Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/14/2010 08:30 AM House FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Continued at 8:00 pm Today --
Heard & Held
Moved Out of Committee
Moved Out of Committee
Moved HCS SB 235(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Moved CSHB 69(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 317(FIN) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
HOUSE BILL NO. 69                                                                                                             
     "An  Act establishing  in the  Department of  Education                                                                    
     and  Early  Development  a voluntary  parent  education                                                                    
     home   visiting   program   for   pre-elementary   aged                                                                    
     children; and  establishing a  rating system  for early                                                                    
     childhood education."                                                                                                      
11:51:50 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS TUCK, SPONSOR,  explained that the bill                                                                    
was  also  known  as  the  "Parents  as  Teachers  Act."  He                                                                    
described  parents as  a child's  first  and most  important                                                                    
teachers.  House  Bill 69  would  empower  parents with  the                                                                    
knowledge and resources to help  their children develop into                                                                    
successful students  with stronger  scholastic achievements.                                                                    
Research has  shown that the  early years are critical  in a                                                                    
child's  development  and  lay   the  foundation  for  later                                                                    
success  in  school  and  life. The  bill  would  allow  the                                                                    
Department  of  Education  and Early  Childhood  Development                                                                    
(DEED)  to offer  early  childhood  learning methodology  to                                                                    
parents as  an education  option for families  with children                                                                    
ages zero to  five. Parents who choose  to participate would                                                                    
be  supported by  local  childhood development  specialists.                                                                    
Parents as  Teachers uses a research-based  model that helps                                                                    
parents and  other family members understand  what to expect                                                                    
during each  state of development,  how to promote  the best                                                                    
development  in children,  and how  to prepare  children for                                                                    
success  in learning  in the  future. The  program can  save                                                                    
money for  schools by helping families  detect problems that                                                                    
can be  corrected before starting  school. The  program fits                                                                    
with many educational philosophies.                                                                                             
Representative  Tuck  noted  that the  program  would  offer                                                                    
resources  to families  to help  parents  learn about  child                                                                    
development and opportunities to  network with other parents                                                                    
in groups. Children are also  given opportunities to develop                                                                    
social  skills through  interactions  with peers.  Referrals                                                                    
are made  with the consent  of the  family and are  based on                                                                    
the family's needs. Currently the  program is serving nearly                                                                    
50 communities  throughout the state  and is  funded through                                                                    
federal  grants,   in-kind  donations,   and  public/private                                                                    
partnerships. Parents  as Teachers  works through  any local                                                                    
entity,  including school  districts,  tribal councils,  and                                                                    
other community  organizations. The bill intends  to develop                                                                    
local  partnerships   that  will  increase   local  control,                                                                    
maximize  in-kind support,  and more  fully integrate  early                                                                    
education into communities.                                                                                                     
Representative Tuck informed the  committee that the average                                                                    
cost would  be $3,000  per family,  reflected in  the fiscal                                                                    
note  as a  total  of  $4 million  per  year for  state-wide                                                                    
coverage.  About  12  percent  of the  amount  would  go  to                                                                    
materials  for  the  parents  and  4  percent  would  go  to                                                                    
11:56:26 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Hawker  MOVED to  ADOPT  Work  Draft CSHB  69(FIN)                                                                    
(Version  26-LS0281\W)  as  a working  document  before  the                                                                    
committee. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                         
Representative Tuck  detailed that  the CS was  a simplified                                                                    
version  of the  CS  forwarded by  the Education  Committee.                                                                    
Both  versions   establish  a  Parents  as   Teachers  early                                                                    
childhood  education  system through  DEED  for  ages 5  and                                                                    
under; however, the previous  version was more prescriptive.                                                                    
The  proposed CS  before the  Finance  Committee would  give                                                                    
DEED the flexibility  to do the program as it  works best in                                                                    
various communities while still meeting quality standards.                                                                      
Representative  Tuck  noted  that  Section  1  provides  the                                                                    
title. Section 2 establishes  a statewide voluntary learning                                                                    
system;  subsection (a)  requires  that  there is  evidence-                                                                    
based  education,  parental  involvement, and  adherence  to                                                                    
accepted  best  practices  and  early  learning  guidelines;                                                                    
subsection (b)  directs DEED  to develop  local partnerships                                                                    
to implement the program; and subsection (c) adds a three-                                                                      
year sunset  clause. He underlined  that a  previous version                                                                    
provided  that the  bill would  serve 650  children for  the                                                                    
first two years and then  be expanded statewide; the current                                                                    
CS would  take a more  simple approach by providing  for the                                                                    
program state-wide and providing for  a sunset date in 2013.                                                                    
He believed extending  the date for three  years would allow                                                                    
for measurable results in childhood education.                                                                                  
Co-Chair  Stoltze  acknowledged  the number  of  people  who                                                                    
support the bill.                                                                                                               
11:59:39 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative Fairclough asked  whether Representative Tuck                                                                    
had attended  budget discussions  for a  K through  12 pilot                                                                    
program. Representative Tuck responded that he had not.                                                                         
Representative  Fairclough queried  results  from the  pilot                                                                    
program. Representative  Tuck replied  that he did  not have                                                                    
the  results immediately  available but  he understood  that                                                                    
the program provided many  early education opportunities; he                                                                    
viewed the bill as one more tool.                                                                                               
AURAH LANDEAU,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS  TUCK, responded                                                                    
that  the  pilot  program serves  several  hundred  children                                                                    
state wide. The  two-year program is in its  second year and                                                                    
the results  would be  forthcoming. She  pointed out  that a                                                                    
main difference  between the pilot  program and  the Parents                                                                    
as Teachers program  is that through the  later families are                                                                    
offered resources  to create  an early  environment wherever                                                                    
families are.                                                                                                                   
Representative Fairclough  asked for  a comparison  with the                                                                    
Best  Beginnings program.  Ms.  Landeau  answered that  Best                                                                    
Beginnings  provides  the   Imagination  Library  and  other                                                                    
things  while Parents  as Teachers  is a  model that  entity                                                                    
could provide.                                                                                                                  
Representative  Fairclough  pointed  out  that  the  federal                                                                    
government  is  ramping  down  funding  on  the  Parents  as                                                                    
Teachers  program the  state  currently  has; the  education                                                                    
subcommittee had  looked at that  and did not want  to start                                                                    
new  pilot programs  until results  were received  from DEED                                                                    
regarding the pre-K pilot program,  which was in the current                                                                    
operating budget  at $2 million.  She did not  believe there                                                                    
were  results from  the $2  million  investment. She  voiced                                                                    
caution about  investing in another  pre-K program  in spite                                                                    
of fact that Parents as Teachers does a good job.                                                                               
Representative  Fairclough  referred  to an  amendment  that                                                                    
Representative Gara  had proposed at a  subcommittee meeting                                                                    
for  $600,000   that  included  Parents  as   Teachers.  She                                                                    
questioned additional  funding of another pre-K  program. In                                                                    
addition to the $2 million  for the pre-K pilot, funding for                                                                    
the Best Beginnings programs was  increased from $200,000 to                                                                    
$380,000  as  well  as adding  $600,000  for  another  pre-K                                                                    
Representative  Fairclough emphasized  her support  of early                                                                    
childhood   education   but    reiterated   concerns   about                                                                    
additional spending.                                                                                                            
12:04:16 PM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Tuck informed  the committee  that the  bill                                                                    
was first introduced the year  previously in order to expand                                                                    
the program statewide  to respond to a need.  Because of the                                                                    
success   rate,  other   communities  wanted   the  program.                                                                    
Expansion is  limited by the  federal funds. He  referred to                                                                    
experience  serving on  a school  board,  where people  knew                                                                    
that providing  early learning opportunities leads  to later                                                                    
success. He  had proposed using school  facilities that were                                                                    
empty  during   the  summer   period  for   early  childhood                                                                    
programs. The Alaska Association  of School Boards wanted to                                                                    
implement  the  program  statewide.  He  asserted  that  the                                                                    
Parents as  Teachers program  was the  right program,  as it                                                                    
involves   the  parents   and  provides   opportunities  for                                                                    
communities. He pointed out that  the recent Moore vs. State                                                                    
case demonstrated that pre-K with  parental involvement is a                                                                    
key factor.                                                                                                                     
Vice-Chair  Thomas spoke  as a  co-sponsor and  supporter of                                                                    
the bill.  He reported that  five parents from  his district                                                                    
had  flown to  Juneau  to speak  to him  in  support of  the                                                                    
program.  He referred  to another  $42 million  program that                                                                    
has  not  been  successful.  He wanted  to  start  education                                                                    
earlier to improve graduation rates.  He pointed out that in                                                                    
a small community, everyone can help the children.                                                                              
12:08:04 PM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Fairclough   agreed  that  the   Parents  as                                                                    
Teachers program  was wonderful; constituents  had advocated                                                                    
to her  about the program  as well. However,  she reiterated                                                                    
concerns  that almost  $3 million  new  funding was  already                                                                    
being allowed  in the operating  budget for  pre-K programs.                                                                    
She  also worried  about choosing  money  for an  individual                                                                    
program   rather  than   letting  communities   decide  what                                                                    
programs  are  best  for   their  particular  location.  She                                                                    
pointed out  that Head Start, Best  Beginnings, Campfires of                                                                    
Alaska, and others were also trying to get state money.                                                                         
Co-Chair Hawker opened public testimony.                                                                                        
DEBBIE  BALDWIN, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION  OF CHILD  DEVELOPMENT,                                                                    
RURAL  ALASKA  COMMUNITY  ACTION PROGRAM  (RURAL  CAP)  (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke  in support  of the  legislation. She                                                                    
informed  the committee  that RurAL  CAP  serves over  1,500                                                                    
children  between  the  ages  of zero  and  five  and  their                                                                    
families  in  29  communities   throughout  the  state.  The                                                                    
program  provides  early   childhood  education  and  family                                                                    
support  services  through  Head Start,  Early  Head  Start,                                                                    
Parents as Teachers, child care,  and the pre-K program. She                                                                    
stated that  RurAL CAP believes  the Parents as  Teachers is                                                                    
one of the best early  childhood and family support programs                                                                    
offered   in   the   home  environment.   The   program   is                                                                    
internationally   recognized  as   a  program   that  serves                                                                    
families   from   pregnancy   until   kindergarten   through                                                                    
voluntary  visits and  group  socialization  conducted by  a                                                                    
certified parent educator.                                                                                                      
Ms. Baldwin  asserted that the  family environment can  be a                                                                    
major   predictor  of   cognitive,  social,   and  emotional                                                                    
abilities; some believe  it can be a predictor  of crime and                                                                    
educational   attainment.  Parents   as  Teachers   provides                                                                    
parents  with  information  and  age-appropriate  activities                                                                    
based  on  brain research  and  windows  of opportunity  for                                                                    
development, which  improves parent  practices and  leads to                                                                    
both  school  readiness  and  educational  achievement.  The                                                                    
program has  existed for  over 25 years  in the  country and                                                                    
RurAL CAP has  over 11 years of  experience offering Parents                                                                    
as  Teachers  programs  in  Alaska.  In  1999,  the  program                                                                    
started  with  27 families;  today  450  families are  being                                                                    
served in 19 communities.                                                                                                       
Ms.  Baldwin reported  that the  program works  because pre-                                                                    
and  post-screening  and  assessment results  show  children                                                                    
achieving gains  in all areas  of development.  In addition,                                                                    
developmental   data   and  interviews   with   kindergarten                                                                    
teachers  show   that  Parents  as  Teachers   children  are                                                                    
transitioning to kindergarten with  key indicators of school                                                                    
readiness   as  defined   by  the   Alaska  Early   Learning                                                                    
Guidelines.  Pre- and  post-parent surveys  document changes                                                                    
in parental  attitudes and beliefs about  child-rearing. The                                                                    
results are used to individualize parent education.                                                                             
Ms. Baldwin  stressed that the program  is results oriented.                                                                    
RurAL  CAP  can  demonstrate  the number  and  frequency  of                                                                    
positive   interactions  between   parent  and   child  upon                                                                    
entering and  exiting the program  and how many  parents are                                                                    
reading to their children more  often. Parents report having                                                                    
more confidence in their parenting  practices as a result of                                                                    
learning  about  early  brain  development  and  other  age-                                                                    
appropriate information.                                                                                                        
Ms.  Baldwin stated  that  a  voluntary, high-quality  early                                                                    
learning  system for  any  state should  have  a variety  of                                                                    
programs  offering  options   in  intensity,  duration,  and                                                                    
comprehensiveness.  She  recognized  that not  all  families                                                                    
want or need  a four-hours-per-day, four-days-per-week, out-                                                                    
of-the-home preschool experience for  their young child. The                                                                    
wait  list for  the  Parents as  Teachers program  indicates                                                                    
that  there are  many families  who would  like support  and                                                                    
partnership developed in their home environment.                                                                                
Ms. Baldwin relayed experience in  a small community outside                                                                    
Bethel where  she attended a  parent involvement  meeting at                                                                    
the K-12 school.  A parent from the  early childhood program                                                                    
was sharing with other parents  what a window of opportunity                                                                    
meant for parents working with a young child.                                                                                   
Ms. Baldwin  responded to earlier remarks  by Representative                                                                    
Fairclough.  She testified  that the  federal government  is                                                                    
not ramping  down support for  Parents as  Teachers; rather,                                                                    
all entities  are competing for  the money through  the DEED                                                                    
Alaska  Native   Education  Equity  Programming   Fund.  The                                                                    
program supports increasing  educational outcomes for Alaska                                                                    
Native students  from birth  to post-secondary.  Grants have                                                                    
been  awarded over  the past  two years.  She stressed  that                                                                    
money is available, but has already been earmarked.                                                                             
Ms.  Baldwin  maintained that  there  are  results from  the                                                                    
Parents as  Teachers program  and that  the program  is very                                                                    
different than  the pre-K  pilot program,  as it  focuses on                                                                    
the home environment.                                                                                                           
Ms.  Baldwin   supported  the  $600,000  increase   to  Best                                                                    
Beginnings and/or Parents as Teachers.  She noted that RurAL                                                                    
CAP   is  looking   at  shutting   down  services   in  five                                                                    
communities to  about 100 children and  families starting in                                                                    
August  2010  because  there  is  not  sustainability  under                                                                    
current federal funding.                                                                                                        
12:17:35 PM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Hawker closed public testimony.                                                                                        
Co-Chair Hawker  addressed the fiscal  note. He  pointed out                                                                    
that it was outdated and needed to be updated.                                                                                  
EDDY  JEANS,  DIRECTOR,   SCHOOL  FINANCES  AND  FACILITIES,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT  OF  EDUCATION  AND EARLY  DEVELOPMENT,  detailed                                                                    
that in  the new fiscal note  the numbers for FY  12 through                                                                    
FY 14  would be the FY  13 number from the  old fiscal note,                                                                    
or  $4,124,400. He  explained that  the previous  version of                                                                    
the bill  had a  phase-in provision  limiting the  number of                                                                    
participants for the first couple of years.                                                                                     
Co-Chair  Hawker asked  how  the  department determined  the                                                                    
amount  of money  that would  be required  per student.  Mr.                                                                    
Jeans replied that the fiscal  note was based on the current                                                                    
Parents  as Teachers  program, which  cost about  $3,000 per                                                                    
Representative Foster  spoke in  support of the  program and                                                                    
pointed  out  that  there was  higher  unemployment  in  the                                                                    
Native  community and  that fewer  young people  make it  to                                                                    
college  or vocational  school.  He noted  that more  Native                                                                    
people went  to jail and  had to rely on  public assistance.                                                                    
He  emphasized the  critical importance  of early  childhood                                                                    
development especially for Native  Alaskans. He informed the                                                                    
committee that 60 percent of  participants in the Parents as                                                                    
Teachers program were Alaskan Native.                                                                                           
12:20:53 PM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Gara  queried  the timing.  Co-Chair  Hawker                                                                    
felt time was  needed for accurate analysis.  He stated that                                                                    
one of  the things he  liked about early  childhood programs                                                                    
such  as Best  Beginnings  and the  Imagination Library  was                                                                    
that  they  were  not   government  programs;  parents  were                                                                    
involved. He  was concerned that the  legislation was making                                                                    
the program a government program.                                                                                               
Representative Gara stated that  he supported Head Start and                                                                    
traditional  pre-K programs.  He  acknowledged citizens  who                                                                    
wanted programs like Parents  as Teachers because government                                                                    
was  less  involved.  He  thought the  program  was  a  good                                                                    
compromise for  many people. He  acknowledged those  who had                                                                    
supported   the  development   of   the   program  and   the                                                                    
Co-Chair  Hawker wondered  whether the  bill represented  an                                                                    
acknowledgment that  the current  pre-K pilot program  was a                                                                    
failure. Representative Gara did  not believe so. He thought                                                                    
there  were   many  ways   to  accomplish   early  childhood                                                                    
education. He  pointed out that  the program cost  less than                                                                    
Head  Start  and was  still  effective.  He noted  that  the                                                                    
legislation  was  not  intended  to  make  the  program  the                                                                    
state's model  for pre-K education,  but would be part  of a                                                                    
range of options.                                                                                                               
12:25:14 PM                                                                                                                   
Vice-Chair  Thomas voiced  disappointment about  funding for                                                                    
the programs that resulted in  success. He hoped the program                                                                    
would help.                                                                                                                     
HB 69 was SET ASIDE until later in the meeting.                                                                                 
12:27:20 PM              RECESSED                                                                                             
1:45: 33 PM              RECONVENED                                                                                           
HOUSE BILL NO. 69                                                                                                             
     "An  Act establishing  in the  Department of  Education                                                                    
     and  Early  Development  a voluntary  parent  education                                                                    
     home   visiting   program   for   pre-elementary   aged                                                                    
     children; and establishing a rating system for early                                                                       
     childhood education."                                                                                                      
4:03:28 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Hawker expressed reservations  about the $4 million                                                                    
per year fiscal note.                                                                                                           
Vice-Chair Thomas  MOVED to  report HB  69 out  of Committee                                                                    
with individual recommendations  and the accompanying fiscal                                                                    
Representative  Fairclough  OBJECTED   for  discussion.  She                                                                    
noted that  she and Representative Thomas  had met regarding                                                                    
the  bill  and  had   agreed  to  address  violence  against                                                                    
children in the home.                                                                                                           
Representative Thomas agreed that  he would do everything he                                                                    
Representative  Fairclough  removed   her  objection.  There                                                                    
being NO further OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                  
CSHB 69(FIN) was REPORTED out  of Committee with a "do pass"                                                                    
recommendation and  with attached new fiscal  impact note by                                                                    
the Department of Education and Early Development.                                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 69 CS WORKDRAFT 26 LS0281 W.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 69
HB 317 CS WORKDRAFT 26-1378 P.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 317
2009 SB 144 sponsor stmt & sectional.doc HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 144
2009 SB 144 Musk Ox poster.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 144
SB230 SpreadSheet.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 230
00 Sponsor Statement CSSB219.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 219
05 Sectional Analysis.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 219
06 Alaska Data Graphs.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 219
07 TBI Scorecard and Dashboard 032009.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 219
08 Medicaid BrainInjury Program Costs.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 219
09 StateofAlaska_Services_Congenital_Degenerative_BrainInjury.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 219
10 Acquired Brain Injury Definition.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 219
SB305 sponsor statement.docx HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 305
11 Letters of Support.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 219
HCS CSSB305(RES)(title am)-REV-TAX-04-13-10 decoupling.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 305
2010 03 02 D Wood Calculations FY2008_09.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 305
HB 317 Amendment #2 Gara.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 317
SB 235 - Sponsor Statement.PDF HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 235
SB 235 - Sectional Analysis.PDF HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 235
HB338_SB269 Supporting Documents - AIDEA (2) (2)[1].pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 338
SB 269
SB269 Supporting Documents Letter FNSB EDC Resolution.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 269
Sponsor Statement HB 69(EDC).pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 69
SB235 CS WORKDRAFT 26-LS1256 E VERSION.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 235
Sectional HB 69(EDC).pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 69
Changes from HB 69 to HB 69(EDC).pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 69
HB069-EED-TLS-3-23-10.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 69
Sectional HB 69(EDC).pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 69
Sectional CS HB 69 Version W.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 69
HB 69(EDC) Fiscal Note Summary.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 69
HB 69 Support Letters.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 69
HB 69(EDC) FIN Background.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 69
HB 317 Conceptual Amendment Stoltze Hawker.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 317
Logsdon&Associates SB305 HsFin 041410.pptx HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 305
CSHB069(FIN)-EED-TLS-4-14-2010.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 69
HB421-LEG-LEG-4-14-10.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
HB 421
SB 220 Amendment #5 Gara.pdf HFIN 4/14/2010 8:30:00 AM
SB 220