Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/29/2018 09:00 AM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Moved CSSB 105(FIN) Out of Committee
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      March 29, 2018                                                                                            
                         9:03 a.m.                                                                                              
 9:03:41 AM                                                                                                                   
 CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                
 Co-Chair  MacKinnon  called  the  Senate  Finance  Committee                                                                   
 meeting to order at 9:03 a.m.                                                                                                  
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                              
 Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                
 Senator Anna MacKinnon, Co-Chair                                                                                               
 Senator Click Bishop, Vice-Chair                                                                                               
 Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                         
 Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                            
 Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                           
 Senator Natasha von Imhof                                                                                                      
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                               
 ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                 
 Gary  Zepp,  Staff,  Senator  David  Wilson;  Senator  David                                                                   
 Wilson, Sponsor;  Brittany  Hartmann,  Staff,  Senator  Anna                                                                   
 MacKinnon; Marcy Herman, Legislative Liaison, Department  of                                                                   
 Education and  Early Development;  Paul Prussing,  Director,                                                                   
 Division of  Student Learning, Department  of Education  and                                                                   
 Early Development.                                                                                                             
 PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                   
 Randall Burns,  Director,  Division  of  Behavioral  Health,                                                                   
 Department of Health and Social Services; Karen  Cunningham,                                                                   
 Alaska Board of Marital and Family Therapy, Anchorage.                                                                         
 SB 104    EDUCATION CURRICULUM                                                                                                 
           SB 104 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                           
           further consideration.                                                                                               
SB 105    MARITAL and FAMILY THERAPY LIC. and SERVICES                                                                          
          CSSB 105(FIN)  was REPORTED out of  committee with                                                                    
          a  "do  pass"  recommendation  and  with  one  new                                                                    
          forthcoming   fiscal   impact    note   from   the                                                                    
          Department of  Health and Social Services  and one                                                                    
          new  fiscal impact  note  from  the Department  of                                                                    
          Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                         
Co-Chair  MacKinnon indicated  the  committee  would not  be                                                                    
hearing  SB 122  at the  request  of the  bill sponsor.  She                                                                    
reviewed the agenda to the day.                                                                                                 
SENATE BILL NO. 105                                                                                                           
     "An  Act  relating  to the  licensure  of  marital  and                                                                    
     family therapists;  relating to  professional liability                                                                    
     insurance for  marital and family  therapists; relating                                                                    
     to medical  assistance for  marital and  family therapy                                                                    
     services; and providing for an effective date."                                                                            
9:04:53 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  discussed a  brief history of  the bill.                                                                    
The  committee opened  and closed  public  testimony on  the                                                                    
bill on  February 27, 2018.  The committee had  been working                                                                    
on  compromise language  to satisfy  the concerns  raised by                                                                    
members as well as the general public.                                                                                          
Vice-Chair   Bishop  MOVED   to  ADOPT   proposed  committee                                                                    
substitute  for SB  105,  Work  Draft 30-LS0442\N  (Radford,                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                     
SENATOR DAVID  WILSON, SPONSOR, deferred  to his  staff, Mr.                                                                    
Zepp, to review the committee substitute changes.                                                                               
GARY  ZEPP,  STAFF,  SENATOR   DAVID  WILSON,  reviewed  the                                                                    
Summary of Changes document (copy on file):                                                                                     
     Version J to Version N                                                                                                     
     Section 1Amended                                                                                                           
      Page 2,  lines  16-24:  The required  total  number  of                                                                   
      hours for the supervision  of an Associate Marital  and                                                                   
      Family Therapist was corrected to 1,700 hours.                                                                            
      The previous version incorrectly reflected 1,500  hours                                                                   
      as the required total hours.                                                                                              
      Version R also clarifies  that 100 hours of  individual                                                                   
      supervision  and   100  hours   of  group   supervision                                                                   
      conducted one or  more supervisors  is included in  the                                                                   
      1,700 hours.                                                                                                              
      Section 1 - Deleted                                                                                                       
      Page 2,  lines 29-31:  The requirement  for $30,000  of                                                                   
      professional liability insurance was deleted.                                                                             
      Insurance to  cover state  investigative  costs is  not                                                                   
      currently available as  envisioned. A national  company                                                                   
      does offer  professional liability  insurance, but  the                                                                   
      coverage  would  reimburse   the  licensee  for   their                                                                   
      investigative costs  and  not  the  state  investigator                                                                   
      costs. The  idea  of professional  liability  insurance                                                                   
      was to  pay  for  state investigative  costs  and  keep                                                                   
      downward pressure on the  state investigative costs  so                                                                   
      that the  costs wouldn't be  allocated amongst  current                                                                   
      licensees and increase their existing license fees.                                                                       
 Mr. Zepp continued to read the summary of changes:                                                                             
      Section 2  Amended                                                                                                        
      Page 3, lines 5  -13: Properly re-state the titles  for                                                                   
      the healthcare professions  listed that are  authorized                                                                   
      to provide  group supervision of  an Associate  Marital                                                                   
      and Family Therapist while in training.                                                                                   
      The titles  of  certain healthcare  professionals  were                                                                   
      verified by the State Medical Board.                                                                                      
      Section 4 and 5 - Deleted                                                                                                 
      Page 4, lines  8    Page 5,  line 1: Sections  4 and  5                                                                   
      were deleted  because  SB  169, which  has  passed  the                                                                   
      Senate and  is  in  the  other body,  amends  the  same                                                                   
      statutes  (AS   47.07.030)  previously   contained   in                                                                   
      sections 4 and 5 of SB 105.                                                                                               
      SB 169 amends statute by replacing a  psychiatrist with                                                                   
      a physician, to expand the direct supervisory  capacity                                                                   
     in  providing  behavioral  health clinic  services.  As                                                                    
     well  as removing  the 30%  on -  site requirement  and                                                                    
     replacing that  by requiring a  physician in  person or                                                                    
     available via a communication device.                                                                                      
     SB 105, as amended, is fully supported by the Board of                                                                     
     Marital and Family Therapists. Please see the two                                                                          
     letters of support from the Board.                                                                                         
9:09:42 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  WITHDREW her  OBJECTION. There  being NO                                                                    
further OBJECTION,  it was so  ordered. She  invited Senator                                                                    
Wilson to comment on the bill.                                                                                                  
Senator  Wilson discussed  the bill.  He explained  the main                                                                    
purpose  of the  bill  was  to add  the  marital and  family                                                                    
licensed therapist to  the list of providers  that were able                                                                    
to bill Medicaid allowing more  access to services. The bill                                                                    
would  enhance behavioral  health  capacity for  underserved                                                                    
Alaskans who were  on long waitlists to  access services. He                                                                    
stated that  the bill would offer  opportunities for clinics                                                                    
to provide services at a  lower cost. He elaborated that the                                                                    
way  in which  recruitment happened  currently for  licensed                                                                    
social workers  with a  Master of  Social Work  (MSW) degree                                                                    
took  a significant  amount of  time,  about 1  year or  1.5                                                                    
years,   to  recruit.   For  some   clinics,  the   cost  of                                                                    
recruitment was  over $100,000. The  bill would result  in a                                                                    
more  abundant   source  of  providers  that   were  equally                                                                    
qualified to provide behavioral  health services at a lesser                                                                    
cost with easier access.                                                                                                        
Senator Micciche  asked the sponsor  to explain  the benefit                                                                    
of the  bill and identify how  much money would be  saved in                                                                    
the  long run.  Senator Wilson  replied that  without having                                                                    
access  to psychiatric  services  and providers  at a  lower                                                                    
cost, patients  were going to  the emergency room  (ER). The                                                                    
cost for  treatment at an ER  often cost the state  10 times                                                                    
more  than providing  the services  through local  community                                                                    
clinics.  He  noted  previous testimony  by  representatives                                                                    
from  some of  the  community health  centers who  confirmed                                                                    
their  facilities could  provide behavioral  health services                                                                    
at a  lower cost  than an ER.  The Mat-Su  Health Foundation                                                                    
reported the number  of people accessing their  ER and their                                                                    
inability to  meet the needs  of patients because of  a lack                                                                    
of  capacity.  He  also  noted  hearing  testimony  from  85                                                                    
licensed psychiatrists  in the  State of Alaska.  The Mental                                                                    
 Health Working  Group confirmed  that their  studies  stated                                                                   
 that Alaska needed  an additional  106 to 184  psychiatrists                                                                   
 to meet the national  average and to  cover the need in  the                                                                   
 state. He  was  hoping  that patients  could  address  their                                                                   
 issues through a lower acuity of care instead of  them being                                                                   
 escalated  to a  higher  acuity  of  care,  which  was  more                                                                   
 devastating to the individual and costlier to the state.                                                                       
 9:13:47 AM                                                                                                                   
 Senator Olson asked if  the sponsor had checked with  health                                                                   
 corporations regarding  the  changes  to the  bill.  Senator                                                                   
 Wilson asked if  Senator Olson was  referring to the  native                                                                   
 health  corporations  or  some  of  the   larger  providers.                                                                   
 Senator Olson  wondered,  if he  called up  Maniilaq  Health                                                                   
 Center, whether they would be able to confirm that  the bill                                                                   
 sponsor had reached out  to them about the proposed  changes                                                                   
 in the  bill.  Senator Wilson  stated that  Maniilaq  Health                                                                   
 Center was a member  of the Alaska Primary Care  Association                                                                   
 (APCA), who  was  in full  support  of the  legislation.  He                                                                   
 hoped Maniilaq Health Center would support the bill  being a                                                                   
 member of APCA. He relayed that half of the members  of APCA                                                                   
 were tribal  entities  that  operated the  community  health                                                                   
 centers. The trade association  was in full support and  had                                                                   
 been lobbying to help support the bill.                                                                                        
 Senator Olson referenced  the name change  in Section 4  and                                                                   
 5. He  asked  if the  Senator had  talked  with any  of  the                                                                   
 physician  groups   such  as   the  Alaska   State   Medical                                                                   
 Association about the changes  moving from psychiatrists  to                                                                   
 physicians. Senator  Wilson responded in  the negative.  His                                                                   
 office had worked  with the department  on the  legislation.                                                                   
 They were in  full support of  the change from  psychiatrist                                                                   
 to physician  to meet more  of the  federal definitions  and                                                                   
 guidelines with conforming language.                                                                                           
 Senator  Olson  asked  who   "they"  were.  Senator   Wilson                                                                   
 specified Director  Burns of  the Department  of Health  and                                                                   
 Social Services (DHSS).                                                                                                        
 Co-Chair MacKinnon  stated that  the committee  had  removed                                                                   
 from the  bill  another bill  that  was carried  by  another                                                                   
 sponsor, Senator  Giessel,  regarding  supervision  and  the                                                                   
 definition Senator  Olson referred to.  Currently in  Alaska                                                                   
 state statute, in any  individual medical provider's  office                                                                   
 a psychiatrist  was required  30 percent  of  the time.  She                                                                   
 conveyed  her   point  that   there  were   two  pieces   of                                                                   
legislation that  would affect the same  portion of statute.                                                                    
With that  in mind, she  had a concern that  the legislature                                                                    
would  be dependent  on  two pieces  of  legislation by  two                                                                    
different legislators  ending across the finish  line at the                                                                    
same  time  to accomplish  what  the  legislature wanted  to                                                                    
accomplish. Senator  Wilson's bill  allowed the  billing and                                                                    
was not speaking  directly to supervision. She  asked if she                                                                    
was  correct.   Senator  Wilson  clarified  that   the  bill                                                                    
addressed both supervision and the  expansion of MSW's being                                                                    
able to bill Medicaid.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair    MacKinnon   directed    her   question    around                                                                    
supervision.  She asked  about supervision  in terms  of the                                                                    
bill the committee  had heard previously and  whether it had                                                                    
to do with  30 hours. Mr. Zepp answered  in the affirmative.                                                                    
He noted that  the previous version of the  bill in Sections                                                                    
4 and 5 fell into the  Medicaid billion section of the bill.                                                                    
In thinking of  SB 105 there were two silos.  The first silo                                                                    
was the training  issue for an associate which  was what the                                                                    
senator as trying to streamline  and expand. The second silo                                                                    
was  under  the Medicaid  billing  to  provided marital  and                                                                    
family therapists  under the optional Medicaid  services, so                                                                    
they could bill and  seek reimbursement. The Senator removed                                                                    
Sections 4  and 5 because  Senator Giessel's  bill clarified                                                                    
direct   supervision   from   a   physician   with   certain                                                                    
9:18:52 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  stated that  she was willing  to support                                                                    
the  billing portion  of the  legislation because  of seeing                                                                    
the  results  of an  opioid  epidemic  in Alaska  and  other                                                                    
mental  health needs  that were  being under-represented  in                                                                    
communities  across the  state. She  added that  she thought                                                                    
supervision was  important, and that Senator  Giessel's bill                                                                    
along with  Senator Wilson's bill  both needed to  reach the                                                                    
finish line.                                                                                                                    
Senator  Micciche thought  both bills  being discussed  were                                                                    
advantageous  to  the clients  and  to  the state.  Co-Chair                                                                    
MacKinnon echoed the comments of Senator Micciche.                                                                              
9:20:53 AM                                                                                                                    
RANDALL  BURNS,  DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF  BEHAVIORAL  HEALTH,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT    OF   HEALTH    AND   SOCIAL    SERVICES   (via                                                                    
teleconference), discussed  fiscal note OMB  component 2660.                                                                    
 The fiscal note  specifically addressed  the portion of  the                                                                   
 bill  related  to  the  addition  of  marriage   and  family                                                                   
 therapists to the optional  Medicaid statutes. The  division                                                                   
 had estimated  what  was thought  to  be  a fair  amount  of                                                                   
 additional costs  to the Medicaid  budget as  the result  of                                                                   
 adding  Marriage  and  Family  therapists  to  the  list  of                                                                   
 professions that could bill Medicaid for their  services. He                                                                   
 found that the bill would only apply to about  633 Medicaid-                                                                   
 eligible recipients in the first year.                                                                                         
 Mr. Burns  continued that most  of the  marriage and  family                                                                   
 therapists worked  in  clinics  and did  not  bill  Medicaid                                                                   
 directly. There  was no  way of  knowing how  many of  those                                                                   
 individuals would  opt  to leave  a  clinic  to start  up  a                                                                   
 practice independently or  start billing independently.  The                                                                   
 division tried to be  conservative in its calculations.  The                                                                   
 division estimated  approximately $1  million. He  continued                                                                   
 that $660,000 of  the amount  would be in  federal match  to                                                                   
 the state's commitment of about $340,000. There was  a small                                                                   
 charge  for FY  19  to  make  the  changes  to  the  state's                                                                   
 Medicaid Management  Information  System to  allow  marriage                                                                   
 and family therapists to bill Medicaid directly.                                                                               
 Co-Chair MacKinnon  stated that  the committee  required  an                                                                   
 updated fiscal note. She  pointed out that the numbers  were                                                                   
 correct but the  narrative on the back  needed to change  to                                                                   
 reflect the new committee  substitute before the  committee.                                                                   
 Mr. Burns stated that he was working on that presently.                                                                        
 Senator  Micciche   thought   the  fiscal   note   addressed                                                                   
 additional costs but did  not capture any consideration  for                                                                   
 cost  avoidance. He  asked  Mr.  Burns  if  he  intended  to                                                                   
 include some evaluation of cost avoidance that  would result                                                                   
 from the passage of the  bill. Mr. Burns stated that he  did                                                                   
 not put cost avoidance  in the fiscal  note of the bill.  He                                                                   
 saw it falling within the  more wholistic approach of SB  74                                                                   
 and the changes being made to the system by the  1115 waiver                                                                   
 and  the   process.  He  thought   estimating  the   savings                                                                   
 resulting from adding marriage and family therapists  to the                                                                   
 list would be difficult.  The division had not  contemplated                                                                   
 making  such a  representation  in  the  fiscal  note  being                                                                   
 Co-Chair MacKinnon  acknowledged that  the number  would  be                                                                   
 difficult to  quantify, as there  was a  mixture of  private                                                                   
 versus government utilization. She  indicated that the  bill                                                                   
 would contribute to an  overall higher cost to the  Medicaid                                                                   
system for  the state. It  was a  new service that  would be                                                                    
provided  and reimbursed  by the  state  with a  significant                                                                    
portion  of  the  reimbursement   coming  from  the  federal                                                                    
government in  an effort  to deploy  the resources  to those                                                                    
needing  help,  to  divert  ER access,  and  to  lower  care                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon reported  that someone  from the  Alaska                                                                    
Board of Marital  Family Therapy had come  online. She asked                                                                    
for the will of the committee.                                                                                                  
9:25:43 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:27:21 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  relayed  that the  public  hearing  had                                                                    
closed  on the  bill.  She indicated  the  committee was  in                                                                    
receipt of  her comments.  She asked  Ms. Cunningham  if she                                                                    
had a brief comment she wanted to make to the committee.                                                                        
KAREN  CUNNINGHAM,  ALASKA  BOARD   OF  MARITAL  AND  FAMILY                                                                    
THERAPY,  ANCHORAGE   (via  teleconference),   testified  in                                                                    
support of the bill. She  was a licensed marriage and family                                                                    
therapist (LMFT)and sat  on the Alaska Board  of Marital and                                                                    
Family Therapy. She  reported that the board  met to discuss                                                                    
SB  105  and  unanimously  affirmed their  support  for  the                                                                    
statutory  changes  presented  in   the  bill.  One  of  the                                                                    
responsibilities  of  the  board was  to  establish  minimum                                                                    
requirements for  applicants seeking licensure.  Senate Bill                                                                    
105  called for  clarification that  the hours  required for                                                                    
licensure  were 1700.  The breakdown  of the  hours included                                                                    
1500  face-to-face  clinical hours  and  100  hours each  of                                                                    
individual and group  supervision. Another responsibility of                                                                    
the  board was  to serve  and protect  public interest.  The                                                                    
proposed  legislation worked  towards that  end by  allowing                                                                    
applicants greater options  for supervisors which ultimately                                                                    
would  lead to  a  greater  number of  LMFTs  in the  state.                                                                    
Currently, there  was a limited  number of  LMFT supervisors                                                                    
which made it very difficult  for new graduates applying for                                                                    
associate  licensures  to find  an  individual  and a  group                                                                    
supervisor willing to commit to a minimum of 2 years.                                                                           
Co-Chair MacKinnon  relayed that  the committee  had written                                                                    
comments  from  the  board.  Ms.  Cunningham  did  not  have                                                                    
 anything to add  to the  letter that had  been written.  She                                                                   
 appreciated the opportunity to speak.                                                                                          
 Co-Chair MacKinnon  stated it  was her  intent  to move  the                                                                   
 bill. She had an agreement  from the sponsor and the  boards                                                                   
 that were contacted  in support of the  new language in  the                                                                   
 Senator Micciche understood  the fiscal  note and the  logic                                                                   
 behind it.  He  was  concerned that  the  department  seemed                                                                   
 unwilling to put  on the record that  there would likely  be                                                                   
 an  offset to  the  costs  of  the  bill.  Not  all  of  the                                                                   
 additional services  in the  state's portfolio  of  Medicaid                                                                   
 billing had panned  out as a cost  saving measure. He  would                                                                   
 have liked to  have heard more from  the department that  it                                                                   
 recognized there would be  an offset rather than a  $340,000                                                                   
 UGF match. He hoped the amount would have been lower  due to                                                                   
 the offset.  With  the  expansion  of  Medicaid,  additional                                                                   
 services, and new waivers  the legislature had not seen  the                                                                   
 savings in  the waivers  that he  would have  liked to  have                                                                   
 seen. He  was  concerned  with UGF  spending  increases.  He                                                                   
 supported the additional services  but was worried that  the                                                                   
 department was not formally recognizing an offset.                                                                             
 9:31:36 AM                                                                                                                   
 Senator von  Imhof relayed that  she sat  on the  Healthcare                                                                   
 Blueprint  Committee.  The  committee  was  in  phase  2  of                                                                   
 identifying areas  of concern.  The committee  was  flushing                                                                   
 out the five areas of concern it identified to  put together                                                                   
 a recommendation  to  create  a systemic  transformation  of                                                                   
 Alaska's  healthcare  system.  One  of  the  five  areas  of                                                                   
 concern was access  to primary  care providers. She  thought                                                                   
 the  bill  addressed  the  issue  by  qualifying  a  marital                                                                   
 therapist  as  a   provider.  She   thought  the  bill   was                                                                   
 consistent with  the direction of  the blueprint  committee.                                                                   
 Although the committee was still in progress,  she supported                                                                   
 the bill because  she believed  it provided greater  access,                                                                   
 particularly in rural Alaska,  by allowing telehealth to  be                                                                   
 part of the solution and  for rural citizens to have  access                                                                   
 to a variety of healthcare providers in numerous  forms. The                                                                   
 intent of the systemic change of Alaska's  healthcare system                                                                   
 was to lower the cost by having more access to a  variety of                                                                   
 healthcare providers  and  through  preventive  care  versus                                                                   
 costly crisis  management.  She thought  the  unquantifiable                                                                   
 downstream savings was a  guess but was consistent with  the                                                                   
 values of the blueprint committee she sat on.                                                                                  
9:33:54 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon agreed with  Senator Micciche and Senator                                                                    
von  Imhof. She  would be  supporting the  bill because  she                                                                    
believed the bill did what  Senator von Imhof had discussed.                                                                    
She  was concerned  with providers  abusing the  system. She                                                                    
looked  at some  abuse in  the dental  field. For  instance,                                                                    
some  dentists performed  unnecessary  extractions on  young                                                                    
children and  billing Medicaid. Another example  were adults                                                                    
having  all of  their teeth  removed without  a particularly                                                                    
good  reason or  back up  materials. She  continued that  as                                                                    
long  as  providers behaved  in  the  best interest  of  the                                                                    
people that were  seeking care from them,  the system should                                                                    
see a decrease.  However, if providers decided to  use it as                                                                    
a funding source for their  individual practices and started                                                                    
billing excessively, the system would break.                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon continued that  Alaska's heath care costs                                                                    
were  30  percent  higher  than  the  national  average  and                                                                    
America's health  care costs were higher  than anywhere else                                                                    
on the  planet. Alaskans were  faced with a  low demographic                                                                    
and  high  needs.  They  were at  the  mercy  of  hospitals,                                                                    
pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, and  access to care in                                                                    
general. Senate Finance and the  legislature were working to                                                                    
provide lower cost care to Alaskans.  The bill was a step in                                                                    
the  right  direction.  It  required  cooperation  from  the                                                                    
providers to be judicious in  the way they accessed Medicaid                                                                    
funding  which  had  a   federal  match.  Senator  Miccichie                                                                    
suggested by moving it from  an emergency room to a doctor's                                                                    
or provider's  office the cost  would be lower, and  the net                                                                    
of providers would be larger for those seeking services.                                                                        
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  continued  to  discuss  the  bill.  She                                                                    
thought the department  had provided a fiscal  note with the                                                                    
possibility of  an increased cost. The  department had tried                                                                    
to  quantify  it, knowing  that  there  were variables  that                                                                    
could  lower  the overall  cost.  She  appreciated that  the                                                                    
fiscal  note  was  not   indeterminate.  She  preferred  the                                                                    
legislature  striking a  balance  between understanding  the                                                                    
possible   implications   and   how   providers,   insurance                                                                    
companies, hospitals,  and pharmaceuticals  working together                                                                    
could  meet  Alaskans  healthcare needs.  Like  other  small                                                                    
states, Alaska's  legislators struggled  to lower  the costs                                                                    
for their constituents.                                                                                                         
9:37:33 AM                                                                                                                    
 Vice-Chair Bishop made a comment about the  general services                                                                   
 line of  the fiscal  note for  the  development of  business                                                                   
 rules  and  the   Medicaid  Management  Information   System                                                                   
 detailing the parameters for services and reimbursement.  He                                                                   
 suggested the  department tract  the legislation  to see  if                                                                   
 there was a savings rather than a UGF spend. He  thought the                                                                   
 bill should result in a savings.                                                                                               
 Co-Chair MacKinnon suggested  that Senator Wilson  implement                                                                   
 some tracking  method  for the  particular billing  code  to                                                                   
 look at how providers were using the service.  She suggested                                                                   
 a follow-up. She saw the bill as a benefit to  hospitals and                                                                   
 providers and  she  hoped it  translated into  quality  care                                                                   
 that was  appropriate  and effective  for people  trying  to                                                                   
 access care.                                                                                                                   
 Senator  Wilson  appreciated  the  comments  from  committee                                                                   
 members. He  had hoped  the bill  would  increase access  to                                                                   
 care. His intention was not to increase the  state's burden.                                                                   
 He thanked the committee for hearing the bill.                                                                                 
 Co-Chair  MacKinnon reflected  that  Mr.  Zepp  had  been  a                                                                   
 pleasure to work with in answering questions  from committee                                                                   
 members and from her team.  She was thankful that there  was                                                                   
 an enthusiastic  effort to  meet and  answer questions  that                                                                   
 were difficult to answer.                                                                                                      
 Vice-Chair Bishop  MOVED  to  report CSSB  105(FIN)  out  of                                                                   
 Committee   with   individual   recommendations   and    the                                                                   
 accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                     
 There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                   
 CSSB 105(FIN)  was  REPORTED out  of  committee with  a  "do                                                                   
 pass" recommendation  and with  one new  forthcoming  fiscal                                                                   
 impact  note  from  the  Department  of  Health  and  Social                                                                   
 Services and one new fiscal impact note from  the Department                                                                   
 of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                               
 9:42:33 AM                                                                                                                   
 AT EASE                                                                                                                        
 9:46:35 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATE BILL NO. 104                                                                                                           
     "An Act relating to the duties of the state Board of                                                                       
     Education and Early Development; and relating to                                                                           
     school curriculum."                                                                                                        
9:46:35 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon relayed  the  bill was  returned to  the                                                                    
committee  on  February  22, 2018.  Over  the  interim,  the                                                                    
Department of  Education and Early Development  went through                                                                    
a  process that  engaged community  members from  across the                                                                    
state on the Alaska  Challenge. The Senate Finance Committee                                                                    
called the bill back to  committee to have an opportunity to                                                                    
work  with the  commissioner of  education, the  department,                                                                    
and  other   stakeholders  to   try  to   provide  something                                                                    
beneficial  in the  form of  education -  the foundation  of                                                                    
education  being curriculum.  She invited  her staff  to the                                                                    
Vice-Chair   Bishop  MOVED   to  ADOPT   proposed  committee                                                                    
substitute  for  SB  104, Work  Draft  30-LS0786\Y  (Laffen,                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                     
BRITTANY HARTMANN, STAFF,  SENATOR ANNA MACKINNON, discussed                                                                    
the  committee substitute  for SB  104. The  bill ultimately                                                                    
sought to  improve educational outcomes for  Alaska students                                                                    
by providing  them access to the  best curriculum available.                                                                    
The  committee substitute  was  the result  of  more than  a                                                                    
year's  worth  of  work  in  close  collaboration  with  all                                                                    
relevant  stakeholders  including   teachers,  state  school                                                                    
board    members,     DEED,    superintendents,    education                                                                    
associations, and more. There  were multiple ways to improve                                                                    
educational outcomes. After  doing much research, curriculum                                                                    
was found  to be one  of the  best ways to  achieve improved                                                                    
outcomes.  In  the  CS before  the  committee,  the  sponsor                                                                    
believed it  contained an excellent  pathway to  achieve the                                                                    
goal  of  improved outcomes.  She  read  from the  sectional                                                                    
analysis and the explanation of changes (copy on file):                                                                         
     Section 1 AS 14.07.030:                                                                                                    
          The Department may not require a school district                                                                      
          to review their curriculum more than once in a                                                                        
          10-year period.                                                                                                       
      Section 2 AS 14.07.165:                                                                                                   
           NEW: The  State Board  of Education  shall  review                                                                   
           the math and English Language Arts  curricula used                                                                   
           throughout the  state, every  5  years, to  ensure                                                                   
           the curricula  is  still  effective and  is  using                                                                   
           best practices.                                                                                                      
      Section 3 AS 14.07:                                                                                                       
           NOTE: This was section 2 in Version N                                                                                
           NOTE: * are sections that are repealed on  July 1,                                                                   
           Section 3  requires the State  Board of  Education                                                                   
           and  the   Department  of   Education  and   Early                                                                   
           Development to work together to find,  review, and                                                                   
           test the  best available  curricula and  the  best                                                                   
           practices  for  instruction  of  those  math   and                                                                   
           English/Language Arts  curricula.  The  department                                                                   
           may   provide   incentive   payments   to   school                                                                   
           districts   that   choose    to   implement    the                                                                   
           incentivized   curricula   and   best   practices.                                                                   
                (a) The  Board will  establish the  standards                                                                   
                and procedure  to review,  rank, and  approve                                                                   
                curricula for  school  districts  to  use  in                                                                   
                each grade level.                                                                                               
                (b) and  (c)  AMENDED:  The  Department  will                                                                   
                review curricula from  Alaska, other  states,                                                                   
                and other  countries  and identify  the  best                                                                   
                curricula for each grade  level and the  best                                                                   
                practices for teaching  each subject by  July                                                                   
                1, 2019.  If  the  identified  curricula  and                                                                   
                best practices  meets  certain  requirements,                                                                   
                the department  will submit  them for  review                                                                   
                by   the   board.   The   requirements   are:                                                                   
                appropriate,     compliance     with     non-                                                                   
                discrimination  standards   in   state   law,                                                                   
                aligned with state  standards, and result  in                                                                   
              improved academic achievement.                                                                                    
                NOTE: Section 2(c) in Version N was deleted.                                                                    
                (d) The  Board may approve  of the  curricula                                                                   
                submitted by the department.  If they do  so,                                                                   
                the Department will  then categorize the  two                                                                   
               curricula  as  "incentivized"  curricula  and                                                                    
               "designated    effective"   curricula.    The                                                                    
               incentivized  curricula  will   be  the  best                                                                    
               available and  will be the curricula  used in                                                                    
               the pilot  program. The  designated effective                                                                    
               curricula are  curricula that  the department                                                                    
               finds appropriate and effective.                                                                                 
               (e)  *AMENDED:   Establishes  the  three-year                                                                    
               pilot  program,  starting  in  the  2019-2020                                                                    
               year,   to  test   the  appropriateness   and                                                                    
               effectiveness    of     the    "incentivized"                                                                    
               curricula.  Schools can  apply to  be in  the                                                                    
               pilot  program  and   will  be  reviewed  and                                                                    
               approved  of  by   the  Department  based  on                                                                    
               capacity and readiness.  The Department shall                                                                    
               select five  schools, from those  that apply,                                                                    
               to receive incentive  payments to assist with                                                                    
               the  purchase   and  implementation   of  the                                                                    
               curricula and best  practices. The Department                                                                    
               must select districts  and their curricula as                                                                    
               follows,  in  order  to get  a  comprehensive                                                                    
               view of the best curriculum for all Alaska:                                                                      
                    a. Urban District  math                                                                                     
                    b. Rural District  math                                                                                     
                    c. Urban District  English Language                                                                         
                    d. Rural District - English Language                                                                        
                    e. Urban or Rural District  math or                                                                         
                   English Language Arts                                                                                        
               The  total  cost   of  the  three-year  pilot                                                                    
               program cannot exceed $10,000,000.                                                                               
               (f)  *AMENDED:  If  the pilot  program  shows                                                                    
               that adoption  of the incentive  curricula is                                                                    
               appropriate  and  effective,  the  department                                                                    
               may  make  available  to  all  districts  the                                                                    
               curricula  and  one-time  incentive  payments                                                                    
               starting  in  the  school year  beginning  in                                                                    
               2022  and  ending  in the  school  year  that                                                                    
               begins in 2024.                                                                                                  
               (g)  *Incentive  payments  are limited  to  a                                                                    
               school district's  ADM multiplied by  150 and                                                                    
                are subject  to  availability of  funding  in                                                                   
                (h). In order to get an incentive  payment, a                                                                   
                district must be ready and have the  capacity                                                                   
                to implement the  incentivized curricula  and                                                                   
                have not previously used the curricula.                                                                         
                (h) *Limits the  funding available to  school                                                                   
                districts   that   adopt   the   incentivized                                                                   
                curriculum, for  years 4-6,  to  $20,000,000,                                                                   
                plus any  unexpended  money  available  under                                                                   
                (i)  The   Department   shall   publish   all                                                                   
                curriculum used by  all school districts,  on                                                                   
                the Department's  website.  The  incentivized                                                                   
                curricula  and   the   designated   effective                                                                   
                curricula,  identified  by  the  Board,  will                                                                   
                also be published on the website.                                                                               
                (j) *AMENDED: The Department shall submit  an                                                                   
                electronic   report   to   the    legislature                                                                   
                providing information  on the  pilot  program                                                                   
                and the curricula  that each school  district                                                                   
9:53:02 AM                                                                                                                    
           NOTE:  The  report  requirement  was  changed   to                                                                   
         include information on the pilot program                                                                               
           (k) NEW: Requires school  districts to submit  the                                                                   
           relevant information  to  the department  that  is                                                                   
           needed for the department to carry out  its duties                                                                   
           under this section.                                                                                                  
           (l)  *All  payments  for  the  pilot  program  and                                                                   
           curricula  are   subject  to   appropriation.   If                                                                   
           insufficient funding  is available  to  distribute                                                                   
           payments to  all  school  districts  that  request                                                                   
           funding in a year,  the department may  distribute                                                                   
           payments to  the  remaining school  districts  the                                                                   
           following school year.                                                                                               
           (m)*NEW: If the applications for participation  in                                                                   
           the pilot  program are  insufficient  to meet  the                                                                   
           requirements  under  (e)  of  this  section,   the                                                                   
           department may select  five school districts  from                                                                   
          those  that   apply,  taking   into  consideration                                                                    
          geographical diversity.                                                                                               
          (n)   NEW:  Provides   for  the   continuation  of                                                                    
          incentive payments  after the pilot  program ends.                                                                    
          Incentive  payments  may  go to  school  districts                                                                    
          that use  curricula reviewed  and approved  by the                                                                    
          Board under AS 14.07.165(c).                                                                                          
          (o)  Defines "rural,"  "school district,"  "school                                                                    
          district's ADM" and "urban"                                                                                           
          NEW: AS 14.08.182                                                                                                     
          Establishes  the curriculum  improvement and  best                                                                    
          practices  fund,  which  consists  of  an  initial                                                                    
          $30,000,000  to fund  the first  six years  of the                                                                    
          curricula  incentive  program.  The funds  can  be                                                                    
          spent  without further  appropriation  and do  not                                                                    
     Section 4 AS 14.08.111:                                                                                                    
          Conforming  language requiring  a regional  school                                                                    
          board  to review  all textbooks  and instructional                                                                    
          materials at least once every 10 years.                                                                               
     Section 5 AS 14.14.090:                                                                                                    
          Conforming  language requiring  a school  board to                                                                    
          review all  textbooks and  instructional materials                                                                    
          at least once every 10 years.                                                                                         
     Section 6 AS 14.16.020:                                                                                                    
          Conforming language requiring  management of state                                                                    
          boarding  schools  to  review  all  textbooks  and                                                                    
          instructional  materials at  least  once every  10                                                                    
     Section 7 AS 14.30.285:                                                                                                    
          NEW:  The  department   shall  make  available  to                                                                    
          school   districts   an  electronic   system   for                                                                    
          managing student information  and tracking records                                                                    
          relating to individualized  education programs for                                                                    
          children with disabilities.                                                                                           
     Section 8 Repeals:                                                                                                         
          Repeals  sub-sections  (e),  (f). (g),  (h),  (j),                                                                    
          (l), and (m)  in AS 14.07.180 that  pertain to the                                                                    
           pilot program, it's incentive payments, and it's                                                                     
           reporting requirements.                                                                                              
           NOTE: This was previously Section 6 in Version N                                                                     
      Sec. 9 4 AAC 05.080(e):                                                                                                   
           Annuls the regulatory requirement of a local                                                                         
           school board having to evaluate their curriculum                                                                     
           every 6 years.                                                                                                       
           NOTE: This was previously Section 7 in Version N                                                                     
 Co-Chair MacKinnon  WITHDREW her OBJECTION.  There being  NO                                                                   
 further OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                          
 Co-Chair MacKinnon  invited department staff  to comment  on                                                                   
 whether the department was  supportive or neutral on the  CS                                                                   
 and to review the fiscal note.                                                                                                 
 MARCY HERMAN, LEGISLATIVE  LIAISON, DEPARTMENT OF  EDUCATION                                                                   
 AND EARLY  DEVELOPMENT,  was  available for  questions.  The                                                                   
 commissioner had  appeared before the  committee and  spoken                                                                   
 about the bill. She  relayed that the department had  worked                                                                   
 for about a year  on Alaska's Education Challenge and  since                                                                   
 January working on the bill with Co-Chair MacKinnon  and her                                                                   
 staff. She relayed that  Commissioner Johnson believed  that                                                                   
 curriculum was  one of the  levers that  the department  had                                                                   
 not pulled  in  increasing  student achievement.  She  noted                                                                   
 that  the  legislation  was  a  way  to  incentivize  school                                                                   
 districts to take  a look a  curriculum that the  department                                                                   
 and board would put forward and  to use the $150 per ADM  to                                                                   
 purchase  curriculum  and  materials  necessary  to  improve                                                                   
 student  achievement.   She   added  that   under   Alaska's                                                                   
 Education  Challenge,  there  were  30  to  40  stakeholders                                                                   
 meeting presently. She  deferred to  Mr. Prussing and  would                                                                   
 review the fiscal note after his statement.                                                                                    
 9:57:23 AM                                                                                                                   
 Senator von  Imhof  asked  Ms. Herman  to  briefly  describe                                                                   
 Alaska's  Education  Challenge.   Ms.  Herman  stated   that                                                                   
 Alaska's Education  Challenge  was  an  11-month  effort  to                                                                   
 consider how  to make  education better  in  the state.  She                                                                   
 discussed Alaska's poor  performance for  4th and 8th  grade                                                                   
 reading and  math. She  continued that  it was  Commissioner                                                                   
 Johnson's and  Governor Walker's idea  to get  the pulse  of                                                                   
 the state on  the best way to  go about improving  education                                                                   
for Alaska's students. Alaska's  Education Challenge came up                                                                    
with  three   guiding  principles:  safety   and  wellbeing,                                                                    
responsible   learning,   and    family   community   tribal                                                                    
compacting. The  group put forward 13  recommendations under                                                                    
the  guiding principles.  She reported  that the  department                                                                    
was working  with stakeholders and  a pier  organization for                                                                    
state chief  school officers  to determine  the department's                                                                    
capacity to take on some of  the work and how the department                                                                    
could  work   best  with   its  stakeholders   and  partners                                                                    
Senator  von Imhof  referenced the  passage of  Alaska State                                                                    
Standards  in   2012.  She   wondered  about   Ms.  Herman's                                                                    
statement that  curriculum had  not been  one of  the levers                                                                    
the  department   had  pulled.  She  was   incredulous  that                                                                    
curriculum had  not been addressed and  hoped the department                                                                    
could  explain the  reason it  had not  been addressed.  She                                                                    
mentioned  having   been  on  her  school   board  when  the                                                                    
standards  were   passed.  She  conveyed   that  immediately                                                                    
following the  passage of the  standards in 2012,  the board                                                                    
reviewed  its  curriculum.  She  wanted  the  department  to                                                                    
state, for  the record,  why it  did not  address curriculum                                                                    
until now.                                                                                                                      
PAUL  PRUSSING,  DIRECTOR,  DIVISION  OF  STUDENT  LEARNING,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND  EARLY DEVELOPMENT, relayed that                                                                    
in state statute  the legislature gave its  authority to the                                                                    
local district.  Therefore, the department did  not have the                                                                    
authority  to mandate  what text  books  or curriculum  were                                                                    
used. The  bill provided a  framework for districts  to look                                                                    
at  their  curriculum  which alleviated  some  of  the  work                                                                    
districts would otherwise have to  do to adopt a curriculum.                                                                    
However, it did not mandate  the curriculum. He believed the                                                                    
intent of  the statute was  that authority was given  to the                                                                    
local boards.  He reported that  the state had  had programs                                                                    
in the  past, such as  Reading First  (part of the  No Child                                                                    
Left Behind Act), where grants  were given to districts that                                                                    
adopted specific  reading programs  with a goal  of assuring                                                                    
that all  kids were  proficient by the  end of  third grade.                                                                    
The grant  program ended but showed  some effective results.                                                                    
The  department had  pulled the  lever slightly  but not  to                                                                    
such an extent as reflected  in the legislation. He believed                                                                    
it was a good step forward.                                                                                                     
10:01:29 AM                                                                                                                   
 Senator von Imhof  appreciated that  the department did  not                                                                   
 have  the  authority  to   mandate  certain  curriculum   or                                                                   
 textbooks. She  commented that  when  the department  passed                                                                   
 state standards but failed  to show leadership, mandated  or                                                                   
 unmandated, of any type of aid to the 53 districts  that had                                                                   
 a wide variety of  financial support and struggles was  like                                                                   
 feeding them  to  the  wolves. She  thought  the  department                                                                   
 should have helped by  creating a curriculum available  (not                                                                   
 mandated) to  the  districts. She  asserted that  it  should                                                                   
 have happened  5 years prior.  She thanked  the sponsor  for                                                                   
 bringing the legislation forward.                                                                                              
 Co-Chair MacKinnon stated that she had tried to  advance the                                                                   
 notion of the bill for the previous 6 years. She had  sent a                                                                   
 letter  to   the   state   schoolboard  asking   for   their                                                                   
 recommendations on curriculum. She had also been  frustrated                                                                   
 believing that  the department  and the  state school  board                                                                   
 should have been supporting  districts to a greater  degree.                                                                   
 She opined that Alaska's  students were taking the brunt  of                                                                   
 the state's  failure  to provide  for their  education.  She                                                                   
 referenced constrained  budgets in the  past and  emphasized                                                                   
 that the bill before the committee had been  a collaborative                                                                   
 effort with DEED. She appreciated everything the  department                                                                   
 had done to support the current idea. The bill was  a Senate                                                                   
 Finance Committee  proposal  to  provide  a  foundation  for                                                                   
 school districts  and teachers  to have  support to  provide                                                                   
 best outcomes for students.                                                                                                    
 10:04:21 AM                                                                                                                  
 Co-Chair  Hoffman   remarked   that   in  defense   of   the                                                                   
 administration he  went back  in history  to understand  why                                                                   
 the committee was  addressing the  issue today. He  recalled                                                                   
 that prior to  SB 35 [Legislation passed  during one of  the                                                                   
 terms of Mr. John  Sackett: House of Representatives  (1967-                                                                   
 1970) and  Senate  1973-1986],  the state  used  to  operate                                                                   
 under the state operating school system (SOS).  He explained                                                                   
 that  the  SOS  was  where  the  state  dictated  to  school                                                                   
 districts what needed  to be done  and what criteria  needed                                                                   
 to be accomplished.  Senator Sackett  introduced SB 35  that                                                                   
 set up  the current  system  giving independence  to  school                                                                   
 districts to have  them decide what they  felt needed to  be                                                                   
 done. He was  not saying  that the system  was perfect,  but                                                                   
 from his experience, the  decisions regarding education  and                                                                   
 the  direction for  students  was  best  decided  by  school                                                                   
 boards that were elected independently of the legislature.                                                                     
Co-Chair Hoffman indicated school  districts had the mandate                                                                    
to present their case about what  needed to be done in their                                                                    
districts.  It  might  differ  from  what  might  happen  in                                                                    
Tuntutuliak  versus in  Anchorage  or in  Juneau. He  firmly                                                                    
believed  districts  needed  to make  the  decisions  around                                                                    
curricula and  direction of education. He  suggested that it                                                                    
might be appropriate to consider  provisions as presented in                                                                    
SB 104  on a demonstration  project to move forward.  He did                                                                    
not  want  to  criticize  the department  for  its  position                                                                    
because past  legislators had passed  laws that  were before                                                                    
the committee today.                                                                                                            
10:07:02 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Stevens  had served  on his  local school  board and                                                                    
relayed the difficulty of establishing  a curriculum and the                                                                    
cost  associated   with  curriculum,  the  key   to  a  fine                                                                    
education for Alaska's  students. He was pleased  to see the                                                                    
legislation but had  a couple of concerns.  First, he wanted                                                                    
to confirm that the  districts supported the legislation. He                                                                    
also  expressed concern  about  how  the department,  having                                                                    
been  reduced significantly,  would supervise  the bill.  He                                                                    
wondered if  additional staff  was planned.  Instructing the                                                                    
department   to  implement   the   law  without   additional                                                                    
personnel would  be akin to  throwing the department  to the                                                                    
wolves and a great concern to him.                                                                                              
Mr. Prussing  stated that when  he reviewed the  fiscal note                                                                    
he  had  added  3  additional  staff;  2  content  education                                                                    
specialists and 1 associate to  help drive the work and keep                                                                    
things going. He  had been with the department  for 18 years                                                                    
and had  seen many personnel  reductions. Some of the  20 or                                                                    
more positions  that had been  cut were  content specialists                                                                    
that drove  curriculum work. When adopting  standards in the                                                                    
past,  the  department  had created  a  3-step  process:  an                                                                    
awareness   process,   a    transitional   stage,   and   an                                                                    
implementation  stage.   The  department  had   focused  its                                                                    
efforts in helping districts align  their curriculums to the                                                                    
new standards. The department also  worked with districts on                                                                    
measuring  students'   success  with  the   curriculum.  The                                                                    
Performance   Evaluation   for  Alaska's   Schools   (PEAKS)                                                                    
Assessment measured  only a thin  layer. The  department had                                                                    
assisted  districts  with  a formative  assessment  process.                                                                    
Most districts had adopted the  Measure of Academic Progress                                                                    
(MAP) test which  was given 3 times per year.  It provided a                                                                    
benchmark  for  teachers to  see  the  movement of  students                                                                    
through  the  curriculum.  He  stressed  the  importance  of                                                                    
 having 2 additional  content specialists.  In the past,  the                                                                   
 department had had 2  content specialists that had done  the                                                                   
 majority  of  the  work  and  had  had  a  great  impact  on                                                                   
 Senator Stevens  believed the  legislation moved  the  state                                                                   
 forward in curriculum development. He did not think  it took                                                                   
 away local control, as it  gave the districts the option  of                                                                   
 choosing whether  to participate.  Mr. Prussing  agreed  and                                                                   
 added that  it would be  important for  districts to  assist                                                                   
 the department in selecting the curriculum.                                                                                    
 10:10:25 AM                                                                                                                  
 Senator Olson  referenced his schooling  through the  Bureau                                                                   
 of  Indian  Affairs  System  in  Golovin,  Alaska,  and  his                                                                   
 experience watching the implementation  of the SOS  program.                                                                   
 At the time, Golovin was hesitant to participate in  the SOS                                                                   
 Program. He  applauded Senator Sackett's  efforts to  ensure                                                                   
 local control because it allowed for buy-in from  people who                                                                   
 were  very   concerned  about   their  children's   academic                                                                   
 performance. He  shared Senator  Stevens' concern  regarding                                                                   
 local control.                                                                                                                 
 Co-Chair  MacKinnon  stated   that  self-determination,   as                                                                   
 stated in the  constitution, was one  of her team's  primary                                                                   
 motivators in choosing the course of action outlined  in the                                                                   
 bill. School districts had  appeared before the  legislature                                                                   
 multiple times stating that  the lack of inflation  proofing                                                                   
 the base  student allocation or  removing energy  subsidies,                                                                   
 which at  one  time  the  state provided  through  $150  per                                                                   
 barrel oil,  created  challenges.  Her team  struggled  with                                                                   
 what to  do in  a  centralized way  to provide  benefits  to                                                                   
 communities, especially  to the  smaller rural  communities.                                                                   
 It was  her understanding  that many  of  the larger  school                                                                   
 districts were circling around particular curricula in  math                                                                   
 and language  arts and  they  were starting  to line  up  in                                                                   
 finding the best means  for student achievement. There  were                                                                   
 certain smaller  community school  districts that  had  less                                                                   
 opportunities than  the larger school  districts to  explore                                                                   
 curriculum. For this reason, she pursued finding  curriculum                                                                   
 as a basis. She was trying to find a way of  incentivizing a                                                                   
 rigorous process for the  state school board and to  provide                                                                   
 parents with electronic access of the curriculum  being used                                                                   
 across the  state.  She wanted  parents  to see  what  urban                                                                   
 areas in  the state might  be doing  differently than  their                                                                   
own  district   and  why.  She  thought   collaboration  was                                                                    
necessary, hence the reason for her introducing SB 104.                                                                         
Co-Chair MacKinnon  continued to discuss the  bill. The bill                                                                    
offered  a product  electronically  that  all districts  and                                                                    
parents could  see of  incentivized or  designated curricula                                                                    
that met  Alaska state standards.  School boards  could move                                                                    
into the designated standards and  adopt the state curricula                                                                    
without  that  same vigor  that  might  be invested  in  the                                                                    
review   and  adoption   process.  Parents,   teachers,  and                                                                    
administrators  would  be  able  to see  what  everyone  was                                                                    
doing, to see test results,  and to ask questions. She noted                                                                    
that  some  of  the  smaller  school  districts  were  doing                                                                    
tremendously  well  for their  students,  some  of whom  had                                                                    
scores that  exceeded some  of the  urban schools.  The bill                                                                    
before   the  committee   offered  collaboration   with  all                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon appreciated  consideration of  the bill.                                                                    
She wanted to hold the  bill until the following Tuesday and                                                                    
encouraged members to contact  their local school districts.                                                                    
She  stated  that there  was  a  large  fiscal note  of  $30                                                                    
million.  She estimated  that achievable  outcomes would  be                                                                    
necessary to pass the bill from committee.                                                                                      
10:16:57 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  von Imhof  thought there  might  be some  confusion                                                                    
between  standards and  curricula.  She  also mentioned  the                                                                    
need for determining  the materials that would  be used with                                                                    
the curricula  and thought they  would be decided on  at the                                                                    
local district  level. She noted  that there  were districts                                                                    
in  Western  Alaska  that  used local  flora  and  fauna  in                                                                    
curriculum.   She  drew   attention  to   documents  "Parent                                                                    
Roadmap:   Supporting   Your   Child   in   Grade   Five   -                                                                    
Mathematics," and "Parent Roadmap:  Supporting Your Child in                                                                    
Grade  Three  -  English  Language Arts,"  (copy  on  file).                                                                    
Senator interjected that the document  Senator von Imhof was                                                                    
referring to was available online.                                                                                              
Senator  von  Imhof  continued  that  the  Anchorage  School                                                                    
District  created  the  document.  She hoped  the  State  of                                                                    
Alaska would generate a similar  document at some point. She                                                                    
referred to page  4 of the handout, which showed  one of the                                                                    
standards  for   5th  graders  in  math.   Students  had  to                                                                    
understand  how   to  divide   objects  into   equal  shares                                                                    
preparing  students for  the division  of fractions.  Page 3                                                                    
 listed curricula of  3 or 4  things a  teacher needed to  do                                                                   
 throughout the  year.  She posed  the question  about  which                                                                   
 textbooks and workbooks  should be  used. She asserted  that                                                                   
 such things  were part of  local control.  She talked  about                                                                   
 being on  the local  school board  when  the standards  were                                                                   
 changed. She relayed that  the process was expensive,  long,                                                                   
 and tedious. She  was hoping to see  the state do  something                                                                   
 similar to the example  she provided. Local control was  and                                                                   
 would always  be  available in  how the  individual  teacher                                                                   
 taught concepts. She  also hoped  that the department  would                                                                   
 take advantage  of  the resources  of the  Anchorage  School                                                                   
 10:20:44 AM                                                                                                                  
 Co-Chair MacKinnon referenced another component to the  bill                                                                   
 pertaining to  Individual Education Plans  (IEP)s. Her  team                                                                   
 had brought  the  idea  forward. The  section  on  recording                                                                   
 electronic data so  that parents could  review it came  from                                                                   
 the Alaska  Challenge  and  the  department  suggesting  the                                                                   
 information should  be  shared  in order  to  support  local                                                                   
 control. She invited Senator von Imhof to speak to the IEP.                                                                    
 Senator von  Imhof informed the  committee that  an IEP  was                                                                   
 available  to  any  student   in  Alaska  whose   collective                                                                   
 teachers  including  special  education  teachers,   general                                                                   
 teachers, and  parents  felt  it was  necessary  to  provide                                                                   
 extra special supports for  a student. Creating and IEP  was                                                                   
 time  consuming   and   extensive   and   was   created   in                                                                   
 collaboration with care givers, teachers, and parents.  If a                                                                   
 child or family  moved from one  district to another,  often                                                                   
 times the child's IEP  was not transferable  electronically.                                                                   
 It had to either be copied  and mailed or faxed one page  at                                                                   
 a time. Some of the smaller districts only had  10 megabytes                                                                   
 of capacity. The  worst case would be  for the new  district                                                                   
 to  have  to   do  a   completely  new  IEP.   One  of   the                                                                   
 recommendations  that  came  out  of  the  DEED  performance                                                                   
 review in 2016 was to suggest that all districts  around the                                                                   
 state went to  one standard  software for IEPs  paid for  by                                                                   
 the state.  Districts would  be alleviated  from paying  for                                                                   
 the software.  She thought the  idea made  good sense.  Many                                                                   
 districts  agreed  with  the  idea  of  having   a  standard                                                                   
 software. When a  child moved from  Bethel to Anchorage  the                                                                   
 IEP could  be  sent  electronically keeping  the  transition                                                                   
 much simpler and less disruptive.                                                                                              
 10:23:34 AM                                                                                                                  
Vice-Chair Bishop referenced his  experience as a legislator                                                                    
and working  for previous administrations.  He spoke  to the                                                                    
need  for  continuity.  He   mentioned  seeing  3  different                                                                    
administrations  and 3  different evaluation  tests. He  did                                                                    
not want to  see the goal post moved for  kids. He advocated                                                                    
choosing a  lane and staying  in that lane.  He acknowledged                                                                    
the  challenges  of  educating   children.  He  relayed  his                                                                    
personal  experience  as  a child  moving  from  one  school                                                                    
district  to  the  next.  He   brought  up  the  subject  of                                                                    
outcomes. He hoped that education  was preparing children to                                                                    
enter the  workforce and to  be a benefit to  society rather                                                                    
than a  burden. He wondered  how to measure success.  In his                                                                    
experience as  the Commissioner of  Department of  Labor and                                                                    
Workforce  Development his  department worked  with DEED  to                                                                    
put a  process in  place to track  an individual  after high                                                                    
school.  He reemphasized  the need  for consistency  for the                                                                    
sake of kids.                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon  supported Vice-Chair  Bishop's comments.                                                                    
She thought  everyone had  different abilities.  Some people                                                                    
blossomed outside  of school and  perseverance was  what was                                                                    
needed  to  continue  in  the   world.  She  wanted  a  good                                                                    
foundation for  Alaska. Math and  English were the  areas of                                                                    
focus in the bill.                                                                                                              
10:26:40 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Stevens agreed  with  Vice-Chair  Bishop. He  added                                                                    
that the goal  of education at the beginning  of the country                                                                    
was to create citizens of the state and country.                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon stated she wanted  to bring the bill back                                                                    
up early in  the following week to move the  bill along. She                                                                    
emphasized she  wanted the fiscal  note prior to  moving the                                                                    
bill out of committee.                                                                                                          
Ms.  Herman   appreciated  the  passion  for   education  as                                                                    
expressed by  the committee.  The department  would finalize                                                                    
the  fiscal  note  and  submit   it  to  the  committee  for                                                                    
Mr. Prussing thanked the committee  for its hard work on the                                                                    
bill. He addressed Vice-Chair  Bishop's comments. He relayed                                                                    
that the  department was working  with Career  and Technical                                                                    
Education  (CTE)  through the  Carl  D.  Perkins Career  and                                                                    
Technical Education Improvement Act  in getting CTE teachers                                                                    
 trained to  teach math  within the  CTE program.  Vice-Chair                                                                   
 Bishop remarked  that  he  could spend  another  30  minutes                                                                   
 talking on the subject in a positive way.                                                                                      
 Co-Chair MacKinnon  asked  if  Ms.  Hartmann  could  address                                                                   
 Senator Olson's question regarding who her team  had reached                                                                   
 out to. Ms. Hartmann recalled  that when the bill was  first                                                                   
 heard  in  committee  the   previous  April  there  was   no                                                                   
 opposition from  school districts.  Recently, the  team  had                                                                   
 reached out  to  the Lower  Kuskokwim School  District,  the                                                                   
 Yukon-Koyukuk  School   District,   the   Anchorage   School                                                                   
 District, and the Fairbanks  School District. She had  heard                                                                   
 back from  all of them  and would  be happy  to share  their                                                                   
 information with everyone. She had also heard back  from the                                                                   
 Board of  Education's members, local  school district  board                                                                   
 members, rural  and urban  superintendents,  and the  Alaska                                                                   
 Council of School Administrators who were reviewing  the CS.                                                                   
 She reported  getting  good  word back.  Co-Chair  MacKinnon                                                                   
 asked if  it was positive  feedback versus  concerns on  the                                                                   
 bill. Ms. Hartmann responded, "yes."                                                                                           
 Senator Micciche  expressed  interest  in  hearing  feedback                                                                   
 from stakeholders  mentioned by  Ms. Hartmann.  He would  be                                                                   
 reaching out  to  his  local  district.  Co-Chair  MacKinnon                                                                   
 stated  that her  office  had  reached  out  to  his  school                                                                   
 district  to  testify.  They  were  not  available  but  had                                                                   
 reviewed the bill.                                                                                                             
 Senator Stevens addressed the issue of IEPs, and  his desire                                                                   
 to learn  more. He suspected  that some  districts might  be                                                                   
 concerned about  receiving  IEPs  that were  different  from                                                                   
 their own.                                                                                                                     
 SB  104  was  HEARD  and  HELD  in  committee   for  further                                                                   
 Co-Chair  MacKinnon  relayed  that  the  committee  had  not                                                                   
 scheduled a meeting for the following day. She  reviewed the                                                                   
 agenda for Monday's meeting.                                                                                                   
 10:32:29 AM                                                                                                                  
 The meeting was adjourned at 10:32 a.m.                                                                                        

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSSB 104 Bill version Y.pdf SFIN 3/29/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 104
CSSB 104 Sponsor Statement version Y.pdf SFIN 3/29/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 104
CSSB 104 Sectional Analysis ver Y.pdf SFIN 3/29/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 104
SB 105 - Senate Finance Q A.pdf SFIN 3/29/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 105
SB 105 - Letters of Support.pdf SFIN 3/29/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 105
CS SB 105 FIN wrok draft v N.pdf SFIN 3/29/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 105
CSSB 105(FIN) - Summary of Changes.pdf SFIN 3/29/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 105
SB 104 Von Imhof Document ParentRoadmap_ELA_3.pdf SFIN 3/29/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 104
SB 104 Von Imhof Document - ParentRoadmap_Math_5.pdf SFIN 3/29/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 104