Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 106

03/23/2016 08:00 AM House EDUCATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 156(EDC) Out of Committee
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled from 3/21/16>
Moved HCS CSSB 89(EDC) Out of Committee
        SB 89-SCHOOLS: PARENT RTS; ABORT. PROVDRS LIMITS                                                                    
8:04:45 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 89(RLS)  am(efd add) "An Act relating to a                                                               
parent's right to direct the  education of a child; prohibiting a                                                               
school  district  from  contracting  with  an  abortion  services                                                               
provider;  prohibiting   a  school  district  from   allowing  an                                                               
abortion  services  provider  to   furnish  course  materials  or                                                               
provide instruction concerning  sexuality or sexually transmitted                                                               
diseases;  relating to  physical examinations  for teachers;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
8:05:40 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MIKE  DUNLEAVY, Alaska State Legislature,  introduced his                                                               
staff and availed himself for questions.                                                                                        
8:06:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTA  MCDONALD, Staff,  Senator  Mike  Dunleavy, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, addressed a series  of questions previously posed by                                                               
the  committee, paraphrasing  from  a  prepared statement,  which                                                               
read as follows:                                                                                                                
     [Question:]    Would  the  provision  "recognizing  the                                                                    
     authority of a  parent and allowing a  parent to object                                                                    
     to  and  withdraw  a  child   from  a  standards  based                                                                    
     assessment  or  standards-based  test required  by  the                                                                    
     state"   put    a   school   district    in   statutory                                                                    
     noncompliance with state  law?  Are we  now saying that                                                                    
     tests are  not required  by the  state but  rather just                                                                    
     suggested by the state?                                                                                                    
     [Response:]    Under   current  state  regulation  each                                                                    
     school district is required  to administer a standards-                                                                    
     based test.   In addition,  schools are not  allowed to                                                                    
     systematically  exclude  students from  an  assessment.                                                                    
     However, no  law compels  a parent to  send a  child to                                                                    
     these  tests as  they are  not associated  with student                                                                    
     grades or promotions.                                                                                                      
8:06:55 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DUNLEAVY  added  that the  Every  Student  Succeeds  Act                                                               
(ESSA)  is  in  flux,  and when  the  reauthorization  was  being                                                               
developed, he said, this is  an area that many parents petitioned                                                               
congress  to change.   The  original intent  under No  Child Left                                                               
Behind (NCLB) was  to ensure that low performing  groups were not                                                               
excluded   systematically  by   schools   to   skew  the   school                                                               
performance  scores.   A number  of parents  that choose  to have                                                               
their students excluded, actually  have high performing children.                                                               
These parents are refusing to  have their child participate, as a                                                               
form of objection to the data sharing and testing requirements.                                                                 
8:08:16 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MCDONALD continued:                                                                                                         
     [Question:]    Will  the language  in  Senate  Bill  89                                                                    
     prohibit a  school district from covering  the costs of                                                                    
     a teacher's  physical examination or suggest  that they                                                                    
     may choose whether or not to cover this expense?                                                                           
     [Response:]   The language in Senate  Bill 89 prohibits                                                                    
     a school district from paying  for a teacher's physical                                                                    
     examination.   "May not"  is used  to be  in compliance                                                                    
     with the  Legislative Drafting manual,  page sixty-five                                                                    
     which  states:   Use the  words "may  not" to  impose a                                                                    
     prohibition upon someone.                                                                                                  
     [Question:]  Would  Section 4 of the  bill dealing with                                                                    
     physical   examinations   include  fingerprinting   and                                                                    
     background checks as well.                                                                                                 
     [Response:]  No, the  requirements for fingerprints and                                                                    
     background checks  are established in AS  14.20.020 and                                                                    
     would not  be impacted  by the  passage of  Senate Bill                                                                    
     [Question:]   If we  state that  a school  district may                                                                    
     not pay  for these  physical examinations do  we impact                                                                    
     the  teacher's  ability   to  be  provided  evaluations                                                                    
     through  health   insurance  benefits  funded   by  the                                                                    
     [Response:]  As stated in  the bill, "This section does                                                                    
     not  affect  the  coverage   of  any  health  insurance                                                                    
     benefits that  a school district provides  to teacher."                                                                    
     SB  89 will  not impact  any physical  evaluations that                                                                    
     are covered under health insurance benefits.                                                                               
8:09:29 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER moved to adopt Amendment 1, labeled 29-                                                                            
LS0735\F.A.9, Glover, 3/22/16, which read as follows:                                                                           
     Page 3, line 23, following "provider":                                                                                     
          Insert "who is acting on behalf of the abortion                                                                       
     services provider"                                                                                                         
The committee took an at-ease from 8:09 a.m. to 8:12 a.m.                                                                       
8:12:14 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON objected for discussion.                                                                                  
8:12:22 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER  said that the  language serves to narrow  the focus                                                               
of who may provide reproductive information in a classroom.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON   recalled   testimony   concerned   with                                                               
impinging on the  summer employment for a teacher who  works at a                                                               
hospital, clinic, or other medical office.                                                                                      
8:14:04 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took a brief at-ease at 8:14 a.m.                                                                                 
8:14:11 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON removed his  objection, and with no further                                                               
objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                             
8:14:54 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   KELLER  moved   to  adopt   Amendment   2,  labeled   29-                                                               
LS0735\F.A.10, Glover, 3/22/16, which read as follows:                                                                          
     Page 3, line 15:                                                                                                           
     Delete "may"                                                                                                               
     Insert "shall"                                                                                                             
8:15:39 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  COLVER   objected,  and  said   existing  statute                                                               
requires  districts   to  pay  for  physical   examinations,  and                                                               
changing  it  from  "may" to  "shall"  represents  a  substantial                                                               
policy change.   The decision should be left to  the districts to                                                               
exert local control and whether  or not to implement this measure                                                               
as a condition  for employment.  The background  checks are still                                                               
required  by  state  law,  which   are  already  a  condition  of                                                               
employment.  The  permissive term should be  retained, he opined,                                                               
and stated opposition to Amendment 2.                                                                                           
8:17:20 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VAZQUEZ  commented  that this  measure  addresses                                                               
public safety,  and opined that  it does not represent  an unduly                                                               
burdensome  task,  as a  condition  of  employment.   She  stated                                                               
support for Amendment 2.                                                                                                        
8:18:07 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND   stated  opposition  to   Amendment  2,                                                               
echoing the  concerns of  Representative Colver.   It is  a major                                                               
policy change, she agreed.                                                                                                      
8:18:59 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DUNLEAVY declined  further comment  and deferred  to the                                                               
committee's decision.                                                                                                           
8:19:24 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MCDONALD  offered that existing  Department of  Education and                                                               
Early  Development (EED)  regulation,  4AAC  06.050, states  that                                                               
physical examinations  "shall" be  required of the  districts for                                                               
teachers, but it does not appear in state statute.                                                                              
8:19:48 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE COLVER maintained his objection.                                                                                 
8:19:54 AM                                                                                                                    
A roll call  vote was taken.   Representatives Talerico, Vazquez,                                                               
and  Keller  voted in  favor  of  Amendment 2.    Representatives                                                               
Colver,  Drummond,  Spohnholz,  and   Seaton  voted  against  it.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment 2 failed by a vote of 3-4.                                                                                 
8:21:04 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON   expressed    concern   for   the   bill                                                               
particularly from  the health and social  services aspect stating                                                               
that, without  the sex education  programs currently  provided to                                                               
schools,  the  levels  of   unplanned  pregnancies  and  sexually                                                               
transmitted  diseases (STD's)  will increase.   Additionally,  it                                                               
removes local  control of school  districts, as provided  on page                                                               
3, lines 22-25, which read as follows:                                                                                          
     (c)  A  school  district  may not  permit  an  abortion                                                                    
     services  provider or  an employee  or volunteer  of an                                                                    
     abortion services  provider to offer,  sponsor, furnish                                                                    
     course  materials, or  provide instruction  relating to                                                                    
     human sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON pointed  out  that  this language  imposes                                                               
rulings  over  local school  boards,  and  prohibits the  use  of                                                               
curricula that  has been publicly  vetted, adopted,  and utilized                                                               
by  many districts.   The  bill is  a state  usurpation of  local                                                               
control, he opined,  and said it may be the  first time the state                                                               
has prohibited  districts from identifying  curricula for  use in                                                               
meeting state  standards and requirements.   He stated opposition                                                               
to passage of SB 89.                                                                                                            
8:23:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  stated  that  the  opt-in  requirement                                                               
creates a major  barrier to children receiving  a positive public                                                               
health  curriculum.    The  parents   already  have  the  opt-out                                                               
elective  to  employ.     Additionally,  the  administrative  and                                                               
processing of an additional opt-in form is unnecessary.                                                                         
8:25:56 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VAZQUEZ moved  to report  the proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for  SB 89 (RLS) am(efd add), as  amended, out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON maintained his objection.                                                                                 
8:26:21 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON offered  further  objection  to the  bill,                                                               
specifically Sec.  4, which redirects the  cost burden associated                                                               
with  the physical  examination  requirements of  teachers.   The                                                               
local control currently exercised in  this area is sufficient, he                                                               
8:27:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER  stated support for the  bill as a means  to bolster                                                               
parental rights regarding  an intimate and important  aspect of a                                                               
child's development.                                                                                                            
8:27:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE COLVER  stated support  for the  bill, and  said a                                                               
significant section  of it recognizes  the authority of  a parent                                                               
to withdraw  their child  from standards  based assessments.   He                                                               
opined that this authority is important  to have in statute, as a                                                               
vehicle to move away from future, federal assessment mandates.                                                                  
8:28:52 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  stated her  agreement with  the previous                                                               
comments  regarding the  sexual  health education  aspect of  the                                                               
bill; however, inclusion  of the variety of  components causes an                                                               
issue  and  should  be  addressed  separately,  particularly  the                                                               
standards based  test concerns.   Parents have the right  to opt-                                                               
out their student,  to examine class curricula,  and, through the                                                               
local school boards, be involved  in the development and approval                                                               
of  curriculum.    Thus  the   proposed  opt-in  measure  creates                                                               
additional  unnecessary administrative  paperwork  and  is of  no                                                               
help to districts.  Finally, she stated opposition to the bill.                                                                 
8:30:11 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KELLER commented:                                                                                                         
      There's no certification required for this contract                                                                       
     teaching, and that's kind of novel.                                                                                        
8:30:40 AM                                                                                                                    
A roll call  vote was taken.   Representatives Talerico, Vazquez,                                                               
Colver, and Keller  voted in favor of CSSB 89  (RLS) am(efd add).                                                               
Representatives  Drummond, Spohnholz,  and  Seaton voted  against                                                               
it.   Therefore, HCS for  CSSB 89 (EDC)  was reported out  of the                                                               
House Education Standing Committee by a vote of 4-3.                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB298 Fiscal Note.pdf HEDC 3/23/2016 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 4/1/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 298
CS HB156 Sponsor Statment.pdf HEDC 3/23/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 156