STAND. COM. REP. NO. 827
RE: S.B. No. 1220
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Education and Human Services, to which was referred S.B. No. 1220 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to prohibit the suspension and expulsion of children participating in the Executive Office on Early Learning public prekindergarten program, except in limited circumstances.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Education, Executive Office on Early Learning, Early Learning Board, Hawaii State Teachers Association, Special Education Advisory Council, Hawaii Children's Action Network, Parents and Children Together, and five individuals.
Your Committees find that according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, as many as 8,710 three- and four-year-olds may be expelled from their state-funded preschool or prekindergarten classroom every year, which is at a rate more than three times that of their peers in kindergarten through grade twelve. This is particularly troubling given such suspensions and expulsions occur during a critical period in a child's development. This measure ensures that the State's youngest children have access to appropriate educational opportunities that will set them up to reach their highest potential and prevents many of the adverse educational and life outcomes that result from suspension and expulsion early in a child's life.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Deleting the extensive amendments relating to suspension and expulsion in section 302L-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and inserting general provisions that:
(A) Prohibit the use of suspension in the early learning public prekindergarten program; provided that a temporary suspension may be used under certain conditions;
(B) Prohibit the permanent removal of a student from the early learning public prekindergarten program due to a child's behavior; provided that the administrator of the school shall consult with the Executive Office on Early Learning on how to address persistent and serious challenging behaviors; and
(C) Require the Executive Office on Early Learning to be subject to chapter 8-19, Hawaii Administrative Rules, relating to student misconduct and discipline, until subsequent administrative rules are developed and adopted to address suspension and expulsion; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Education and Human Services that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1220, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1220, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Education and Human Services,
RUSSELL E. RUDERMAN, Chair
MICHELLE N. KIDANI, Chair