TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2013
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO SCHOOL READINESS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that more of our children are entering kindergarten without the physical, cognitive, linguistic, social, and emotional skills necessary to prepare them for success in school life. For example, according to the Hawaii State School Readiness Assessment, only forty per cent of kindergarten classes had the majority of their students entering the 2012-2013 school year with school behaviors and skills, and even fewer demonstrated the necessary approaches to learning.
It is no coincidence that the Hawaii State School Readiness Assessment also reports that fifty-seven per cent of students who entered kindergarten had attended preschool. This percentage is lower than in years past. According to kindergarten teachers in the department of education, many of the children who do not have experiences in pre-kindergarten programs could be eighteen to twenty-four months behind developmentally than their peers who do. The link between school readiness and success in school is indisputable. Act 13, Session Laws of Hawaii 2002, defined school readiness to mean that "young children are ready to have successful learning experiences in school when there is a positive interaction among the child's developmental characteristics, school practices, and family and community support."
The State must commit to efforts to promote school readiness, especially in light of its expectation that kindergarten students master the grade-level common core state standards to develop the academic competencies and habits of mind necessary for college and career success.
Act 178, Session Laws of Hawaii 2012, repealed the junior kindergarten program and beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, required that a child must be five years old by July 31 of the school year to attend a public school kindergarten. The legislature's intent was to align the changes with the implementation of a program that would more effectively provide a developmentally appropriate experience to prepare children physically, cognitively, linguistically, socially, and emotionally prior to beginning the public education provided by the department of education.
The school readiness program must be in place by 2014 to serve children born between August 1 and December 31 who will be affected by the change in kindergarten eligibility.
The purpose of this Act, therefore, is to establish a statewide school readiness program consisting of school readiness services providers to assist families in preparing their children for success in school in either of Hawaii's two official languages. The statewide school readiness program will be administered by the executive office on early learning and is a major component of the early learning system established pursuant to section 302L-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
SECTION 2. Chapter 302L, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§302L- School readiness program. (a) There is established within the early learning system a school readiness program to be administered by the office. The school readiness program shall:
(1) Prepare children for school through either of the State's two official languages;
(2) Provide access to school readiness services that address children's physical, cognitive, linguistic, social, and emotional development; and
(3) Give priority to children from low- and moderate-income families.
The school readiness program shall not provide instructional services that supplant or duplicate the academic program of any public or private school established for the purpose of compliance with section 302A-1132.
(b) The school readiness program shall serve four-year-old children, with priority extended to:
(1) Children who are not eligible to attend public school kindergarten in the calendar year in which they turn five years of age because their birth date occurs after the kindergarten eligibility date pursuant to section 302A-411; and
(2) Underserved or at-risk children.
(c) Enrollment in the school readiness program shall be voluntary. A parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the school readiness program shall share in the costs of the program through a copayment according to a sliding fee scale that is based on need and through fulfillment of family participation requirements, pursuant to rules adopted by the office. A child who is enrolled in or eligible to attend a public elementary school shall not be eligible for enrollment in the school readiness program.
(d) The office may contract with eligible providers of school readiness services to increase the capacity of the program to provide school readiness services. Eligible providers shall:
(A) The department of education;
(B) An entity licensed by the department of human services to provide child care under part VIII of chapter 346;
(C) An entity exempt from licensure under section 346-152;
(D) An entity providing family-child interaction learning programs as defined in section 302L-1; or
(E) An entity providing Hawaiian language medium early learning programs;
(2) Meet Hawaiian or English language medium education standards, as applicable, established under the school readiness program pursuant to rules adopted by the office, which may include qualifications for staff who work with children and provisions for data collection regarding participating children. The office may provide support to providers to meet these standards; and
(3) Comply with all other applicable state and federal laws.
For the purposes of this program, eligible providers shall not be deemed to be educational institutions.
(e) The office may adopt rules, pursuant to chapter 91, necessary to carry out the purposes of this section, including compliance with all applicable state and federal laws."
SECTION 3. Section 26-12, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§26-12 Department of education. The department of education shall be headed by an executive board to be known as the board of education.
established by the board, the superintendent shall administer programs of
education and public instruction throughout the State, including education at
the preschool, primary, and secondary school levels, adult education, school
library services, health education and instruction (not including dental health
treatment transferred to the department of health), and [
programs as may be established by law[ .]; provided that this section
shall not apply to the executive office on early learning and programs under
its jurisdiction pursuant to chapter 302L.
The state librarian, under policies established by the board of education, shall be responsible for the administration of programs relating to public library services and transcribing services for the blind.
The functions and authority heretofore exercised by the department of education (except dental health treatment transferred to the department of health), library of Hawaii, Hawaii county library, Maui county library, and the transcribing services program of the bureau of sight conservation and work with the blind, as heretofore constituted are transferred to the public library system established by this chapter.
The management contract between the board of supervisors of the county of Kauai and the Kauai public library association shall be terminated at the earliest time after November 25, 1959, permissible under the terms of the contract and the provisions of this paragraph shall constitute notice of termination, and the functions and authority heretofore exercised by the Kauai county library as heretofore constituted and the Kauai public library association over the public libraries in the county of Kauai shall thereupon be transferred to the public library system established by this chapter.
The management contracts between the trustees of the library of Hawaii and the Friends of the Library of Hawaii, and between the library of Hawaii and the Hilo library and reading room association, shall be terminated at the earliest time after November 25, 1959, permissible under the terms of the contracts, and the provisions of this paragraph shall constitute notice of termination.
Upon the termination of the contracts, the State or the counties shall not enter into any library management contracts with any private association; provided that in providing library services the board of education may enter into contracts approved by the governor for the use of lands, buildings, equipment, and facilities owned by any private association.
Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the board of education may establish, specify the membership number and quorum requirements for, appoint members to, and disestablish a commission in each county to be known as the library advisory commission, which shall in each case sit in an advisory capacity to the board of education on matters relating to public library services in their respective county."
SECTION 4. 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 2013-2014 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2014-2015 for the purpose of establishing a statewide school readiness program.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the executive office on early learning for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.
School Readiness Program; Appropriation
Establishes the School Readiness Program within the Early Learning System. Effective July 1, 2050. (SB1093 HD2)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.