Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106
03/07/2018 08:00 AM EDUCATION
Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.
Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 221-WORKFORCE & ED RELATED STATISTICS PROGRAM 8:01:50 AM CHAIR DRUMMOND announced that the only order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 221, "An Act relating to the duties of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education; relating to a statewide workforce and education-related statistics program; relating to information obtained by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development; and providing for an effective date." 8:02:25 AM CARI-ANN CARTY, Executive Director, Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium (APICC); Vice-President, Alaska Postsecondary Access and Completion Network (APACN), stated that outcomes under HB 221 would be in line with the goals and missions of both APICC and APACN "by providing a more comprehensive picture of the workforce outcomes of our public education system." She described herself as "a big supporter of education in Alaska." She said larger employers and operators in Alaska ask her how they can be of assistance to APICC's efforts to develop a qualified and career-ready workforce. The answer, even more so than financial backing, is access to information that highlights what the needs of employers are and where the state is in terms of training for those needs. She opined that HB 221 "seems to be a good piece that would help us have better data on which to make our decisions and to figure out where we can assist in building workforce development in our state." MS. CARTY, in response to Chair Drummond, imparted that APACN is also known as "65 by 2025"; its goal is to raise statistics in Alaska such that at least 65 percent of Alaskans have some type of post-secondary credential, degree, or certificate that leads to work, thereby supporting the economy. In response to a follow-up question, she confirmed that the statistics program [supported under HB 221] would help her understand whether those goals were being met. 8:06:00 AM CHAIR DRUMMOND, after ascertaining that there was no one else who wished to testify, closed public testimony on HB 221. 8:06:32 AM REPRESENTATIVE KOPP offered his understanding that under HB 221, the Department of Labor & Workforce Development (DLWD) and EED together would be able to track "how education plays out down the road." CHAIR DRUMMOND stated that the purpose of HB 221 was to allow DLWD to provide wage and unemployment information. She said the statistics would be nonidentifiable as to the source but would give a general view of "how people are doing." 8:08:01 AM KERRY THOMAS, Director of Operations, Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE), Department of Education and Early Development (EED), in response to Representative Kopp, reviewed that a few years ago, ACPE, DLWD, EED, and the University of Alaska (UA) developed a statewide database system under a federal grant. She explained that the infrastructure is currently in place to load data showing information from K-12 through postsecondary and into the workforce; however, Alaska Statutes currently prohibit DLWD from sharing wage and unemployment information. Allowing that information to be shared would show whether certain intervention programs produce the intended results in the long term and whether students who received those interventions fare better than those who did not. REPRESENTATIVE KOPP offered his understanding that HB 221 "just structurally puts into statute what you would need to do that." MS. THOMAS answered that is correct. 8:10:48 AM CHAIR DRUMMOND reopened public testimony on HB 221. 8:10:56 AM MIKE HANLEY, Superintendent, Chugiak School District, noted that he was also the former commissioner of the Department of Education & Early Development. He imparted that the aforementioned statewide database system had been created during his time as commissioner, and the purpose was to "break down the silos" and create the opportunity "to make better data-informed decisions." He opined that trying economic times bring the need for "raising our own" and preparing Alaska graduates for jobs, and data-informed decisions are important in that respect. School districts must be able to steer children toward training opportunities that will lead to "high employability options." He indicated that [HB 221] would allow resources to be combined for the sake of efficiency. He stated his support for HB 221. CHAIR DRUMMOND noted that Mr. Hanley had said HB 221 could help to break down the silos. She asked him how he envisions the proposed legislation assisting "work across the boundaries" of the departments. MR. HANLEY answered that HB 221 would "put forth an efficiency" for ACPE that would allow it to work seamlessly with DLWD in utilizing the data "without ongoing and increasing efforts from others to make it happen." 8:15:01 AM CHAIR DRUMMOND closed public testimony on HB 221. 8:15:07 AM The committee took a brief at-ease at 8:15 a.m. 8:15:32 AM REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO emphasized that all personally identifiable information (PII) would be stripped from the shared database information that would be accessed under HB 221. CHAIR DRUMMOND confirmed that was her understanding. She added that there would be the ability to look at regional statistics, which makes sense considering the size of Alaska; however, data in small schools, for example, would be protected. She asked Ms. Carty to provide comment as to the terminology used. MS. CARTY said the data would be "suppressed" or "redacted." CHAIR DRUMMOND asked what the maximum number allowed to be suppressed would be. MS. CARTY answered that it is typically five. 8:17:29 AM REPRESENTATIVE PARISH moved to report HB 221 out of committee [with individual recommendations] and the accompanying zero fiscal notes. There being no objection, HB 221 was reported out of the House Education Standing Committee.