STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3204
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 Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 2276, H.D. 1, S.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 an early childhood education program within the Early Learning System established under section 302L-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Department of Human Services; the Department of Public Safety; the Executive Office on Early Learning; the Interim Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of Hawaii; Early Learning Advisory Board; The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii; Hui for Excellence in Education; Good Beginnings Alliance; Kamehameha Schools; Hawaii Association for Education of Young Children; Aloha United Way; Hawaii Association of Independent Schools; PHOCUSED; Aha Punana Leo; and six individuals. Written comments in opposition were received from the Hawaii State Teachers Association.
Your Committee finds that a child's environment and experiences during their formative years have a significant impact on their later success in school and in life. Research has consistently shown that children who receive a high-quality early childhood education go on to attain higher levels of education and have higher rates of graduation than children who do not receive any type of early childhood education. Furthermore, early childhood education programs provide equal access to education for children from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.
Your Committee believes that it is critical to children's well-being that they be provided with the necessary resources and skill sets to prepare them for kindergarten. Improving children's access to early educational opportunities will also help Hawaii's educational system meet national standards to remain eligible for federal grants and subsidies. Accordingly, your Committee finds that a state early childhood education program will provide uniform access to academically enriched programs for children preparing to enter kindergarten and significant benefits for children's families and the community.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting a definition for the term "underserved children";
(2) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure; and
(3) Making technical nonsubstantive changes for purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2276, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2276, H.D. 1, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
DAVID Y. IGE, Chair