Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 980




Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2015

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Human Services and Housing, to which was referred S.B. No. 980 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to provide a standardized framework and funding for afterschool programs in public middle and intermediate schools by establishing the resources for enrichment, athletics, culture, and health (or R.E.A.C.H.) program within the Office of Youth Services.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Office of Youth Services, Reach Out Hawaii, Hawaii Youth Services Network, Molokai Middle School, and twenty-three individuals.


     Your Committee finds that quality afterschool programs are important to the future of Hawaii's adolescents.  More than fifty-four thousand children in Hawaii are left alone and unsupervised after school, and data indicates that juvenile violence peaks in the afterschool hours on school days.  In addition, Hawaii's dropout rate has reached over fifteen percent, and nearly half of high school drop outs report feeling that they started high school ill-prepared.


     Your Committee finds that afterschool programs are an effective way to reduce undesirable behaviors among adolescents.  Ninety-three percent of parents support public funding of afterschool programs.  During a pivotal time in life, high-quality afterschool programs can lead to improved school attendance and academic performance, better behavior, and more community involvement for middle and intermediate school students.  It is important to keep children engaged in positive afterschool activities because disconnected youth are more likely to become part of the juvenile justice system, and research indicates that each disconnected youth costs taxpayers nearly $14,000 per year.  In contrast, afterschool programs keep children engaged in positive activities and on a path toward graduation and productive futures.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Human Services and Housing that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 980 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 Human Services and Housing,