Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106

03/07/2018 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
08:01:04 AM Start
08:01:50 AM HB221
08:19:39 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Scheduled but Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 221 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
        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.                                                                                      

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