Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/25/2003 03:00 PM House HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 165-COMMUNITY SCHOOLS                                                                                                      
[Due  to technical  difficulties, the  first few  minutes of  the                                                               
meeting was  not recorded.   The first portion  was reconstructed                                                               
from the committee secretary's log notes.]                                                                                      
CHAIR WILSON announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 165, "An  Act relating to community  schools; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
[Recording begins here.]                                                                                                        
Number 0092                                                                                                                     
EDDY  JEANS,  Manager,  School Finance  and  Facilities  Section,                                                               
Education  Support Services,  Department of  Education and  Early                                                               
Development  (EED), informed  the  committee  that the  community                                                               
schools statute was  adopted in 1975 and that the  intent of that                                                               
statute  was to  assist  local school  districts in  establishing                                                               
community schools programs.  The  community schools grant program                                                               
is  currently funded  at $500,000  a year.   If  the program  was                                                               
fully funded under its statutory  entitlement, it would be funded                                                               
at $3.5 million.   Therefore, its current funding is  at about 12                                                               
MR.  JEANS  explained  that  the grant  program  was  enacted  to                                                               
provide  financial  assistance  to  encourage  and  assist  local                                                               
districts  in  establishing  community  schools  programs.    The                                                               
department and  the administration  believe that the  statute has                                                               
fulfilled  its  need and  intent,  as  all school  districts  are                                                               
operating some  form of  a community schools  program.   He noted                                                               
that  he  had  provided  a   spreadsheet  to  the  House  Special                                                               
Committee on  Education showing how  much money  school districts                                                               
are  reporting  as expenditures  in  community  schools, and  for                                                               
many, the amount  identified as expended equals  the exact amount                                                               
received in state grants.   Therefore, Mr. Jeans said he believes                                                               
that  a portion  of  those  programs are  being  recorded in  the                                                               
school  operating fund  under general  operating expenses  of the                                                               
school  district.   He noted  that  the legislation  does have  a                                                               
fiscal note  and this  is reflected in  the governor's  budget to                                                               
eliminate the $500,000 allocation.                                                                                              
Number 0258                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  related  that  at  the  recent  Anchorage                                                               
caucus meeting  she had specifically asked  the superintendent of                                                               
the   Anchorage  School   District   whether  community   schools                                                               
supplemented school  funding.  The  superintendent said  that the                                                               
Anchorage School  District had found  that the  community schools                                                               
program was enormously important  in helping provide classes that                                                               
could not otherwise be afforded for  summer school or for the "No                                                               
Child Left  Behind" supplemental classes.   Representative Cissna                                                               
asked  Mr. Jeans  if the  community  schools program  is used  in                                                               
other  communities   to  supplement  regular   school  districts'                                                               
MR.  JEANS pointed  out that  community  schools programs  charge                                                               
user  fees to  use  the facility  and  offer additional  programs                                                               
outside the  school day.   Some of the excess  receipts generated                                                               
by the  program go  back to  support other  educational programs.                                                               
Mr.  Jeans   highlighted  the   importance  of   the  legislation                                                               
[creating the  community schools  program] which was  intended to                                                               
be seed  money from the  state to start having  districts provide                                                               
access to school facilities after  school hours for community use                                                               
and activities.                                                                                                                 
Number 0410                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  said his  understanding  is  that HB  165                                                               
eliminates  the funding  from the  state  for community  schools,                                                               
although it does not eliminate  any authority that communities or                                                               
districts have for conducting community schools activities.                                                                     
MR.  JEANS responded  that  is  correct.   Under  HB 165,  school                                                               
districts will  still have the  authority to rent  the facilities                                                               
after  school  hours and  utilize  the  facilities for  community                                                               
activities.    Mr.  Jeans  said  the  department  would  strongly                                                               
encourage such use.                                                                                                             
Number 0470                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  related his  understanding that  the amount                                                               
schools  will have  to reduce  their  contribution for  community                                                               
schools will vary from 100 percent to 8 percent or so.                                                                          
MR. JEANS pointed out that the  schedule he provided to the House                                                               
Special Committee  on Education shows that  the contribution will                                                               
fall below  1 percent  when comparing the  amount of  state grant                                                               
funds with the total amount  that the district has expended under                                                               
this program.   He reiterated  that the districts  reflecting 100                                                               
percent  expenditure  to  the  grant   amount  probably  are  not                                                               
recording  actual   after-school  activities  in   the  community                                                               
schools fund,  but rather simply  absorbing that in  the school's                                                               
operating fund.   Mr.  Jeans said  that he does  not know  if any                                                               
district will have to replace  100 percent because those services                                                               
are being provided through some other means.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  inquired  as to  the  percentage  increase                                                               
needed to cover  the $500,000 reduction for an  average school in                                                               
MR. JEANS replied that  Anchorage receives approximately $152,000                                                               
from  the $500,000,  which  represents about  12  percent of  the                                                               
total Anchorage spent on community schools in fiscal year 2002.                                                                 
Number 0592                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA pointed out that  HB 165 repeals the school                                                               
district's  statutory  authority  to  provide  community  schools                                                               
programs.  She questioned why  the committee would want to repeal                                                               
this law when  it is already not being funded  in the budget this                                                               
MR.  JEANS  said that  the  community  schools program  has  been                                                               
funded at  $500,000 a year for  a number of years,  although this                                                               
year's budget does not include funding  for it.  The reason there                                                               
is  no funding  for it  in the  budget this  year is  because the                                                               
department is  recommending the repeal  of the statute,  which is                                                               
part of  the fiscal note process.   Furthermore, this is  not the                                                               
only  statute giving  school districts  the authority  to utilize                                                               
their school  facilities for after-school  activities.   He noted                                                               
that there has  been some discussion with regard  to leaving some                                                               
language  in   the  statutes   that  would   encourage  continued                                                               
community  use of  public school  facilities after  school hours.                                                               
The majority  of the  funding that is  being obtained  is through                                                               
user fees, not through the grant program.                                                                                       
Number 0726                                                                                                                     
CHAIR   WILSON    related   that   in   her    discussions   with                                                               
superintendents across  the state,  one superintendent  said this                                                               
program was  one that  would continue  regardless of  the state's                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  asked if Mr.  Jeans had been  contacted by                                                               
any  districts  that  have  indicated that  they  would  have  to                                                               
abandon the community schools program.                                                                                          
MR. JEANS replied no.                                                                                                           
Number 0819                                                                                                                     
MARY  RASMUSSEN, Member,  Sand Lake  Community schools  Board and                                                               
Anchorage   Community   Education  Association,   testified   via                                                               
teleconference in opposition to HB  165.  She requested that this                                                               
statute not  be repealed and  that it  be funded at  the $500,000                                                               
level.  With  regard to Mr. Jeans and the  governor's belief that                                                               
the [current] level  of funding for the program does  little on a                                                               
statewide basis, Ms.  Rasmussen agreed.  Ms.  Rasmussen said that                                                               
the community schools program provides  the state "a big bang for                                                               
its buck."   The  amount of  money going  to the  schools enables                                                               
thousands  of  volunteers  to pursue  the  mission  of  community                                                               
MS.  RASMUSSEN strongly  disagreed with  the statement  that this                                                               
program  has  fulfilled  its  intended  purpose.    However,  she                                                               
interpreted  the  legislation  [creating  community  schools]  to                                                               
provide  funding  for  initial development,  implementation,  and                                                               
operation of  community schools programs.   She pointed  out that                                                               
operation  is an  ongoing process  and  she hoped  that it  would                                                               
continue to  be funded.   Ms. Rasmussen  emphasized the  need for                                                               
some  base funding  in order  to continue  the community  schools                                                               
programs.   However, she acknowledged  that the programs  are not                                                               
required to be  funded during times in which there  is not enough                                                               
money.   Then the grants  should be  prioritized.  She  urged the                                                               
committee not  to remove the statutes  that acknowledge community                                                               
schools.  This is  a time when the children need  to work on exit                                                               
exams because  [those graduating  in] the year  2004 will  be the                                                               
first group required to pass the exit exams.                                                                                    
Number 0999                                                                                                                     
REBECCA  REICHLIN, President,  Alaska  Association for  Community                                                               
Education, testified via teleconference  in opposition to HB 165.                                                               
She  urged the  committee  not to  repeal  the community  schools                                                               
grant  program.    She  pointed out  that  each  school  district                                                               
receives  state  grant money  to  support  its community  schools                                                               
program.  These monies validate  programs and provide leverage to                                                               
seek grants  and matching funds  from cities  and municipalities.                                                               
The state funding enables the  creation of a statewide network of                                                               
activity.  With regard to  whether community schools programs are                                                               
a  "need" or  a "want,"  Ms. Reichlin  related that  she recently                                                               
spoke with  the coordinator of  the community schools  program in                                                               
the Matanuska-Susitna  Borough, which  receives $47,000  in state                                                               
grant  funds.   Those funds  allowed  the program  to offer  swim                                                               
lessons,  driver's education,  GED [general  equivalency diploma]                                                               
classes, pre-school classes,  and computer classes, seventy-seven                                                               
activities  for  1,200  youth,  700  adults,  and  another  2,000                                                               
contact hours.  The coordinator  had related to Ms. Reichlin that                                                               
if  this program  is not  funded  next year,  it will  not be  in                                                               
existence.   In  summary, Ms.  Reichlin said  that the  community                                                               
schools program  is clearly vital  to the growth  and development                                                               
of  Alaska's  citizens.   Lifelong  learners  engaged in  healthy                                                               
activities in a safe environment  raise the quality of everyone's                                                               
life.   She asked members  to please be proactive  and strengthen                                                               
the community  schools network  in our  communities, not  tear it                                                               
Number 1127                                                                                                                     
ROSEMARY  REEDER, Lead  Coordinator, Soldotna  Community schools,                                                               
informed the  committee that Soldotna  has no  recreation center,                                                               
no teen center,  and no museum.  There is  only a small community                                                               
library.    Therefore,  the Soldotna  Community  schools  program                                                               
feels that  it provides the cultural,  academic, and recreational                                                               
opportunities for  children as  well as adults.   With  regard to                                                               
the earlier question as to  whether the community schools program                                                               
provides any  supplement to  the regular  school day,  Ms. Reeder                                                               
said  she  believes  that  is  the case.    She  noted  that  the                                                               
community   schools   program   provides  summer   programs   and                                                               
enrichment programs.   For example, the funds  generated from the                                                               
fees for men's adult basketball are  used to purchase most of the                                                               
balls for the  middle school.  The money received  from the state                                                               
has been  used to leverage other  funds.  Ms. Reeder  pointed out                                                               
that "the  folks that  the legislature thinks  might help  us" if                                                               
this program  is cut are "folks  that have already cut  us."  The                                                               
school district  does not provide  any funding for  the community                                                               
schools  program.    She  urged  the committee  not  to  cut  the                                                               
community schools program.                                                                                                      
Number 1218                                                                                                                     
CURT LEDFORD,  Director, Sitka  Community schools,  testified via                                                               
teleconference in opposition to HB 165.   He pointed out that the                                                               
community schools program is not  merely about usage of buildings                                                               
and open gyms,  the program provides after  school activities for                                                               
over half of  the children in the Sitka School  District; as well                                                               
as, tutoring,  language classes, independent studies,  et cetera.                                                               
He  told  the committee  that  currently  there  are a  group  of                                                               
students using  their spring break  to build a house  for Habitat                                                               
for  Humanity.   The  $5,000  in  funding  helps support  a  wide                                                               
variety  of programs.   Although  many of  the programs  are kept                                                               
going   with  volunteers   from  AmeriCorps   and  Vista,   these                                                               
volunteers cost money.  There has  been talk of raising fees.  He                                                               
echoed earlier  testimony that adults' activities  subsidize some                                                               
of  the programs.    If this  bill passes,  and  these cuts  take                                                               
place,  there  will be  more  hardship  for  other people.    Mr.                                                               
Ledford  informed  the  committee   that  the  community  schools                                                               
program  gave  over  $20,000  in  scholarships  to  children  who                                                               
wouldn't  have  otherwise been  able  to  have swimming  lessons,                                                               
French lessons, et cetera.                                                                                                      
Number 1366                                                                                                                     
TIM  STEELE, Vice  President, Anchorage  School Board,  testified                                                               
via teleconference in opposition to HB  165.  He noted his strong                                                               
support  of community  schools.   Anchorage  has  a fairly  large                                                               
community schools program, with something  on the order of 53,000                                                               
participants  in  2001-2002.    The state  provided  $152,000  in                                                               
funding.   Mr.  Steele  pointed out  that  the community  schools                                                               
program provides additional help to  students as well as bringing                                                               
communities  into the  schools.   He told  the committee  that if                                                               
these cuts  are made,  the program will  be unstable  because the                                                               
Anchorage School District considers  the program marginal and not                                                               
directly the  Kindergarten through 12th grade  (K-12) educational                                                               
responsibility.     Just  this  year,  three   community  schools                                                               
coordinators were added  back due to additional  funding that was                                                               
received  in  the  last  budget.    Since  the  Anchorage  School                                                               
District faces  about $11 million  in cuts this year,  Mr. Steele                                                               
said she  fears that this program  is at risk with  regard to the                                                               
school  district's support  to make  up what  the state  does not                                                               
provide.  Mr.  Steele urged the committee to not  cut the funding                                                               
or the enabling legislation.                                                                                                    
Number 1484                                                                                                                     
DEBBIE BOGART,  Director, Community Education  Program, testified                                                               
via teleconference  in opposition to  HB 165.  She  requested the                                                               
committee's help  in not repealing the  community schools program                                                               
statutes.  Eliminating funding would  be devastating, even to the                                                               
Anchorage School  District.  The  Community Education  Program in                                                               
Anchorage is an  integral part of the  Anchorage School District.                                                               
The  Community   Education  Program   provides  tutorial-enriched                                                               
academic programs,  and continuing education for  adults; it also                                                               
provides a  safe neighborhood after  school, in the  summers, and                                                               
in the evenings.  She informed  the committee that this past year                                                               
there were over  19,000 students involved in  the K-12 enrichment                                                               
program.    Over 1,500  students  were  involved in  after-school                                                               
academic  activities.    Ms.  Bogart   concluded  by  urging  the                                                               
committee to  continue to support  community education.   Without                                                               
state funding,  the partnerships  that the program  has developed                                                               
will be at risk.                                                                                                                
Number 1601                                                                                                                     
LORENA  SKONBERG, Alaska  Native Health  Board (ANHB),  testified                                                               
via teleconference  in opposition  to HB 165.   She  informed the                                                               
committee  that she  is sitting  in for  Trudy Anderson,  who had                                                               
planned to  speak.   Ms. Skonberg said  the Alaska  Native Health                                                               
Board  passed a  resolution in  opposition to  HB 165,  which she                                                               
read for the record:                                                                                                            
     Whereas the  Alaska Native Health Board  is a nonprofit                                                                    
     organization  established in  1968 for  the purpose  of                                                                    
     promoting the spiritual,  physical, mental, social, and                                                                    
     cultural  well-being,   and  pride  of   Alaska  Native                                                                    
     Whereas  the ANHB  is a  legally established  statewide                                                                    
     organization  representing  Alaska  Natives  on  public                                                                    
     health policy issues;                                                                                                      
     Whereas  the ANHB  membership  consists  of tribes  and                                                                    
     tribal organizations throughout Alaska;                                                                                    
     Whereas House Bill 165 is  an Act relating to community                                                                    
        Whereas the Act eliminates the community schools                                                                        
        program for children which include after school                                                                         
      Whereas this will lead to more latchkey children in                                                                       
     Whereas HB 165 would provide undue hardship on Alaskan                                                                     
      Now therefore be it resolved that the Alaska Native                                                                       
     Health Board strongly and publicly opposed House Bill                                                                      
Number 1634                                                                                                                     
BLYTHE  CAMPBELL,  Chairperson,   Anchorage  Community  Education                                                               
Association,  testified via  teleconference in  opposition to  HB
165.   She informed  the committee  that the  Anchorage Community                                                               
Education Association  represents the community schools  that now                                                               
operate in Anchorage.  Ms.  Campbell strongly urged the committee                                                               
not to pass HB 165.  The  association could not see any reason to                                                               
abolish this wonderful program from  the statutes, she said.  Ms.                                                               
Campbell  pointed out  that all  programs involve  volunteers, do                                                               
good work  throughout the  state, and need  a balanced  source of                                                               
funding and  multiple sources of  funding.  The state  funding is                                                               
very  important and  allows matches  with other  funds, and  thus                                                               
eliminating  the  state  funding  will result  in  the  program's                                                               
suffering.   Ms.  Campbell informed  the committee  that she  has                                                               
been  with the  program  for nearly  20 years  and  that lots  of                                                               
programs have  been closed in  Anchorage.  The funding  the state                                                               
provides  through   this  grant  supports   about  two-and-a-half                                                               
community  schools in  Anchorage.   With  other  cuts the  school                                                               
district  is  facing,  Ms.  Campbell said  she  feels  that  this                                                               
program  is  in  serious  jeopardy.   Therefore,  she  urged  the                                                               
committee  not   to  abolish  the  statutes   that  specify  that                                                               
community schools are a good thing.                                                                                             
CHAIR WILSON  reminded everyone that  the statute  being repealed                                                               
in HB  165 is not  the total  reference to the  community schools                                                               
program and that the program can continue.                                                                                      
Number 1729                                                                                                                     
JONATHAN GREEN, Instructor,  Anchorage Community schools Program,                                                               
testified  via  teleconference  in  opposition to  HB  165.    He                                                               
informed the committee that he  has taught photography classes in                                                               
the Anchorage Community  schools Program for the  past six years.                                                               
He told  the committee  what a  great experience  it has  been in                                                               
doing this class.  Furthermore, he  was not sure where the public                                                               
would go  to learn to  operate photography equipment.   Mr. Green                                                               
related his understanding  that this program is  being cut before                                                               
considering the  possibility of  raising fees.   Mr.  Green urged                                                               
the committee to keep the program going.                                                                                        
Number 1790                                                                                                                     
LINDA  WETHERBY,  Coordinator,  Rabbit Creek  Community  schools,                                                               
testified  via  teleconference in  opposition  to  HB 165.    She                                                               
informed the  committee that the  Rabbit Creek  Community schools                                                               
has  a pre-school  program, a  childcare program,  and a  Spanish                                                               
program,  as well  as  evening  classes.   All  of the  community                                                               
schools  programs are  diverse  and serve  the  communities in  a                                                               
variety  of creative  ways.   She expressed  concern that  if the                                                               
needs  of  community  schools programs  were  diminished  by  the                                                               
legislature, she  would not want  the school district  to respond                                                               
similarly.   She viewed the  community schools program as  a good                                                               
purveyor  of   education  by   helping  children   and  families,                                                               
especially with respect to the No Child Left Behind Act.                                                                        
Number 1888                                                                                                                     
JOYCE   KITKA,  Volunteer,   Alaska  Association   for  Community                                                               
Education,  testified in  opposition to  HB  165.   She told  the                                                               
committee  she strongly  disagrees  and  resents the  implication                                                               
that school  districts are using  this money to  supplement their                                                               
school districts'  programs.   Ms. Kitka  said she  would provide                                                               
the  committee  with  copies  of   the  state  reports  that  are                                                               
submitted.   Very few reports  will include open gyms,  and while                                                               
it is  a part of  the program, it  is not  a part of  the program                                                               
that  is  a  priority.    She  said she  knows  Mr.  Jeans  is  a                                                               
participant in  the local community  schools program  that offers                                                               
open gyms, but  it is not the only thing  community schools does.                                                               
She said  community schools need the  money as seed money.   Last                                                               
year community  schools had over 20,000  volunteers that recorded                                                               
over  200,000 hours  in volunteer  time.   She reported  that the                                                               
National  Association for  Partners in  Education (NAP)  said the                                                               
value  of  a  volunteer  hour   is  $15.62.    If  the  committee                                                               
multiplies the  number of volunteer hours  that community schools                                                               
provides before, during,  and after school, and  on weekends, the                                                               
members would find community schools  brought in $3,304,427 worth                                                               
of services.  Ms. Kitka said  the $500,000 of seed money given by                                                               
the state  is money well spent.   Not all the  volunteers will go                                                               
away, but a big part of them will.                                                                                              
Number 1974                                                                                                                     
MARY  FRANCES,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Council  of  School                                                               
Administrators, testified in  opposition to HB 165.   She pointed                                                               
out that  this is an example  of a funded mandate  that over time                                                               
has been seriously  underfunded.  The portion of  the $500,000 in                                                               
state funding  for a  particular district that  she used  to run,                                                               
which was  Petersburg, was $2,000.   It is  safe to say  that the                                                               
program  will not  die with  that $2,000  going away,  but as  an                                                               
administrator and as a person  who represents administrators, she                                                               
said she  asks that  the legislature not  make mandates  and then                                                               
have them underfunded or seriously  defunded over time so that it                                                               
brings the program to its knees.                                                                                                
Number 2016                                                                                                                     
CARL  ROSE,  Executive  Director, Association  of  Alaska  School                                                               
Boards (AASB),  testified in opposition  to HB 165  and responded                                                               
to questions  by the committee.   He  said that in  talking about                                                               
community schools  it is important  to remember that  schools are                                                               
the center of  communities.  He told the members  that AASB has a                                                               
resolution  in  support of  full  funding  of community  schools.                                                               
Every dollar  that is  reduced from the  funding of  schools, one                                                               
way or the other, comes out of the foundation formula.                                                                          
MR. ROSE said  the argument that these funds are  seed money is a                                                               
familiar argument  in education.   There are  a number  of things                                                               
that  were given  seed money  to provide  a program,  and as  the                                                               
programs start to  take root, the money goes away.   It places an                                                               
increased  burden on  schools.   A  number of  people across  the                                                               
state are  dependent on many  of the programs that  are provided.                                                               
He told the committee he  thinks the partnership that exists with                                                               
the legislature to at least fund  those things that are valued is                                                               
important.    He said  he  knows  most  of the  committee  values                                                               
community schools because he has heard  them say so, and he hopes                                                               
the   committee  will   maintain  that   level  of   support  and                                                               
Number 2067                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO asked,  if  the funds  were relabeled  from                                                               
seed money to grant money, whether it would make a difference.                                                                  
Number 2079                                                                                                                     
MR.  ROSE  responded  that  schools  get  a  lot  of  money  from                                                               
peripheral areas such as pupil  transportation and LOGs [Learning                                                               
Opportunity  Grants].    If  those  monies  go  away,  it  is  an                                                               
increased  burden  on  the  foundation  formula.    He  told  the                                                               
committee  he was  very surprised  this fall  when he  realized a                                                               
number of  people who talk  about the foundation formula  did not                                                               
understand that  the foundation formula  is there to  provide for                                                               
facilities, heat, lights,  and all the peripheral  costs, and not                                                               
just instruction in the classroom.   This is a larger discussion;                                                               
when  there is  talk  about  funding for  education,  all of  the                                                               
education  dollars  are  leveraged,  and there  is  great  demand                                                               
placed  on schools  with the  No Child  Left Behind  Act and  the                                                               
Quality Schools Initiative.  He  told the committee school boards                                                               
want to do  the right thing and  want to do a good  job, but this                                                               
could be the "death of a thousand cuts."                                                                                        
Number 2109                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  told  the  committee  that  she  has  put                                                               
together  community  schools programs,  and  has  for many  years                                                               
rented space in  the schools for various community  meetings.  It                                                               
did not seem  to be the same  program and she did  not go through                                                               
the  same  people to  do  it.    Representative Cissna  said  the                                                               
schools  can continue  to  rent  out space,  but  that is  really                                                               
different  from the  community schools  program.   She asked  Mr.                                                               
Rose if these two functions are part of the same program.                                                                       
Number 2137                                                                                                                     
MR. ROSE  replied that  he is  not qualified  to comment  on each                                                               
individual district's programs.                                                                                                 
Number 2164                                                                                                                     
MR.  SWEENEY told  the committee  that  he wanted  to clarify  an                                                               
earlier statement  that there are  other references  to community                                                               
schools in  state statute; he said  that is not the  case.  There                                                               
are  references to  schools'  being able  to  use the  facilities                                                               
outside  of  the normal  school  day.    He reiterated  that  the                                                               
statutes  in  this bill  are  the  only references  to  community                                                               
schools.    He  told  the  committee if  there  is  concern  that                                                               
community schools  would go away  by removing these  statutes, he                                                               
believes  there is  a way  that community  schools could  stay in                                                               
statute, but still eliminate the $500,000 in grants.                                                                            
Number 2197                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  WILSON commented  that in  talking with  administrators at                                                               
the schools, she was assured  that community schools would not go                                                               
away if  they did  not receive these  funds; however,  there will                                                               
have to  be some effort  to make up for  the funds in  some other                                                               
way.   Chair Wilson said  she wants  to be sure  school districts                                                               
can still run community schools without a problem.                                                                              
Number 2208                                                                                                                     
MR. SWEENEY  replied that there  would not  be a problem  for the                                                               
schools  to continue  offering community  schools  programs.   He                                                               
said   the  department   agrees  with   Chair  Wilson   that  the                                                               
elimination  of the  grants  would not  mean  the elimination  of                                                               
community schools  statewide.  Mr.  Sweeney said  eliminating the                                                               
language about  community schools  means that  there is  no other                                                               
reference to them  in statute.  However, he  reiterated that this                                                               
would not impact the schools'  authority to run community schools                                                               
Number 2225                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON told  the committee  that he  is concerned                                                               
about  the elimination  of the  statute because  it is  a concern                                                               
expressed  in testimony  before  the committee  and something  he                                                               
heard when he  was back in his  district.  He said  he would like                                                               
to see  the bill  modified so  that there  is still  reference in                                                               
statute  that says  the legislature  supports community  schools,                                                               
even though  the legislature is not  funding them.  He  asked Mr.                                                               
Sweeney if he thinks this is  something that could be done easily                                                               
or if it would require another hearing before the committee.                                                                    
Number 2254                                                                                                                     
MR.  SWEENEY replied  that  he  could not  speak  to that  change                                                               
without talking with the governor's  office.  He said he believes                                                               
there is an  easy way to tweak  the first section of  the bill to                                                               
show that the state still  encourages school districts to utilize                                                               
their facilities as an extension  of the school day for community                                                               
schools programs.  Passing this  bill would eliminate the idea of                                                               
having  community  schools grants,  which  he  said the  governor                                                               
believes  has fulfilled  its service,  since  now every  district                                                               
does have community schools programs up and running.                                                                            
Number 2269                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  suggested that  a precedent has  been set                                                               
for use  of facilities  in the  districts.  He  said he  does not                                                               
believe it is  necessary to add language in  support of community                                                               
schools unless  it is  the intent of  the legislature  to provide                                                               
funding.    This bill  would  not  forbid school  districts  from                                                               
continuing the practice of charging  for opening the buildings or                                                               
allowing an administrator  to use the buildings for  a variety of                                                               
Number 2294                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WILSON said that she  wants the committee to be comfortable                                                               
with the  language, but agrees  with Representative  Coghill that                                                               
there is nothing in the  bill that prevents school districts from                                                               
continuing their  community schools programs.   Chair Wilson said                                                               
she is comfortable with the bill.                                                                                               
Number 2309                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  told the committee she  is not comfortable                                                               
with the  bill because it  does not  talk about funds,  but talks                                                               
about  repealing sections  of statute.   She  asked how  the bill                                                               
could be tweaked  if the bill actually repeals  eight sections of                                                               
statute.   Representative Cissna  said running  community schools                                                               
programs is different from renting  space.  When renting space it                                                               
is just  a question  of filling  out a  form, but  with community                                                               
schools  programs there  are  many differences.    She cited  the                                                               
examples of  advertising classes,  and having many  people coming                                                               
into the  school at night.   The whole school is  alive at night.                                                               
She said this is very different.                                                                                                
Number 2351                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  WILSON  repeated  her  earlier  statement  concerning  her                                                               
conversations with  several superintendents  of schools  and that                                                               
none  of  them mentioned  that  they  were concerned  that  these                                                               
services would disappear.                                                                                                       
Number 2363                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON commented that  he agrees with Chair Wilson                                                               
that  the superintendents  who  are  in place  right  now have  a                                                               
structure that they  are working with and that  when reference in                                                               
statute  goes  away,  those  superintendents  will  continue  the                                                               
programs.    He said  his  concern  is  that the  legislature  is                                                               
setting  state policy  in place  for  all future  superintendents                                                               
that have not been involved in  this system and have not grown up                                                               
with this.   So the fact  that the legislature does  not have any                                                               
mention  or  encouragement  for  the  continuation  of  community                                                               
schools programs is an important point.                                                                                         
TAPE 03-27, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2380                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON said  he understands  that the  governor's                                                               
intent is to  eliminate the funding.  The  legislature is setting                                                               
the  policy for  all  future superintendents  who  may come  from                                                               
outside  this  state  and  may not  be  familiar  with  community                                                               
schools.   Representative Seaton  said he sees  this as  a system                                                               
policy,  and  would like  to  see  the  committee work  with  the                                                               
Department  of  Education  and Early  Development  to  accomplish                                                               
their goal and the legislature's as well.                                                                                       
Number 2357                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WILSON announced  that no further action would  be taken on                                                               
HB 165 until Thursday's meeting [April 3, 2003].                                                                                
[HB 165 was held over.]                                                                                                         

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