HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1926

TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2016

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to SCHOOL IMPROVEMENTS.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that top-down bureaucracy negatively impacts the State's public school system. While Hawaii's public school system has always been more centralized than most states, the department of education must recognize the need for providing discretion to the principals to determine their individual schools' needs and priorities. Currently, the top-down system has been disproportionately removing controls from the school level, reducing public school principals to mere compliance officers. Public school principals are the front lines for their schools, but are without enough institutional support or discretion to expend funds.

The legislature further finds that while the department of education's current system is well-intentioned, it fails to support school autonomy or site-based decision making. Thus, organizational structure in the public school system must be improved. Public school principals have enormous amounts of responsibility, but very limited authority. Funds for capital improvement projects, for instance, are set by the State as part of a comprehensive program to manage state facilities. While the State's facilities staff work directly with public school principals, capital improvement appropriations can only be expended centrally.

The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Allow principals more flexibility to make improvements

to individual schools by providing them with authority

to oversee and maintain capital improvement and repair and maintenance programs at their schools, including installation of solar energy infrastructure; and

(2) Clarify the department of education's responsibility

for oversight and fiscal accountability of such programs.

SECTION 2. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"302A- Principal; authority over capital improvements. School principals shall have the authority to oversee and maintain capital improvement and repair and maintenance programs at their schools, including installation of solar energy infrastructure."

SECTION 3. Section 302A-1128, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"302A-1128 Department powers and duties.  The department shall have entire charge and control and be responsible for the conduct of all affairs pertaining to public instruction in the public schools the department establishes and operates, including [operating and maintaining] oversight and fiscal accountability of the capital improvement and repair and maintenance programs for department and school facilities.  The department may establish and maintain schools for secular instruction at such places and for such terms as in its discretion it may deem advisable and the funds at its disposal may permit.  The schools may include high schools, kindergarten schools, schools or classes for early childhood education, boarding schools, Hawaiian language medium education schools, and evening and day schools.  The department may also maintain classes for technical and other instruction in any school where there may not be pupils sufficient in number to justify the establishment of separate schools for these purposes."

SECTION 4. The department of education shall adopt rules, pursuant to chapter 91, to effectuate the purpose of this Act.

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2016.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Department of Education; Public School Principals; Capital Improvement Projects; Repair and Maintenance.

 

Description:

Provides authority to school principals to oversee and maintain capital improvement and repair and maintenance programs at their schools, including installation of solar energy infrastructure. Clarifies the department of education's responsibility for oversight and fiscal accountability of such programs.

 

 

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