Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 874

       H.D. 1

       S.D. 2




Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2015

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 874, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to address non-translated Hawaiian language assessments for Hawaiian language immersion students.


     Specifically, this measure, with regard to Hawaiian language immersion students:

(1)  Requires the Department of Education to submit a report on non-translated Hawaiian language assessments, including the status of the development and administration of the assessments, along with the status of complying with federal law regarding the assessments; and


(2)  Appropriates an unspecified sum to the Department of Education to report on the status and long-term development and administration of annual non-translated assessments in the Hawaiian language.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Hawaii State Teachers Association, State Public Charter School Commission, Kamehameha Schools, Aha Moku Advisory Committee, Aha Punana Leo, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Kaliha Palama Hawaiian Civic Club, University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Hawaiian Language, and two individuals.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Department of Education.


     Your Committee finds that federal accountability assessment requirements present a unique challenge for Hawaiian language immersion students.  Historically, the assessment tests have been translated versions of the English language tests containing inconsistent or inappropriate translations.  In 2013, the Legislature appropriated $1,000,000 to the Department of Education for the development of common core state standards assessments in the Hawaiian language.  This measure will require the Department of Education to report on the status of those Hawaiian language assessments and to develop a long-term plan to administer the assessments so that Hawaiian language immersion students may meaningfully participate in state and national educational assessment programs.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1)  Specifying that the funds appropriated shall also be expended for the continued development of non-translated assessments in the Hawaiian language; and


(2)  Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure.


     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. 874, 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. 874, H.D. 1, S.D. 2.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,