TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2015
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that in Hawaii, over fifty-four thousand children are left alone and unsupervised until their parents return home from work each day. Yet according to the Afterschool Alliance, 75 per cent of Hawaii parents agree that afterschool programs can reduce the likelihood that youth will engage in risky behavior and 93 per cent support public funding of afterschool programs. The legislature further finds that while Hawaii continues to be among the states with high participation rates, that rate has been declining from 35 per cent in 2004, to 28 per cent in 2009, to 26 per cent in 2014. Juvenile violence peaks in the afterschool hours on school days and in the evenings on non-school days. 65 per cent of violent crimes committed by juveniles occur on school days, while nearly one-fifth of all juvenile violent crimes occur between the hours of three and seven o'clock in the evening. During fiscal year 2013, the police made over three thousand arrests of juveniles in Hawaii between the ages of twelve and fourteen.
The legislature finds that afterschool programming represents an upfront investment in Hawaii's youth and that states with higher participation rates may be due to significant state funding dedicated specifically to expanding the availability of afterschool programs. According to the department of education's 2013 superintendent's 24th annual report, Hawaii's dropout rate has reached 15 per cent with a graduation rate of only around 82 per cent. Nearly half of the high school drop outs reported that they started high school ill-prepared. Research indicates that each disconnected youth costs the taxpayers nearly $14,000 per year, which can continue and even increase in the future as some disenfranchised youth become part of the juvenile justice court systems. The stakes of disengagement are high. Once students are disconnected, recruitment, enrollment, and retention into programs require stronger and more persistent outreach, more intensive services, and more long-term participation.
The legislature further finds that middle school years are a pivotal time for our haumana, or students--a time when they can succumb to peer pressure and significantly derail their education and futures. Accordingly, participation in high-quality afterschool programs can lead to improved attendance, better behavior, and better academic performance. Keeping our youth engaged in positive afterschool activities will help to keep them on the path toward graduation and productive futures. Currently, there are approximately thirty-nine thousand public middle school students in Hawaii. Approximately half of the fifty-six middle schools receive some federal or state funding for afterschool programming; however, this funding is inconsistent or unreliable.
The legislature finds that in March 2013, the administration, through the lieutenant governor, established the R.E.A.C.H. initiative, which stands for "resources for enrichment, athletics, culture, and health" to develop a framework and funding base for afterschool programs for public middle school students throughout the State. The legislature further finds that the establishment of a state-subsidized afterschool program for public middle school students is important to the future of Hawaii's ‘opio and the welfare of our State as a whole.
The legislature further finds that since its inception, the R.E.A.C.H. initiative has provided over $700,000 in funding for afterschool programs at nine schools during the 2013-2014 school year, as well as eleven schools during the 2014-2015 school year throughout all counties in the State. The legislature finds that this funding has been instrumental during the vulnerable middle school years and has manifested positive impacts on the lives of these students inside and outside of the classroom. The legislature finds, however, that a dedicated program with reliable funding is necessary to provide continued and uninterrupted services in middle schools statewide.
The legislature further finds that the office of youth services, within the department of human services, provides comprehensive front end services and programs for youth to prevent delinquency and reduce the incidence of recidivism. The office is dedicated to creating opportunities for youth to develop competencies that foster resiliency and enable them to achieve a successful transition to young adulthood. The legislature determines that the objectives of the R.E.A.C.H. initiative are wholly aligned with those of the office of youth services and, accordingly, provided funding during fiscal year 2014-2015 to the office of youth services for the R.E.A.C.H. program.
The purpose of this Act is to provide a standardized framework and funding for afterschool programs in public middle schools. Specifically, this Act:
(1) Establishes the R.E.A.C.H. program within the office of youth services; and
(2) Establishes a special fund to receive fees and other moneys to supplement the costs of administering and operating the program.
SECTION 2. Chapter 352D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding three new sections to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§352D-A Resources for enrichment, athletics, culture, and health (R.E.A.C.H.) program; established. There is established the resources for enrichment, athletics, culture, and health (R.E.A.C.H.) program within the office.
§352D-B Resources for enrichment, athletics, culture, and health (R.E.A.C.H.) program; powers and duties. (a) The office shall provide funding to establish, support, or enhance afterschool programs in public middle schools. The office may enter into contracts with middle schools, individuals, organizations, or other entities to provide afterschool programs to public middle schools.
(b) The office shall:
(1) Establish criteria, application, selection, and award processes for funding afterschool programs;
(2) Monitor the afterschool programs within each school;
(3) Conduct site evaluations for schools with afterschool programs funded under the R.E.A.C.H. program;
(4) Ensure each afterschool program meets contractual expectations; and
(5) Report annually to the legislature on the implementation of programs and use of funds under the R.E.A.C.H. program, including but not limited to information on grants awarded to provide services to public middle schools, current and future plans to assess or collect fees, and efforts to obtain non-state funding for the financial sustainability of the R.E.A.C.H. program.
(c) Pursuant to chapter 91, the office may establish program requirements and participation fees or other charges to be assessed to each student for the cost of administering and operating the R.E.A.C.H. program. The revenues from those fees shall be deposited into the R.E.A.C.H. program special fund to be used to supplement the costs of administering and operating the program.
§352D-C R.E.A.C.H. program special fund. (a) There is established the R.E.A.C.H. program special fund to be administered by the office.
(b) The R.E.A.C.H. program special fund shall consist of:
(1) Fees collected by the office for administering and operating the R.E.A.C.H. program, and the provision of program services;
(2) Legislative appropriations;
(3) All interest earned on the deposit or investment of moneys in the R.E.A.C.H. program special fund; and
(4) Any other moneys made available to the R.E.A.C.H. program special fund from any other sources.
(c) All moneys in the R.E.A.C.H. program special fund shall be used to supplement the costs of administering and operating the R.E.A.C.H. program. The office may also use the moneys to:
(1) Hire personnel to implement, operate, and oversee afterschool programs;
(2) Promote afterschool program activities;
(3) Conduct afterschool education and demonstration projects;
(4) Contract for services for afterschool programs; and
(5) Fund associated expenses for afterschool programs."
SECTION 3. Section 352D‑3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding two new definitions to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:
""Public middle schools" means all academic and noncollege type middle schools established and maintained by the department of education, including charter schools governed by chapter 302D.
"R.E.A.C.H. program" means the resources for enrichment, athletics, culture, and health program established pursuant to section 352D‑A."
SECTION 4. In codifying the new sections added by section 2 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.
SECTION 5. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Afterschool Programs; Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture, and Health Program; R.E.A.C.H.; Special Fund
Establishes the R.E.A.C.H. (Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture, and Health) program in the Office of Youth Services to provide a standardized framework and funding for afterschool programs in public middle schools. Establishes a R.E.A.C.H. program special fund. (SB980 HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.