Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

03/27/2017 08:00 AM EDUCATION

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
            SB 96-EDUCATION: SCHOOLS/TEACHERS/FUNDING                                                                       
8:06:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES announced  the  consideration  of SB  96.  She noted                                                              
there was a new  CS for SB 96 and she  wished to adopt it prior  to                                                             
public testimony and the next meeting.                                                                                          
8:06:59 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL moved  to adopt  the  CS for  SB 96,  labeled  30-                                                             
LS0452\T, as the version before the committee.                                                                                  
CHAIR HUGHES objected for discussion.                                                                                           
8:07:10 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
8:07:35 AM                                                                                                                    
JOSHUA  BANKS,   Staff,  Senator  Shelley   Hughes,  Alaska  State                                                              
Legislature, explained the changes in version T of SB 96.                                                                       
8:07:55 AM                                                                                                                    
He explained the change on page 4, lines 6-13: Deletes changes                                                                  
in Version R that may require school districts to cooperate with                                                                
businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other state or local                                                                   
government agencies.                                                                                                            
8:09:00 AM                                                                                                                    
He said the next change is on page 6, lines 8-12: Adds language                                                                 
in Version T so that the multiplier is 1.00 for schools that are                                                                
subject to the changes made in Section 11. Adds a definition of                                                                 
"road" to be one that is open to the public and receives year-                                                                  
round maintenance.                                                                                                              
8:10:20 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BANKS  referred to  a proposed phase-in  in Section  11 of  the                                                             
reduction in  funds for a  school district. He  explained that  the                                                             
formula already  contains a phase-in over  three years. Due to  the                                                             
number  of schools  that are  below 80  percent capacity  the hold                                                              
harmless provision would apply.                                                                                                 
8:11:26 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES requested information on the fiscal note.                                                                          
8:11:40 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS  asked  for  clarification  of  the  phase-in   in                                                             
Section 11.                                                                                                                     
MR. BANKS said  the school size adjustment  is in Section 10 where                                                              
it  shows how  the ADM  is summed  up  and each  step of  the  cost                                                             
factors. The phase-in comes in as the next step in the formula.                                                                 
8:12:48 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BANKS  addressed the  next change  found on page  8. There  are                                                             
some third-party  vendors  that offer  curriculum, and  this would                                                              
allow for it.                                                                                                                   
8:13:31 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BANKS turned to page 9, lines 3-6: Adds language in Version T                                                               
to allow for a district offering virtual education courses to                                                                   
charge a fee for the course based on the actual cost the                                                                        
district incurs to provide the course. The fee in Version R                                                                     
based on a fraction of the base student allocation is set as a                                                                  
ceiling for the course fee in Version T. He pointed out that                                                                    
schools can offer courses at a lower rate.                                                                                      
8:14:19 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  commented that  a set  market rate might  make a  lot                                                             
more sense.                                                                                                                     
8:14:36 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BANKS  said the  last change is  in Section  21: An additional                                                              
sentence in line  21 was deleted at  the request of the Department                                                              
of  Review because  during  a year  of net  loss,  the legislature                                                              
would not  have been able  to appropriate anything  from the fund.                                                              
The Department of Law is looking into this section.                                                                             
8:15:38 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES clarified  that the  constitutional concern  is that                                                              
the draw cannot  come from the principal.  There may be a need  for                                                             
additional language in order to protect the principal.                                                                          
8:16:09 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  noted  a fiscal  note  from  DEED  that  relates  to                                                             
Sections 10 and 11 of the bill.                                                                                                 
MR. BANKS  explained that  the reduction to  school districts will                                                              
be realized over three years.                                                                                                   
CHAIR  HUGHES  corrected  it  is over  four  years.  She  said  the                                                             
provision  is a  starting point  and is  the worst  case scenario.                                                              
The  numbers  may  not play  out  if  the  districts  make certain                                                              
8:18:14 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BANKS  said it  would take  place if  the school  district  did                                                             
nothing to  merge schools together. It  would provide incentive  to                                                             
combine schools in order to save money.                                                                                         
CHAIR HUGHES  provided an  example of  the savings  when 6 schools                                                              
merge to 3 schools.                                                                                                             
She suggested  looking at a chart showing  school capacity, noting                                                              
that 53  percent of  schools are  not at capacity.  She maintained                                                              
that there  are  opportunities to  save administrative  funds.  She                                                             
added  that  the  current  commissioner  combined  schools  in  his                                                             
8:22:16 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH  said if  it  is  a district  of  one  school this                                                              
provision would not apply.                                                                                                      
MR. BANKS said correct.                                                                                                         
SENATOR BEGICH  asked if the  intent is to  spread students across                                                              
the district.                                                                                                                   
MR.  BANKS said  their intent  is  not to  overcrowd a  school.  He                                                             
explained  the process  of combining  schools.  He said  there  are                                                             
situations where it would not make sense to merge schools.                                                                      
SENATOR BEGICH  said that  is a concern  of his because  it is  not                                                             
stated in the bill.                                                                                                             
He  asked about  cost  savings  noting  that transportation  costs                                                              
should be considered,  as well as the  maintenance cost of the  old                                                             
buildings.  He  wanted  to  ensure  that  the  bill  does  what  it                                                             
8:25:19 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  pointed  out  that  it  is  the  beginning   of  the                                                             
discussion. She did not want unintended consequences.                                                                           
She noted there are two fiscal notes she wanted explained.                                                                      
8:26:09 AM                                                                                                                    
HEIDI TESHNER,  Director,  Administrative Services,  Department  of                                                             
Education  and   Early  Development   (DEED),  answered  questions                                                              
related  to SB 96.  She explained  the DEED Public  Education Fund                                                              
fiscal note. She  said the formula is  over four years because  the                                                             
first year is  a base year. If the  district ADM decreases by more                                                              
than 5  percent from  the base year  to the next  fiscal year,  the                                                             
hold  harmless provision  kicks  in  and the  three-year  phase  in                                                             
8:26:53 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES inquired  if DEED  could run  a scenario  of how  the                                                             
numbers would be affected by possible school combinations.                                                                      
MS. TESHNER agreed to do so.                                                                                                    
8:27:32 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH asked  for the  inclusion of  transportation costs                                                              
in that analysis.                                                                                                               
MS.  TESHNER did  not think  that was  possible  because districts                                                              
determine their own routes and the department has no say.                                                                       
8:28:00 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  asked what the  impact would be  on the amount  the                                                             
state appropriates for pupil transportation.                                                                                    
MS. TESHNER  explained that  the number  of routes  would not have                                                              
an effect on the amount the state appropriates.                                                                                 
SENATOR  BEGICH  summarized that  consolidation  would  not affect                                                              
the amount provided for transportation.                                                                                         
MS. TESHNER said correct.                                                                                                       
8:28:49 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES hoped to hear from districts on that topic.                                                                        
She requested information about DEED's other fiscal note.                                                                       
8:29:42 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  noted it  is DEED  - Teaching and  Learning Support;                                                              
Student and School Achievement.                                                                                                 
8:29:58 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  TESHNER explained  that the  note  would require  8 full-time                                                              
positions and  for 26 districts  to receive  the cooperation grant                                                              
of  $100,000  each. Also,  there  is a  one-time  cost  for course                                                              
development and review of 10 courses over three years.                                                                          
CHAIR  HUGHES  requested   more  information  about  the  8  staff                                                              
8:32:09 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. TESHNER referred  to Section 9 of  the fiscal note where there                                                              
would be  one full-time position  to manage the  grant. In Section                                                              
16, there  are 7  education specialists  that would  implement  the                                                             
virtual  education;  of  those, 3  are  content  experts,  1 would                                                              
establish  the  consortium,  and  2  positions  would  create   and                                                             
maintain the database.                                                                                                          
8:33:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES asked what the total amount for those positions is.                                                                
MS. TESHNER  replied that  the total amount,  including salary  and                                                             
benefits, would be $860,400.                                                                                                    
8:33:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  asked what  kind of  savings that  would provide  for                                                             
MS. TESHNER  replied that collaboration  would save administrative                                                              
costs,   from   sharing    offices   and   shifting   costs   from                                                              
administrative costs to classroom costs.                                                                                        
8:34:37 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  asked why the  number 26 for  cooperative agreements                                                              
was chosen.                                                                                                                     
MS.  TESHNER explained  that 26  is half  of all  school districts                                                              
and assumes partnerships will occur.                                                                                            
8:35:17 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES removed her objection and version T was adopted.                                                                   
CHAIR HUGHES held SB 96 in committee.                                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 96 - Fiscal Note - DOA-DRB-03-21-17.pdf SEDC 3/27/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 96
SB 96 - Fiscal Note - DOR-TRS-03-20-17.pdf SEDC 3/27/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 96
SB 96 - Fiscal Note - EED-SSA-03-23-17.pdf SEDC 3/27/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 96
SB 96 - Draft CS Ver. T.pdf SEDC 3/27/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 96
SB 96 - Fiscal Note - EED-FP-3-25-17.pdf SEDC 3/27/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 96
SB 96 - Fiscal Note - EED-SFF-03-23-17.pdf SEDC 3/27/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 96
SB 96 - Fiscal Note - EED-PEF-03-25-17.pdf SEDC 3/27/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 96
SB 96 - Fiscal Note - DOLWD-WHA-03-24-17.pdf SEDC 3/27/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 96
SB 87 - Supporting Document - Fredeen Letter of Support.pdf SEDC 3/27/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 87