Legislature(2017 - 2018)ADAMS ROOM 519

04/19/2018 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to a Call of the Chair --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 105 MARITAL/FAMILY THERAPY LIC & MED SERVICES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 105(FIN) Out of Committee
+= SB 104 EDUCATION CURRICULUM REQUIREMENTS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 104(2d FIN)                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  relating to  the duties  of the  Department of                                                                    
     Education  and  Early   Development;  relating  to  the                                                                    
     duties  of  the  state  Board of  Education  and  Early                                                                    
     Development;   relating   to  school   curricula;   and                                                                    
     relating to  a system for managing  student information                                                                    
     and   records  related   to  individualized   education                                                                    
     programs for children with disabilities."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:10:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster   relayed  that  the  conversation   was  a                                                                    
continuation of  the previous day's meeting.  He stated that                                                                    
he would  likely set the  bill aside. He asked  Ms. Hartmann                                                                    
to the table.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:11:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRITTANY  HARTMAN, STAFF,  CO-CHAIR MACKINNON,  reviewed the                                                                    
sectional analysis:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1 AS 14.07.030:                                                                                                  
     The  Department may  not require  a school  district to                                                                    
     review  their curriculum  more than  once in  a 10-year                                                                    
     period.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2 AS 14.07.165:                                                                                                  
     The State Board of Education  shall review the math and                                                                    
     English  Language Arts  curricula  used throughout  the                                                                    
     state, every 5 years, to  ensure the curricula is still                                                                    
     effective and is using best practices.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3 AS 14.07:                                                                                                      
     Section  3 requires  the State  Board of  Education and                                                                    
     the Department  of Education  and Early  Development to                                                                    
     work  together  to  find, review,  and  test  the  best                                                                    
     available   curricula  and   the  best   practices  for                                                                    
     instruction  of those  math  and English/Language  Arts                                                                    
     curricula.   The  department   may  provide   incentive                                                                    
     payments to  school districts that choose  to implement                                                                    
     the   incentivized   curricula  and   best   practices.                                                                    
     Specifically:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          (a)  The Board  will establish  the standards  and                                                                    
          procedure to  review, rank, and  approve curricula                                                                    
          for school districts to use in each grade level.                                                                      
          (b) and (c): The  Department will review curricula                                                                    
          from  Alaska, other  states,  and other  countries                                                                    
          and  identify the  best curricula  for each  grade                                                                    
          level  and the  best practices  for teaching  each                                                                    
          subject  by  July  1,   2019.  If  the  identified                                                                    
          curricula   and  best   practices  meets   certain                                                                    
          requirements, the department  will submit them for                                                                    
          review  by   the  board.  The   requirements  are:                                                                    
          appropriate,  compliance   with  nondiscrimination                                                                    
          standards  in   state  law,  aligned   with  state                                                                    
          standards,   and  result   in  improved   academic                                                                    
          achievement.                                                                                                          
          (d)  The  Board  may   approve  of  the  curricula                                                                    
          submitted by  the department. If  they do  so, the                                                                    
          Department will then  categorize the two curricula                                                                    
          as   "incentivized"   curricula  and   "designated                                                                    
          effective"  curricula. The  incentivized curricula                                                                    
          will  be  the  best  available  and  will  be  the                                                                    
          curricula   used  in   the   pilot  program.   The                                                                    
          designated effective curricula  are curricula that                                                                    
          the department finds appropriate and effective.                                                                       
          (e)  Establishes  the  three-year  pilot  program,                                                                    
          starting  in the  2019-2020 school  year, to  test                                                                    
          the  appropriateness  and   effectiveness  of  the                                                                    
          "incentivized" curricula. Schools  can apply to be                                                                    
          in  the pilot  program  and will  be reviewed  and                                                                    
          approved of  by the  Department based  on capacity                                                                    
          and  readiness. The  Department shall  select five                                                                    
          schools,  from   those  that  apply,   to  receive                                                                    
          incentive  payments to  assist  with the  purchase                                                                    
          and  implementation  of  the  curricula  and  best                                                                    
          practices.  The Department  must select  districts                                                                    
          and their curricula as follows,  in order to get a                                                                    
          comprehensive view of the  best curriculum for all                                                                    
          Alaska:                                                                                                               
            a. Urban District  math                                                                                             
            b. Rural District  math                                                                                             
            c. Urban District  English Language Arts                                                                            
            d. Rural District - English Language Arts                                                                           
            e. Urban or Rural District  math or English                                                                         
            Language Arts                                                                                                       
            The total cost of the three-year pilot program                                                                      
            cannot exceed $10,000,000.                                                                                          
          (f) If  the pilot  program shows that  adoption of                                                                    
          the   incentive  curricula   is  appropriate   and                                                                    
          effective,  the department  may make  available to                                                                    
          all   districts   the   curricula   and   one-time                                                                    
          incentive  payments starting  in  the school  year                                                                    
          beginning in  2022 and ending  in the  school year                                                                    
          that begins in 2024.                                                                                                  
          (g)  Incentive payments  are limited  to a  school                                                                    
          district's ADM  multiplied by 150 and  are subject                                                                    
          to  availability of  funding in  (h). In  order to                                                                    
          get  an  incentive  payment, a  district  must  be                                                                    
          ready  and  have  the capacity  to  implement  the                                                                    
          incentivized  curricula  and have  not  previously                                                                    
          used the curricula.                                                                                                   
          (h)  Limits   the  funding  available   to  school                                                                    
          districts that adopt  the incentivized curriculum,                                                                    
          for   years   4-6,   to  $20,000,000,   plus   any                                                                    
         unexpended money available under (e)(4).                                                                               
          (i)  The Department  shall publish  all curriculum                                                                    
          used by all school  districts, on the Department's                                                                    
          website.  The   incentivized  curricula   and  the                                                                    
          designated effective curricula,  identified by the                                                                    
          Board, will also be published on the website.                                                                         
          (j)  The  Department  shall submit  an  electronic                                                                    
          report  to the  legislature providing  information                                                                    
          on the  pilot program and the  curricula that each                                                                    
          school district adopts.                                                                                               
          (k)  Requires  school   districts  to  submit  the                                                                    
          relevant  information to  the  department that  is                                                                    
          needed for the department  to carry out its duties                                                                    
          under this section.                                                                                                   
          (l)  All  payments  for   the  pilot  program  and                                                                    
          curricula   are  subject   to  appropriation.   If                                                                    
          insufficient  funding is  available to  distribute                                                                    
          payments  to  all  school districts  that  request                                                                    
          funding in  a year, the department  may distribute                                                                    
          payments  to the  remaining  school districts  the                                                                    
          following school year.                                                                                                
          (m) If  the applications for participation  in the                                                                    
          pilot  program   are  insufficient  to   meet  the                                                                    
          requirements  under  (e)   of  this  section,  the                                                                    
          department may  select five school  districts from                                                                    
          those  that   apply,  taking   into  consideration                                                                    
          geographical diversity.                                                                                               
          (n)  Provides for  the  continuation of  incentive                                                                    
          payments after  the pilot program  ends. Incentive                                                                    
          payments  may  go  to school  districts  that  use                                                                    
          curricula  reviewed  and  approved  by  the  Board                                                                    
          under AS 14.07.165(c).                                                                                                
          (o)  Defines "rural,"  "school district,"  "school                                                                    
          district's ADM" and "urban"                                                                                           
          AS 14.08.182                                                                                                          
          Establishes  the curriculum  improvement and  best                                                                    
          practices  fund,  which  consists  of  an  initial                                                                    
          $30,000,000  to fund  the first  six years  of the                                                                    
          curricula  incentive  program.  The funds  can  be                                                                    
          spent  without further  appropriation  and do  not                                                                    
          lapse.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4 AS 14.08.111:                                                                                                  
     Conforming language requiring a regional school board                                                                      
     to review all textbooks and instructional materials at                                                                     
     least once every 10 years.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5 AS 14.14.090:                                                                                                  
     Conforming language requiring a school board to review                                                                     
     all textbooks and instructional materials at least                                                                         
     once every 10 years.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 6 AS 14.16.020:                                                                                                  
     Conforming language requiring management of state                                                                          
     boarding schools to review all textbooks and                                                                               
     instructional materials at least once every 10 years.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 7 AS 14.30.285:                                                                                                  
     The   department  shall   make   available  to   school                                                                    
     districts  an electronic  system  for managing  student                                                                    
     information   and   tracking    records   relating   to                                                                    
     individualized  education  programs for  children  with                                                                    
     disabilities.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section 8 Repeals:                                                                                                       
     Repeals sub-sections (e), (f).  (g), (h), (j), (l), and                                                                    
     (m) in AS 14.07.180 that  pertain to the pilot program,                                                                    
     it's   incentive    payments,   and    it's   reporting                                                                    
     requirements.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 9 4 AAC 05.080(e):                                                                                                  
     Annuls  the regulatory  requirement of  a local  school                                                                    
     board  having  to  evaluate their  curriculum  every  6                                                                    
     years.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:17:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OPENED and CLOSED public testimony.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  mentioned  that  the  bill  talked                                                                    
about  the Math  and  Language Arts  curricula. He  wondered                                                                    
about other curricula offered in schools.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hartmann replied that the  intent of the legislation was                                                                    
to  provide   the  best  core   of  reading,   writing,  and                                                                    
arithmetic; once the core had  been found to improve student                                                                    
outcomes,  the bill  would allow  for  science history,  and                                                                    
physical education to be reviewed.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  asked why  the state would  want to                                                                    
have the core written into statute, rather than regualtion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hartmann  explained that the only  regulatory issue that                                                                    
would  be   moved  was  curriculum  review,   which  was  an                                                                    
expensive and arduous task for districts.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:20:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson thought  that the  review was  a fine                                                                    
idea. She wondered whether how  it would be determined which                                                                    
student years would be under review.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Hartmann  responded  that  bill  currently  applied  to                                                                    
curriculum review for K-12.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson commented  that  review  of K-12  for                                                                    
just the  Anchorage School District  would cost  $5 million.                                                                    
She  wondered about  the $10  million cost  expected in  the                                                                    
first year.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hartmann  relayed that  the reason  that the  first year                                                                    
showed a cost  of $10 million was because  two larger school                                                                    
districts were included.  She did not believe  that it would                                                                    
be possible  to do  the review  in Fairbanks  and Anchorage,                                                                    
along with  two others, which could  require smaller schools                                                                    
to be put in the pilot program.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  understood that  the bill  would need                                                                    
to  be  changed in  order  meet  costs  for review  of  K-12                                                                    
curriculum for all the listed  schools involved in the pilot                                                                    
year.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:22:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn referred to Section 3 (i) of the bill:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     (i) The  Department shall  publish all  curriculum used                                                                    
     by all  school districts, on the  Department   website.                                                                    
     The   incentivized   curricula   and   the   designated                                                                    
     effective  curricula,  identified  by the  Board,  will                                                                    
     also be published on the website.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grenn asked for  further clarification of the                                                                    
subsection.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hartmann responded  that the idea to  insert the section                                                                    
came from  the commissioner  of education  with the  goal of                                                                    
having  a  "publisher's  clearing  house" of  sorts  on  the                                                                    
Department of Education and  Early Development website where                                                                    
every school  district would  publish all  their curriculum,                                                                    
for each subject, K-12. She  furthered that this would offer                                                                    
more transparency of the curriculum being delivered.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Grenn  asked  if the  information  would  be                                                                    
available to other school districts.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hartmann understood that all  curriculum would be online                                                                    
for all schools to peruse.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:24:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Grenn  suggested   that  a  school  district                                                                    
outside  of  the pilot  program  would  have access  to  the                                                                    
information  and could  integrate desirable  curriculum into                                                                    
their system.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hartmann replied in the affirmative.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:25:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Tilton   referred  to  the  duties   of  the                                                                    
regional school  board in  Sections 4 and  5. She  asked how                                                                    
the sections affected homeschool families.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hartmann  responded that the  sections did not  apply to                                                                    
homeschoolers in any way.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:26:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Ortiz   referred   to  the   beginning   of                                                                    
Section 3:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section  3 requires  the State  Board of  Education and                                                                    
     the Department  of Education  and Early  Development to                                                                    
     work  together  to  find, review,  and  test  the  best                                                                    
     available   curricula  and   the  best   practices  for                                                                    
     instruction  of those  math  and English/Language  Arts                                                                    
     curricula.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz thought  that "best available curricula                                                                    
and the  best practices for  instruction" was a  lofty goal.                                                                    
He understood that the department  and the state board would                                                                    
determine what was the "best".                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:27:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hartmann  responded that the  department, and  the state                                                                    
board, in consultation with  teachers and other stakeholders                                                                    
from around  the state, would determine  what curriculum was                                                                    
best.                                                                                                                           
Representative Ortiz  commented that curriculum  that worked                                                                    
in one  are of the state  might not work as  well in another                                                                    
area.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Hartman  clarified  that in  order  to  determine  what                                                                    
worked  best  in  both urban  and  rural  Alaska,  different                                                                    
curricula had to be investigated  for each that incorporated                                                                    
Math and  English while recognizing the  individual needs of                                                                    
the areas.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  asked  about  a  digital  divide                                                                    
between school  districts; some  schools could  not function                                                                    
online.  She  asked  whether  the  curriculum  review  would                                                                    
address the bandwidth disparity in the state.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hartmann replied  that the goal was to  help provide the                                                                    
best  curriculum  and  teaching practices  to  teachers  and                                                                    
students   by   paying    for   textbooks,   training,   and                                                                    
professional  materials.   She  said   that  there   was  no                                                                    
technology piece to the legislature.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg   noted  that  there   were  many                                                                    
educational  programs and  curriculum  available online.  He                                                                    
felt  that the  digital divide  in  the state  needed to  be                                                                    
addressed.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:30:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  thought the  goal  was  to achieve  better                                                                    
curriculum  for students.  The department  would search  for                                                                    
the  curriculum  and  make it  available  to  districts.  He                                                                    
assumed there would  be a couple of positions  that would be                                                                    
needed for the pilot program.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Hartmann responded  that the  fiscal  note reflected  3                                                                    
new, full-time  positions in the  department. She  said that                                                                    
the goal was to  have improved educational student outcomes;                                                                    
the pilot  program would consist  of 5 school  districts but                                                                    
every student in every school  district would have access to                                                                    
the curriculum.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:32:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara surmised  that better  curriculum would  be                                                                    
found through help  of the department and  grant money would                                                                    
be used to help qualifying  school districts to purchase the                                                                    
curriculum. He  wondered whether the grant  program would be                                                                    
available for curriculum found by another school district.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hartmann  responded that the  department was  charged to                                                                    
find the best  curriculum in the state, the  nation, and the                                                                    
world.  Once  the best  curriculum  had  been identified  it                                                                    
would become  what the incentivized  payments could  be used                                                                    
for.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara understood that  the department would make a                                                                    
list of the approved curriculum.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Hartmann responded  that all  the best  curricula found                                                                    
would be  posted online but  only one would be  eligible for                                                                    
incentive payments.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  thought that  the teaching  practices would                                                                    
be fitting  to whichever  curricula was chosen.  He wondered                                                                    
whether the  district should  be able to  use the  funds for                                                                    
purchasing material  that would help their  instructors with                                                                    
teaching  practices  unrelated  to the  new  curriculum.  He                                                                    
understood that the teaching practices  in the bill would be                                                                    
related to the chosen curriculum.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hartmann replied that was correct.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:35:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton referred  to proposed  review of  curricula                                                                    
every 5 years. He wondered why  the two most static areas of                                                                    
curricula would be reviewed so frequently.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hartmann answered that to  make sure the found curricula                                                                    
was still  the best  it would  need to  be reviewed,  at the                                                                    
board level, every 5 years.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  was not  sure  how  the reviews  could  be                                                                    
conducted for the entire state  so frequently. He noted that                                                                    
rural  districts   varied  wildly   across  the   state.  He                                                                    
questioned  whether  it  was going  to  be  a  comprehensive                                                                    
determination if only  one district did Math  review and one                                                                    
did English.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hartmann  replied that  the sponsor  had been  told that                                                                    
five  school districts,  2 urban  and  2 rural,  was a  good                                                                    
sampling.  She said  that  it could  always  be expanded  or                                                                    
decreased.                                                                                                                      
Co-Chair  Seaton   felt  that   the  concept   assumed  that                                                                    
education was occurring in silos.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Hartmann replied  that  the intent  was  not to  direct                                                                    
anyone into silos.  The intent was to let  districts do what                                                                    
they deem  best. She said  that many studies had  shown that                                                                    
curriculum was  one of  the best levers  to pull  to improve                                                                    
student achievement.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:41:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton guessed  they were  providing incentive  to                                                                    
implement a  textbook based,  single subject  curriculum. He                                                                    
did not  know if  there was  any model to  see if  the other                                                                    
more  participatory  models   were  being  incentivized.  He                                                                    
thought the issue  should be considered. He  spoke about the                                                                    
goal of  advancement and  achievement for  school districts.                                                                    
He did not know whether  a single focus curriculum would get                                                                    
the school districts to the intended place.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Hartmann  appreciated  the comments.  She  stated  that                                                                    
there  were many  hurdles facing  the education  system. The                                                                    
bill was a step in improving the system.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt asked  whether the  goal was  to find                                                                    
one set of  curricula to incentivize; and if  so, would that                                                                    
be per district or for the entire state.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hartmann  replied that the incentivized  curricula would                                                                    
be two  in two forms,  one that  worked for urban  areas and                                                                    
one that worked for rural areas.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thompson  thought  the  bill  sounded  good;                                                                    
however, he  stated that many school  districts were already                                                                    
doing this  work. He  felt that  the department  was looking                                                                    
all the  time at better curriculum.  He expressed discomfort                                                                    
with  the  addition of  three  positions  to the  department                                                                    
during the state's current fiscal climate.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:46:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  whether  the  state  had  a  testing                                                                    
mechanism for the state's schools.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PAUL  PRUSSING, DIRECTOR,  STUDENT  LEARNING, DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                    
EDUCATION AND  EARLY DEVELOPMENT, replied that  as of recent                                                                    
over 90  percent of the  students in  the state had  taken a                                                                    
Language  Arts exam,  88 percent  took a  Math exam,  and 82                                                                    
percent had completed a Science exam.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked how  difficult it was to utilize                                                                    
the  test  results  for   determining  which  curricula  was                                                                    
delivering expected results.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Prussing responded that the  hope was that Every Student                                                                    
Succeeds (ESSA) application would  be approved. He said that                                                                    
the  application  contained  an  accountability  system  and                                                                    
growth model.  The more  standardized test  information that                                                                    
was available to show growth  would be beneficial, from that                                                                    
information  it  could  also bee  seen  which  schools  were                                                                    
producing  the  best  results. He  added  that  professional                                                                    
development funds could be  leveraged to create efficiencies                                                                    
when  best  practices  were  shared  between  districts.  He                                                                    
stated that the  search for a good curriculum  could be time                                                                    
consuming for  superintendents and sometimes  many curricula                                                                    
would  be  identified  as  "best,"  which  was  why  it  was                                                                    
important that districts be able to share data.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:50:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  asked   about  districts  that  were                                                                    
continually in decline.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Prussing replied  that  there were  two  processes -  a                                                                    
state  coaching   process  and  under  the   new  ESSA  plan                                                                    
districts  could  receive  assistance  in  analyze  data  to                                                                    
determine  where the  deficiencies stemmed  from, like  high                                                                    
teacher turnover.  He said that teacher  turnover rate could                                                                    
not  be controlled;  however,  districts  could control  the                                                                    
professional development around a well-defined curriculum.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson  supported   Mr.  Prussing's   final                                                                    
remark. She questioned why the  bill extended from K through                                                                    
12, rather than K-5 or K-8.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Hartmann believed  the goal  was to  improve all  grade                                                                    
levels.  She  shared  that  the   state  had  a  52  percent                                                                    
remediation  rate  of   freshman  entering  university  from                                                                    
Alaska's high schools.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:54:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  remarked that  the  state  was facing  two                                                                    
problems.  The  department  had   been  consistent  and  had                                                                    
supported the  effort to retain teachers.  He probed whether                                                                    
the  legislation was  the best  choice  financially for  the                                                                    
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MARCY  HERMAN, SPECIAL  ASSISTANT,  DEPARTMENT OF  EDUCATION                                                                    
AND  EARLY  DEVELOPMENT,  noted that  the  commissioner  had                                                                    
testified in support of the  bill the previous day. She said                                                                    
that the department  had worked with the sponsor  for over a                                                                    
year  on  the  legislation.   She  shared  that  significant                                                                    
improvements  in  grade  level reading  had  been  witnessed                                                                    
within  the  3-year  pilot program  of  Reading  First.  She                                                                    
stressed that curricula could  make a significant difference                                                                    
in education outcomes.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Prussing  added  that the  commissioner  had  read  the                                                                    
research from other states. He  said that one of the biggest                                                                    
policy drivers for education was clear curriculum adoption.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:57:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  thought the testimony made  sense. He noted                                                                    
that they  were not going  to get better student  success by                                                                    
cutting  teachers  and  school   days.  He  asked  what  the                                                                    
department had been doing in  terms of finding curriculum to                                                                    
date.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:59:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Prussing replied that putting  the curriculum on the web                                                                    
site would allow  for other districts and the  public to see                                                                    
what was  being used. He  said that currently,  local boards                                                                    
adopted curriculum and text books.  He said that in the past                                                                    
the  department had  worked to  help  districts align  their                                                                    
curriculum to state standards.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  understood  that schools  were  struggling                                                                    
with funding.  He felt that  the three  additional positions                                                                    
were crucial to the bill.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Prussing  agreed the  positions  were  critical to  the                                                                    
department.  He said  that the  positions would  continue to                                                                    
keep a  current list of  what was  working in the  state, in                                                                    
the country, and in the world.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Hartmann added  that the  bill benefitted  every school                                                                    
district; the first  three years would be a test  to be sure                                                                    
that  the   program  was  appropriate  and   effective,  the                                                                    
following three  years would provide  fund for  every school                                                                    
that wanted to participate.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:02:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  wanted to talk about  Math class.                                                                    
He talked about grouping  children together so that students                                                                    
with  stronger aptitude  could be  coupled  with those  that                                                                    
needed additional help. He wondered  how much teaching style                                                                    
played a role in the success of curriculum.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Prussing replied  that using  a curriculum  of adoption                                                                    
allowed  teachers to  modify teaching  strategies for  their                                                                    
individual  students. He  believed that  a dialogue  between                                                                    
teachers about what was working was necessary.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:05:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  understood that  some curriculums                                                                    
were   proprietary,   and   many  computer   programs   were                                                                    
proprietary.  He   wondered  about  how  existing   and  new                                                                    
curricula would merge.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Prussing replied  that the  program was  voluntary, and                                                                    
districts could choose  not to participate. He  said that if                                                                    
a  district had  already invested  in a  program they  could                                                                    
chose not  to participate. He  felt that the bill  created a                                                                    
dialogue amongst  educators about  what worked and  what did                                                                    
not.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:08:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz stated that  the issue of curriculum in                                                                    
schools had always existed. He  spoke about whether the bill                                                                    
would be  the best way  to spend $30 million  for education.                                                                    
He  thought  teachers  were  always  the  factor  that  made                                                                    
classrooms a success. He wanted  to incentivize teachers. He                                                                    
stated  that  in  the  end   the  curriculum  was  not  more                                                                    
important than teachers.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Prussing replied  that  good  curriculum could  attract                                                                    
better teachers. He lamented that  it was a challenge to get                                                                    
curriculum that was consistent for longer periods of time.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ortiz agreed it was  not an easy task to find                                                                    
a  ubiquitous  curriculum  that   fit  every  classroom.  He                                                                    
contended that a good teacher  could take a lousy curriculum                                                                    
and  still  produce  results, rather  than  having  a  great                                                                    
curriculum and a weak teacher.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:12:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  stated that there were  blue ribbon schools                                                                    
and information  about the curricula of  those schools could                                                                    
be  used  to determine  which  curriculum  was working  most                                                                    
effectively.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Prussing  believed it  was the  important aspect  of the                                                                    
three  positions in  the bill.  The  state had  not had  the                                                                    
ability  to look  at its  own data  thoroughly. He  stressed                                                                    
that the department had lost  25 staff. He agreed there were                                                                    
numerous   variables.  He   stressed  the   importance  that                                                                    
districts be aware of what was  going on in schools and what                                                                    
was  working.  He said  that  a  good principal,  long  term                                                                    
staff, and a well-defined  curriculum were all necessary for                                                                    
successful schools.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:15:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  spoke of the  blue-ribbon school  at Anchor                                                                    
Point. He  felt that that  school could  be looked to  for a                                                                    
successful  curriculum.   He  recognized  that   there  were                                                                    
varying factors  that contributed to successful  schools. He                                                                    
thought that high achieving schools  across the state should                                                                    
be investigated for success  practices. He expressed concern                                                                    
for curriculum as silos for development.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:17:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster  set an  amendment  deadline  of 5:00  p.m.                                                                    
Friday, April 20, 2018.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CSSB  104(2d  FIN)  was  HEARD and  HELD  in  committee  for                                                                    
further consideration.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked about amendments to HB 411.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:18:29 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:18:45 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster replied the committee  was holding HB 411 at                                                                    
present.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  noted that  industry was  watching to                                                                    
see what the legislature was  doing. She hoped that delaying                                                                    
hearing  of  the  bill  would   not  result  in  a  loss  of                                                                    
investment in the state.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara noted there had been an announcement in the                                                                     
paper that day about a new oil discovery. He was not                                                                            
concerned about a delay of a couple of days.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson encouraged hearing the bill sooner                                                                        
rather than later.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster provided the schedule for the following                                                                         
day. [The meeting was recessed to a call of the chair but                                                                       
never reconvened.]                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 105 - Marital & Family Therapy Q & A Summary.pdf HFIN 4/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 105
CSSB 105(FIN) - Mat Su Health Foundation testimony.pdf HFIN 4/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 105
CSSB 105(FIN) AK Behavioral Health System Assessment 2016.pdf HFIN 4/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 105
SB 105 Amendments.pdf HFIN 4/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 105
SB 105 - New amendment #1 N.4.pdf HFIN 4/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 105
SB 102 FY16 Broadband Totals and District Subsidies 4.18.18.pdf HFIN 4/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 102
SB 105 Response to HFIN Questions DHSS Brodie 041918.pdf HFIN 4/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 105