ensuring  who  the                                                               
overseer will be for inclusion of virtual learning options.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  requested comment from the  department, and whether                                                               
virtual courses  will also  be adopted  through similar  means as                                                               
standard curriculum.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JEANS  replied  that current  statute  allows  local  school                                                               
boards  to  adopt  curriculum and  educational  materials.    The                                                               
amendment will highlight the fact  that educational materials may                                                               
include virtual curriculum.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:25:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER recalled receiving  a letter from a school                                                               
district that related concern for  students being siphoned off by                                                               
another district's virtual program.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON said  it is not the intention, nor  is it indicated,                                                               
that there  would be  any change for  how curriculum  is adopted.                                                               
The amendment provides for virtual  instruction to be adopted and                                                               
utilized by a school district.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:27:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH removed his objection.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON,  hearing  no  further  objection,  announced  that                                                               
Amendment 13 was adopted.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:27:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ moved Conceptual Amendment 14.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:29:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ  withdrew   Conceptual  Amendment  14  from                                                               
consideration,  and moved  to take  from the  table Amendment  5,                                                               
labeled 26-GH2771\A.3, tabled at  the 2/17/10 meeting, which read                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Amendment to Page 23, line 16                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     *Sec. 7. AS 37.14 is amended by adding new sections to                                                                   
     read:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
         Article 8A. Governor's Performance Scholarship                                                                       
     Fund.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          Sec. 37.14.750. Governor's performance                                                                              
        scholarship fund established. (a) The governor's                                                                      
     performance scholarship fund is established as a fund                                                                      
     of the state.  The fund consists of                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
               (1) appropriations to the fund;                                                                                  
               (2) donations to the fund; and                                                                                   
               (3) income earned on investments of fund                                                                         
     assests.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          (b) The commissioner of revenue shall manage the                                                                      
     fund with  the goal  that the  purchasing power  of the                                                                    
     fund  will not  diminish  over time  without regard  to                                                                    
     additional contributions that may  be made to the fund.                                                                    
     The commissioner  shall invest  the assets of  the fund                                                                    
     in a  manner likely  to yield at  least a  five percent                                                                    
     real rate of return over time.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          (c) donations to the fund from private sources                                                                    
     shall  be considered  for the  education tax  credit as                                                                
     per AS 43.20.014                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          [(c)](d) Nothing in this section crates a                                                                         
     dedicated fund.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:30:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH objected for discussion.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:30:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ indicated  that  the  amendment will  allow                                                               
business contributions to the GPS  fund, and use the contribution                                                               
as a  tax credit.  She  asked whether the amendment  is necessary                                                               
or  are education  tax credit  opportunities included  in current                                                               
statute.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH  offered  that  the  GPS  appears  to  be  a                                                               
dedicated  fund,  which  may  be   problematic  per  the  state's                                                               
constitution.   Although  he  said  he didn't  want  to lose  the                                                               
opportunity  [for  business   contribution  incentives,  via  tax                                                               
credits],  including  it in  the  bill  might  require it  to  be                                                               
written as a "buy in."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:31:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER,   referring  to  lines  16   and  17  of                                                               
Amendment 5, related  her understanding that the  language says a                                                               
taxpayer, instead of  paying taxes to the state  for general fund                                                               
inclusion and  appropriation by the  legislature, chooses  to pay                                                               
it  into  the  education  fund.    She  opined  that  this  would                                                               
constitute  an infringement  on the  right and  responsibility of                                                               
the legislature to appropriate  funds.  Therefore, Representative                                                               
Gardner stated opposition to Amendment 5.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:32:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  pointed out  that his office  did not  generate the                                                               
research  for  this amendment,  hence  he  felt unable  to  offer                                                               
further  clarity  for  how  an  education  tax  credit  could  be                                                               
incorporated into the bill.   He stated his understanding that it                                                               
is not officially  a dedicated fund and deposits may  be used for                                                               
other purposes.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:33:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON offered a review of statute.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:34:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH removed his objection.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[The objection  by Representative  Munoz at the  2/17/10 meetings                                                               
was treated as withdrawn.]                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ withdrew Amendment 5 from consideration.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:35:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DIANE   BARRANS,  Executive   Director,   Alaska  Commission   on                                                               
Postsecondary  Education  (ACPE),  Department  of  Education  and                                                               
Early Development,  addressed Amendment  9, which created  a safe                                                               
harbor for a student who had  received a scholarship award due to                                                               
an error that wasn't the  student's fault.  She expressed concern                                                               
with the  possibility of  the error resulting  in an  over award.                                                               
In the  case in which a  student receives more funds  than he/she                                                               
should have, whether  it is in the merit  or needs-based portion,                                                               
she opined that it would be appropriate to request a refund.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:37:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  explained that the intent  of Amendment 9                                                               
is  to provide  a  safe harbor  for  the student  who  is in  the                                                               
aforementioned situation  and spent  the funds in  an appropriate                                                               
manner.   Any award that hasn't  been spent by a  student in this                                                               
situation could be reclaimed by the state.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.   BARRANS  said   that  would   not  mitigate   her  concern.                                                               
Regardless of whether a student  who has received more funds than                                                               
he/she deserved has spent the funds  or not, a refund would be in                                                               
order, she opined.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:37:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  inquired as to  the circumstances under  which this                                                               
situation  could arise  because  the funds  are  directed to  the                                                               
institution.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BARRANS  explained   that  in  a  situation   in  which  the                                                               
institution's costs  are covered, the remaining  financial aid is                                                               
typically  dispensed directly  to  the student  [for third  party                                                               
payment for allowable expenses].                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:38:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  inquired  as to  how  often  overpayment                                                               
errors  occur.   She  further inquired  as  to the  circumstances                                                               
surrounding such  errors.   She expressed  concern for  a student                                                               
who receives  overpayment that's not  due to the  student's error                                                               
and who would then face repaying that debt.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. BARRANS  characterized this  as a policy  call.   She related                                                               
her belief that  individuals should only receive  the benefits to                                                               
which  they  are entitled.    Regardless  of  the error,  if  the                                                               
student benefited  from an error  in the form of  an overpayment,                                                               
they  should  repay it.    Ms.  Barrans  said that  she  couldn't                                                               
specify the  extent to  which over awards  occur, but  offered to                                                               
consult with  the financial  aid officers.   An  over award  to a                                                               
student  can happen  when  a student  is  otherwise eligible  for                                                               
financial  aid  that   arrives  late,  which  can   result  in  a                                                               
redistribution   of  that   student's   financial  aid   package.                                                               
Therefore, some funding may go back  to one source of funding but                                                               
it's  usually replaced  by another  source of  funding.   An over                                                               
award could also  occur when a student receives  funding based on                                                               
a full-time program of study from which the student withdraws.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:40:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON requested  that Ms.  Barrans provide  the committee                                                               
with  information regarding  potential  sources  [that may  cause                                                               
this]  or any  clarifying language  that she  would suggest.   He                                                               
highlighted that [proposed] statute  specifies that "fault of the                                                               
student" means fraud or submission of incorrect information.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON opined that  if a student received funds                                                               
and then  withdrew [from the program  of study], it would  be the                                                               
student's fault and certainly need to be repaid.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  said  that  he isn't  sure  that's  covered  under                                                               
[Amendment 9].                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH  opined that the requested  information would                                                               
be important for  fiscal note arguments as  the legislation moves                                                               
forward.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:43:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  recalled that questions  have arisen  regarding how                                                               
the   curriculum  is   being  envisioned   for  the   performance                                                               
scholarship  as well  as  the  vocational technical  scholarship,                                                               
particularly the  math and English  tracks.  He  further recalled                                                               
that there were questions regarding  at what point there would be                                                               
differentiation in  the math curriculums.   Chair  Seaton offered                                                               
to allow Commissioner LeDoux to  answer now or prepare answers to                                                               
discuss at a later meeting.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:45:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LARRY  LEDOUX, Commissioner,  Department of  Education and  Early                                                               
Development, told  the committee that  he has drafted a  chart of                                                               
courses that would meet the criteria.   He then stated his belief                                                               
that  any  student  who  achieves  the  academic  criteria  would                                                               
qualify   for    the   career   scholarship;   there    isn't   a                                                               
differentiation.   The commonality between  the two  programs, he                                                               
said, will be  in the area of  math.  The minimum  math a student                                                               
has  to  take in  order  to  qualify  for either  scholarship  is                                                               
Algebra  I, Algebra  II, and  geometry.   Many schools  offer the                                                               
aforementioned  course with  nontraditional  names.   He  related                                                               
that  he pointed  out to  the director  of the  Alaska Vocational                                                               
Technical Center (AVTEC) that some  would infer that "they should                                                               
back off,"  particularly in the  area of  math and science.   The                                                               
director disagreed, and added that  he would even suggest courses                                                               
that  are  more  rigorous  than the  colleges.    Therefore,  the                                                               
courses for  math should be  Algebra 1, Algebra II,  and geometry                                                               
or something  similar as well as  some applied course.   He noted                                                               
that  many schools  are teaching  Algebra I  in 8th  grade, which                                                               
would  qualify toward  the high  school  criteria.   Commissioner                                                               
LeDoux said  that he didn't  expect students to take  calculus or                                                               
advanced trigonometry  for the career  scholarship.   The science                                                               
courses for the  career track would include  Earth science, power                                                               
mechanics,   applied   physics,  biology,   chemistry,   physical                                                               
science,  computer  science,   physics,  fisheries  science,  and                                                               
material science.   The student  would choose any three  plus one                                                               
additional science  course.   Under the  career track,  a student                                                               
could  choose  from  the  following math  courses:    Algebra  I,                                                               
Algebra  II,  geometry,  applied math,  business  math,  analytic                                                               
geometry,  college  algebra, calculus,  statistics,  probability,                                                               
consumer  math, or  business math.   The  student would  choose a                                                               
minimum of three courses from  the following math selections.  He                                                               
pointed  out that  students are  already required  to take  three                                                               
courses  of  social studies,  and  therefore  there would  be  no                                                               
change.  For language arts, instead  of course names he wanted to                                                               
infer  that   the  courses  have   rigor  of   reading,  writing,                                                               
listening,  and speaking.   Within  the  career track,  technical                                                               
writing and  reading are very  important courses  that employer's                                                               
desire.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:48:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ  asked if  there  will  be flexibility  for                                                               
advanced second  language classes  to achieve [the  language arts                                                               
requirements] or  will they all  be English courses.   She opined                                                               
that  she didn't  want to  close  the door  to opportunities  for                                                               
continuing second language education.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER LEDOUX explained that  the state requires four years                                                               
of language arts, and therefore  there's no change with regard to                                                               
either scholarship program.   However, the Senate  has proposed a                                                               
modification of the 4-4-4-3 to  4-3-3-3 course requirement if the                                                               
student  takes two  years of  foreign language  or Alaska  Native                                                               
languages as  part of the  course of study.   Commissioner LeDoux                                                               
acknowledged  that  either would  meet  the  rigorous goals,  but                                                               
pointed out  that research  illustrates that  four years  of math                                                               
and  four years  of science  are huge  indicators for  success in                                                               
college.  On the other  hand, college prep programs often include                                                               
two  years   of  foreign  language.     Furthermore,  some  merit                                                               
scholarship programs  require 4-4-4-3 plus two  years [of foreign                                                               
language].  Most students who  are preparing for college take two                                                               
years of foreign language because many colleges require it.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:49:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON requested the proposed curriculum list.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER LEDOUX  agreed to  do so  upon completing  the list.                                                               
He then pointed out that  the department will work with districts                                                               
to ensure  that the  courses meeting the  criteria also  meet the                                                               
rigor necessary.  The content, not  the title, of the course will                                                               
determine whether it meets the rigor requirement, he noted.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:50:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH  related  that some  have  advocated  having                                                               
another year of  social studies, which would total  four years of                                                               
social  studies.   He mentioned  the need  for the  curriculum to                                                               
provide  opportunities to  allow students  to [take]  Native arts                                                               
and  language [courses]  for those  who choose  a different  path                                                               
because they  lack a propensity for  math and science.   He asked                                                               
if the department would be amenable to the aforementioned.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER LEDOUX indicated  that he would need to  see [such a                                                               
program].  However, he opined  that there are students who aren't                                                               
as  oriented  toward  math  and   science  as  others  and  their                                                               
particular course of study won't  require certain levels of math.                                                               
On the  other hand, Commissioner  LeDoux opined that  the state's                                                               
requirements are not  that difficult to meet.   He further opined                                                               
that four  years of  math isn't  excessive.   Commissioner LeDoux                                                               
related   his   understanding   that  Representative   Buch   was                                                               
suggesting  that  the  math and  science  requirements  would  be                                                               
lowered while increasing the social science requirements.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BUCH   disagreed,   and  clarified   that   he's                                                               
suggesting  maintaining the  current  math,  science, and  social                                                               
studies  requirements and  require a  fourth year.   However,  he                                                               
suggested that within  the [social studies] realm  there would be                                                               
other opportunities for selection of the course curriculum.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER LEDOUX pointed out  that within social studies, one-                                                               
and-a-half  of  the three  courses  required  are required.    He                                                               
specified that  U.S. History,  one credit, and  half a  course in                                                               
Alaska Studies/or  proof that the standards  have been integrated                                                               
into  the programming.    Increasing the  standard  to four  will                                                               
result in  the student having  two-and-a-half years  of electives                                                               
within the social sciences category.   The state, he related, has                                                               
attempted  not  to be  too  restrictive  in terms  of  graduation                                                               
requirements  so that  students are  provided as  much choice  as                                                               
possible.  Therefore,  care has to be taken  with the scholarship                                                               
so  that   students'  choices  aren't  restricted   either.    He                                                               
explained  that a  breakdown  of 4-4-4  results  in less  choice.                                                               
However, Commissioner  LeDoux said  that more  rigor is  good and                                                               
thus he isn't opposed to Representative Buch's suggestion.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:53:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  stated that  HB  297  would  be held  for  further                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Amendments 12 and 13.pdf HEDC 2/26/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/1/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 297