STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1355
RE: H.B. No. 17
Honorable Colleen Hanabusa
President of the Senate
Twenty-Fourth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2007
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 17, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to provide continuity in funding for schools by requiring the Committee on Weights of the Department of Education to meet biennially and make recommendations for changes to the weighted student formula.
Testimony in support of this measure was submitted by the Department of Education. Testimony in opposition of this measure was submitted by the Hawaii State Teachers Association.
Your Committee finds that pursuant to Act 51, Session Laws of Hawaii 2004, as amended, the weighted student formula was established to provide equity in funding for public school students by utilizing weighted cost factors. Act 51, as amended, also established the Committee on Weights to recommend student characteristics, assign weights to those characteristics, and establish an allocation formula for the Board of Education to consider and adopt. Since its implementation, it has become apparent that the weighted student formula requires changes to ensure that public school students with certain characteristics will not suffer funding deficiencies.
Currently, the Committee on Weights is required to meet annually and submit recommended changes to the weighted student formula to the Board of Education not less than annually. Your Committee understands the concern that schools require some degree of assurance as to the level of funding they will receive on an annual basis. However, your Committee also believes that, particularly in the early stages of the implementation of the weighted student formula, it is prudent for the Committee on Weights to continue to meet annually, although recommendations for changes may not be necessary every year. Additionally, your Committee believes that it is important for the Committee on Weights to provide rationale and reasoning for any findings and recommendations made, including suggested changes to the weighted student formula and its components, as well as information on costs and impacts of proposed changes in order to allow the Board of Education, the Department of Education, the public schools, and policy makers to better understand and analyze those recommendations to determine their propriety and effectiveness.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Deleting the change that required the Committee on Weights to meet biennually;
(2) Requiring the Committee on Weights to provide the Board of Education and the Legislature with:
(A) Rationale for any findings and recommendations made, including changes to the weighted student formula and weighted student formula characteristics or weights for those characteristics; and
(B) The effects and costs associated with any recommended changes; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive changes for purposes of clarity 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 H.B. No. 17, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 17, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,
NORMAN SAKAMOTO, Chair