Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 501

       H.D. 1

       S.D. 2




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 501, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to encourage public school faculty to pursue national certification.


     Specifically, this measure:


(1)  Renames the Teacher National Board Certification Incentive Program as the National Certification Incentive Program;


(2)  Makes school psychologists certified under the National Association of School Psychologists eligible for the benefits under the National Certification Incentive Program, including a $5,000 annual bonus for maintaining current national certification, up to $1,500 for completion of all components of a certification program, reimbursement of certain portions of the certification application fee, and an additional $5,000 annual bonus for employment at certain schools with a priority designation; and


(3)  Allows certified teachers and school psychologists to continue receiving annual bonuses for remaining at a school that transitions out of a designation that qualified the certified teachers and school psychologists for the annual bonuses.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Hawaii Association of School Psychologists, Hawaii Government Employees Association, and two individuals.


     Your Committee received written comments on this measure from the Department of Education.


     Your Committee finds that national certification practices require professionals to engage in continuous professional development to improve their skills and remain current with best practices.  This helps to ensure that certified individuals meet a high standard of education and training.  Your Committee further finds that Hawaii has been experiencing a shortage of highly-qualified professionals over the last several years, in part due to Department of Education salaries being low in comparison to salaries in other states and in light of Hawaii's high cost of living.  Your Committee believes that expanding the program to include school psychologists will help to offset some of the difficulties in recruiting and retaining highly-qualified school professionals.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1)  Adding the substantive content of Senate Bill No. 1188, Senate Draft 1, to this measure, to establish and appropriate funds for the Hawaii Teacher Stipend Program, which would provide scholarships for University of Hawaii students who are enrolled in certain teacher education programs and commit to teach at Hawaii public schools for three to five years; and


(2)  Making technical nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of style, clarity, and consistency.


     Your Committee notes that the cost of implementing this measure's substantive amendments to the Teacher National Board Certification Incentive Program has been estimated to be between $440,000 and $880,000, and the cost of the Hawaii Teacher Stipend Program has been estimated to cost $400,000.


     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. 501, 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. 501, H.D. 1, S.D. 2.


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