Legislature(2017 - 2018)ADAMS ROOM 519

05/10/2018 02:00 PM FINANCE

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04:02:01 PM Start
04:03:40 PM SB104
04:35:58 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to a Call of the Chair --
Scheduled but Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 104(FIN) Out of Committee
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."                                                                                  
4:03:40 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster invited Senator McKinnon to the table.                                                                          
SENATOR  ANNA MACKINNON,  SPONSOR,  introduced herself.  She                                                                    
conveyed  the bill  sought to  improve educational  outcomes                                                                    
for all  Alaska students  by providing  them with  access to                                                                    
the  best   curriculum  possible.   The  bill   engaged  the                                                                    
Department  of Education  and  Early  Development (DEED)  to                                                                    
find and approve  the best curricula. It  made the curricula                                                                    
available  in  a  pilot  program  to  a  limited  number  of                                                                    
districts to  try to test  the program and provide  the same                                                                    
opportunity  to  use  the best  curricula  in  other  school                                                                    
districts around the state. It  extended the requirement for                                                                    
curricula review from 6 years  to 10 years and established a                                                                    
statewide computerized  system for  DEED for  all individual                                                                    
education plans (IEP)s.                                                                                                         
Co-Chair  Seaton  MOVED to  MOVED  to  ADOPT proposed  House                                                                    
committee  substitute  for  CSSB 104(FIN),  Work  Draft  30-                                                                    
LS0786\C (Laffen, 5/10/18) (copy on file).                                                                                      
Representative Wilson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                  
Co-Chair Foster  asked if anyone  had questions  for Senator                                                                    
Representative Wilson asked  for clarification regarding the                                                                    
two  fiscal notes  before  the  committee. Senator  McKinnon                                                                    
responded that  the new  fiscal note  was dated  5/9/18. She                                                                    
explained that $19.5 million reflected  a reduction from $30                                                                    
million in  the original  fiscal note.  There was  a smaller                                                                    
fiscal note  for the  addition of one  staff that  was still                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster  recalled that the  note was  originally $30                                                                    
million  corrected  down  to $24  million.  Because  of  the                                                                    
changes  made in  the newest  version  of the  bill, it  was                                                                    
reduced to $19 million.                                                                                                         
4:06:53 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson responded  that the  fiscal note  she                                                                    
was given funded three positions.  She wondered if the three                                                                    
positions  were not  requested  in the  new  version of  the                                                                    
fiscal note of $19.5 million.                                                                                                   
Senator  McKinnon clarified  that  there  were three  fiscal                                                                    
notes to  the bill. The  fiscal note that was  replaced went                                                                    
from $30 million to $24  million to $19.5 million. The other                                                                    
two  fiscal  notes,  fiscal note  4  (OMB  Component  2796),                                                                    
remained  the  same  and added  three  specialists  to  help                                                                    
implement  the program.  She made  a  correction that  there                                                                    
were only two fiscal notes to the new committee substitute.                                                                     
Co-Chair   Foster   recognized  Representative   Ortiz   and                                                                    
Representative Pruitt.                                                                                                          
Vice-Chair Gara understood that  the smaller fiscal note was                                                                    
for three  position to help  study available  curriculum and                                                                    
to help  make it  available to  Alaska school  districts. He                                                                    
asked  if the  $457,000 fiscal  note was  the correct  note.                                                                    
Senator McKinnon relayed that  there were two positions. One                                                                    
for education and  one for math. There was  also one support                                                                    
position. She  offered that the department  could also speak                                                                    
to  their fiscal  note. Vice-Chair  Gara was  fine with  the                                                                    
Co-Chair  Foster invited  the department  to comment  on the                                                                    
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
4:09:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson  asked  whether the  three  positions                                                                    
would continue if  the project did not move  forward after 3                                                                    
PAUL PRUSSING,  DIRECTOR OF STUDENT LEARNING,  DEPARTMENT OF                                                                    
EDUCATION  AND  EARLY  DEVELOPMENT, introduced  himself  and                                                                    
responded  affirmatively. The  department would  continue to                                                                    
review the curricula at the department  on a 5 year basis to                                                                    
keep the list current.                                                                                                          
Representative  Wilson  commented  that the  project  was  a                                                                    
pilot project  and might not  produce the  intended results.                                                                    
She  wondered  if  the  three positions  were  tied  to  the                                                                    
success  of  the program.  Mr.  Prussing  reported that  the                                                                    
program  was a  total  of  6 years;  3  years  of the  pilot                                                                    
program and 3 years after  that to continue the program. The                                                                    
curriculum  specialists  would  establish  a  foundation  of                                                                    
support into  the future beyond  the program.  The positions                                                                    
would help  districts to align  their program and  help with                                                                    
its implementation.                                                                                                             
Representative  Wilson  asked  how the  proposed  curriculum                                                                    
specialists different from  past curriculum specialists. Mr.                                                                    
Prussing indicated  the positions  would be very  similar to                                                                    
the  positions  the department  had  in  the past.  The  new                                                                    
positions  would be  more focused  on the  implementation of                                                                    
the  curriculum  and  the  curriculum  review  process.  The                                                                    
previous  specialists  were  focused  on  helping  districts                                                                    
align  their   curriculum  already  adopted  to   the  state                                                                    
Vice-Chair Gara thought the employees  would also be working                                                                    
to find  curriculum models from  other states  that Alaska's                                                                    
school districts  could possibly choose. He  believed it was                                                                    
not only about aligning  curriculum but also about searching                                                                    
for  curriculum that  might  benefit  school districts.  Mr.                                                                    
Prussing responded,  "Correct." He remarked that  it was the                                                                    
reason the department would be  continuing the work into the                                                                    
future even after the pilot program.                                                                                            
Co-Chair  Foster  invited  his  staff to  walk  through  the                                                                    
changes to the bill.                                                                                                            
4:13:47 PM                                                                                                                    
JANE PIERSON,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  NEAL FOSTER,  read the                                                                    
changes from a prepared statement:                                                                                              
     Changes from SB 104 version 30-LS0786\P to version C                                                                       
     Page 2, line  4-5 Language was added to  state that the                                                                    
     board may  include curricula delivered  through virtual                                                                    
     Page  2,  Line  8-9  and  may  include  in  the  review                                                                    
     curricula delivered through virtual education,"                                                                            
     Page 2,  Lines 11  -12 states  that the  department may                                                                    
     identify the best mathematics  and English and language                                                                    
    arts curricula delivered through virtual education.                                                                         
     Page 3, Line 7 The  pilot program will now only include                                                                    
     four districts. 2 urban (1)  math and (1) English and 2                                                                    
     rural  1  Math and  1  English.  Therefore, "five"  was                                                                    
     deleted and "four" was inserted                                                                                            
     Page  3,  line  8  after  "including"  "at  least"  was                                                                    
     deleted because there are now  only four schools in the                                                                    
     pilot program, not five.                                                                                                   
     Page 3, Line 16 delete "five" and insert "four"                                                                            
     Page 3,  Line 18  "professional development"  was added                                                                    
     so  that the  incentive program  includes "professional                                                                    
     Page  4,  Line  5-7  Deleted  "$20,000,000  and  insert                                                                    
     $9,500,000,   plus  the   unexpended   balance  of   AS                                                                    
     14.07.180(e)(4) - The three-year pilot program.                                                                            
     Page 4, Line 29 delete "five" and insert "four"                                                                            
     Page  5, Line  12-13  A new  subparagraph (5)  defining                                                                    
     "virtual  education"  as  means  instruction  delivered                                                                    
     through   telecommunications   or  other   digital   or                                                                    
     electronic methods."                                                                                                       
     Page  5, Line  16  deleted  "$30,000,000" and  inserted                                                                    
Representative  Wilson  asked   if  accompanying  materials,                                                                    
including  text   books,  would   be  virtual,  if   it  was                                                                    
determined  that  the  best curriculum  came  in  a  virtual                                                                    
format.  Ms.  Pierson believed  that  it  would include  the                                                                    
actual program and the delivery.  It could be that a virtual                                                                    
program  was   deemed  better  than  a   book  program.  She                                                                    
indicated that the word "may"  was used rather than "shall."                                                                    
The board and the districts would decide.                                                                                       
4:17:40 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  asked if  anyone had  considered what                                                                    
would  happen  for  a  school district  that  did  not  have                                                                    
internet capabilities.  She wanted  to make sure  that every                                                                    
district  would  have  the opportunity  to  use  the  chosen                                                                    
program.  Ms.  Pierson responded  that  the  bill was  about                                                                    
finding  the  best  program that  everyone  could  use.  She                                                                    
reemphasized  that the  use of  the word  "may" left  things                                                                    
open  for the  department  and the  districts  to find  what                                                                    
worked best.                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson WITHDREW her OBJECTION.                                                                                   
There  being NO  further OBJECTION,  Work Draft  30-LS0786\C                                                                    
was ADOPTED.                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Foster invited  Senator McKinnon  to make  further                                                                    
Senator McKinnon  thanked the  committee for  considering SB
104. The bill  was an idea which had  progressed through the                                                                    
committee. She  thought the  bill was  a better  product for                                                                    
doing so.                                                                                                                       
Vice-Chair Gara  walked through the fiscal  notes associated                                                                    
with the  bill. There were  two fiscal notes. The  first was                                                                    
OMB  component   2796  from  DEED.  The   appropriation  was                                                                    
education  support  and   administrative  services  and  the                                                                    
allocation  was  student  and  school  achievement  for  the                                                                    
positions previously  discussed. The estimated cost  for the                                                                    
positions  was $457,600  of general  funds.  The first  year                                                                    
would be $4,000 higher.                                                                                                         
Vice-Chair  Gara explained  the second  fiscal note  did not                                                                    
have an OMB  component number. It was  a fund capitalization                                                                    
for  the  curriculum  improvement  and  grant  program.  The                                                                    
amount was a one-time appropriation  of general funds in the                                                                    
amount of $19.5 million.                                                                                                        
4:21:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  asked about the fiscal  note with OMB                                                                    
component number  2796. She  referred to  page 2,  Section 7                                                                    
where  it  talked about  requiring  the  department to  make                                                                    
available  to  school  districts an  electronic  system  for                                                                    
managing   student   information  relating   to   individual                                                                    
education  programs  for  students  with  disabilities.  The                                                                    
estimated cost was  $100,000. She asked how  it would impact                                                                    
districts.  She thought  the  Fairbanks  North Star  Borough                                                                    
already did something similar.                                                                                                  
Senator McKinnon explained that  currently the state did not                                                                    
have   a  standardized   system  in   place.  Everyone   was                                                                    
collecting information  differently. The program would  be a                                                                    
state-supported   program  so   that   districts  were   not                                                                    
disadvantaged,  and it  would  streamline  the process.  The                                                                    
state would be  able to support the exchange  of one student                                                                    
moving  from  the other.  She  noted  that in  the  original                                                                    
introduction  it had  been conveyed  that a  principal would                                                                    
stand at  a copy  machine inserting  27 pages.  Depending on                                                                    
their location in  Alaska, the receiving end  might or might                                                                    
not receive  the fax.  The allocation of  funds was  so that                                                                    
the state  could support the system  ensuring that districts                                                                    
were not disadvantaged.  It would allow for  districts to be                                                                    
migrated to a standardized system  so that as students moved                                                                    
between districts around the state  there was a standardized                                                                    
set  of information  that  could flow  back  and forth.  The                                                                    
districts  would  not  have to  restart  the  individualized                                                                    
education programs.                                                                                                             
4:23:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Prussing relayed that in  a previous meeting there was a                                                                    
handout that listed  the advantages of the  process which he                                                                    
read (copy on file):                                                                                                            
     Advantages for a Statewide Special Education Online                                                                        
         Parents have complete access to student files at                                                                    
          all times                                                                                                             
         Transfers of    student   files    and   service                                                                    
          requirements are much quicker (if not immediate)                                                                      
         Transfers of sensitive student information is                                                                       
          more safe and secure                                                                                                  
         Student services will not be interrupted due to                                                                     
          potential incomplete files                                                                                            
         Schools may  immediately  resume   services  for                                                                    
          students with disabilities when they transfer                                                                         
         A standardized   and   consistent   system   for                                                                    
          statewide training                                                                                                    
         Immediate use of outside transfer paperwork with                                                                    
          standardized format                                                                                                   
         All teachers working with the student have access                                                                   
          to the key information necessary to assure                                                                            
         services across the schedule                                                                                        
         Reduction in  time,   effort  and   training  on                                                                    
          multiple issues of compliance with regulatory                                                                         
         requirements (proposed system is highest  ranked                                                                    
          in compliance alignment)                                                                                              
         Teachers may work  from multiple  locations  and                                                                    
          operating systems (Mac/PC)                                                                                            
         Site level  data  and  statistics   are  readily                                                                    
          available in real time                                                                                                
         Quick analysis of program  progress and  student                                                                    
          goal achievements                                                                                                     
         Consistent tracking of student data  for special                                                                    
         Simplified   records      transfer     protocols                                                                    
         Simplified staff training   from  single  source                                                                    
          materials and statewide support opportunities                                                                         
         Improved staff integration with special education                                                                   
          student resources                                                                                                     
         Cost savings for the district over a stand alone                                                                    
         Simplified data collection from  pre-established                                                                    
          state and federal reports                                                                                             
         Access to student data trends and progress levels                                                                   
         District assessment of special education programs                                                                   
          and training needs from site to site                                                                                  
         Online records    storage   system    for   more                                                                    
          comprehensive files without storage location                                                                          
          security and space issues                                                                                             
         Statewide training and support opportunities over                                                                   
          annual district specific training                                                                                     
         District to  district  transfers  of   data  are                                                                    
          essentially seamless with immediate capabilities                                                                      
         Desktop monitoring of files  ability to spend on                                                                    
          site time working to improve student services                                                                         
          rather than paperwork compliance                                                                                      
         Realtime data collection for federal requirements                                                                   
          eliminates many issues for individual data                                                                            
          collection needs of the state                                                                                         
         One system to  specialize in  and  achieve  user                                                                    
         Statewide changes required may be implemented in                                                                    
          one action across the state                                                                                           
         Standardized and uniform training in all district                                                                   
          systems would be a possibility                                                                                        
         Utilizes the data system most used in the state                                                                     
         Utilized the system with the  highest number  of                                                                    
          already trained users                                                                                                 
Mr.  Prussing noted  that there  were several  advantages of                                                                    
going to the system.                                                                                                            
Representative  Wilson  was  trying  to  understand  if  the                                                                    
districts already  had a system  and whether the  new system                                                                    
would complicate  things for the districts.  She wondered if                                                                    
parents would  be signing something acknowledging  they were                                                                    
made  aware  that  students  would  not  only  be  in  their                                                                    
school's  database but  in a  state  database. Mr.  Prussing                                                                    
relayed  that  the  department  would  have  access  to  the                                                                    
school's  database.  It  would  not  be  housed  within  the                                                                    
department but  rather in a secured  database. He elaborated                                                                    
that there was  one system that the majority  of the schools                                                                    
were already  using that had  the needed capability.  He was                                                                    
confident that it would amount to  less work for most of the                                                                    
districts. The  smaller districts that might  not already be                                                                    
using  the  system  would  be able  to  get  good  technical                                                                    
Representative Wilson asked  if the bill had to  do with all                                                                    
students or  only special education  students. She  asked if                                                                    
parents  would  have to  sign  off  on personal  information                                                                    
being released in another database.                                                                                             
4:27:00 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
4:27:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Prussing  clarified that  the  actual  data would  stay                                                                    
within the  school districts. The  only time the  data would                                                                    
be  transferred  was if  a  student  transferred to  another                                                                    
school. Under  the Federal Education Rights  to Privacy Act,                                                                    
the parents  would have  to be notified  and approve  of the                                                                    
transfer of  information. There  were safeguards  built into                                                                    
an IEP in special education would remain in place.                                                                              
Representative  Wilson  asked  if   it  applied  to  special                                                                    
education students or all  students. Mr. Prussing responded,                                                                    
"Just for special education."                                                                                                   
Representative Wilson  conveyed that IEPs had  to be written                                                                    
every year. They  were not ongoing. She wanted  to make sure                                                                    
that  no   shortcuts  would  be  taken   for  special  needs                                                                    
Co-Chair  Seaton drew  attention  to the  fiscal note  dated                                                                    
05/09/18. On  the second  page it  appeared that  there were                                                                    
four districts that  had not been updated  in several spots.                                                                    
He  pointed to  line  4 of  Section 3  where  it noted  five                                                                    
districts,  but  the  program funding  summary  listed  five                                                                    
districts in the  first pilot year 2019-2020.  He asked that                                                                    
the fiscal note reflect the current committee substitute.                                                                       
4:29:37 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Seaton  MOVED to  report HCSCSSB  104 (FIN)  out of                                                                    
Committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                      
Representative  Wilson OBJECTED.  Although  she thought  the                                                                    
bill was a good idea, the  cost of an additional $20 million                                                                    
was  not   affordable  under  the  state's   current  fiscal                                                                    
climate. She wondered  where the money would  come from. She                                                                    
was  uncertain if  adding three  additional positions  would                                                                    
cause  the numbers  to improve.  The state  had already  had                                                                    
similar positions in  place before and, the  numbers had not                                                                    
improved at  that time. She  was also concerned that  if the                                                                    
state  was not  going to  have enough  money in  the state's                                                                    
Constitutional Budget  Reserve (CBR),  the money  would come                                                                    
out of  the earnings reserve account.  She suggested getting                                                                    
the  districts  together  to utilize  their  resources.  She                                                                    
thought  many of  them already  knew  of the  best math  and                                                                    
English  curricula.  She  also   mentioned  $40  million  in                                                                    
Medicaid  costs  that  were not  covered.  She  thought  the                                                                    
timing was poor and could not support the bill.                                                                                 
Representative Ortiz agreed  that the state was  in a fiscal                                                                    
predicament. However,  he argued that  the bill was  a clear                                                                    
message  that education  was a  priority.  He commended  the                                                                    
bill sponsor  for bringing the  bill forward. He  thought it                                                                    
would  provide  more   educational  opportunities  for  kids                                                                    
across the state. He would be supporting the bill.                                                                              
Vice-Chair Gara  did not doubt that  better curriculum would                                                                    
have  an impact  on educational  outcomes. It  was difficult                                                                    
when   teachers,   guidance   counselors,   and   curriculum                                                                    
specialists  were   being  lost,  to  say   that  curriculum                                                                    
specialists  did not  make a  difference.  He suggested  the                                                                    
educational system should be a  full package. He thought the                                                                    
bill was  part of  the system.  He argued  that it  was also                                                                    
important  to  make  sure there  were  enough  teachers  and                                                                    
educators in  the state  to ensure  a first  class education                                                                    
for students in  Alaska. He did not believe  the state could                                                                    
choose only  parts of an  education system and expect  it to                                                                    
work. He  liked the attempt  to get school  districts better                                                                    
curriculum.  He  felt  that  it would  only  work  with  and                                                                    
adequate number of educators.                                                                                                   
4:33:55 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Thompson agreed  that  the  state needed  to                                                                    
improve its  curriculum and the education  of Alaska's young                                                                    
people.  However, it  was going  to cost  the equivalent  of                                                                    
upwards of $75 additional  base student allocation (BSA) for                                                                    
the   entire   state.  He   opined   that   the  state   was                                                                    
overspending.  Although  he liked  the  bill,  he could  not                                                                    
support it.                                                                                                                     
Representative Wilson MAINTAINED her OBJECTION.                                                                                 
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
IN FAVOR: Gara, Grenn, Guttenberg,  Kawasaki, Ortiz, Foster,                                                                    
OPPOSED:  Wilson, Pruitt, Thompson, Tilton                                                                                      
The MOTION PASSED (7/4).                                                                                                        
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
HCS CSSB 104(FIN)  was REPORTED out of committee  with a "do                                                                    
pass"  recommendation  and  with  one  previously  published                                                                    
fiscal impact  note: FN1  (EED); and one  new fiscal  by the                                                                    
Department of Education and Early Development.                                                                                  
Co-Chair Foster indicated there  was a possibility of coming                                                                    
back later in the evening  to address amendments for SB 142.                                                                    
He   recessed  the   meeting   [note:   the  meeting   never                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 104 CS WORKDRAFT HFIN v.C.pdf HFIN 5/10/2018 2:00:00 PM
SB 104
SB 104 Explanation of Changes ver P to ver C.pdf HFIN 5/10/2018 2:00:00 PM
SB 104