195           
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.C.R. NO.            
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                     HOUSE CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION
REQUESTING HAWAII'S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO OBTAIN INCREASED
   FEDERAL FUNDING FOR FEDERALLY-MANDATED SPECIAL EDUCATION.



 1       WHEREAS, in 1975 Congress enacted the Individuals with
 2   Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to ensure that children with
 3   disabilities receive a free and appropriate education; and
 4   
 5       WHEREAS, Congress acknowledged that IDEA represented an
 6   unfunded federal mandate on states and public schools to ensure
 7   that children with disabilities were properly educated, and
 8   therefore committed itself in principle to fund at least 40% of
 9   the mandate; and
10   
11       WHEREAS, today, the federal government is funding only
12   about 12% of the IDEA mandate, while nationally, school
13   districts are spending, on average, one-fifth of their entire
14   budgets on IDEA-compliant special education services, much of
15   these funds going to cover the unpaid federal share of the
16   costs; and
17   
18       WHEREAS, in Hawaii the claimed costs of special education
19   have been rapidly escalating and have resulted in a
20   dramatically increasing burden on the State's budget; and
21   
22       WHEREAS, over the last several years, while dramatically
23   increasing special education funding in order to comply with
24   the federal mandate and the Felix Consent Decree, the State has
25   been forced to cut funding to many other needy state programs,
26   and has been unable to provide other relief targeted at full
27   economic revitalization; and
28   
29       WHEREAS, reducing the State's burden of funding special
30   education would allow greater flexibility to restore some of
31   the recent funding cuts and also to focus on other educational
32   needs such as reduction of class size, school construction,
33   technology improvements, teacher training, and new books and
34   supplies, and to implement tax relief and other economic
35   revitalization measures; now, therefore,

 
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                                  H.C.R. NO.            
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1   
 2       BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
 3   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
 4   of 1999, the Senate concurring, that Hawaii's congressional
 5   delegation is urged to vigorously pursue and obtain an increase
 6   in federal funding of the IDEA to the level of at least 40% of
 7   total cost in order to fulfill the commitment made when
 8   enacting the mandate; and
 9   
10       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be
11   delivered to the members of Hawaii's congressional delegation,
12   the Governor, the Director of the State Department of Health,
13   the Superintendent of the Department of Education, and the
14   Chairperson of the Board of Education.
15 
16 
17 
18                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________