STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1058
RE: H.B. No. 498
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2017
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 498, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EARLY LEARNING,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Broaden the scope of the State's early learning program to include early childhood development;
(2) Expand the function of the Early Learning Advisory Board beyond an advisory capacity and amend the composition of the Board and the powers of some board members; and
(3) Allow the Board to appoint and evaluate the Director of the Executive Office on Early Learning.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Executive Office on Early Learning, State Public Charter School Commission, Kamehameha Schools, Native Hawaiian Educational Council, Hawaii Children's Action Network, and one individual.
Your Committee finds that a broad and consistent approach to early childhood development promotes the health and wellbeing of children, equips them to be engaged and active learners throughout their education, and benefits them throughout their lives. Your Committee further finds that the need for high-quality early childhood development programs is especially acute for children whose families face financial hardships. This measure will empower the Early Learning Advisory Board to take a more active role in directing consistent early childhood development policy and expand the public pre-kindergarten program to benefit children at risk of financial hardship.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Removing language prioritizing public pre-kindergarten placement in specific schools for children whose family income is at or below two hundred fifty percent of the federal poverty level;
(2) Adding language prioritizing children whose family income is at or below two hundred fifty percent of the federal poverty level for participation in the preschool open doors program; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Education that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 498, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 498, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,
MICHELLE N. KIDANI, Chair