Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                     , 1999

                                   RE:  S.B. No. 1272
                                        S.D. 1

Honorable Norman Mizuguchi
President of the Senate
Twentieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 1999
State of Hawaii


     Your Committee on Education and Technology, to which was
referred S.B. No. 1272 entitled: 


begs leave to report as follows:
     The purpose of this measure is to authorize the Board of
Education to determine the starting age of attendance for
kindergarten and first grade.

     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure
from the Department of Education.

     Your Committee finds that educational research has shown
that children who start school at an earlier age than their peers
may be at a significant disadvantage, depending on their school
entry date.  In addition, a 1998 survey conducted by the
department revealed that a large majority of kindergarten
teachers and their principals support a change in the cutoff date
for kindergarten entry, citing a lack of readiness or maturity
for late-born children.

     Your Committee understands that any change to the school
attendance age will be controversial, and may pose an economic
hardship for some parents who would be required to wait an
additional year before a child could attend public school.
However, your Committee is concerned that children who begin
school before they are ready, may fall behind in school work or
fail to develop to their full potential.

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                                   STAND. COM. REP. NO. 339
                                   Page 2

     Your Committee has amended this measure to:

     (1)  Require the Board of Education (BOE) to determine
          readiness standards for entry to both kindergarten and
          regular school;

     (2)  Require the BOE to submit a proposed implementation
          plan twenty days prior to the convening of the regular
          session of 2000, including procedures and criteria for
          screening each child entering a public school; provided
          that once the board establishes readiness standards, a
          parent shall have the option of requesting a screening
          to determine if the child shall be admitted; and

     (3)  Change the effective date of this Act to July 1, 2001.

     Your Committee believes this delay in implementation will
give the BOE time to develop meaningful readiness standards to
meet the concerns of parents and teachers alike regarding a
child's entry to public school.

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your
Committee on Education and Technology that is attached to this
report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose
of S.B. No. 1272, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass
Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1272,
S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

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

                                   DAVID Y. IGE, Chair

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