Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106

03/21/2018 08:00 AM House EDUCATION

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08:02:54 AM Start
08:03:41 AM SCR5
08:23:16 AM HCR21
08:44:37 AM Confirmation Hearing(s):
09:13:54 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved HCR 21 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Moved SCR 5 AM Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Confirmation Hearings: TELECONFERENCED
- AK Board of Education & Early Development
- University of AK Board of Regents
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                        ALASKA READS DAY                                                                                    
8:03:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DRUMMOND announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be SCR 5, ALASKA READS DAY.                                                                                                     
8:04:50 AM                                                                                                                    
JACOB  TATUM,   Staff,  Senator   Berta  Gardner,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, stated that Senate Concurrent  Resolution No. 5 is a                                                               
step in  addressing substandard reading proficiency  in the State                                                               
of Alaska.   The goal of the resolution is  to connect readers of                                                               
all ages with a wide  network of services, and with organizations                                                               
and  advocates with  reading  proficiency at  the  core of  their                                                               
mission.  In  order to  coincide  with  the Read  Across  America                                                               
movement, March 2,  2019 will be recognized as  Alaska Reads Day,                                                               
and it  is envisioned that  Alaskan communities will  promote all                                                               
things related to  reading and literacy, he  described.  Research                                                               
[included  within  the  bill   packet]  emphasizes  the  critical                                                               
milestones of  reading proficiency  prior to entering  the fourth                                                               
grade, and this resolution is a  way to bring awareness in how to                                                               
build a  more robust reading  culture in this state,  he offered.                                                               
The  passage  of  this  resolution  would  result  in  the  first                                                               
recognized Alaska  Reads Day,  and it  is important  to emphasize                                                               
that this resolution does not  require more funding because there                                                               
are  organizations  tirelessly  working  to spread  the  gift  of                                                               
literacy.  It  is the hope that Alaska Reads  Day will be another                                                               
reason  that  literacy advocates  can  bring  attention to  their                                                               
efforts.    For example,  dyslexia  affect  tens of  millions  of                                                               
Americans  and it  is notoriously  underdiagnosed.   The hope  is                                                               
that  Alaska  Reads Day  can  serve  as  an opportunity  for  the                                                               
broader public  to understand that  the barriers of  literacy can                                                               
ultimately be  overcome.   After researching  the issues  in this                                                               
resolution, it became clear that  the low proficiency rates among                                                               
children  who are  dual language  learners experience  93 percent                                                               
low reading  proficiency rates.   Given the diversity  of Alaskan                                                               
communities and the  growth of this demographic,  it is important                                                               
to bring  attention to  the needs of  dual language  learners, he                                                               
pointed out.   Similarly, there  are many programs  and resources                                                               
at  public libraries  and other  community  centers that  already                                                               
exist which  provide valuable  services to  readers of  all ages.                                                               
Unfortunately,  those services  are underutilized  simply because                                                               
the public is  not aware of those opportunities  and Alaska Reads                                                               
Day can  serve as  an opportunity to  publishes the  services and                                                               
give  readers a  day  to  look forward  to  and  circle on  their                                                               
calendars.    Similar  activities   on  Alaska  Reads  Day  could                                                               
include:   parent-teacher  association   story  telling   events;                                                               
grandparents   volunteering   to   read  at   schools;   children                                                               
volunteering to read in senior  homes and the Pioneer Homes; book                                                               
giveaways;  and good  old fashion  reading  buddies, he  related.                                                               
The sponsor's intention,  he said, is that Alaska  Reads Day will                                                               
inspire Alaskans to see reading not  only as a critical tool that                                                               
is  used in  the classroom,  but also  as great  fun that  can be                                                               
experienced  at the  dinner table  with  family and  a manner  in                                                               
which to explore all that this world has to offer.                                                                              
8:08:23 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BERTA GARDNER  related  that she  attended an  Education                                                               
Conference where a group of  retired military generals, admirals,                                                               
and such,  offered a presentation  and discussed how the  lack of                                                               
reading    proficiency   is    a    national   security    issue.                                                               
Unfortunately, she  advised, they  could not  assume that  all of                                                               
their recruits could read well  enough to follow instructions and                                                               
understand manuals, so these retired  officers became involved in                                                               
the movement  to promote reading  proficiency.  Alaska  Reads Day                                                               
is fun,  and she described  it as  easy, valuable, free,  and the                                                               
hope is that parents,  grandparents, librarians, teachers, school                                                               
volunteer  advocates,   and  everyone,   will  get   involved  in                                                               
encouraging children, and showing them all the fun in reading.                                                                  
8:09:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  offered his enthusiastic support  for Senate                                                               
Concurrent Resolution  No. 5.   He noted  that he does  not often                                                               
quote former  Secretary of State,  Hilary Clinton, who  said that                                                               
the  inability of  the  nation's  youth to  read  is our  highest                                                               
national security  risk.  Secretary  Clinton basically  said that                                                               
there is a  dumbing down of America due to  the inability to read                                                               
our Founding  Fathers' documents, to understand  the Constitution                                                               
of  the  United   States,  and  our  National   Bill  of  Rights.                                                               
Secretary Clinton  continued that the  concern is not  just about                                                               
cursive any  longer, but about  having the ability to  read those                                                               
documents  in simple  print,  the  United States  is  at risk  of                                                               
losing our  way as a people.   He opined that  the social reasons                                                               
often  discussed  in  this  committee  include:  the  ability  to                                                               
succeed; provide for yourself; stay  out of jail; and hundreds of                                                               
other reasons this resolution is  important.  This is a wonderful                                                               
opportunity  to  partner with  the  private  sector because  many                                                               
nonprofits and  faith-based groups are  looking for ways  to help                                                               
with Alaska's  largest needs.   He suggested that  possibly after                                                               
school programs could  spring up to highlight  this critical need                                                               
for our youth to read proficiently at grade level.                                                                              
8:11:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DRUMMOND noted that NorthStar  Elementary School has been a                                                               
Title  1 Schoo  for  many  years.   Regularly,  she offered,  the                                                               
Rotary  Club,  run by  Gordan  Glaser,  would invade  the  school                                                               
during a  school day  to read to  the kids.   She asked  why this                                                               
resolution does not proclaim every March 2, as Alaska Reads Day.                                                                
SENATOR BERTA  GARDNER advised that  she believes there  is value                                                               
in the  legislature looking  at it every  year because  it brings                                                               
attention to the  issue, and if it  is simply on the  books it is                                                               
easier to not give it the attention it so requires.                                                                             
8:12:10 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  pointed out that this  committee has often                                                               
discussed  the importance  of proficiency  in school.     He then                                                               
referred to SCR 5, page 2, lines 6-8, which read as follows:                                                                    
          WHEREAS  students who  are not  proficient readers                                                                  
     in the third  grade are four times more  likely to drop                                                                    
     out  of   school  and  to  generate   increased  social                                                                    
     services and incarceration costs for the state; and                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  PARRISH commented  that he  found it  interesting                                                               
that being a  proficient reader in the third  grade is predictive                                                               
for  a person's  overall success  in life.   In  addition to  the                                                               
resolution,  he  asked whether  there  is  anything else  Senator                                                               
Gardner would like to highlight as a potential remedy.                                                                          
SENATOR  BERTA GARDNER  answered that  in her  life, her  parents                                                               
turned  off the  television and  read to  the children  which was                                                               
also her remedy.  She explained  that when she was growing up her                                                               
mother would  not allow a television  in the house until  she was                                                               
in  high  school.   When  raising  her  children, they  kept  the                                                               
television  out of  their reach  by design,  and when  they began                                                               
school  through  high  school,   there  would  be  no  electronic                                                               
entertainment Monday through Friday night.                                                                                      
8:14:05 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO  thanked  Senator Gardner  for  bringing                                                               
Senate Concurrent  Resolution No. 5  forward because he  has read                                                               
to all  of his children  and grandchildren.  Reading  to children                                                               
peaks their  interest in reading  and shows them that  reading is                                                               
CHAIR DRUMMOND opened public testimony on SCR 5.                                                                                
8:15:24 AM                                                                                                                    
ERIN MCKAY,  Alaska Reading Coalition,  advised that as  a member                                                               
of  the  Alaska  Reading  Coalition  and  a  parent  in  Decoding                                                               
Dyslexia Alaska, she  is testifying in support  of the resolution                                                               
because it  is important to  work together until all  of Alaska's                                                               
children have the  opportunity to learn to read.   March 2 is Dr.                                                               
Seuss   Day,  and   this  day   enables   reading  and   literacy                                                               
organizations to  have a  day of  unity, and  reading instruction                                                               
goes  far  to  create  the collaborations  necessary  to  improve                                                               
reading  proficiency  in  Alaska.   She  pointed  out  that  this                                                               
resolution  is an  excellent tool  to build  consensus about  the                                                               
importance of reading and the  importance of bringing instruction                                                               
across all  sectors of  the state.   Ms.  McKay then  provided an                                                               
anecdote about a friend from her high school.                                                                                   
8:18:19 AM                                                                                                                    
DAVID NEES, Alaska  Policy Forum, advised that  the Alaska Policy                                                               
Forum is much  impressed with the continuation of  Dr. Seuss Day,                                                               
and  making it  Alaska  Reads Day.    He suggested  immortalizing                                                               
March  2, as  Alaska Reads  Day from  here on  out of  every year                                                               
rather  than in  a recurring  resolution.   The  idea behind  Dr.                                                               
Seuss Day, he explained, was  created one time, and then teachers                                                               
took it on by  wearing the hats and reading to  the children.  He                                                               
reiterated his  suggestion of  putting March  2, into  the Alaska                                                               
Calendar  each   year  because  it  would   allow  businesses  to                                                               
incorporate  it  into  their  business   calendars  and  get  the                                                               
chambers of  commerce to  recognize the day.   The  Alaska Policy                                                               
Forum  has  always advocated  for  increased  reading levels  and                                                               
mastery  tests at  the 3rd  and 4th  grade levels  as one  of the                                                               
abilities a  student must possess, he  offered.  This is  a great                                                               
first step because  it does make it important that  March 2, each                                                               
year  is recognized  as a  good day  to read  to a  grandchild, a                                                               
neighbor  child,  volunteer  at  a school,  and  volunteer  at  a                                                               
8:20:04 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND, after  ascertaining  no  one wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on SCR 5.                                                                                      
8:20:08 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took a brief at ease.                                                                                             
8:20:25 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  moved to  report SCR  5, out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no objection,  SCR 5am moved from  the House                                                               
Education Standing Committee.                                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SCR 5 - Support Document-Condoleezza Letter 2.2.18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
SCR 5 - Support Document Annie E. Casey--Early Literacy 2.2.18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
SCR 5 - Sponsor Statement 2.2.18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
SCR 5 - Support Document-PBS Article 2.2.18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
SCR 5 - Support Document-Data Summary 2.2.18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
SCR 5 Fiscal Note LEG-SESS-02-15-18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
SCR 5 ver. AM 3.6.18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
SCR 5-Support Document-Testimony of Posie Boggs of Alaska Reading Coalition 2.5.18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
HCR 21 Fiscal Note 03-19-2018.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
HCR 21
HCR 21 Sponsor Statement 02.26.18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
HCR 21
HCR 21 Support - City of Palmer Proclamation 03.28.17.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
HCR 21
HCR 21 Support - Executive Proclamation 04.05.17.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
HCR 21
HCR 21 Support - Governor's Education and Sharing Day Letter 04.03.17.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
HCR 21
HCR 21 Support - History of Education & Sharing Day USA 1978-2017.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
HCR 21
HCR 21 Support - Letter - Carole Jaffa 03.03.18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
HCR 21
HCR 21 Support - Letter - Hillary Saffran 02.06.18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
HCR 21
HCR 21 Support - Letter - Judge David Voluck 02.28.18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
HCR 21
HCR 21 Support - Letter - Matthew Paskin 03.06.18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
HCR 21
HCR 21 Support - Letter - Pastor Gary Morton 03.14.18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
HCR 21
HCR 21 Support - Letter - Raquel Schroeder 02.23.18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
HCR 21
HCR 21 Support - Letter - Walter & Reneé Pickett 02.24.18.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
HCR 21
HCR 21 Ver A.PDF HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
HCR 21
Stephen (Joey) Sweet_Redacted.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
Tiffany Scott_Redacted.pdf HEDC 3/21/2018 8:00:00 AM