STAND. COM. REP. NO.871-02
RE: S.B. No. 2969
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Education, to which was referred S.B. No. 2969, S.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to implement structural and procedural changes within the Department of Education to improve efficiency and to ensure that children with a disability receive a quality education.
Specifically, this measure:
(1) Establishes an office of educational accountability and performance within the Board of Education to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public schools;
(2) Establishes a special education advisory board to advise and assist the office of educational accountability and performance in monitoring and evaluating education programs and related services provided to children with a disability;
(3) Appropriates an unspecified sum to the Department of Education for internal auditor and support staff positions in order to ensure fiscal accountability, improve internal financial controls, and improve responsiveness to fiscal problems within the department;
(4) Allows the Department of Education to appoint or retain by contract attorneys who are independent of the Attorney General in order to provide legal services for the Department, including legal services specified by the Board of Education;
(5) Requires the Department of Education to record, maintain, store, and warehouse longitudinal data on every student of the public school system in order to analyze the effectiveness of the public school system and the areas that need improvement;
(6) Requires the Department of Education to publish a listing of all departmental resources and services, including contracted services and resources, in order to allow individuals to efficiently find resources and services relevant to their needs;
(7) Requires the Department of Education to ensure that the Department receives and collects all federal funds and reimbursements that the Department is entitled to, including reimbursements for qualifying Medicaid services;
(8) Appropriates an unspecified sum to the Department of Education for fiscal year 2002-2003 for school design, improvements, and equipment to accommodate school-based health services for students, including medically fragile students;
(9) Prohibits federal impact aid and U.S. Department of Defense funds from being expended except through legislative appropriations, and repeals the law allowing the Department of Education to retain all excess federal impact aid and U.S. Department of Defense funds;
(10) Allows claims arising out of the acts or omissions of an educational officer, teacher, or classified personnel, related to the Felix consent decree or related services for children with a disability, to be brought against these persons only in their official capacity;
(11) Defines the term "children with a disability" to mean persons under twenty years of age evaluated as having mental retardation, a hearing impairment including deafness, a speech or language impairment, a visual impairment including blindness, serious emotional disturbance, an orthopedic impairment, autism, traumatic brain injury, any other health impairment, a specific learning disability, deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities, and who by reason thereof, needs special education and related services;
(12) Repeals the definition of "exceptional children" and amends the education law (chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes) by replacing the term "exceptional children", or like term, with the term "children with a disability", or like term;
(13) Requires any proposal or contract for the procurement of services, which requires that the services be performed by a person holding an academic degree, to specify that the degree must be issued by a college or university that has been accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education; and
(14) Prohibits the Department of Health, either on its own or through a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Education, from limiting children's mental health services or programs to a specific class of children with mental and emotional disorders.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Deleting the provision allowing the Department of Education to appoint or retain attorneys who are independent of the Attorney General;
(2) Deleting the provision allowing claims related to the Felix consent decree to be brought against Department of Education personnel only in their official capacities; and
(3) Making technical nonsubstantive changes for purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
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 S.B. No. 2969, S.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2969, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,
KEN ITO, Chair