Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 2826




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. 2826 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to implement, upon its ratification, the amendment to article X, section 1, of the Hawaii State Constitution, as proposed in Senate Bill No. 1084, Regular Session of 2013, by establishing a statewide early education program consisting of providers of high-quality early education delivered in either of Hawaii's two official languages to assist families in establishing a solid foundation for success in school so that children enter kindergarten prepared and graduate from high school ready for college and a career.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Executive Office on Early Learning; Department of Education; Department of Human Services; Department of Public Safety; University of Hawaii System; University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Education; Kualapu‘u School; Kamaile Academy; Hawaii Association of Independent Schools; Protecting Hawaii's Ohana, Children, Under Served, Elderly and Disabled; Ho‘okāko‘o Corporation; KCAA Preschools of Hawai‘i; Kamehameha Schools; Good Beginnings Alliance; Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture; The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii; Legislative Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i; Parents and Children Together; Kama‘aina Kids; Hawai‘i Primary Care Association; Child & Family Service; Hawai‘i Association for the Education of Young Children; Hui for Excellence in Education; Community Children's Council of Hawaii; The Pacific Resource Partnership; Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education; Seagull Schools; Hawaii Chapter of the National Association of School Psychologists; and eighty-one individuals.  Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii State Teachers Association and IMUAliance.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii.


     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.


     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. 2826 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,