Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/10/2003 09:05 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 10(HES)                                                                            
     Establishing the Joint Legislative Charter School Task Force.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Wilken explained  that this  bill would  create an  eight-                                                            
member  charter   school  task  force  to  review  Alaska   statutes                                                            
pertaining to charter schools.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
WES KELLER, Staff  to the bill's sponsor Senator Fred  Dyson, voiced                                                            
that this resolution would  establish a charter school task force to                                                            
review existing laws for  compliance with such issues as the federal                                                            
No Child Left Behind Act  of 2001 (NCLB) and present a report to the                                                            
Legislature.  He noted that,  in addition,  the task force  would be                                                            
required "to propose  alternative governing of a school"  were it to                                                            
fail to meet requirements.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor  voiced support for the bill as he  agreed that it is                                                            
wise  to  review   charter  school   regulations  and  provide   the                                                            
Legislature with policy directives.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Bunde asked  whether the  omission of  language  specifying                                                            
whether  the Legislative  representation  on the  review panel  task                                                            
force, as referenced  on page two, line 21, would  be members of the                                                            
majority or minority party was intentional.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Keller  responded that the intent  would be to appoint  a member                                                            
of the majority  and a member  of the minority  from each house.  He                                                            
noted  that  the Senate  President  and  the  Speaker of  the  House                                                            
support this language.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Amendment #1:  This amendment inserts  clarifying language  into the                                                            
resolution  on page two,  lines 21 - 23,to  specify that a  minority                                                            
and majority member  from each house would comprise  the four-member                                                            
Legislative presentation.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bunde moved for adoption of Amendment #1.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Wilken  clarified that the amendment would  provide for the                                                            
inclusion  of a total of  four members: one  member of the  majority                                                            
and one member of the minority  parties in the Senate and one member                                                            
of the majority and one  member of the minority parties in the House                                                            
of Representatives.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Taylor  understood   the   amendment   to  provide   equal                                                            
representation.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Wilken objected  to the amendment.  He voiced being  "very                                                            
comfortable with having  the President of the Senate and the Speaker                                                            
of the House appoint whomever, regardless of party."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bunde asserted  that while the language might be appropriate                                                            
under  the current  leadership,  this  situation might  differ  over                                                            
time; therefore, he supported the clarifying language.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
A roll call was taken on the motion.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Senator Bunde and Senator Hoffman                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
OPPOSED: Senator B. Stevens.  Senator Taylor, Co-chair Green and Co-                                                            
chair Wilken                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ABSENT: Senator Olson                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The motion FAILED (2-4-1)                                                                                                       
Amendment #1 FAILED to be adopted.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green characterized  the bill's accompanying $20,000 fiscal                                                            
notes  as "excessive,"  as she  declared that  existing staff  could                                                            
provide support  to the short-term  task force.  She noted  that the                                                            
amount of the  bill's fiscal notes raised concern  during the Senate                                                            
HES Committee discussions.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilken  observed that a school administrator,  principal or                                                            
superintendent should be involved in the review process.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Amendment #2:  This amendment inserts  language into the  resolution                                                            
on page 2, line 27 as follows.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
               (5) that the ninth member of the body be a school                                                                
     administrator, superintendent, or principal."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilken moved for the adoption of Amendment #2.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor objected.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRED  DYSON  expressed  that more  than  five  groups  have                                                            
requested  representation  on the review  panel.  He stated that  in                                                            
response to  this, the decision was  made to address the  make-up of                                                            
the panel in a  broad manner so that the policy group  could solicit                                                            
input from special interest  groups such as bargaining units, school                                                            
administrators,  and school financial administrators.  He noted that                                                            
the two  groups specified  in the bill have  the authority  to enter                                                            
into agreements as opposed to other groups.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Discussion ensued  amongst Committee members, during  which Co-Chair                                                            
Green suggested that the  language of the amendment specify that the                                                            
Governor  would  be the  appointing  authority  for  these  persons;                                                            
Senator  Hoffman  suggested that  the  amendment language  could  be                                                            
addressed as a component  of Number (2) in that section; and Senator                                                            
Taylor  suggested  that the  amendment  should specify  a  "retired"                                                            
principal, superintendent or administrator.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Amendment-to-Amendment  #2: This friendly amendment to the amendment                                                            
would read as follows:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
               (2) two members, appointed by the Governor, one of                                                               
     which should be a principal, administrator or superintendent.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair Wilken  moved for the adoption  of the friendly  amendment-                                                            
to-Amendment #2.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Dyson noted  that  the Department  of Education  and  Early                                                            
Development's  representative,  appointed  by  the  Governor,  could                                                            
possess a school administrator's background.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment #2, as amended, was ADOPTED.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Taylor moved  to report  the resolution,  as amended,  from                                                            
Committee with  individual recommendations  and accompanying  fiscal                                                            
notes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
There  being  no  objection,  CS SCR  10  (FIN)  was  REPORTED  from                                                            
Committee with  previous $10,000 fiscal note #1 from  the Senate HES                                                            
Committee  and previous $10,000  fiscal note  #2 from Department  of                                                            
Education and Early Development.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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