Report Title:

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math; Appropriations

 

Description:

Appropriates funds for science-, technology-, engineering-, and math-related programs and K-12 creative media education programs.

 


THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1096

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2009

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to technology workforce and development.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. In early 2007, the National Governors Association made improving the nation's economic competitiveness through innovation its primary focus. In a report titled, "A Benchmarking of the Hawaii Educational System," Monitor Group and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices profiled how Hawaii's educational system was performing relative to national averages. Although Hawaii's high school graduation rate is close to the national average (about seventy per cent compared with seventy-five per cent), its postsecondary completion rate is six points below the national average (forty-seven per cent compared against fifty-three per cent), and twenty points below the highest-performing states. The report states, ". . . [t]his statistic measures state universities' success in helping as many students through the system as possible. As the importance of a college education grows . . . so does the relevance of this metric in assessing a state's educational performance." Similar differences were found in eighth grade National Assessment of Educational Progress test scores for 2004-2005, SAT scores, and Advanced Placement course participation rates.

The 2007 legislature strongly endorsed initiatives related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, and creative media education as the most practical, hands-on means of increasing students' interest in pursuing math/science and technology careers. All STEM proposals were evaluated against the backdrop of existing, successful math/science and related initiatives. Emphasizing the need to build upon solid performance outcomes, the legislature enacted Act 111, Session Laws of Hawaii 2007 (Act 111), and Act 271, Session Laws of Hawaii 2007 (Act 271). Act 111 expanded existing STEM programs like robotics (including FIRST Lego League, Junior FIRST Lego League, botball, underwater ROV, VEX, Micro-Robot, and robotics camps) and Research Experiences for Teachers Middle School. Act 271 expanded Project EAST, the Project Environmental and Spatial Technology program.

At the same time, Act 111 funded new programs (like the Hi-EST Academy, applied learning high school academies, business/education internships, and related STEM teacher development) in a pilot environment to provide the department of education, University of Hawaii, individual schools, and their tech partners with an opportunity to work through initial set-up requirements and to produce a well-tested model for future expansion.

The initial legislative targets for 2007-2008 were to double the existing forty-eight STEM, Research Experiences for Teachers Middle School, Project Environmental and Spatial Technology, and robotics programs within public schools to achieve a level of eighty-four school initiatives. Based on strong demand from individual schools, and stellar tournament results, the number of schools desiring to participate in STEM initiatives funded by Act 111 and Act 271 far exceed the 2008 target.

At the highest level of robotics team competition, the number of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) robotics teams has grown from four participating high schools in 2007 to twenty-five Hawaii high school teams (including public and private schools) in 2008. The March 2008 FIRST robotics regional tournament in Honolulu, Hawaii included thirty-eight schools competing for the national FIRST championships (held in April 2008 in Georgia).

The legislature therefore reaffirms its initial commitment to expand outstanding and new STEM-related programs in Hawaii's public schools and public charter schools by providing additional funds to ensure that all schools desiring to join in providing STEM programs for their students will be able to participate between 2008‑2012. The legislature also proposes to add funding support to K-12 after-school creative media education initiatives to allow for a broader range of student participation in these programs.

SECTION 2. Section 304A-1861, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) There is established within the University of Hawaii, the fostering inspiration and relevance through science and technology pre-academy program, which shall be administered by the University of Hawaii college of engineering. The mission of the fostering inspiration and relevance through science and technology pre‑academy program shall be, with respect to middle schools[,] and K-12 robotics, to provide additional resources and expertise for the department of education to stimulate the interest and achievement of students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills.

To achieve its mission, the fostering inspiration and relevance through science and technology pre-academy program shall house and provide direction for the robotics and problem-based, applied learning program under section 304A-1862 and the research experiences for teachers program under section 304A-1863."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $1,049,730 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2009-2010 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2010-2011 for the fostering inspiration and relevance through science and technology pre-academy program, including nine permanent full-time equivalent (9.00 FTE) positions in the University of Hawaii college of engineering; provided that the sums appropriated shall be allocated as follows:

(1) $314,925 for fiscal year 2009-2010 and the same sum for fiscal year 2010-2011 for the robotics and problem-based, applied learning program; and

(2) $734,805 for fiscal year 2009-2010 and the same sum for fiscal year 2010-2011 for the research experiences for teachers program.

The sums appropriated by this section shall be expended by the University of Hawaii for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $1,100,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2009-2010 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2010-2011 to be deposited into the Hawaii 3Ts school technology laboratories fund established pursuant to section 302A-1314, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the Hawaii 3Ts school technology laboratories fund the sum of $1,100,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2009-2010 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2010-2011 to maintain the project EAST program in existing schools and to expand the program to schools statewide; provided that no funds shall be expended unless matching funds are provided pursuant to section 302A-1314(p), Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The sums appropriated by this section shall be expended by the Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii, Inc., in accordance with section 302A-1314, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and implemented in partnership with county economic development boards, as appropriate, for the purposes of this Act.

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 2009-2010 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2010-2011 for the department of human services, to augment, not replace, funding for STEM programs and K-12 creative media education programs.

The sums appropriated by this section shall be expended by the department of business, economic development, and tourism for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 7. 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 2009-2010 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2010-2011 for K-12 creative media programs.

The sums appropriated by this section shall be expended by the research corporation of the University of Hawaii through a contract with the Hawaii Educational Networking Consortium 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, 2009.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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