REPORT TITLE:
Board of Education


DESCRIPTION:
Proposes a constitutional amendment to change the Board of
Education from an elected board to an appointed board.  (HB149
HD1)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        149
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE X, SECTION 2, OF THE HAWAII
   CONSTITUTION, TO CHANGE THE BOARD OF EDUCATION FROM AN
   ELECTED BOARD TO AN APPOINTED BOARD.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that education holds the
 
 2 key to Hawaii's continued prosperity.  The contemporary history
 
 3 of Hawaii shows that the State developed an admirable public
 
 4 education system that provided equal educational opportunities to
 
 5 students throughout the islands.  However, times have changed
 
 6 rapidly, and the public school system is now in need of
 
 7 improvement.
 
 8      For years, the board of education, the legislature, and the
 
 9 governor have struggled to effect changes to the public education
 
10 system to improve the quality of education and improve student
 
11 achievement.  While these efforts have resulted in a variety of
 
12 initiatives, such as school/community-based management,
 
13 improvements in student performance have been slow.
 
14      The primary reason for the lack of satisfactory progress is
 
15 the lack of accountability in public education.  The
 
16 responsibility and authority for public education is ambiguous.
 
17 The board of education is supposed to be responsible for
 
18 establishing education policy.  Yet, the legislature has the
 

 
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                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 authority to fund public education and, in doing so, it can
 
 2 continue or create programs and discontinue others without the
 
 3 approval of the board of education.  To further confuse matters,
 
 4 many people believe that the governor has the authority to make
 
 5 changes in the public school system.  Clear accountability in
 
 6 public education must be established as the foundation for school
 
 7 reform.
 
 8      The purpose of this Act is to propose a constitutional
 
 9 amendment to change the manner in which the board of education is
 
10 selected.  This Act proposes to have the members of the board of
 
11 education appointed by the governor rather than elected by
 
12 voters.  In this way, the accountability issue would be clarified
 
13 because the governor would have the ultimate responsibility and
 
14 authority for public education.  Clear accountability is the
 
15 foundation required for making improvements in the public
 
16 schools.
 
17      SECTION 2.  Article X, section 2, of the Constitution of the
 
18 State of Hawaii is amended to read as follows:
 
19                        "BOARD OF EDUCATION
 
20      Section 2.  There shall be a board of education composed of
 
21 members who shall be [elected in a nonpartisan manner by
 
22 qualified voters, as provided by law, from two at-large school
 
23 board districts.  The first school board district shall be
 

 
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                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 comprised of the island of Oahu and all other islands not
 
 2 specifically enumerated.  The second school board district shall
 
 3 be comprised of the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Lanai, Molokai,
 
 4 Kahoolawe, Kauai and Niihau.  Each at-large school board district
 
 5 shall be divided into departmental school districts, as may be
 
 6 provided by law.  There shall be at least one member residing in
 
 7 each departmental school district.] appointed by the governor and
 
 8 confirmed by the senate, as provided by law.  The Hawaii State
 
 9 Student Council shall select a public high school student to
 
10 serve as a nonvoting member on the board of education."
 
11      SECTION 3.  The question to be printed on the ballot shall
 
12 be as follows:
 
13      "Shall the board of education be appointed by the governor
 
14      and confirmed by the senate, and its composition determined
 
15      by law?"
 
16      SECTION 4.  Constitutional material to be repealed is
 
17 bracketed.  New constitutional material is underscored.
 
18      SECTION 5.  This amendment shall take effect upon compliance
 
19 with article XVII, section 3, of the Constitution of the State of
 
20 Hawaii.