Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 197

       S.D. 1




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 S.B. No. 197 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to provide funding for start-up grants to assist one or more new pre-opening charter schools.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission; The Maritime Group, LLC; Kamehameha Schools; Hawaii Public Charter School Network; and one individual.


     Your Committee received written comments in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii State Teachers Association and IMUAlliance.


     Your Committee finds that certain Department of Education schools are operating at or near-full capacity and are struggling with severe overcrowding.  Your Committee further finds that overcrowding in schools is a serious issue throughout the State.  Your Committee recognizes that public charter schools can be a crucial part of the solution to the problem of school overcrowding, but notes that the start-up costs associated with opening a charter school are significant.  These start-up costs present a serious obstacle to opening new charter schools to meet the needs of Hawaii's students.  Your Committee believes that the funding provided by this measure will help ease the cost of opening new charter schools to better support the educational needs of Hawaii's students.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1)  Changing the amounts appropriated in fiscal years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 from $200,000 respectively for each year to unspecified amounts;


(2)  Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure; and


(3)  Making a technical nonsubstantive amendment for the purposes of clarity and style.


     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 S.B. No. 197, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 197, S.D. 1.


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