STAND. COM. REP. NO. 971
RE: H.B. No. 1251
Honorable Donna Mercado Kim
President of the Senate
Twenty-Eighth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2015
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Education and Government Operations, to which was referred H.B. No. 1251, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Provide a framework for public charter school facilities funding and support with adequate prioritization, oversight, and accountability; and
(2) Provide public charter schools and early learning programs with the opportunity to secure the use of state facilities deemed vacant and appropriate for use.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the State Public Charter School Commission, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawaii Public Charter Schools Network, Hawaii State Teachers Association, School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability, Hawaii Technology Academy, Kona Pacific Public Charter School, West Hawaii Explorations Academy, Kamehameha Schools, and ninety-seven individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Education, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of the Attorney General, and Department of Budget and Finance.
Your Committees find that facilities funding is the greatest financial burden upon public charter schools. Many charter schools improvise by using temporary structures for instruction. Creative solutions and various funding mechanisms are necessary to support public charter schools in acquiring and maintaining facilities.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Reassigning responsibilities regarding the inventory of suitable facilities, drafting rules for the use of vacant facilities, and selection of applicants to use and occupy vacant facilities from the Department of Education to the Department of Accounting and General Services;
(2) Clarifying the purposes for which the Legislature shall consider making an appropriation and bond authorization to the State Public Charter School Commission by specifying that such appropriation and bond authorization shall be considered for the design, planning, construction, repair, and maintenance of public charter school improvements to address issues of health, safety, and legal compliance; expand or improve instructional space; provide for food services; or provide restroom facilities;
(3) Establishing the charter school facilities funding working group within the Department of Education rather than within the State Public Charter School Commission;
(4) Clarifying that the charter school facilities funding working group acts in an advisory capacity only; and
(5) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Education and Government Operations that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1251, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1251, 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 Committees on Education and Government Operations,
DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair
MICHELLE N. KIDANI, Chair