S.B. NO.














relating to education.





SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaii has been experiencing teacher shortages over the last several years, and that it is particularly difficult to fill vacancies for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) teachers in secondary education in the State. The legislature further finds that, to help fill these critical positions in the Hawaii public school system, a legislative scholarship program should be created to encourage qualified students at the University of Hawaii to pursue teaching degrees in STEM subjects.

According to the Hawaii Community Foundation, over the last ten years the growth of STEM jobs in the United States has been three times greater than the growth of non-STEM jobs. In Hawaii alone, it is estimated that sixteen thousand five hundred workers with STEM skills will be needed annually as STEM-related jobs increase across all industries. Unfortunately, Hawaii is not producing enough graduates in STEM fields locally to fill these anticipated jobs. The legislature finds that exposing students to quality STEM education as part of their secondary education curriculum is a key component of interesting students in, and preparing them for, careers in the growing STEM market. Filling the vacancies of STEM secondary teachers is vital to achieve this goal.

The purpose of this Act is to establish a legislative scholarship program to encourage students at the University of Hawaii to pursue teaching degrees in STEM subjects. The program shall be administered by the department of education and funded by the legislature.

SECTION 2. Chapter 304A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"304A-   Hawaii STEM educator scholarship program. (a) There is established the Hawaii STEM educator scholarship program to be administered by the department to address the shortfall of STEM secondary education teachers in Hawaii. The program shall be used to provide financial assistance in the form of scholarships to students who meet the requirements of subsection (b).

(b) A student is eligible for scholarship consideration if the student meets the following requirements:

(1) Is enrolled at a University of Hawaii campus and qualifies for Hawaii resident tuition;

(2) Is enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or certificate program to teach secondary education in a STEM subject, as determined by the department;

(3) Maintains satisfactory academic progress, as defined by the federal title IV requirements and the program in which the student is enrolled;

(4) Completes and submits the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year, and accepts all federal and state aid, grants, scholarships, and other funding sources that do not require repayment; and

(5) Has unmet direct cost needs.

(c) Scholarships shall be awarded:

(1) On a first-come, first-served basis;

(2) In an amount up to fifty per cent of the student's unmet direct cost needs based on the FAFSA calculation of need minus what is available from federal Pell grants and other scholarships; and

(3) To the extent funds are available to support the scholarship award.

(d) Scholarship recipients shall teach in the Hawaii public school system for five of the ten years immediately following completion of their eligible program at the University of Hawaii. If a recipient fails to complete an eligible degree or certificate program, or to satisfy the teaching requirement within the allotted time, scholarship funds shall be repaid as follows:

(1) For each year less than five years that a scholarship recipient does not teach in the Hawaii public school system, the recipient shall repay twenty per cent of the total scholarship funds received; and

(2) The department shall set the terms and conditions for scholarship repayment, including circumstances under which recipients may be eligible for deferment or forgiveness due to hardship or inability to secure employment.

(e) The department shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 to implement and administer the scholarship program.

(f) Moneys repaid by scholarship recipients pursuant to subsection (d) shall be deposited in the general fund.

(g) For purposes of this section:

"Department" means the department of education.

"Direct cost" means costs of tuition, fees, books, supplies, and transportation.

"STEM" means science, technology, engineering, and math."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $2,500,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2017-2018 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2018-2019 for the establishment and implementation of the Hawaii STEM educator scholarship program.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of education for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2017.








Report Title:

University of Hawaii; Scholarship; Education Majors; Teacher Shortages; STEM Teachers; DOE; Appropriation



Establishes a STEM educator scholarship program to be administered by DOE to address the shortage of STEM teachers in secondary schools in Hawaii. Appropriates funds for the program for 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 fiscal years.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.