Hawaiian Language; Funding

Appropriates funds for the Hawaiian language immersion program,
Ka Papahana Kaiapuni Hawaii.

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           37
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  As one of the two official languages of the
 2 State of Hawaii, the legislature finds that the full use of the
 3 Hawaiian language in all facets of daily and civic life,
 4 including education, is a customary and traditional right that
 5 must be preserved and strengthened if the Hawaiian people are to
 6 remain a distinct and thriving culture.  This right is, in part,
 7 recognized through Ka Papahana Kaiapuni Hawaii, the Hawaiian
 8 language immersion program within the department of education,
 9 which began in 1987 as a pilot program with only two sites and
10 approximately forty students.  After ten years of success,
11 instruction in the Hawaiian language is currently offered at
12 fourteen sites encompassing grades kindergarten through eleven
13 and enrolling 1,350 students throughout the State.  Further, this
14 year marks the very first graduating class of students educated
15 in the immersion program.
16      The legislature recognizes the immersion program as a model
17 for other native language immersion programs and praises the high
18 level of parental and community involvement.  Maintaining such a
19 growing program and ensuring that the curriculum and faculty

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 1 skills meet both the physical and educational needs of the
 2 students and their families has proven to be a task bigger than
 3 anyone anticipated.  As a result, legislature, through the
 4 adoption of House Concurrent Resolution No. 281 in 1997,
 5 requested that the department of education, in conjunction with
 6 the Hawaiian language immersion advisory council, develop a long-
 7 range financial and operational plan to ensure the development of
 8 the immersion program.
 9      The legislature acknowledges that to create an optimum
10 immersion environment:
11      (1)  Distinct immersion sites, grades kindergarten through
12           twelve, should foster not only language fluency but
13           `ohana relationships between students and teachers;
14      (2)  Trained professional teachers and staff coupled with
15           quality instructional materials are needed to provide
16           the foundation for any effective education program;
17      (3)  Lower student-to-teacher ratios are needed to allow
18           teachers to focus on individual student needs and
19           promote mentoring relationships between students and
20           teachers;
21      (4)  Transportation should be available to provide access to
22           immersion sites;
23      (5)  Teaching methods should be based upon Hawaiian cultural

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 1           values and should reflect the importance of providing a
 2           varied language experience to the student.  In many
 3           cases, the student may not have the opportunity to
 4           converse in the language outside of the classroom;
 5      (6)  The allocation per student should be increased.  The
 6           greater the allocation per student, the greater the
 7           opportunities for the student, faculty, and the
 8           community;
 9      (7)  Families of immersion students should directly support
10           their children's education through classroom
11           participation, assisting with curriculum development,
12           fundraising activities, and program advocacy.  As such,
13           innovative means of bringing the Hawaiian language to
14           the families need to be explored and cultivated; and
15      (8)  The immersion program should have provisions to assess,
16           evaluate, and educate children with special needs.
17           Currently, there are no such provisions.
18      SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general
19 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $      , or so much
20 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 1999-2000, for the
21 maintenance and expansion of the Hawaiian language immersion
22 program, Ka Papahana Kaiapuni Hawaii.  The funds shall be used
23 to:

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 1      (1)  Create a Hawaiian language immersion framework based on
 2           the standards for culture-based content and performance
 3           established and enforced by the board of education;
 4      (2)  Generate program support within the communities of
 5           individual sites as well as throughout the State;
 6      (3)  Provide grants to each immersion site for the
 7           development of parent involvement activities, including
 8           the development and distribution of a parent handbook;
 9      (4)  Establish a resource of knowledgeable teachers to
10           coordinate and produce curriculum materials for
11           classroom as well as state-wide use;
12      (5)  Provide teacher release time, sabbaticals, and
13           additional positions for in-service training,
14           instructing and mentoring new teachers, and improving
15           student-to-teacher ratios to twenty-to-one at all grade
16           levels;
17      (6)  Provide transportation subsidies until the department
18           of education can develop guidelines for the
19           transportation of students;
20      (7)  Develop specialized certification programs for
21           immersion teachers in conjunction with the University
22           of Hawaii;
23      (8)  Create a resource library of materials covering

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 1           subjects such as immersion, general education, Hawaiian
 2           language, culture, and history;
 3      (9)  Provide access to resources available through the use
 4           of new technologies;
 5     (10)  Develop and support secondary programs and new
 6           immersion sites;
 7     (11)  Study the feasibility of providing access to immersion
 8           education at all public schools across the State; and
 9     (12)  Develop special education services, evaluation tools,
10           and training for teachers in special education methods.
11      SECTION 3.  The sum appropriated shall be expended by the
12 department of education for the purposes of this Act.
13      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999.
15                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________