Report Title:

Hawaiian Language Immersion Program; Appropriation


Enables the full implementation of the Hawaiian language immersion program. Appropriates funds.


S.B. NO.









relating to hawaiian language immersion program.



SECTION 1. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:



-1 Findings and purpose. The legislature finds that an instructional program in which children are taught the content of the regular education program through the medium of the Hawaiian language is a vehicle for revitalizing the Hawaiian language and assisting the people of Hawaiian ancestry to regain and maintain their language.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish the Hawaiian language immersion program and to enable its full implementation.

-2 Hawaiian language immersion program; established. The Hawaiian language immersion program may be a complete educational program or schooling experience provided to students in the medium of the Hawaiian language. The educational objectives of this program shall take into consideration how its content integrates with Hawaiian language and culture curricula offered at the college level, may be the same as the regular English language program, and may fulfill the Hawaiian language immersion program goals.

-3 Attendance and eligibility. All families of fluent Hawaiian speaking persons of compulsory school age choosing to enroll in the Hawaiian language program may be given preference for admittance. Other persons may enroll at the discretion of individual school sites under the conditions described above and in compliance with applicable state and federal laws. All students and their families shall also abide by the special regulations of the program relative to family participation.

-4 Office of Hawaiian language immersion instruction; personnel. The department of education may create a separate office of Hawaiian language immersion instruction for the direction and control of the program. The department may employ necessary personnel qualified by training and experience to direct and supervise the types of instruction and special services specified in this chapter. Institutions of higher education that have teacher preparation programs may work collaboratively with the department to ensure that teachers in the Hawaiian language immersion program are proficient in the Hawaiian language, skilled in teaching methodologies and strategies, and possess content knowledge.

-5 Facilities or transportation. When fifteen or more qualified children in any one departmental school district wish to enroll in the Hawaiian language immersion program, the superintendent of education may provide facilities for an immersion program or provide transportation to the nearest schooling site providing the program.

-6 Student performance. The department of education may develop and use multiple assessment strategies and instruments to assess student achievement and performance, and to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching strategies and methods being used in the immersion program."

SECTION 2. Section 302A-630, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]302A-630[]] Teachers with special assignments, vocational agriculture, Hawaiian language immersion, and technical school teachers. Teachers with special assignments, where their responsibilities are greater, may be provided additional benefits by the department. In determining additional benefits for vocational agriculture, Hawaiian language immersion, and technical school teachers, the department may allow credit for practical experience."

SECTION 3. Section 302A-1128, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) The department shall have entire charge and control and be responsible for the conduct of all affairs pertaining to public instruction. The department may establish and maintain schools for secular instruction at such places and for such terms as in its discretion it may deem advisable and the funds at its disposal may permit. The schools may include high schools, kindergarten schools, schools or classes for pregrade education, boarding schools, Hawaiian language immersion schools, and evening and day schools. The department may also maintain classes for technical and other instruction in any school where there may not be pupils sufficient in number to justify the establishment of separate schools for these purposes."

SECTION 4. Section 302A-1143, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]302A-1143[]] Attend school in what district. All persons of school age shall be required to attend the school of the district in which they reside, unless enrolled in a Hawaiian language immersion program or it appears to the department to be desirable to allow the attendance of pupils at a school in some other district, in which case the department may grant this permission."

SECTION 5. If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

SECTION 6. 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 2003-2004, for the Hawaiian language immersion program.

SECTION 7. The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of education for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 8. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 9. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2003.