Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/03/2003 03:04 PM House HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 165-COMMUNITY SCHOOLS                                                                                                      
Number 1063                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WILSON announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 165, "An  Act relating to community  schools; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  moved  to  adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS),  labeled  23-GH1105\H,  Ford,  3/29/03  as  the                                                               
working  document.   There  being  no  objection, Version  H  was                                                               
before the committee.                                                                                                           
Number 1063                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WILSON reminded the committee  that members wanted language                                                               
inserted in  the bill  that would  show the  legislature's intent                                                               
for  school  districts  to continue  offering  community  schools                                                               
programs.     Chair  Wilson  turned   attention  to   Section  1,                                                               
subsection (b), which reads:                                                                                                    
     It is the intent of this Act to encourage local school                                                                     
     districts to maintain community schools.                                                                                   
CHAIR WILSON  said this language  makes it  clear that it  is not                                                               
the  intent of  the  legislature to  eliminate community  schools                                                               
programs; just the funding for them.                                                                                            
Number 1110                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  suggested that previous findings  show that                                                               
school  districts supply  schools,  buildings, heat,  custodians,                                                               
paint,  summer  maintenance,  and  so  forth,  and  are  a  major                                                               
contributor  to community  schools.   He  said  this bill  simply                                                               
removes a portion  of the funding, and he  suggested that schools                                                               
are  not   giving  anything  up   and  are   still  substantially                                                               
Number 1138                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA said  it  is her  understanding that  this                                                               
bill will place  the community school concept  in uncodified law.                                                               
That being  the case,  she said community  schools have  not been                                                               
repealed, rather it  has been moved it into  some "nether world."                                                               
She said it is  not in the statute books, but it  is out there as                                                               
a vague thing.  Representative  Cissna said she has been involved                                                               
in  community schools  and  she has  done  some projects  through                                                               
them, and she  knows the power of community  schools programs and                                                               
how very  inexpensive they  are through  the volunteer  work that                                                               
people  give.    She  said   she  has  some  real  concerns  with                                                               
eliminating the language that currently exists in statute.                                                                      
Number 1205                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  told the committee she  opposes the bill,                                                               
but  not because  her district  really suffers  from it  like the                                                               
Yupiit School  District in communities  such as  Akiachak, Akiak,                                                               
Tuluksak  in which  the state's  portion is  22.27 percent.   She                                                               
said  [those  communities]  certainly  are  contributing  a  lot.                                                               
Representative Kapsner said she knows  a lot of other communities                                                               
do not have those kinds  of resources available; some communities                                                               
such as the  Copper River, Cordova, Craig,  Delta Greely, Denali,                                                               
Kodiak, Klawock, and Northwest Arctic  School Districts are being                                                               
paid 100 percent.   She pointed out that a  number of schools are                                                               
in communities that  are not a representation  of that community;                                                               
she said those are immersion schools,  and it is a means by which                                                               
an assimilation process occurs.  She  said it is valuable to have                                                               
the  community come  into the  building  and take  part in  adult                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  said if  the legislature  is going  be an                                                               
advocate  for   life-long  learning   and  support   adult  basic                                                               
education,  then it  is important  to support  community schools.                                                               
In some  cases, she  said the  adults may  have lived  there when                                                               
there was  not a  school or  their parents  could not  afford for                                                               
them to  go to "Mt.  Edgecumbe or Copper River."   Representative                                                               
Kapsner  said now  [adults]  may  want to  get  a certificate  or                                                               
diploma and it  is important to support them.   She stated she is                                                               
opposed to the bill moving from committee.                                                                                      
Number 1294                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF told  the committee  that  he supports  this                                                               
bill.   He  announced that  he is  a supporter  of the  community                                                               
school program  and he understands  the value of  volunteer help.                                                               
Therefore, he offered  any community school program  in the state                                                               
to contact his office and for  help in finding corporate funds to                                                               
continue the programs.  Representative  Wolf said through the use                                                               
of  permanent  fund  money   investments  in  corporate  America,                                                               
Alaskans  have billions  of dollars  in  stocks.   Representative                                                               
Wolf said  there is  not a better  community match  for community                                                               
schools.    At   some  point,  he  said  it   is  important  that                                                               
communities rely  on themselves  to obtain  these funds,  but his                                                               
office will  help any community  schools program in the  state to                                                               
find corporate funds.                                                                                                           
Number 1356                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF  moved  to   report  CSHB  165(HES)  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
Number 1370                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA objected.                                                                                                 
Number 1399                                                                                                                     
A  roll call  vote  was taken.    Representatives Wilson,  Gatto,                                                               
Coghill, Seaton, and Wolf voted  in favor of moving CSHB 165(HES)                                                               
out  of  committee.   Representatives  Cissna  and Kapsner  voted                                                               
against it.   Therefore,  CSHB 165(HES) was  reported out  of the                                                               
House Health,  Education and  Social Services  Standing Committee                                                               
by a vote of 5-2.                                                                                                               

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