STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2164
RE: S.B. No. 2236
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 S.B. No. 2236 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EARLY LEARNING,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to authorize the Executive Office on Early Learning (Office) to enter into agreements with the Department of Education and charter schools for use of vacant or underutilized classrooms as public preschool classrooms.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Executive Office on Early Learning; Department of Human Services; Department of Education; Kamaile Academy Public Charter School; Kualapuu Public Conversion Charter School; Hawaii Association of Independent Schools; Good Beginnings Alliance; Hookakoo Corporation; Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture; Kamehameha Schools; Hawaii Association for the Education of Young Children; Hui for Excellence in Education; Hawaii Primary Care Association; The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii; Legislation Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; IMUAlliance; Ka HULI Mua, LLC; Hawaii State Teachers Association; and eighty-five individuals.
Your Committee finds that the significant, long-term benefits realized through investments in high-quality, early learning systems have been proven through decades of research. The Department of Education and charter schools may have facilities and highly qualified professionals that can provide Hawaii's children with access to public preschools. This measure will direct the Office to enter into agreements with the Department of Education and charter schools to provide students with the opportunity to attend a public preschool and ensure greater school readiness prior to entering kindergarten. In many of our communities, public preschools will play a critical role as part of a mixed delivery system given the lack of access to private preschool providers.
The Office has already identified thirty-two classrooms in thirty schools statewide to operate public preschool programs. These programs will be staffed by Department of Education teachers and staff and will serve approximately six hundred forty children. The Office estimates that the thirty-two classrooms will require $4,500,000 in funding.
Your Committee further finds that several charter schools have space available to operate public preschool programs. The Office estimates that to operate five public preschool programs in charter schools, it will need $754,000 in funding.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that the Office may enter into contracts with the Department of Education and charter schools for the use of available classrooms, rather than requiring the classrooms to be vacant or underutilized;
(2) Adding language requiring the Office to enter into contracts with no more than five charter schools for the use of available classrooms for public preschool programs through June 30, 2019; and
(3) 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 S.B. No. 2236, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2236, 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