Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                   , 1999

                                 RE: H.B. No. 287

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.
287 entitled:


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this bill is to appropriate funds to the
Department of Health for the continued operation of peer
education programs in twenty-six secondary schools during the
1999-2001 fiscal biennium and for the establishment of peer
education programs in ten additional schools during the biennium.

     Your Committee finds that the mission of the peer education
program is to assist students in developing a healthy lifestyle
by fostering positive self-esteem and responsible decision
making.  The peer education program is based on the philosophy
that peers learn from peers; given adequate tools and
information, peers can help peers make positive decisions about
living a healthy lifestyle.

     Your Committee also finds that peer educators are trained
students who help other students as a first line of contact
dealing with teen health issues.  Peer educators are listeners,
providing information or referral as needed, and help their peers
to look at alternatives in the life long decision making process.
Peer educators provide presentations, group discussions,

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demonstrations, and modeling activities both to peers and to
feeder schools.  Peer educators do not replace professional
counselors and are trained to spot risky situations and refer
students to appropriate resources.

     Your Committee received testimony in support of this bill
from the Hawaii State Teachers Association; the American Lung
Association; the Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of
Hawaii; the Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition; the Principal of
Kailua Intermediate School; the Peer Education Program
Coordinators at Kailua Intermediate School, Ilima Intermediate
School, and Lahainaluna High School; four teachers; five high
school graduates formerly enrolled in peer education programs,
the parent of a student currently enrolled in a peer education
program; and more than fifty students currently enrolled in peer
education programs or serving as peer educators.

     Your Committee also received testimony in support of the
intent of this bill from the Department of Health and the
Department of Education.

     Your Committee believes that prevention-based programs, such
as peer education programs, are more effective and efficient than
crisis management programs, such as alcohol and drug abuse
treatment centers.  Until the State begins to put more resources
into preventing health problems rather than responding to them,
social service agencies will always find themselves short of
funds to deal with the next health crisis--whether it be crystal
methamphetamine, crack cocaine, AIDS, or domestic violence.

     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.
287 and recommends that it be referred to the Committee on

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

                                   KEN ITO, Chair

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