Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/10/1996 09:08 AM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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        HB 465 TEACHERS/ADMINISTRATORS/COLL. BARGAINING                       
                                                                              
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN called the Senate Health, Education and Social                 
 Services (HESS) Committee to order at 9:08 a.m. and introduced                
 HB 465  as the only order of business before the committee.                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
 JOE JOSEPHSON, Legal Counsel for NEA-AK, said that the committee              
 was presented with the concept that if there is judicial review               
 there can be a de Novo proceeding before the Superior Court.  Mr.             
 Josephson submitted that was incorrect.  The Administrative                   
 Procedures Act, AS 44.62, refers to the fact that a Superior Court            
 judge may call for a Trial de Novo.  He emphasized that only                  
 applies to appeals under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).             
 There are many appeals to the Superior Court that do not fall under           
 the APA.  Furthermore, Mr. Josephson felt that most lawyers would             
 agree it rare for a Superior Court judge to grant a Trial de Novo,            
 even under APA.  He read the appellate rule for appeals which does            
 not offer recourse through a Trial de Novo for those appeals not              
 under the APA.  The problem is that the Superior Court judge would            
 only be able to consider if there was an evidentiary basis for the            
 board's decision to nonretain or dismiss a teacher.  The judge                
 cannot substitute his or her judgement for the ruling of the board.           
 Mr. Josephson pointed out that the Alaska Supreme Court has said              
 that boards do not have expertise in these matters.                           
                                                                               
 Number 064                                                                    
                                                                               
 Mr. Josephson believed that Mr. Trickey was correct in that many              
 school boards do make the effort to ensure due process in the                 
 administrative proceedings.  However, having due process is not the           
 same as fairness.  Due process is the minimum required by the                 
 constitution for a proceeding to be valid.  Fairness, from the                
 point of view of teachers, means that there should be a hearing               
 before a neutral party not implicated in the nonretention or                  
 dismissal.  Mr. Josephson believed that to be the problem with a              
 pending amendment which would eliminate the fairness.                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN inquired as to who an employee in another agency                
 would first contact.  JOE JOSEPHSON specified that the employee               
 could appeal to the State Personnel Board.  If there was a                    
 statewide personnel board for teachers which was not appointed by             
 school districts, then there would be an analogy for a fair                   
 administrative hearing.  Mr. Josephson did not believe that school            
 districts wanted that type of board.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 105                                                                    
                                                                               
 JOE JOSEPHSON acknowledged that everyone would like better                    
 education, teachers, administrators, and students.  The concept of            
 incompetence already exists and is a well known standard applicable           
 throughout the nation.  Mr. Josephson left a text on teacher                  
 discharge which discusses what incompetency means nationally with             
 the committee.  He was concerned that the legislature would be                
 jettisoning the concept of incompetency and allow nonretention for            
 failure to meet a set of standards.  Furthermore, a teacher could             
 be placed on a plan of improvement even when the teacher's                    
 competency is not in question.  Mr. Josephson believed that would             
 leave school districts the opportunity to cease employment of those           
 teachers whose competence is not in question.  HB 465 does not say            
 that only an incompetent teacher can be placed under a plan of                
 improvement, any teacher can be placed under such a plan.  In                 
 conclusion, Mr. Josephson did not believe that there are many                 
 incompetent teachers because by and large administrators do their             
 jobs with the tools already available.  This is a nonproblem with             
 no supporting evidence; therefore, the legislature should move                
 slowly to overturn a standard that exists nationwide.                         
                                                                               
 Number 165                                                                    
                                                                               
 CLAUDIA DOUGLAS, President of NEA-AK, appreciated the time given to           
 this issue.  With regards to a comment in a previous meeting about            
 whether teaching 2+2=5 was considered academic freedom, Ms. Douglas           
 said that was incompetence and the teacher should be fired.                   
 Academic freedom is a search for truth.  Children should be allowed           
 to question, think, and make decisions based upon a variety of                
 information and curriculum established in that community.  Ms.                
 Douglas informed the committee that teacher education standards               
 were established by the state board.  These standards are what a              
 teacher should know after finishing a college program, however,               
 these standards are not based on what is done in the classroom.               
 Academic freedom is how one applies their education to their                  
 students in the classroom.  Students have different learning styles           
 and teachers have different teaching styles.  Ms. Douglas urged the           
 committee not to confuse academic freedom and to review the                   
 evaluation procedure and the deletion of the incompetence standard.           
 She left the committee some relevant information.                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO noted that many districts argue that the process is              
 expensive and long to terminate a teacher who should not be in the            
 classroom.  How can that issue be addressed while maintaining                 
 fairness?  CLAUDIA DOUGLAS said that HB 465 does address the need             
 for an evaluation system that is actually in law.  Decisions made             
 at the local level regarding all aspects of the evaluation system,            
 would allow the district to prove that the evaluations have been              
 fair and that due process has been followed which would eliminate             
 the need for lengthy court battles.  Ms. Douglas said that often              
 the process has not been followed.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 249                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO pointed out that HB 465 has the option of an appeal              
 hearing at the district level or to go directly to Superior Court.            
 Some have characterized this option as being more cost and time               
 efficient; does NEA agree or are there other alternatives that                
 would be fair and more expeditious?  CLAUDIA DOUGLAS emphasized               
 that part of NEA's responsibility as a bargaining agent is to                 
 represent those people that are dismissed.  Currently, a grievance            
 procedure is followed if there is a disciplinary action.  If the              
 district and the teacher cannot agree at the end of the grievance             
 procedure, a third party is brought in to make a decision.  Ms.               
 Douglas clarified that it is a binding arbitration in the grievance           
 process.  Every district has a grievance procedure for disciplinary           
 action.  NEA had agreed at one point to this option.                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN inquired as to the approval that option has met.               
 CLAUDIA DOUGLAS said that option met approval in the form of                  
 HB 398, the compromise bill.  Ms. Douglas informed the committee              
 that she was part of the task force that met over the summer.                 
 There was an effort to bring people together that were not staff,             
 political organizations, or special interest groups.  Ms. Douglas             
 emphasized that no legislators were on the task force.  The intent            
 was to bring together a neutral group.                                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN noted that much of the work from the task force has            
 manifested itself in HB 465.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 315                                                                    
                                                                               
 VERNON MARSHALL, NEA-AK, stated that HB 465 is designed to modify             
 existing tenure statutes in order to expose tenured teachers to               
 layoff and make it easier for administrators to get rid of tenured            
 teachers.  HB 465 gives teachers three years of probation during              
 which the teacher can be nonretained by administrators for no                 
 reason.  With that three year window, Mr. Marshall expected                   
 administrators to do a better job in preparing teachers for jobs.             
 Tenure is not portable.  Theoretically, a teacher could work six              
 years in two districts and never receive tenure.  Under such a                
 circumstance, a nonretained teacher would not be entitled to any              
 justification of nonretention during the first three years of work            
 in any employing school district regardless of the total year of              
 teaching experience for that teacher.                                         
                                                                               
 The nonretention of a teacher has been made easier for                        
 administrators by the removal of incompetence as a cause for                  
 nonretention.  Mr. Marshall noted that the argument for the removal           
 of incompetence is that the standard is too low, and is too hard to           
 prove.  Due to this allegation, he questioned the competence of               
 those responsible for evaluating and developing teachers.  Mr.                
 Marshall emphasized that good standards do not fail, but the people           
 who execute those standards often fail.  Mr. Marshall informed the            
 committee that he had asked himself the following questions:  what            
 is the motive for passage of HB 465, what is not working?  Mr.                
 Marshall identified the following as already occurring:                       
                                                                               
  *No district has been identified as having lost revenue.                     
  *Schools have evaluation, layoff and recall systems in place.                
  *Some administrators are working hard to evaluate their staff.               
  *Tenured teachers are being nonretained for incompetence.                    
  *Teacher preparation institutions are improving in Alaska.                   
  *Bargaining occurs within the eye of the public in many school               
   districts.                                                                  
  *Nontenured teachers are being nonretained during their first                
   and second years of employment.                                             
  *Progressive school districts have staff development plans.                  
  *No school district has identified any teacher that the                      
   district has been unable to nonretain for incompetence or                   
       substantial noncompliance.                                              
                                                                               
 HB 465 allows school districts to eliminate academic and program              
 areas of the curriculum and layoff tenured teachers.  It is clear             
 that if teachers are to survive in Alaska, especially in the bush,            
 teachers must be multiply certified or endorsed.  The layoff                  
 section ensures a three year recall which Mr. Marshall did not                
 believe was much of a benefit.  No one has considered triggering a            
 RIP for employees; there is no incentive to keep experienced                  
 teachers.  HB 465 allows school districts to decide which teachers            
 to layoff by using performance evaluations.  Under this bill, those           
 evaluations will have direct input from the public.  The statute              
 specifies that it must be based on a classroom observation.  If a             
 teacher is laid off because a performance evaluation, the teacher             
 would not have the right to appeal to the Superior Court.  Since              
 evaluations take on new importance, will tenured teachers                     
 compromise innovation, disciplinary standards, and utilization of             
 new techniques in order to please the principal or the public for             
 a good evaluation.                                                            
                                                                               
 Mr. Marshall recalled President Clinton's quote which demanded                
 tougher standards for schools.  Should one assume that the teacher            
 standards of 1994 to prepare students to teach will now be the                
 criteria for local school districts to develop standards for                  
 evaluation?  The President also emphasized the need for                       
 assessments.  The teacher education standards adopted through                 
 regulation have no assessments.  Mr. Marshall indicated concerns              
 with the notion that teacher preparation standards could be used to           
 establish evaluation criteria for all teachers.  Are teacher                  
 preparation standards suitable as measures of teacher performance             
 or should the task of developing performance standards be developed           
 by local school districts with assistance from the department?  Mr.           
 Marshall indicated that the department should be afforded the                 
 ability to develop assessments in order to measure teacher                    
 education standards before being adopted.                                     
                                                                               
 In conclusion, Mr. Marshall emphasized the need to return                     
 incompetence as a standard, the layoff section is too constraining.           
 Mr. Marshall wished the meeting was regarding more money for                  
 schools, spending the money more wisely, and increasing the                   
 accountability.  The needs of children should be addressed.  This             
 type of legislation tends to bash those who are trying to do good             
 jobs.  The tenured teacher is being placed on the line for layoff             
 and no one else.  Mr. Marshall opposed HB 465, but offered to work            
 with the committee to improve the bill in the aforementioned areas.           
                                                                               
 Number 463                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN inquired as to the number of tenured teachers who               
 were nonretained in 1995.  VERNON MARSHALL said that would be                 
 difficult to say for the 1995-1996 term because some teachers may             
 be going through the process now.  In the 1994-1995 term, there               
 were about three teachers that requested hearings which resulted in           
 Superior Court action.  Mr. Marshall informed the committee that              
 about 10 teachers per year resign in a district the size of                   
 Anchorage.  Mr. Marshall discussed a case that went to the Supreme            
 Court who ruled in favor of the teacher.                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked out of how many teachers were these statistics            
 taken.  VERNON MARSHALL clarified that the 10 teachers that                   
 resigned were in the Anchorage School District.  Mr. Marshall                 
 offered to do a survey on this issue.  Mr. Marshall questioned the            
 hiring procedures of those in the bush.                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO acknowledged the host of amendments before the                   
 committee.  She questioned how should these amendments be                     
 approached in order to make the bill more palatable to the teaching           
 force in Alaska.                                                              
                                                                               
 VERNON MARSHALL pointed out that Alaska is a growing state that has           
 consistently ranked in the top 10 relative to the student growth.             
 He emphasized that Alaska's public schools are doing an excellent             
 job in graduating students.  The public is generally concerned with           
 the large class sizes in public schools.  There should be an effort           
 to reduce class sizes.  Mr. Marshall did not know how class sizes             
 could be reduced while reducing the number of teachers.  If the               
 layoff provision is applied, what incentive would the legislature             
 or local government have to fund the schools?  Mr. Marshall                   
 believed the layoff provision to be too directed on tenured                   
 teachers, therefore, he suggested deleting the term tenure.  He               
 believed that costs would shift under the layoff provision.                   
                                                                               
 Number 559                                                                    
                                                                               
 RICK CROSS, Deputy Commissioner in the Department of Education,               
 informed the committee that he was present by request of                      
 Commissioner Holloway after a consultation with the Governor's                
 office.  Mr. Cross reiterated his previous testimony that the                 
 Governor supports his bills, SB 204 and HB 398.  He acknowledged              
 that Representative Ivan has had an open process involving many               
 people and improving HB 465.  The major difference between the                
 Governor's bill and HB 465 is that the Governor's bill has more               
 local decision making.  With regard to Amendment 6, all of the                
 discussions have attempted to address the duplicate, lengthy and              
 costly process of the current layoff and nonretention system.  The            
 other principal discussed in this debate has been the notion that             
 teachers are entitled to fairness.  Generally, fairness has meant             
 a complete independent review.  Mr. Cross pointed out that the                
 Governor's bill and the current CS of HB 465 both pass those tests.           
 Whether or not Amendment 6 would pass both tests, depends upon who            
 you listen to.                                                                
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-30, SIDE B                                                            
                                                                               
 Mr. Cross concluded that Amendment 6 meets either one of the two              
 tests or neither of the two tests.  Amendment 6 requires a full               
 school board hearing as well as a second process.  If the court can           
 decide not to have a costly second process, then the amendment does           
 not meet the independent review test.  Mr. Cross suggested those              
 two fundamental tests are not meet by Amendment 6.                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO asked Mr. Cross if he had a chance to review Amendment           
 14 because she was interested in the department's position on the             
 amendment.  RICK CROSS said that it would not be appropriate to               
 speak on Amendment 14 since he had only received it this morning in           
 the hall.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 566                                                                    
                                                                               
 BETH BEHNER, Director of Personnel and Labor Relations in the                 
 Fairbanks district, agreed with Mr. Cross regarding the districts'            
 desire to avoid duplicate process.  Districts are overly cautious             
 when dismissing or nonretaining a tenured teacher.  The current               
 bill does not preserve the local districts ability to have                    
 oversight on dismissal and nonretention decisions because the                 
 teacher has the option to go directly to court.  The bill does                
 minimize the duplicate process.  Ms. Behner said that her amendment           
 would suggest that the teacher would go before the board first and            
 then have a limited review by the court on the record unless the              
 teacher shows that due process has been denied.  That would provide           
 a full independent review when necessary.  Furthermore, this would            
 reduce the costs for districts.  Ms. Behner opposed the option to             
 go directly to court because she believed that a teacher would see            
 the full value of using the cost issue as leverage against the                
 district to settle meritless cases.  Ms. Behner assured the                   
 committee that the Fairbanks School Board was intent on maintaining           
 their impartial and independent review status.                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO inquired as to how many dismissal cases of tenured               
 teachers did Fairbanks experience in the last year.  BETH BEHNER              
 said that the Fairbanks district had about three such cases.  Ms.             
 Behner commented that due to the cost prohibitive nature of this,             
 borderline cases of teacher incompetence are not taken up.                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO asked how many incompetent teachers is the Fairbanks'            
 district unable to terminate.  BETH BEHNER did not know.  There are           
 about 950 certificated employees.  Teachers are no different than             
 other employees, there are good teachers and nonsatisfactory                  
 teachers.  If the current financial constraints were lifted, the              
 school district would probably process more nonretentions  for                
 incompetence or under performing reasons.                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO noted that Ms. Behner was implying that the Fairbanks            
 district has many incompetent teachers.  BETH BEHNER clarified that           
 she was saying that the district has several cases which should be            
 moved forward, but cannot because of financial constraints.                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO did not understand the district's fear in going to               
 court.  The only difference in court is the neutrality of the                 
 court.  Senator Salo inquired as to why the district would be so              
 disadvantaged by going directly to court.                                     
                                                                               
 BETH BEHNER said that having a possibility of an original action in           
 Superior Court would give the teacher the right to join other                 
 claims.  There could be the potential of a jury trial which would             
 increase the cost.  She noted that her amendment would limit a full           
 evidentiary hearing which is a very expensive process.  Ms. Behner            
 agreed that teachers should have an impartial review, but a full              
 review is not always required.  The teacher could be asked to                 
 demonstrate that before the district is required to pay.  She noted           
 that the teacher's union does not always fund the evidentiary part            
 of the trial, therefore, this is a district funding issue.                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO surmised that the teacher would face a disincentive              
 due to the cost of the process.  BETH BEHNER agreed with that                 
 assumption, but pointed out that the district is responsible for              
 funding all public education while the individual can make their              
 own decision as to whether it would be wise.                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said that the committee had a number of amendments             
 before them and that she intended to go through the amendments                
 today.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 491                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that Amendment 1 be adopted.  SENATOR ELLIS               
 objected.                                                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN addressed the calls for the local district to be               
 more involved with the formation of their standards.  The district            
 would use this set of performance standards as the basis for their            
 own customized standards.                                                     
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Green, Leman, Miller, Ellis and               
 Salo voted "Yea".  Therefore, Amendment 1 passed with unanimous               
 consent.                                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that Amendment 2 be adopted.  SENATOR ELLIS and           
 SENATOR SALO objected.                                                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN explained that Amendment 2 would allow teachers who            
 taught in an area outside of their certification or endorsement to            
 be recalled for a position in that area if they received a                    
 satisfactory evaluation in the last five years.                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO referred to page 7, line 14 when asking if the                   
 language was and/or.  CHAIRMAN GREEN pointed out that the "or" is             
 not removed.                                                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO maintained her objection.                                        
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Green, Leman, and Miller voted                
 "Yea" and Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Nay."  Amendment 2 was               
 adopted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that Amendment 3 be adopted.                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO objected.  She believed that Amendment 1 eliminated              
 the need for Amendment 3.                                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said this would eliminate the double negatives.                
 This was for clarification and was not meant to change the intent             
 of the original language.                                                     
 SENATOR SALO asked Chairman Green if it would be acceptable for the           
 School Board Association and NEA-AK to come to the table and                  
 provide their interpretation of Amendment 3.                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said that she would like to come back to Amendment             
 3.                                                                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN withdrew his motion to adopt Amendment 3.                       
                                                                               
 Number 410                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO explained that Amendment 4 would amend the effective             
 date which would postpone enactment of this law until the                     
 performance standards are in place.  Senator Salo was not sure that           
 it allowed enough time for the district standards to follow.                  
 Senator Salo moved that Amendment 4 be adopted.                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN objected.  Chairman Green moved an amendment to                
 Amendment 4 which would refer to "Sec. 4."                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO did not consider Chairman Green's amendment to                   
 Amendment 4 to be a friendly amendment.  Senator Salo emphasized              
 that the effective date clause in Amendment 4 is for the entire               
 bill.                                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN withdrew her amendment to Amendment 4.  She said               
 that she would not be supporting Amendment 4.                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if Amendment 4 was necessary because the state            
 does not have the standards in place for school districts to use in           
 order to achieve what the bill wants.                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO understood that there are regulations in place for               
 teacher education standards for universities.  The student                    
 performance standards are being worked on and are to be followed              
 with teaching performance standards.  The latter of the standards             
 is not ready.  Furthermore, fair warning is necessary because of              
 the substantial changes in layoff and tenure under this bill.                 
 Senator Salo said that she was not opposed to thinking about                  
 Chairman Green's amendment.                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said that Amendment 4 could also be left to the end.           
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO withdrew her motion to adopt Amendment 4.                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO moved that Amendment 5 be adopted.  SENATOR MILLER               
 objected.                                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO explained that Amendment 5 addresses the concern that            
 not having tenure would be bad for teachers, education, and                   
 children.  Amendment 5 would add a nondiscrimination clause which             
 Senator Salo hoped would protect free speech rights.                          
 SENATOR LEMAN expressed concern with Amendment 5 in that it may               
 create some unintended consequences.                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO noted that she had given Chairman Green a definition             
 of academic freedom from Black's Law Dictionary.  She recalled that           
 the definition referred to the standard of evil.                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN said that he would prefer a standard a bit higher               
 than evil.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Green, Leman and Miller voted "Nay"           
 and Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Yea."  Amendment 5 failed to be            
 adopted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 344                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER moved that Amendment 6 be adopted.  SENATOR SALO               
 objected.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Green, Leman and Miller voted "Yea"           
 and Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Nay".  Amendment 6 was adopted.            
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER moved that Amendment 7 be adopted.                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN informed the committee that she had received                   
 concerns regarding the minimum time.  She suggested that the                  
 language "90 work days and" be deleted leaving "not more than 180             
 work days" to be inserted on page 4, line 7.  This is the portion             
 that pertains to teachers on a 180 day work contract.  The second             
 portion of Amendment 7 would delete the following language, "90               
 work days and not more than 180 work days" and insert "not more               
 than 210 work days".  This portion refers to supervisors,                     
 principals and other staff who are on a longer contract period than           
 teachers.                                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO objected.                                                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN viewed her amendment to Amendment 7 to be the least            
 obtrusive manner for everyone effected.                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO posed the following situation: a person on a plan of             
 improvement is not showing improvement and there is no minimum time           
 for improvement to be illustrated.  What happens to that person?              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN pointed out that the "not more than 180 work days"             
 language which is retained in the amendment.  Chairman Green said             
 that she did not have a problem with returning to the original                
 wording of Amendment 7, but the language she offered seemed to be             
 better, especially for the staff that are on a plan of improvement            
 for a very minor issue.                                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asked what would happen if a person had a significant           
 problem to be improved and there is not a reasonable amount of time           
 to improve.  CHAIRMAN GREEN clarified that the person would have              
 180 work days from the implementation of the plan of improvement.             
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO said that 180 work days would be a minimum.                      
 Therefore, a person with a messy room would have 180 work days to             
 improve the situation.                                                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN agreed and specified that the person would not have            
 to be on the plan for a semester.                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO inquired as to the difference.  CHAIRMAN GREEN pointed           
 out that the problem could be resolved and the plan of improvement            
 could be signed off accordingly.  Therefore, on that issue the plan           
 of improvement would be completed.  Chairman Green felt that what             
 she proposed was more equitable.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 251                                                                    
                                                                               
 JOE JOSEPHSON understood this to delete the minimum which                     
 interprets into a shape up or ship out amendment.  Under this, Mr.            
 Josephson felt that the principal could determine the time allotted           
 for the plan of improvement to be completed since there is no                 
 statutory minimum.  He felt that a minimum would provide a                    
 reasonable time for the teacher to complete a plan of improvement.            
                                                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN suggested that language could be added allowing a               
 shorter time if the teacher and the school district agreed.                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN thought that would be fine.                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO felt that a mutually agreed upon time and a maximum              
 would be reasonable.                                                          
                                                                               
 BETH BEHNER suggested that it would not be in the district's                  
 interest to allow the teacher to insist on a minimum of 180 work              
 days.  The district would want to establish a time frame that the             
 district considers reasonable which would fall between 90 and 180             
 work days.                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN clarified that he was trying to get to the less than            
 90 days with mutual agreement of both parties.                                
                                                                               
 BETH BEHNER thought that would be fine if that were an option.                
 SENATOR LEMAN interjected that if the school district did not agree           
 then it would not be a mutual agreement.  BETH BEHNER expressed the           
 need to avoid the teacher interpreting this so as to insist upon              
 180 days as a minimum.                                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO suggested that the mistake in this approach is                   
 relative to the nine or 12 months.  She could foresee a problem if            
 a plan of improvement of 180 days was adopted in March which would            
 result in a mid-year situation.                                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN believed that any way this is done there remains the           
 possibility of disruption.  She said that she could withdraw her              
 amendment and come back to this.  She emphasized that the "nine and           
 not more than 12 months" does not move in the desired direction.              
 Chairman Green withdrew her amendment to Amendment 7.                         
                                                                               
 Number 158                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN suggested that Amendment 7 be changed so that page 4,           
 lines 16-17 inserts the following language, "90 work days and not             
 more than 210 work days unless shortened by mutual agreement".                
 Senator Leman's amendment to Amendment 7 would also insert "90 work           
 days and not more than 180 work days unless shortened by mutual               
 agreement" on page 4, line 7.                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER felt that this language would guarantee that the               
 plan of improvement would last 180 days if both parties do not                
 agree.  SENATOR LEMAN clarified that his amendment did not delete             
 the "90 work days" language.                                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO agreed with Chairman Green that Senator Leman's                  
 amendment to Amendment 7 was better.                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that his amendment to Amendment 7 be adopted.             
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO said that when the amendment is worked into the bill             
 that it should be very clear who the mutual agreement is between.             
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN said that the drafter could clarify the language.               
                                                                               
 Number 114                                                                    
                                                                               
 TOM WRIGHT, Staff to Representative Ivan, suggested that the                  
 language should specify "unless shortened by mutual agreement                 
 between the evaluator and the teacher".                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO agreed with that language.                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN noted that in order to have consistent language it              
 should read as follows, "unless shortened by mutual agreement                 
 between the evaluating administrator and the teacher".                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO asked if under this bill there would be anything to              
 prohibit a new plan of improvement being established at the end of            
 the 210 days.  CHAIRMAN GREEN explained that would be a new plan of           
 improvement.                                                                  
                                                                               
 TOM WRIGHT suggested that the language change on page 4, lines 16-            
 17, the amendment to Amendment 7 should read "unless shortened by             
 mutual agreement between the evaluating administrator and the                 
 administrator".  Mr. Wright agreed with Chairman Green that one               
 plan of improvement could be worked through and then six months               
 later another plan of improvement could be established.                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO posed the following situation:   at the end of the 210           
 days the district is not satisfied enough to sign off on the plan             
 of improvement, but the district does not want to dismiss the                 
 teacher either.  Can the district extend or continue the plan of              
 improvement or is the district obliged to dismiss the teacher?                
                                                                               
 TOM WRIGHT pointed out the "may" language.                                    
                                                                               
 In response to Senator Salo, CHAIRMAN GREEN clarified that the 210            
 days applied to those employees that are not on a typical 180 day             
 contract.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Without objection the amendment to Amendment 7 was adopted.                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said that Amendment 7 was now before the committee.            
 SENATOR SALO objected.                                                        
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Green, Leman and Miller voted "Yea"           
 and Senators Salo and Ellis voted "Nay".  Amendment 7 as amended              
 was adopted.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 037                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that Amendment 8 be adopted.  SENATOR ELLIS               
 objected.                                                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN explained that this amendment would address the                
 confusion regarding whether the language dealt with decreased                 
 school attendance or decreased revenues from one school year to the           
 next.  The amendment would allow for either to be the trigger.                
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS surmised that to mean that would make it easier to              
 reduce force.  Senator Ellis continued to opposed Amendment 8.                
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Green, Leman and Miller voted "Yea"           
 and Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Nay".  Amendment 8 was adopted.            
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-31, SIDE A                                                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO did not move Amendment 9 at this time.  She did move             
 that Amendment 10 be adopted.  CHAIRMAN GREEN objected.                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO explained that Amendment 10 would allow a district's             
 layoff procedures to be individually negotiated and crafted with              
 input from the teachers' groups and the district.  Maintaining this           
 ability is very important.                                                    
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Green, Leman and Miller voted "Nay"           
 and Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Yea".  Amendment 10 failed to be           
 adopted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 042                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO explained Amendment 11.  She felt that the bill                  
 afforded broader development in the evaluation tool.  However, it             
 would be foolish to assume that the community's interest or the               
 student's interest is the same as the employee's interest.                    
 Amendment 11 would provide for bargaining between the school board            
 and the employee's bargaining organization on an evaluation system            
 which includes professional performance standards.  Amendment 1               
 recognized the importance of having district performance standards.           
 Amendment 11 would provide the process by which the performance               
 standards would be established.  Senator Salo moved that Amendment            
 11 be adopted.                                                                
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN objected.                                                      
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Green, Leman and Miller voted "Nay"           
 and Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Yea".  Amendment 11 failed to be           
 adopted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER moved that Amendment 12 be adopted.  Amendment 12              
 would change the language to refer to a "tenured" administrator.              
 The language in Amendment 12 would provide consistent language for            
 a tenured administrator and a tenured teacher.                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO objected.  She expressed concern with assigning a                
 failed administrator to teach.  Often administrators should be                
 fired, but instead are placed in a classroom.  SENATOR LEMAN                  
 agreed.                                                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER pointed out another side to that argument.  There              
 probably are a number of good teachers that tried being an                    
 administrator and did not work well.  Should those people be fired            
 when they are good teachers?  SENATOR SALO agreed with that                   
 possibility.                                                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN believed this was dealt with in another part of                
 statute.  Because an administrator is a class A certification, the            
 administrator is tenured.  SENATOR SALO clarified that                        
 administrators are tenured as teachers not administrators.  There             
 in lies the problem with education in Alaska and nothing has been             
 done to address the problem.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 137                                                                    
                                                                               
 BETH BEHNER pointed out that the bill does not consistently refer             
 to administrators.  These particular sections specifically refer to           
 administrators.  If a teacher becomes tenured and then becomes an             
 administrator, the tenure would carry over.  However, many                    
 administrators are hired that do not have tenure in Alaska.  Ms.              
 Behner would not want this to apply to nontenured administrators,             
 if the intent is not to apply it to tenured teachers.  She informed           
 the committee that her district's current bargaining agreement with           
 principals specifies that the principal can be reassigned at any              
 time to a teaching position.  Ms. Behner interpreted removing an              
 employment contract meant the equivalent of nonretention.                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN interjected that the amendment would still leave it            
 to the discretion of the district.  BETH BEHNER agreed.                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO maintained her objection.                                        
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Green, Leman and Miller voted "Yea"           
 and Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Nay".  Amendment 12 was adopted.           
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that Amendment 13 be adopted.                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN noted that Amendment 13 regarding basic need was               
 developed from discussion at the last meeting and with Vernon                 
 Marshall.                                                                     
                                                                               
 VERNON MARSHALL pointed out that this item was in the original                
 draft of SB 217 and does provide a specific trigger to initiate               
 layoff.  Mr. Marshall felt that Amendment 13 would be preferable to           
 the "significant, demonstrated reduction in per-pupil expenditures"           
 language.                                                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if there was objection to Amendment 13.                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN objected. He believed that this would be                        
 approximately $8 million in the Anchorage school district.  LARRY             
 WIGET, Anchorage School District, agreed.  SENATOR LEMAN believed             
 that to be a lot money to reduce before this would take into                  
 effect.                                                                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said this was only the basic need portion; would               
 that still be $8 million?  LARRY WIGET clarified that the entire              
 Anchorage school district budget is about $349 million.                       
                                                                               
 Number 194                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO said that this amendment speaks to the reduction in              
 force of tenured teachers.  How many nontenured teachers does                 
 Anchorage have?  LARRY WIGET replied several hundred.  SENATOR SALO           
 assumed that the Anchorage school district would oppose this                  
 because the district would lose $8 million before being able to               
 layoff tenured teachers.  LARRY WIGET said that the Anchorage                 
 school district has not yet taken a position on this part.                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN maintained his objection.                                       
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Green, Miller, Ellis and Salo voted           
 "Yea" and Senator Leman voted "Nay".  Amendment 13 was adopted.               
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO explained that Amendment 14 would insert incompetency            
 as a standard for nonretention of a tenured teacher.  This would              
 establish a more quantifiable standard.  In the legal sense at                
 least, incompetency is understood.  Amendment 14 also moves some of           
 the language regarding the cause for nonretention of tenured                  
 teachers to Section 4, the evaluation section.  Senator Salo was              
 most bothered by the confusing nature of many parts of HB 465.                
 Amendment 14 attempts to clear up some of the confusion.  Amendment           
 14 deletes Section 10 and inserts Section 15, the layoff status,              
 from HB 398.  Senator Salo believed that Amendment 14 attempts to             
 insert some of the best work done by the task force.                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN objected to the adoption of Amendment 14.                      
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Green, Leman and Miller voted "Nay"           
 and Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Yea".  Amendment 14 failed to be           
 adopted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 253                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that Amendment 3 be adopted.  He explained that           
 the amendment was a rewrite of the language in order to make the              
 language understandable.                                                      
                                                                               
 TOM WRIGHT informed the committee that Representative Ivan had                
 requested clarification of this language.  Mr. Wright said the                
 intent of the language is the same.                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO objected for the purposes of an amendment.  She                  
 offered the following amendment:  line 10, after " has " insert "by         
 clear and convincing evidence".                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN objected.                                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO changed her amendment to insert "by clear and                    
 convincing evidence", after " demonstrates " on line 9.                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN maintained his objection.  This would raise the                 
 standard.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote on the amendment to Amendment 3, Senators               
 Green, Leman and Miller voted "Nay" and Senators Ellis and Salo               
 voted "Yea".  The amendment to Amendment 3 failed to be adopted.              
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call on Amendment 3, Senators Green, Leman and Miller             
 voted "Yea" and Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Nay".  Amendment 3             
 was adopted.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 287                                                                    
 SENATOR SALO moved that Amendment 4 be adopted.  CHAIRMAN GREEN               
 objected.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Green, Leman and Miller voted "Nay"           
 and Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Yea".  Amendment 4 was adopted.            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if it would be judicious to move the amendment           
 concerning the effective date in Section 4.                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO would like to have a CS in committee to review the               
 bill in total with all the adopted amendments.                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that Amendment 15 be adopted.                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN explained that Amendment 15 would insert a new                 
 section on page 9, after line 27 saying "Sec.  applicability of               
 employee evaluation Section 4 of this act takes effect on July 1,             
 1997."                                                                        
                                                                               
 Without objection, Amendment 15 was adopted.                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved SCS CSHB 465(HES) be reported out of committee            
 with individual recommendations and the accompanying zero fiscal              
 notes.                                                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS and SENATOR SALO objected.                                      
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Green, Leman and Miller voted "Yea"           
 and Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Nay".  SCS CSHB 465(HES) was               
 reported out of committee.                                                    

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