Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                     , 1999

                                   RE:  S.B. No. 869
                                        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. 869 entitled: 


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this measure is to require the Department of
Education to set appropriate teacher to student ratios and
counselor to student ratios to promote effective learning and
development of students.  This measure also requires the
Department of Education to adjust staffing at schools with a
disproportionate percentage of at-risk students.

     Testimony in support of this measure was submitted by the
Hawaii State Teachers Association, and many school counselor
organizations including Your Family First, the Institute for
Native Pacific Education and Culture, and Ho'omaka Hou.  The
Department of Education submitted testimony in support of the
intent of this measure.

     Many of the testifiers pointed out that teacher to student
ratios are already determined by state law and collective
bargaining contract, and currently stands at a ratio of 26.5
students per teacher.  Thus, your Committee finds that it is
unnecessary to include teachers in this measure.

     However, your Committee finds that the issue of counselor to
student ratios must be addressed.  The situation brought upon the
Department of Education because of the 1993 Felix v. Waihee

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                                   STAND. COM. REP. NO. 147
                                   Page 2

decision necessitated that counselors provide effective service
to all students.  However, the current counselor to student
ratios are not standard and some counselors must serve up to 800
students.  In addition, schools with a higher percentage of at-
risk students are not allotted more counselors.  Counselors
provide greater services to at-risk students, and deal with all
the referrals and meetings held to deal with these students.
Those counselors at schools with a higher percentage of at-risk
students are overburdened, and thus unable to devote the proper
attention to the needs of all students, including at-risk and
Felix children.  This measure will standardize counselor to
student ratios, and ensure that those schools with special needs
will be allocated more counselors.  

     Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure to
delete the references to teacher to student ratios, thereby
allowing this measure to focus solely on setting standard
counselor to student ratios.

     Your Committee urges the Department of Education to work
closely with current school counselors in determining counselor
to student standards.  Because these counselors work and observe
these problems on a daily basis, they are able to provide insight
into the varying needs of regular students, Felix students, and
at-risk students, and thus how counselors should be allocated to
provide the best possible services to all of Hawaii's students.
For example, one counselor proposed to your Committee the
allocation of one counselor per 350 regular students, one Felix
counselor per 100 Felix students, and one counselor per 200 at-
risk students.

     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. 869, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass
Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 869,
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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