STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2894
RE: H.B. No. 2276
Honorable Donna Mercado Kim
President of the Senate
Twenty-Seventh State Legislature
Regular Session of 2014
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 2276, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish a statewide early childhood education program to be administered by the Executive Office on Early Learning and implemented upon the ratification of the amendment to article X, section 1, of the Hawaii State Constitution, as proposed in S.B. No. 1084, S.D. 1, H.D. 1, C.D. 1, which was passed by the legislature in the Regular Session of 2013.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Executive Office on Early Learning; Department of Education; Department of Public Safety; Department of Health; University of Hawai‘i System; Kualapu‘u Public Conversion Charter School; Aloha United Way; Partners in Development Foundation; ‘Aha Pūnana Leo; Kama‘aina Kids; Hawaii Business Roundtable, Incorporated; Hawai‘i Association for the Education of Young Children; Hawaii Association of Independent Schools; Ho‘okako‘o Corporation; Hui for Excellence in Education; Kamehameha Schools; Early Learning Advisory Board; The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii; Democratic Party of Hawaii; Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture; Good Beginnings Alliance; Kualapu‘u Public Conversion Charter School; Hawai‘i Community Foundation; The Pacific Resource Partnership; National Association of School Psychologist, Hawaii Chapter; and one hundred ninety-six individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii State Teachers Association, IMUAlliance, and twenty-five individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i.
Your Committee finds that high quality early learning programs that are affordable and accessible for all children are critically important for ensuring the success of Hawaii's keiki.
Your Committee recognizes the need to form public-private partnerships to provide Hawaii's keiki with high-quality early childhood education. Private, community-based early learning programs have been the mainstay providers for quality early education in our State for many years. This measure, which will be implemented upon the ratification of an amendment to article X, section 1, of the Hawaii State Constitution, will allow the Executive Office on Early Learning to contract with private early learning education programs. This measure, along with appropriate funding, will help provide access to quality early learning programs for eighty-five percent of four-year olds by 2018 and will assist more children in establishing a solid foundation for success in school and life.
Your Committee stresses that this measure does not implement a voucher system in any way and that any private providers who contract with the Executive Office on Early Learning will be required to follow all state and federal laws, including but not limited to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution; article I, section 4, of the Hawaii State Constitution; and anti-discrimination laws.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Making this measure effective upon its approval and upon the ratification of a constitutional amendment permitting the appropriation of public funds for private early childhood education; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
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. 2276, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2276, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,
JILL N. TOKUDA, Chair