STAND. COM. REP. NO.2411
RE: S.B. No. 2919
Honorable Robert Bunda
President of the Senate
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Education and Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 2919 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HAWAIIAN EDUCATION,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to establish a noncontiguous Hawaiian Charter School District under the Department of Education to be governed by a Hawaiian school board.
Your Committees received testimony in support of the measure from 55 students, staff, and ohana of students at Kanu o Ka Aina Charter School, 36 students, staff, and ohana of Halau Lokahi Charter School, 19 students, staff, and ohana of Niihau School of Kekaha Charter School, 34 students, staff, and ohana of Halau Ku Mana Charter School, Hui Kako'o, 'Ilio'ulaokalani Coalition, 2 members of 'Ilio'ulaokalani Youth Coalition, Hawaii Association of Charter Schools, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, and 10 private individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to the measure from the Department of Education and the Hawaii Government Employees Association.
Your Committees find that the Hawaiian system of public education has been one of the worst in the nation for decades and is in desperate need of bold synergistic solutions, out-of-the-box thinking, and greatly enhanced public-private partnerships. In spite of abiding concerns regarding a wide variety of issues, charter schools offer one promising means of educational reform. As they permanently reside at the bottom of all indices of socio-economic welfare, few sectors within Hawaiian society could benefit as much from enhanced educational opportunities as the host culture of these islands – Hawaiians, as defined in Chapter 10-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes. The Hawaiian Charter School District, with adequate autonomy, could be a vehicle to help the Hawaiians and other people to help themselves by achieving self-determination of their own educational future.
Your Committees have amended the measure by:
(1) Adding a provision detailing the powers, duties, and administrative structure of the Hawaiian Charter School District;
(2) Deleting provisions allowing for the autonomy of the Hawaiian Charter School District from the Board of Education;
(3) Adding several provisions making the Hawaiian Charter School District race-neutral to address concerns regarding the constitutionality of the measure;
(4) Adding a requirement for annual reporting to the Legislature regarding the methods by which the Auditor arrived at per-pupil allocations;
(5) Adding a requirement for annual reporting to the Legislature regarding non-state funding;
(6) Deleting the provision exempting the Hawaiian Charter School District from the procurement code; and
(7) Adding a defective effective date.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Education and Hawaiian Affairs that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2919, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2919, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Education and Hawaiian Affairs,
JONATHAN CHUN, Chair
NORMAN SAKAMOTO, Chair