Report Title:

Class Size Reduction; 25:1 Student-to-Teacher Ratio

Description:

Requires the department of education, subject to the availability of funds, to reduce the ratio of students to teachers in kindergarten to grade three to not more than twenty-five students to one teacher, over a period of four years. (SD1)

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

3205

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to class size reduction.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"302A-   Class size reduction. (a) Subject to the availability of funds appropriated by the legislature and allotted by the governor, the department:

(1) Beginning with the 2006-2007 school year, shall reduce the ratio of students to teachers in kindergarten to not more than twenty-five students to one teacher;

(2) Beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, shall reduce the ratio of students to teachers in grade one to not more than twenty-five students to one teacher;

(3) Beginning with the 2008-2009 school year, shall reduce the ratio of students to teachers in grade two to not more than twenty-five students to one teacher; and

(4) Beginning with the 2009-2010 school year, shall reduce the ratio of students to teachers in grade three to not more than twenty-five students to one teacher.

(b) If in any year set forth in subsection (a)(1) to (4) the department fails to attain, maintain, or both, the ratio of students to teachers required by that paragraph, and the department submits to the legislature the report required by subsection (e), then:

(1) Departmental compliance with the requirements of that paragraph may be delayed until such time as the department reports to the legislature that it is able to comply with the requirements of that paragraph; provided that in no event shall compliance with the requirements of any single paragraph be delayed for more than three years; and

(2) The deadline for compliance with the requirements of any subsequent paragraph shall be postponed for an amount of time that is equal to the postponement authorized in paragraph (1).

(c) The department shall not include any students or teachers in categorical programs when computing the ratio of students to teachers specified in subsection (a). The exemption in subsection (a) shall not apply to the availability of funds allocated by the department.

(d) If a school will not have the classrooms needed to accommodate the additional classes created by the reduction of the student to teacher ratio as specified in subsection (a), then the governor may reallocate the unexpendable operating funds to supplement any capital investment funds that may have been appropriated by the legislature to construct permanent or portable classrooms at the school, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary.

(e) The department shall report the failure to attain, maintain, or both, the ratio of students to teachers, including the reasons therefor, to the legislature. The report shall contain a discussion of all planning, programming, and budgeting decisions contributing to the failure, and shall be submitted to the legislature not less than twenty days prior to the convening of any regular or special session.

(f) This section shall apply only to elementary schools and those portions of multi-level or comprehensive schools utilizing elementary school pedagogics.

(g) In the event of a conflict between this section and any other law, this section shall control."

SECTION 2. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $          , or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2004-2005, to reduce the ratio of students to teachers in kindergarten through grade three in public schools.

SECTION 3. The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of education for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2004.