Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/11/2017 09:00 AM Senate LABOR & COMMERCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
Moved CSSB 47(L&C) Out of Committee
+ Presentation: Alaska Technical Vocational TELECONFERENCED
Education Program (TVEP)
Department of Labor and Workforce Development
University of Alaska
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          SENATE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                        
                         April 11, 2017                                                                                         
                           9:01 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Mia Costello, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Shelley Hughes, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Senator Berta Gardner                                                                                                           
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 47                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating to  motor  vehicle  franchises, motor  vehicle                                                               
transactions,    motor    vehicle    dealers,    motor    vehicle                                                               
manufacturers, and motor vehicle distributors."                                                                                 
     - MOVED CSSB 47(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 102(EDC)                                                                                
"An  Act  relating  to  instruction  in  a  language  other  than                                                               
English; and relating to limited teacher certificates."                                                                         
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
SENATE BILL NO. 85                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to  allocations of  funding  for  the  Alaska                                                               
Workforce  Investment  Board;  and  providing  for  an  effective                                                               
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 10                                                                                             
"An  Act  relating  to  allocations of  funding  for  the  Alaska                                                               
Workforce  Investment  Board;  and  providing  for  an  effective                                                               
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 47                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: MOTOR VEHICLE DEALER FRANCHISES                                                                                    
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MEYER                                                                                                    
02/01/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/01/17       (S)       L&C, JUD                                                                                               
02/23/17       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/23/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/23/17       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/11/17       (S)       L&C AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
BILL: HB 102                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LIMITED TEACHER CERTIFICATES; LANGUAGES                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KREISS-TOMKINS                                                                                    
02/03/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/03/17       (H)       EDC                                                                                                    
03/01/17       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/01/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/01/17       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
03/15/17       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/15/17       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
03/20/17       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/20/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/20/17       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
03/27/17       (H)       EDC RPT CS(EDC) 4DP 1NR 1AM                                                                            
03/27/17       (H)       DP: TALERICO, PARISH, SPOHNHOLZ, KOPP                                                                  
03/27/17       (H)       NR: DRUMMOND                                                                                           
03/27/17       (H)       AM: FANSLER                                                                                            
03/27/17       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/27/17       (H)       Moved CSHB 102(EDC) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/27/17       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
04/05/17       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/05/17       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 102(EDC)                                                                                 
04/06/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/06/17       (S)       L&C, EDC                                                                                               
04/11/17       (S)       L&C AT 9:00 AM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
WESTON EILER, Staff                                                                                                             
Senate Labor and Commerce Committee                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented the CS for SB 47, version U.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 102.                                                                                        
REID MAGDANZ, Staff                                                                                                             
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information on HB 102 on behalf of                                                              
the sponsor.                                                                                                                    
BOB WILLIAMS, Director                                                                                                          
Division of School Finance and Facilities                                                                                       
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 102.                                                                                      
SONDRA MEREDITH, Education Administrator                                                                                        
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 102.                                                                                      
BRANDON LOCKE, Senior Director                                                                                                  
Curriculum and Instruction                                                                                                      
K-12 Language and Language Immersion Programs                                                                                   
Anchorage School District                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 102.                                                                                      
ALICE TAFF, representing herself                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 102.                                                                           
SHAWN ARNOLD, Superintendent                                                                                                    
Nome Public Schools                                                                                                             
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 102.                                                                           
KATHRINE GARDNER, Executive Director                                                                                            
Human Resources                                                                                                                 
Mat-Su Borough School District                                                                                                  
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 102.                                                                           
JENNIFER SCHMIDT-HUTCHINS, Principal                                                                                            
Frontieras Spanish Immersion School                                                                                             
Mat-Su Borough School District                                                                                                  
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 102.                                                                           
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
9:01:12 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MIA COSTELLO called the  Senate Labor and Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 9:01  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were  Senators Meyer, Gardner, Hughes,  and Chair Costello.                                                               
Senator Stevens arrived shortly thereafter.                                                                                     
             SB 47-MOTOR VEHICLE DEALER FRANCHISES                                                                          
9:02:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO announced the consideration of SB 47.                                                                            
9:02:19 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO opened and closed public testimony on SB 47.                                                                     
9:02:26 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES moved  to adopt  the CS  for SB  47, version  30-                                                               
LS0090\U, as the working document.                                                                                              
CHAIR COSTELLO objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                
9:02:55 AM                                                                                                                    
WESTON EILER, Staff, Senate Labor  and Commerce Committee, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature, presented the CS  for SB 47. He explained that                                                               
version U pares  down the bill and focuses  primarily on concerns                                                               
expressed  during  public  testimony  and  by  members  regarding                                                               
warrantee  work and  service. It  lays  out a  middle ground  for                                                               
Section 15.                                                                                                                     
CHAIR COSTELLO  requested a  copy of  the new  sectional analysis                                                               
for version U.                                                                                                                  
9:04:16 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
9:04:42 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  EILER  said  he  did  not  have  a  sectional  analysis.  He                                                               
explained that  Section 1 describes the  timelines and conditions                                                               
by  which repair  and warranty  claims can  be made  and includes                                                               
audit  and  retail  rates.  It  amends  AS  45.25  and  sets  out                                                               
submission  information about  how retail  rates are  calculated.                                                               
Page 3,  line 15,  lists exclusions  for those  calculations, and                                                               
page 4, line 8, lists auditing provisions.                                                                                      
Section   3  adds   an   applicability   section  and   clarifies                                                               
9:08:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO removed  her objection.  There  being no  further                                                               
objection, version U was adopted.                                                                                               
9:08:17 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER  asked if the  committee would hear  from dealers                                                               
and manufacturers.                                                                                                              
9:08:35 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
9:10:33 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO reconvened  the meeting  and advised  that public                                                               
testimony was  not noticed for  this meeting. She added  that the                                                               
bill goes to  the Senate Judiciary Committee  next where feedback                                                               
will be a part of the process.                                                                                                  
SENATOR  GARDNER said  she would  probably object  to moving  the                                                               
9:11:39 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KEVIN  MEYER, sponsor  of SB  47, thanked  Chair Costello                                                               
for her  work on the  bill. He agreed  that the first  version of                                                               
the  bill  was probable  overly  ambitious.  He agreed  with  the                                                               
compromises in  Section 15. He  noted the importance of  the bill                                                               
for  dealers   and  consumers.  He  highlighted   the  difficulty                                                               
associated  with  getting  warranty  work  done  and  stated  his                                                               
preference to have it addressed in Section 15.                                                                                  
SENATOR   HUGHES   expressed   appreciation  for   the   changes,                                                               
particularly the concern she voiced about dealer location.                                                                      
9:14:59 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  moved to report the  CS for SB 47  from committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes.                                                                      
CHAIR COSTELLO announced that without  objection, CSSB 47(L&C) is                                                               
reported from the Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                 
9:15:14 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
         HB 102-LIMITED TEACHER CERTIFICATES; LANGUAGES                                                                     
9:17:51 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO   reconvened  the   meeting  and   announced  the                                                               
consideration  of HB  102. She  said the  intent is  to hear  the                                                               
bill,  take  public testimony,  and  hold  the bill  for  further                                                               
consideration. [CSHB 102(EDC) was before the committee.]                                                                        
9:18:30 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE    JONATHAN     KREISS-TOMKINS,    Alaska    State                                                               
Legislature, sponsor of  HB 102, stated that  the bill authorizes                                                               
the  Department  of Education  and  Early  Development (DEED)  to                                                               
grant Type  M certificates  to teachers  of languages  other than                                                               
English.  He  explained  that  HB  102 is  the  product  of  many                                                               
conversations and years  of work. He said SB 75  is the companion                                                               
bill  to  HB  102.  He  noted the  successes  of  world  language                                                               
immersion programs in school districts in Alaska.                                                                               
9:19:44 AM                                                                                                                    
REID  MAGDANZ,  Staff,  Representative  Jonathan  Kreiss-Tomkins,                                                               
Alaska  State Legislature,  related  that HB  102 authorizes  the                                                               
State  Board  of  Education  to  create a  new  type  of  limited                                                               
certificate specific  to teachers teaching an  immersion language                                                               
program.  Currently,  limited  certificates authorized  under  AS                                                               
14.20.025  are  valid  for   teaching  vocational  and  technical                                                               
programs,  Alaska  Native  language   and  culture  classes,  and                                                               
military science courses.                                                                                                       
He said  that Legislative  Legal Services drafted  the bill  as a                                                               
repeal  and reenactment,  so much  of  the language  in the  bill                                                               
already exists in current law.                                                                                                  
9:20:41 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MAGDANZ  referred to page  1, subsection (a),  paragraphs (1-                                                               
3),  which  lay  out  the existing  subjects  for  which  limited                                                               
certificates  can be  issued. Paragraph  (4) is  the crux  of the                                                               
bill and differs from current law.                                                                                              
He explained  that limited teacher certificates  allow schools to                                                               
capture   known  local   talent  not   generally  available   for                                                               
classrooms. He  used welders, mechanics,  and Native  speakers as                                                               
examples.  Type  M  certificates  differ  from  standard  teacher                                                               
certificates in  a couple of  ways. Limited certificates  must be                                                               
requested  by local  school boards  on a  case-by-case basis  and                                                               
they are only good in the district that requested it.                                                                           
9:22:54 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MAGDANZ  drew  attention  to   two  provisions  that  differ                                                               
slightly from  current law.  The first difference  is on  page 2,                                                               
lines 14 and 15, and requires  the State Board of Education, when                                                               
writing   its   regulations   on   language   immersion   limited                                                               
certificates, to provide an option  for applicants to demonstrate                                                               
competency  that is  not just  taking a  Praxis test.  The second                                                               
difference  is  found  in  subsection (e).  It  adds  a  one-year                                                               
initial  period  for a  limited  certificate  and a  probationary                                                               
period for  evaluation. Currently,  there is only  a probationary                                                               
period for some types of limited certificates.                                                                                  
9:24:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO  thanked  Representative Kreiss-Tomkins  for  his                                                               
interest.  She  listed  several   programs  in  her  district:  a                                                               
Japanese immersion program, a German  immersion charter school, a                                                               
Russian  immersion program,  Spanish  immersion  program, and  an                                                               
Alaska Native charter school.                                                                                                   
She asked whether the main teacher  will be in the classroom with                                                               
the limited certificate teacher.                                                                                                
9:25:18 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MAGDANZ replied districts can  apply any provisions they want                                                               
and use the teachers as they wish.                                                                                              
9:25:29 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO  talked  about allowing  exchange  students  from                                                               
other countries to be in classrooms throughout the school day.                                                                  
9:26:10 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS said he has  not been party to that                                                               
conversation,  although he  is familiar  with that  situation. He                                                               
pointed out that Mt. Edgecombe  High School in Sitka had exchange                                                               
teachers  from China  teaching Chinese  language  and culture  in                                                               
school. He  opined that  those teachers could  be eligible  for a                                                               
type M certificate if the district and school board agree.                                                                      
9:27:46 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MAGDANZ said  the bill  should provide  that flexibility  to                                                               
districts.  He  suggested  asking  Mr.  Locke,  the  director  of                                                               
Anchorage's world language program, to speak to the issue.                                                                      
SENATOR GARDNER  requested more  information about  the extension                                                               
MR.  MAGDANZ replied  the extension  period is  currently set  in                                                               
regulation  by the  State Board.  He offered  his belief  that it                                                               
would remain the same way under HB 102.                                                                                         
SENATOR GARDNER asked about the pay scale.                                                                                      
MR. MAGDANZ explained  that pay is set at the  local level and is                                                               
between the district  and the teachers union.  Some districts put                                                               
limited certification  holders on the  same pay scale  as regular                                                               
teachers; other  districts do it  differently. The bill  does not                                                               
affect how Type M teachers are paid.                                                                                            
9:29:28 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  said   he  believes  that  school                                                               
districts  could  provide more  information  about  pay scale  in                                                               
their testimony.                                                                                                                
9:29:59 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GARDNER  asked about  the  teacher  exchange program  in                                                               
Sitka and wondered  if the district incurs the  expense of hiring                                                               
a new teacher.                                                                                                                  
9:30:35 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   KREISS-TOMKINS   said    districts   will   have                                                               
discretion on hiring and paying Type M teachers.                                                                                
9:31:20 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  described the wording  on line  12 on page  1 as                                                               
odd. It says, "any subject if  the language of instruction is not                                                               
English." He  suggested it should say  "another language" instead                                                               
of "any subject."                                                                                                               
9:31:42 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MAGDANZ  explained that the  intention is to allow  the State                                                               
Board to create  a certificate that works  for language immersion                                                               
programs. An  immersion program  often has  classes in  a foreign                                                               
language for  half the  day and  in English  the other  half. The                                                               
bill will provide more flexibility  to help staff the non-English                                                               
half-day, which is why "any subject" is used.                                                                                   
9:32:43 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   STEVENS  countered   that   "any   subject"  could   be                                                               
mathematics or history.                                                                                                         
SENATOR  HUGHES  questioned whether  math  or  history should  be                                                               
taught  by a  limited certificate  person. It  is important  that                                                               
teachers know  their content area.  She asked if Type  M teachers                                                               
can take content Praxis examinations in other languages.                                                                        
9:34:01 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MAGDANZ  said the Praxis  Exam is only  offered in                                                               
9:34:37 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES  referred  to  subsection   (d)  on  page  2  and                                                               
expressed hope the State Board  would adopt regulations to ensure                                                               
that  Type M  teachers had  content knowledge  in the  areas they                                                               
were  planning to  teach. She  asked if  there are  any immersion                                                               
courses in high school.                                                                                                         
9:35:34 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MAGDANZ said  he  did  not know  of  any immersion  programs                                                               
beyond grade  8. The bill  intends that districts  use discretion                                                               
when assigning Type M teachers to teach courses.                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES  asked what  subjects  might  be taught  in  non-                                                               
English languages.                                                                                                              
9:36:29 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MAGDANZ  said  he  understands that  they  would  have  core                                                               
subjects during the English-speaking half of the day.                                                                           
9:36:59 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COSTELLO  said she would  have Department of  Education and                                                               
Early Development  (DEED) up  next, followed  by those  who could                                                               
answer members' questions.                                                                                                      
9:37:14 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES  said  she  wants   students  to  learn  language                                                               
fluency, as well as the  additional benefits of brain development                                                               
that will help them in other  subjects. She shared a story of how                                                               
a child was able to quickly pick up a second language.                                                                          
9:38:27 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS wondered  if  language  immersion might  prevent                                                               
non-English speaking students from learning English well.                                                                       
9:39:16 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS   opined  that   learning  another                                                               
language would not exclude  mastering English. Immersion language                                                               
programs in Alaska are highly regarded by parents.                                                                              
9:40:45 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES noted  that English has become  a global language.                                                               
She asked  if Spanish immersion  programs in Alaska  are attended                                                               
by Spanish speakers or by English speakers.                                                                                     
9:41:31 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS  said he understands that  there is                                                               
a   difference   between   bi-lingual  and   immersion   language                                                               
education. Most  immersion students grew up  speaking English and                                                               
are learning another language.                                                                                                  
CHAIR COSTELLO  related that math  scores for students  who learn                                                               
another language are  higher. She said she also  heard that those                                                               
students  who  are behind  when  beginning  an immersion  program                                                               
catch up in  English later in high school. She  asked if there is                                                               
interest  in  extending  immersion language  teachers  into  high                                                               
school.  She sees  the Type  M certificate  teachers and  foreign                                                               
exchange students as supplementing  regular classes and providing                                                               
opportunities for enhancement.                                                                                                  
9:45:41 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER  asked what  Type I  certificates are.  She asked                                                               
why districts are prohibited from  requiring Type M applicants to                                                               
take the  Praxis exam. She  also asked  if an application  can be                                                               
9:46:10 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MAGDANZ explained  that Type I is a  limited certificate only                                                               
used by the Lower Kuskokwim School  District in Bethel. It is for                                                               
those  who have  been  teaching as  a  para-professional and  are                                                               
working toward a Type A certificate.                                                                                            
To  the second  question, he  explained that  the prohibition  in                                                               
testing  found   in  (d)   applies  only   to  the   State  Board                                                               
regulations. A local school board  could still require the Praxis                                                               
test as one way to demonstrate competency.                                                                                      
9:47:54 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS   noted  the  overwhelming  need   for  remedial                                                               
education when  students go  to college  and asked  for assurance                                                               
that the  bill wouldn't make  that worse. He suggested  the focus                                                               
should be on English proficiency.                                                                                               
9:48:36 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  said immersion  language  classes                                                               
are  already in  existence  and  the bill  aims  only to  certify                                                               
immersion language  teachers to  do their jobs  more effectively.                                                               
HB  102  does  not  mandate immersion  education  or  extend  it.                                                               
Outcomes  from   these  programs   are  impressive   and  produce                                                               
successful students.                                                                                                            
SENATOR STEVENS  countered that many students  are not succeeding                                                               
in English.                                                                                                                     
9:50:55 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO invited  the Department  of  Education and  Early                                                               
Development (DEED) to testify on the bill.                                                                                      
9:51:24 AM                                                                                                                    
BOB   WILLIAMS,  Director,   Division  of   School  Finance   and                                                               
Facilities,  Department   of  Education  and   Early  Development                                                               
(DEED),  voiced concerns  with  HB 102,  even  though DEED  fully                                                               
supports immersion programs. He noted  three ways of checking the                                                               
quality of teachers today and said  the bill removes all three of                                                               
those  methods:  a  Bachelor's   Degree,  a  teacher  preparation                                                               
program, and a competency exam.  The bill does say the department                                                               
can  require academic  training,  but not  a teacher  preparation                                                               
program. The bill removes the three checks on teacher quality.                                                                  
9:53:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO agreed  it was  a repeal  and enactment  bill and                                                               
adds to a list that already  exists. She asked how DEED justifies                                                               
someone  who  comes in  to  help  teach vocational  or  technical                                                               
courses or ROTC programs.                                                                                                       
MR. WILLIAMS  said the  Type M  certification includes  checks on                                                               
quality.  He  provided an  example  of  a  quality check  by  the                                                               
military. Another example is teaching  by Alaska Native speakers.                                                               
The vocational  technical piece does  not require a BS,  but they                                                               
have a technical skill and  must pass a competency exam. However,                                                               
HB 102  says if you  speak another  language, then you  can teach                                                               
any  subject.  It  assumes  that   the  person  has  the  content                                                               
knowledge to teach all areas.                                                                                                   
9:57:01 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COSTELLO  asked  if  he  would  support  the  bill  if  it                                                               
specified expertise  in a specific  language. She asked  if there                                                               
is  a lack  of  trust  by DEED  for  local  districts. She  noted                                                               
districts  can  set  local  requirements and  asked  if  that  is                                                               
9:57:46 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. WILLIAMS  said the department  has a  great deal of  trust in                                                               
districts. Their  concern is  that when districts  are in  a bind                                                               
they may hire  someone who is not qualified, and  the state wants                                                               
to ensure a minimum quality.                                                                                                    
9:58:39 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS agreed with the concern.  He gave an example of a                                                               
French teacher  teaching other subjects besides  French. He asked                                                               
how the district uses the Type I certificate.                                                                                   
MR.  WILLIAMS explained  the use  of  Type I  certificate in  the                                                               
Lower  Yukon  Kuskokwim  School   District  (LYKSD),  where  para                                                               
professionals are on a pathway to get a Bachelor's Degree.                                                                      
10:00:17 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR STEVENS  reiterated his  concern about  remediation needs                                                               
in college. He asked how LYKSD students fare in college.                                                                        
MR. WILLIAMS offered to provide that information.                                                                               
10:01:22 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR HUGHES  pointed out  that subsection (d)  on page  2 does                                                               
give the State School Board  the ability to write regulations and                                                               
create quality  checks. She suggested  the department  might give                                                               
the Board suggestions for quality checks.                                                                                       
MR.  WILLIAMS   stated  his  preference   to  have   the  teacher                                                               
preparation program, the B.S. degree,  and the competency exam in                                                               
10:03:01 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR HUGHES asked if the  Board "shall require that the person                                                               
take academic training and achieve a certain score."                                                                            
10:03:41 AM                                                                                                                   
SONDRA   MEREDITH,   Education   Administrator,   Department   of                                                               
Education  and Early  Development  (DEED),  explained that  their                                                               
main concern with  HB 102 is allowing language  teachers to teach                                                               
outside of their area of  expertise. The department does not have                                                               
the  means  to require  a  level  of postsecondary  education  or                                                               
teacher  preparation or  knowledge  of content  area. They  would                                                               
have to fall back on  district-determined measures of excellence.                                                               
The  department would  like  to have  more  flexibility and  more                                                               
tools available to them.                                                                                                        
10:05:21 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  HUGHES  asked if  changing  "may"  to "shall"  would  be                                                               
agreeable to the department.                                                                                                    
10:06:00 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  WILLIAMS  replied that  is  still  weaker than  requiring  a                                                               
teacher preparation  program. He suggested allowing  teachers who                                                               
are certified in other countries to  teach in Alaska. The goal is                                                               
to get  good teachers  in the  classroom and there  is a  need to                                                               
provide clear definitions of quality teaching.                                                                                  
10:07:31 AM                                                                                                                   
BRANDON  LOCKE,  Senior  Director,  Curriculum  and  Instruction,                                                               
Director,   K-12  Language   and  Language   Immersion  Programs,                                                               
Anchorage  School District,  described their  immersion programs.                                                               
The  Russian program  was started  with a  grant and  has been  a                                                               
model program.  There are  two Spanish  immersion programs  and a                                                               
bi-lingual/immersion  two-way  model  program.  There  is  a  K-8                                                               
German immersion  program and an advanced  German immersion class                                                               
at East High School. They also have a Chinese immersion program.                                                                
The elementary immersion  model is a half-day with  a teacher for                                                               
English and  math, and  a half-day  for science,  social studies,                                                               
and the  target language with  a native-speaking teacher.  In the                                                               
middle  school,  students  attend   two  periods  in  the  target                                                               
language - social  studies and foreign language -  in addition to                                                               
English. He was  not aware of any advanced math  or science class                                                               
taught  in  a foreign  language  at  the  high school  level.  He                                                               
provided an example of a  high school foreign language class with                                                               
a  theme or  perspective such  as Perspectives  of Literature,  a                                                               
Spanish course.                                                                                                                 
10:14:07 AM                                                                                                                   
He noted that  the bill supports a  one-year certificate. Parents                                                               
choose  to  put their  students  in  immersion programs  or  not.                                                               
Research  shows  that students  of  immersion  programs meet  and                                                               
surpass  academic scores.  Science and  social studies  terms are                                                               
easier, generic,  and global and  fit into immersion  better than                                                               
He  pointed  out   two  instances  where  they   would  use  this                                                               
certificate.  He  stated  that  they are  not  trying  to  bypass                                                               
teacher requirements. He provided an  example of a French teacher                                                               
with a  teaching certificate  who could not  pass the  English on                                                               
the Praxis I  test. The person acted as a  teacher for substitute                                                               
pay  with  no health  benefits.  Another  example was  a  Spanish                                                               
immersion teacher who required substitutes  in the classroom. The                                                               
bill would  provide the ability to  hire them as teachers  on the                                                               
limited one-year certificate.                                                                                                   
10:18:56 AM                                                                                                                   
He  spoke  of  Delaware  and  Utah's  reciprocity  programs  with                                                               
Chinese and Spanish teachers provided at a state level.                                                                         
He said  he understands the  concerns about students who  are not                                                               
doing well  in English.  Immersion programs  are not  designed to                                                               
replace English classes.  He spoke of a  national campaign called                                                               
"Lead with  Languages" designed to  prepare American  students to                                                               
work in a diverse, global marketplace.                                                                                          
10:20:56 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR GARDNER  asked about students  who do  not do as  well in                                                               
English. She  related a personal  experience that  learning other                                                               
languages  improves  a person's  native  language.  She asked  if                                                               
there is data to that effect.                                                                                                   
MR.  LOCKE  said  yes,  and  he  would  share  the  research.  In                                                               
Anchorage's  programs   there  are   a  few   Japanese  "heritage                                                               
learners"  who  are  learning   three  languages.  Research  also                                                               
supports the benefits of learning a third language.                                                                             
10:23:39 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  COSTELLO said  her interest  in the  bill is  as a  former                                                               
teacher  and as  a parent  of children  who are  learning another                                                               
language.  She stated  the  importance of  keeping  an open  mind                                                               
about the  bill and ensuring  that the bill's goals  are achieved                                                               
without putting children's education at risk.                                                                                   
MR.  LOCKE shared  the  names  of the  researchers  - Thomas  and                                                               
10:25:28 AM                                                                                                                   
ALICE  TAFF, representing  herself,  testified in  support of  HB
102. She shared  her background as a teacher of  many levels. She                                                               
agreed with  the concern Senator  Stevens has about  students not                                                               
being  ready  for  college. She  maintained  that  the  education                                                               
system is  not good for all  students. She said students  who are                                                               
taught   local   language   in  schools   are   more   successful                                                               
academically and  have better  health. The  suicide rate  is much                                                               
lower  for Native  language learners  and language  was the  only                                                               
predictor. Students who  know who they are  don't commit suicide.                                                               
Also, they have lower instances of diabetes.                                                                                    
She concluded  that children  have one  chance at  education. She                                                               
stated the  importance of starting  now with  immersion programs.                                                               
She said  HB 102 can help  children succeed in school.  She noted                                                               
that  the United  Nations  has  designated 2018  as  the Year  of                                                               
Indigenous  Languages. She  said, "With  the help  of this  bill,                                                               
Alaskans will  be able to demonstrate  in 2018 that we're  on our                                                               
way to  the positive  results for students  that we've  seen from                                                               
immersion schools elsewhere."                                                                                                   
10:31:07 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  STEVENS said  it  sounds  like she  is  talking about  a                                                               
Native-speaking  student  going  into  a  Native-language  class.                                                               
Earlier, the  discussion was on the  difference between immersion                                                               
and bi-lingual education.                                                                                                       
MS. TAFF  explained that  she is  talking about  a model  where a                                                               
Native student, whether they speak  the language or not, is being                                                               
taught  in their  Native language.  Successful immersion  schools                                                               
start with  one grade and added  more grades as the  students get                                                               
older. She  shared data  about the success  rate of  students who                                                               
are confident because of being taught in their own language.                                                                    
10:34:30 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR STEVENS asked  if this process is  creating a bi-furcated                                                               
society  in  which there  are  English  speakers and  non-English                                                               
speakers.  He asked  how people  succeed  in life  if they  don't                                                               
speak English.                                                                                                                  
MS. TAFF said if people have  respect for themselves they will be                                                               
SENATOR STEVENS asked  if she had concerns  about Native language                                                               
immersion students going to college.                                                                                            
MS.  TAFF  said under  the  current  system, students  are  under                                                               
prepared,  so  this  is  a  method  of  looking  at  education  a                                                               
different way. She proposed that  HB 102 will provide a different                                                               
system where local cultures are respected and recognized.                                                                       
10:36:56 AM                                                                                                                   
SHAWN ARNOLD,  Superintendent, Nome Public Schools,  testified in                                                               
support of HB  102. He described how the schools  are seeking new                                                               
avenues of language revitalization and  using grant money to have                                                               
indigenous  immersion schools.  They  have a  shortage of  fluent                                                               
speakers in their district.                                                                                                     
He noted  an example of  a person who  has completed a  degree at                                                               
UAS,  but cannot  be hired  as  an immersion  teacher. They  have                                                               
worked to get  Type M certificates to solve that  problem. HB 102                                                               
provides another avenue to hire Native speakers.                                                                                
10:39:47 AM                                                                                                                   
KATHRINE  GARDNER, Executive  Director,  Human Resources,  Mat-Su                                                               
Borough  School District,  testified in  support of  HB 102.  She                                                               
spoke of  problems getting Spanish  immersion teachers  and their                                                               
inability  to  pass the  Praxis  I.  The  bill will  provide  the                                                               
ability to hire these teachers.  Specialized expertise adds great                                                               
value to their district.                                                                                                        
10:42:15 AM                                                                                                                   
JENNIFER   SCHMIDT-HUTCHINS,    Principal,   Frontieras   Spanish                                                               
Immersion School,  Mat-Su Borough  School District,  testified in                                                               
support of HB 102. She  described their programs and noted scores                                                               
remain at or above the  district-wide average. She said there are                                                               
checks  and balances  for immersion  teachers  who are  evaluated                                                               
just  like  all  other  staff. She  shared  examples  of  Spanish                                                               
teachers who work  in the immersion program, but  cannot pass the                                                               
Praxis I exam and receive no benefits.                                                                                          
She concluded that HB 102  will help schools provide an enriching                                                               
learning experience.                                                                                                            
10:48:10 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR COSTELLO  closed public  testimony on HB  102 and  held the                                                               
bill for further consideration.                                                                                                 
10:48:14 AM                                                                                                                   
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Costello adjourned  the Senate  Labor &  Commerce Standing                                                               
Committee at 10:48 a.m.                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 102 - Background Document - Comparison to Current Law.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 - Background Document - Summary of Changes ver D-ver J.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 - Background Document - Type M and I Certificate Numbers 4.7.17.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 - Background Document -Language Immersion and Student Achievement.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 - Background Document -Salt Lake Tribune Article Demand High for Immersion Programs.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 - Fiscal Note - DEED.PDF SL&C 4/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 - Opposition Testimony - LKSD.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 - Supporting Document - ASD Resolution.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 - Supporting Document - MSBSD Letter of Support.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 - Supporting Document-Ed Week Bilingual Staff Face Barriers 4.7.17.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102 - Supporting Document-NSBSD Resolution of Support 4.7.17.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 102
HB 102.PDF SL&C 4/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
HB 102
CSSB 47 Ver. U.pdf SL&C 4/11/2017 9:00:00 AM
SB 47