Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                   , 1999

                                 RE: H.B. No. 1290

Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twentieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 1999
State of Hawaii


     Your Committee on Education, to which was referred H.B. No.
1290 entitled: 


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this bill is to appropriate funds for off-
ratio funding for the total Hawaiian language immersion program
in West Maui.

     The Hawaiian language immersion program is a successful
integration of public school education and the Hawaiian language.
The program is in its thirteenth year; students who started in
the first kindergarten class at the two seminal sites on O'ahu
and the Big Island will graduate from the Hawaiian immersion high
schools this year.  The Hawaiian immersion program on Maui, which
begins in the private Punana Leo o Maui preschool, continues up
to the ninth grade at the Hawaiian immersion public school site
in Pa'ia.

     This year the Punana Leo o Lahaina opened, to provide
Hawaiian immersion education for the children of West Maui.  When
these children graduate, they will seek a Hawaiian immersion
public school.  However, the Pa'ia location is an hour and a half
away, which is too far for small children to travel on a daily
basis, even if there were school or public bus transportation

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from the Lahaina area to Pa'ia.  There is a clear need for
Hawaiian immersion classes in West Maui.

     Your Committee finds that the Hawaiian language immersion
community in West Maui is extremely supportive of creating public
school Hawaiian immersion classrooms in West Maui to join sixteen
other Department of Education Hawaiian immersion sites across the
State.  Your Committee further finds that there is a class that
will graduate this year from Punana Leo o Lahaina that wants to
attend a Hawaiian immersion kindergarten but that is unable to
travel to the Pa'ia site.  Your Committee further finds that the
Hawaiian immersion schools are open to all students, regardless
of ethnic background.

     Testimony was received on H.B. No. 1290 from the Office of
Hawaiian Affairs, the Native Hawaiian Education Council, Punana
Leo o Lahaina, and five individuals.

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your
Committee on Education that is attached to this report, your
Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No.
1290 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred
to the Committee on Finance.

                                   Respectfully submitted on
                                   behalf of the members of the
                                   Committee on Education,

                                   KEN ITO, Chair

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