Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/06/2017 09:00 AM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
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= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
SENATE BILL NO. 96                                                                                                            
     "An Act relating to education; relating to school                                                                          
     districts; relating to course credit for students;                                                                         
     relating to group  insurance, self-insurance, and other                                                                    
     cooperative arrangements  between school  districts and                                                                    
     businesses,  nonprofit  organizations,  and  government                                                                    
     agencies;  relating to  funding  for school  districts;                                                                    
     relating  to   school  operating  funds;   relating  to                                                                    
     competency   examinations  for   teacher  certificates;                                                                    
     relating   to  the   Professional  Teaching   Practices                                                                    
     Commission; relating  to the  duties and powers  of the                                                                    
     Department of  Education and Early Development  and the                                                                    
     commissioner  of   education  and   early  development;                                                                    
     relating  to a  virtual education  consortium; relating                                                                    
     to the  minimum wage for  bus drivers; relating  to the                                                                    
     investment,  appropriation, and  administration of  the                                                                    
     public  school   trust  fund;  and  providing   for  an                                                                    
     effective date."                                                                                                           
9:39:14 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR    SHELLEY   HUGHES,    SPONSOR,   introduced    the                                                                    
9:44:02 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Hughes continued                                                                                                        
9:45:32 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Olson // Senator Hughes /                                                                                               
9:46:34 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Olson // Senator Hughes //                                                                                              
9:47:00 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Olson // Senator Hughes //                                                                                              
9:47:40 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon //                                                                                                           
9:47:50 AM                                                                                                                    
JOSHUA BANKS, STAFF, SENATOR HUGHES, replied //                                                                                 
9:48:52 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Banks discussed the Sectional Analysis (copy on file):                                                                      
     Section  1  (Pages  2):   Creates  uncodified  law  for                                                                    
     legislative   findings   of    the   Alaska   Education                                                                    
     Transformation  Act in  regards  to virtual  education,                                                                    
     education spending, and  quality teachers and classroom                                                                    
     Sections 2-3 (Page 2-3):  Makes technical amendments to                                                                    
     AS 14.03.073 to add  references to specific subsections                                                                    
     within these sections due to  a new subsection added in                                                                    
     Section 4 of this bill.                                                                                                    
     Section  4  (Pages 3):  Adds  a  new subsection  to  AS                                                                    
     14.03.073  requiring school  districts to  allow credit                                                                    
     for career and technical  education, gym, music, or art                                                                    
     classes for a student that participates                                                                                    
     in an  activity that meets the  educational or physical                                                                    
     requirements of the course. Cultural                                                                                       
     activities may be used to obtain class credit.                                                                             
     Section 5  (Page 3):  Amends AS  14.03.078(a) to  add a                                                                    
     requirement that the Department of                                                                                         
     Education and Early Development  (DEED) submit a report                                                                    
     to the legislature and the school                                                                                          
     districts.  The  DEED  report   will  need  to  include                                                                    
     categories of administrative employees and the                                                                             
     ratio  of the  employees in  each category  compared to                                                                    
     the number of teachers and students in the                                                                                 
     district,  as   well  as  the  ratio   of  teachers  to                                                                    
     Section  6 (Page  4): Amends  AS  14.03.078 to  require                                                                    
     each school district to post the portion of                                                                                
     the  report  that pertains  to  the  public through  an                                                                    
     easily accessible method. Defines the term                                                                                 
     "administrative employee" as  any employee not directly                                                                    
     involved in classroom instruction.                                                                                         
     Section  7  (Page  4-5):   Amends  AS  14.09.030(b)  to                                                                    
     require DEED to conduct one inspection for                                                                                 
     each school bus rather than two each year.                                                                                 
9:52:38 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator von Imhof // Senator Hughes //                                                                                          
9:54:06 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon //                                                                                                           
9:54:58 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Banks continued to discuss the Sectional Analysis:                                                                          
     Section  8 (Page  5): Amends  AS 14.14.110(a)  to amend                                                                    
     the definition of "administrative                                                                                          
     services"   to  include   student  nutrition,   student                                                                    
    transportation, and shared facilities. This section                                                                         
     also adds  to the definition of  "educational services"                                                                    
     to include professional teacher development                                                                                
     and the  use of  technology to  teach students  such as                                                                    
     the use of virtual education.                                                                                              
9:55:26 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon / Mr. Banks.                                                                                                 
9:56:10 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon continued to discuss the Sectional                                                                           
     Section  9 (Page  5): Amends  AS 14.14.115(a)  to allow                                                                    
     school districts to partner with                                                                                           
     businesses,  nonprofit  organizations,   and  state  or                                                                    
     local government  agencies to qualify for  the one-time                                                                    
     grant under  this section.  This section  also increase                                                                    
     the maximum grant amount and                                                                                               
     requires that  the school district demonstrate  how the                                                                    
     grant will reduce costs for the district.                                                                                  
     Section  10  (Page 5-6):  Adds  new  subsections to  AS                                                                    
     14.14.115 to give further directions for the                                                                               
     cooperative grants under this section.                                                                                     
     • Subsection (d) requires that  if two school districts                                                                    
     enter into a cooperative grant, one                                                                                        
     must be a rural district.                                                                                                  
9:58:00 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon // Mr. Banks //                                                                                              
9:58:28 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Hughes furthered //                                                                                                     
9:58:47 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon queried an effective date, because some                                                                      
districts // Ms. Hughes replied that //                                                                                         
10:00:11 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr. Banks continued to discuss the Sectional Analysis:                                                                          
     •  Subsection (e)  establishes  that  if a  cooperative                                                                    
     grant  is used  for health  insurance pooling  with the                                                                    
     State, the grant can only be  used to pay for the costs                                                                    
     of  transferring   district  employees  to   the  State                                                                    
     insurance plan.                                                                                                            
     •  Subsection (f)  allows a  school  district to  carry                                                                    
     forward  the savings  realized during  the first  three                                                                    
     years after  a grant is  awarded. The savings  will not                                                                    
     be counted  towards the fund balance  limit established                                                                    
     in AS 14.17.505(a).                                                                                                        
     • Subsection  (g) defines "rural school  district" as a                                                                    
     regional  educational   attendance  area  or   a  small                                                                    
     municipal  school district  defined in  AS 14.11.025(c)                                                                    
     as  a  district  with  less   than  300  Average  Daily                                                                    
     Membership  (ADM) and  a district  full  value per  ADM                                                                    
     less than $500,000.                                                                                                        
     Section  11   (Page  6):  Amends  AS   14.17.505(a)  to                                                                    
     increase the  limit that a  school district  is allowed                                                                    
     to  retain  in  its  unreserved fund  balance  from  10                                                                    
     percent to  25 percent  of district  expenditures. This                                                                    
     section  also  allows  for   savings  realized  from  a                                                                    
     cooperative  grant  under  AS 14.14.115  to  not  count                                                                    
     towards the 25 percent limit.                                                                                              
     Section  12  (Page  6-7):  Amends  AS  14.20.020(i)  to                                                                    
     require the  State School Board to  periodically adjust                                                                    
     the minimum  score needed  to pass  the Praxis  exam so                                                                    
     that  Alaska  has  the highest  testing  standards  for                                                                    
     teacher certification.                                                                                                     
10:02:52 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator von Imhof // Mr. Banks //                                                                                               
10:03:41 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Hughes furthered //                                                                                                     
10:05:09 AM                                                                                                                   
Vice-Chair Bishop //                                                                                                            
10:07:02 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon //                                                                                                           
10:08:42 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Hughes replied that //                                                                                                  
10:11:26 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr. Banks continued to discuss the Sectional Analysis:                                                                          
     Section  13  (Page 7):  Adds  a  new subsection  to  AS                                                                    
     14.20.380  to require  DEED  to provide  administrative                                                                    
     support   services   to   the   Professional   Teaching                                                                    
     Practices Commission (PTPC).                                                                                               
     Section  14 (Page  7): Amends  AS 14.20.460  to require                                                                    
     the  PTPC   to  use  administrative   support  services                                                                    
     provided by DEED.                                                                                                          
     Section 15 (Pages 7-9): Creates  a new section under AS                                                                    
     14.30  titled Virtual  education consortium  which also                                                                    
     creates  a  new  article  titled  Article  15.  Virtual                                                                    
     Education. The  subsections that AS  14.30.760 consists                                                                    
     of are:                                                                                                                    
     •  Subsection  (a)  establishes the  virtual  education                                                                    
     consortium  under  DEED.  The consortium  will  have  a                                                                    
     database of virtual education  courses available to all                                                                    
     districts for  students in grades 6-12.  The consortium                                                                    
     will also provide training  for teachers instructing in                                                                    
     virtual settings  and professional development  for all                                                                    
     teachers  in the  state. A  school  district or  third-                                                                    
     party  vendor may  offer courses  for  students or  for                                                                    
    teachers on the database if it is approved by DEED.                                                                         
     •  Subsection  (b) will  require  DEED  to review  each                                                                    
     course  to  ensure  it meets  state  standards  and  is                                                                    
     appropriate   for  students   in   grades  6-12.   This                                                                    
     subsection  also  requires  that each  course  has  the                                                                    
     following   information:   the  title,   subject,   and                                                                    
     description of the course, the  district or third party                                                                    
     vendor   providing  the   course,  method   of  virtual                                                                    
     education   delivery,  and   samples   of  the   course                                                                    
     curriculum  and  teacher  instruction provided  in  the                                                                    
     •  Subsection (c)  requires the  consortium to  provide                                                                    
     training for teachers before they  are allowed to teach                                                                    
     a course  that is  included in  the database.  A waiver                                                                    
     may  be  granted  if  the  consortium  finds  that  the                                                                    
     teacher  has the  experience  and  skills necessary  to                                                                    
     teach in a virtual setting.                                                                                                
     • Subsection  (d) requires that the  consortium provide                                                                    
     professional  development courses  for all  teachers in                                                                    
     the  state.   The  consortium  shall  include   in  the                                                                    
     database courses  provided by third party  vendors. Any                                                                    
     district   that  has   adequate  broadband   access  to                                                                    
     participate   in  the   trainings  shall   require  its                                                                    
     teachers  to participate  in  any necessary  trainings.                                                                    
     The   consortium   may   also   require   participating                                                                    
     districts  to  adopt  the   same  in-service  days  for                                                                    
     •  Subsection   (e)  allows  a  school   district  that                                                                    
     provides a  course to charge  a fee to the  home school                                                                    
     district of a  student taking the course.  The fee will                                                                    
     be  the estimated  cost that  the  district incurs  for                                                                    
     providing  the  course.  This subsection  also  sets  a                                                                    
     ceiling for the fee  which is calculated by multiplying                                                                    
     the  base  student  allocation  by  the  proportion  of                                                                    
     classes  that the  student is  taking  in the  district                                                                    
     offering the virtual course.                                                                                               
     •  In  subsection (f),  the  consortium  is allowed  to                                                                    
     charge  a fee  to  any school  district  that offers  a                                                                    
     course in the database under  (b) of this section. DEED                                                                    
     will  be able  to set  the  fee in  regulation and  can                                                                    
     adjust it as  necessary annually. The fees  must be set                                                                    
     in such a  manner that by June 30, 2020,  the fees paid                                                                    
     by    districts    will   approximately    equal    any                                                                    
     administrative costs of the consortium.                                                                                    
     •  Subsection  (g)  allows the  consortium  to  require                                                                    
     districts that provide courses  or have students taking                                                                    
     courses  through  the  consortium  to  adopt  a  shared                                                                    
     calendar  and a  shared bell  schedule for  at least  a                                                                    
     portion of the school day.                                                                                                 
10:16:36 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr. Banks explained that //                                                                                                     
10:17:07 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator von Imhof // Mr. Banks  replied that one of the //He                                                                    
commented  that  the  wording  of the  bill  was  to  enable                                                                    
increased technology use in  the classroom. Additionally, //                                                                    
He mentioned other grants and fund sources                                                                                      
10:18:22 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Hughes  stated that the e-rate  program was intended                                                                    
to help  with internet  bills, and would  // There  was also                                                                    
another  bill  (SB  102)  that would  address  the  cost  of                                                                    
internet connectivity.                                                                                                          
Senator von  Imhof emphasized that  the source of  the funds                                                                    
was important. She //                                                                                                           
10:19:06 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr. Banks continued to discuss the Sectional Analysis:                                                                          
     •  Subsection (h)  creates definitions  for the  terms:                                                                    
     "asynchronous",  "base student  allocation", "blended",                                                                    
     "synchronous",  and  "virtual  education"  or  "virtual                                                                    
     Section  16 (Pages  10-12): Deletes  a reference  to AS                                                                    
     23.10.065(b) in AS 23.10.055(a) (Alaska                                                                                    
     Wage and Hour  Act) which is repealed in  Section 22 of                                                                    
     this bill.                                                                                                                 
     Section 17  (Page 12-13): Deletes  the reference  to AS                                                                    
     37.14.110(c) which is repealed in Section                                                                                  
     22 of  this bill,  and rearranges  the reference  to AS                                                                    
     Section 18 (Page 13): Deletes  language in AS 37.14.130                                                                    
     that requires the Public School Fund                                                                                       
     Advisory Board  to prepare accounting  specifically for                                                                    
     the principal and income of the Public                                                                                     
     School Trust Fund.                                                                                                         
     Section  19   (Pages  13):   Deletes  language   in  AS                                                                    
     37.14.160  relating  to   separate  accounting  of  the                                                                    
     principal and  income of the Public  School Trust Fund.                                                                    
     This section  also requires  the Department  of Revenue                                                                    
     (DOR)  to  determine  each  year  the  monthly  average                                                                    
     market value of fund for the last three fiscal years.                                                                      
     Section  20 (Page  13):  Creates a  new  section in  AS                                                                    
     37.14  to allow  the  Legislature  to appropriate  4.75                                                                    
     percent  of  the  market  value  established  with  the                                                                    
     changes  made in  Section  19 of  the  bill. The  funds                                                                    
     shall  be used  to support  public education  in Alaska                                                                    
    and to cover the administrative costs of the fund.                                                                          
     Section 21 (Pages 13-14): Amends  AS 37.14.170 to allow                                                                    
     the  commissioner of  DOR to  invest the  Public School                                                                    
     Trust Fund in order  to provide increasing returns from                                                                    
     capital appreciation.                                                                                                      
     Section  22 (Page  14): Repeals  AS 14.20.470(a)(7)  so                                                                    
     that  the  PTPC  is  no   longer  able  to  appoint  an                                                                    
     executive  secretary.  This  section  also  repeals  AS                                                                    
     23.10.065(b) and (c) which requires  an employer to pay                                                                    
     a  public school  bus driver  at a  rate two  times the                                                                    
     Alaska  minimum   wage,  and  which  allows   for  wage                                                                    
     adjustments to only occur when  a contract begins or is                                                                    
     renewed.  This  section  also repeals  AS  37.14.110(c)                                                                    
     which sets  how the commissioner of  DOR will calculate                                                                    
     the net income  of the Public School Trust  Fund and AS                                                                    
     37.14.140 which requires that net  income from the fund                                                                    
     only  go  towards  funding public  education  which  is                                                                    
     unnecessary due  to the changes  made in Section  20 of                                                                    
     this bill.                                                                                                                 
     Section 23 (Page  14-15): Creates a new  section in the                                                                    
     uncodified law of  the State of Alaska  to require DEED                                                                    
     to analyze the feasibility  of merging schools within a                                                                    
     district that are at less  than 70 percent capacity and                                                                    
     within 25 miles  from each other by road,  and submit a                                                                    
     report  to   the  legislature    on   the  department's                                                                    
     conclusions. Factors  that DEED  will need  to consider                                                                    
     is  whether merging  schools  would  result in  schools                                                                    
     being over  capacity, if the  design of  the facilities                                                                    
     are  built  for all  grade  levels  within the  schools                                                                    
     being considered  for a  merger, the  estimated savings                                                                    
     and  costs   for  the  district,  and   any  legal  and                                                                    
     financial  liabilities that  could be  incurred by  the                                                                    
     district or state because of the closure of a school.                                                                      
     Section  24 (Page  15): Creates  applicability language                                                                    
     for the repeal of AS  23.10.065(b) and (c) so that this                                                                    
     bill will  only effect contracts  made on or  after the                                                                    
     effective date of this bill.                                                                                               
     Section 25 (Page 15): Creates an effective date for                                                                        
     this bill to be June 30, 2017.                                                                                             
10:23:40 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Olson // Mr. Banks replied //                                                                                           
10:24:26 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Olson // Senator Hughes //                                                                                              
10:24:55 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Olson // Senator Hughes replied that //                                                                                 
10:26:39 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Hughes remarked that //                                                                                                 
10:28:36 AM                                                                                                                   
MIKE ILLG, KENAI PENINSULA SCHOOL DISTRICT, HOMER (via                                                                          
10:31:28 AM                                                                                                                   
BARBARA HUFF TUCKNESS, TEAMSTERS LOCAL 939, JUNEAU,                                                                             
10:38:22 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon remarked that // Ms. Tuckness                                                                                
10:38:32 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon // Ms. Huff Tuckness                                                                                         
10:38:45 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon // Ms. Huff Tuckness //                                                                                      
10:38:53 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon wondered whether there was a safety                                                                          
check required for drivers. Ms. Huff Tuckness //                                                                                
10:40:21 AM                                                                                                                   
Vice-Chair Bishop //                                                                                                            
10:41:11 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator von Imhof // Ms. Huff Tuckness //                                                                                       
10:43:11 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Olson // Ms. Huff Tuckness //                                                                                           
10:44:02 AM                                                                                                                   
DEENA MITCHELL, MEMBER, GREAT ALASKA SCHOOLS, JUNEAU,                                                                           
remarked that the bill was complicated //                                                                                       
10:46:09 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon //                                                                                                           
10:46:33 AM                                                                                                                   
ALYSE GALVIN, MEMBER, GREAT ALASKA SCHOOLS, JUNEAU, echoed                                                                      
the remarks of Ms. Mitchell.                                                                                                    
10:51:05 AM                                                                                                                   
DAVID   NEES,   ALASKA    POLICY   FORUM,   ANCHORAGE   (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke to //                                                                                                    
10:53:49 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
10:54:04 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon pointed to //                                                                                                
10:54:32 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
10:54:50 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon stated that amendments were due Friday                                                                       
at 5pm.                                                                                                                         
SB 96 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 87 - Letter of Opposition Architects Alaska, Inc..pdf SFIN 4/6/2017 9:00:00 AM
SB 87
SB 87 A4LE Position Letter.pdf SFIN 4/6/2017 9:00:00 AM
SB 87
SB 87 2017 School Capacity.pdf SFIN 4/6/2017 9:00:00 AM
SB 87
SB 87 Climate Zones.pdf SFIN 4/6/2017 9:00:00 AM
SB 87
SB 87 DEED Capital Improvement Projects 15 year analysis.pdf SFIN 4/6/2017 9:00:00 AM
SB 87
SB 87 DEED Energy Data FY02 - FY17.pdf SFIN 4/6/2017 9:00:00 AM
SB 87
SB 87 Sectional Analysis Changes.pdf SFIN 4/6/2017 9:00:00 AM
SB 87
SB 87 Sectional Analysis.pdf SFIN 4/6/2017 9:00:00 AM
SB 87
SB 87 Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 4/6/2017 9:00:00 AM
SB 87
SB 96 public testimony Poumagoux.pdf SFIN 4/6/2017 9:00:00 AM
SB 96
CSSB 96(EDC) - Sectional Analysis.pdf SFIN 4/6/2017 9:00:00 AM
SB 96
SB 96 CSSB 96(EDC) - Supporting Document - Response to SFIN Questions - 4-6-17.pdf SFIN 4/6/2017 9:00:00 AM
SB 96