HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

607

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the State has an obligation to prepare Hawaii's students with the tools necessary for successful futures in the modern economy. In 2017, 17 percent of Hawaii high schoolers did not graduate. Furthermore, just 55 percent of Hawaii high schoolers go on to enroll in post-secondary education after graduation, and only 32 percent enroll in a four-year university. The Department of Education must give students more options to motivate and prepare them for their careers.

A traditional four-year bachelor's degree is becoming increasingly irrelevant for earning potential and job placement, especially when considering the debt-to-earnings ratio incurred by many students at private colleges and universities. Over forty-four million borrowers owe a total of $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. The average college graduate in 2016 carries $37,172 in student loan debt. Nationwide, three out of ten high school graduates from four-year public universities have not earned degrees within six years. Additionally, many well-paying jobs do not require higher education. Nearly 30 million jobs in the United States that pay an average of $55,000 per year do not require bachelor's degrees. A bachelor's degree is not a straight path to economic self-sufficiency as it once was.

Trade jobs are a growing area of opportunity for high school graduates. According to the United States Labor Department, there were 6.6 million job openings in early 2018 and job openings are expected to outpace available employees in the near future. Careers in construction, health care, and personal care will account for one-third of all new jobs in the next four years according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. In some states, trade jobs like carpentry, electrical, plumbing, sheet-metal work, and pipe-fitting have more vacancies than qualified workers to fill them. Moreover, the United States Department of Education reports that in the next five years there will be sixty-eight percent more job openings in infrastructure-related fields than there are people trained to fill them.

Many high school graduates are reaping the benefits of trade jobs. For some industries, a technical program graduate can earn above the national average income plus benefits after just a few semesters of certificate training for a fraction of the cost of an undergraduate education. Tuition and fees for community or technical colleges are also significantly cheaper than four-year universities.

Encouraging vocational training and business apprenticeships in Hawaii Department of Education schools and providing additional resources will enable students to take advantage of these opportunities and galvanize students for whom a four-year university is not the right fit. The State must help its students take advantage of a historically strong national economy by preparing them for family wage jobs that do not require a bachelor's degree.

The purpose of this Act is to ease the requirements for the Department of Education to hire individuals to teach career, technical, or career pathway classes, and to amend the Private Trade, Vocational, and Technical School Special Fund to further develop training, business apprenticeships, and career opportunities for Hawaii students.

SECTION 2. Section 302A-602, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"302A-602 Teachers; licenses and certificates. (a) No person shall serve as a teacher in the department without first having obtained a license from the Hawaii teacher standards board in such form as the Hawaii teacher standards board determines. The department shall establish types of certificates in the educational field and the requirements to qualify for those certificates issued to individuals who are not required to obtain a license pursuant to sections 302A-801 to 302A-808.

(b) Beginning with the 2002-2003 school year, no person paid under the salary schedule contained in the unit 5 collective bargaining agreement shall serve as a teacher in the department without first having obtained a license pursuant to sections 302A-801 to 302A-808 from the Hawaii teacher standards board in such form as the Hawaii teacher standards board determines.

(c) Beginning with the 2002-2003 school year, the department may employ unlicensed individuals as emergency hires pursuant to sections 302A-801 to 302A-808.

(d) Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, the department may employ unlicensed individuals as vocational, technical or career pathway teachers pursuant to sections 302A-801 to 302A-808."

SECTION 3. Section 302A-802, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"302A-802 Licensing standards; policies. (a) The board shall establish licensing standards that govern teacher licensing in Hawaii. Licensing standards established by the board shall be adopted as rules under chapter 91 unless otherwise specified in this subpart.

(b) In the development of its standards, the board shall consider the existing teacher applicant pool that is available in the State and the level of the qualification of these applicants, as well as the nature and availability of existing preservice teacher training programs.

(c) The board shall adopt policies, exempt from chapters 91 and 92, to initiate the following:

(1) Develop criteria allowing more individuals with trade or industry experience to teach in vocational, technical, and career pathway programs, and criteria for the issuance of permits allowing qualified individuals to teach when recommended by the superintendent or the commission, when appropriate. The department or the commission, when appropriate, shall be responsible for the review and acceptance of the relevant licenses, certificates, or other qualifications related to an individual's vocational, technical, or career pathway education-related experience that the department or the commission, when appropriate, deems necessary for a permit. The department or the commission[, when appropriate,] shall [have the authority to] waive the requirement of a bachelor's degree to teach in a vocation, technical, or career pathway education program;

(2) Develop a plan to accept teachers from any state as long as they have completed state-approved teacher education programs and pass relevant Hawaii teacher examinations or their equivalent;

(3) Clarify the requirements, on a state-by-state basis, for out-of-state licensed teachers to obtain a license in Hawaii;

(4) Develop a plan to facilitate licensing for those who intend to teach in Hawaii immersion programs, the island of Niihau, or any other extraordinary situation as defined by the superintendent or the superintendent's designee, or by the commission, when appropriate; and

(5) Pursue full teacher license reciprocity with all other states."

SECTION 4. Section 302A-808, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"302A-808 Penalty. Any person who engages in the profession of teaching in a public school without first being issued a license[ or], hired on an emergency basis or hired as a vocational, technical or career pathway teacher as defined in this chapter shall be fined not more than $500. Any person who knowingly or intentionally violates this subpart by employing an individual as a public school teacher who does not possess a valid license [or], is not a department of education or charter school emergency hire or hired as a vocational, technical or career pathway teacher as defined in this chapter may be fined not more than $500. All fines shall be deposited into the Hawaii teacher standards board special fund."

SECTION 4. Section 302a-425.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[302A-425.5] Private trade, vocational, and technical school [licensure] special fund. (a) There is created in the state treasury a special fund to be designated as the private trade, vocational, and technical school [licensure] special fund into which shall be deposited:

(1) All revenues and fees collected by the department pursuant to section 302A-425; [and]

(2) Appropriations from the general fund of the State[.];

(3) Federal funds granted by Congress or executive order; and

(4) Grants, donations, and contributions from private or public sources for the purposes of the private trade, vocational, and technical school special fund.

(b) Moneys in the private trade, vocational, and technical school [licensure] special fund shall be used [to fund] for the following purposes:

(1) [activities] Activities related to the licensure requirements established under section 302A‑425, including funding for permanent staff positions and administrative and operational costs[.];

(2) Creating and maintaining vocational, technical and career pathway classes;

(3) Funding the administrative costs, program fees, equipment or other costs for students enrolled in career or technical courses pursuant to 304A-803; and

(4) Any and all purposes for vocational, technical and career pathway classes including personnel, equipment and facilities costs.

(c) Whenever the governor determines that the amount in the private trade, vocational and technical school special fund exceeds the requirement of the program, the department shall transfer the excess to the general fund."

SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019-2020 for the private trade, vocational and technical school special fund.

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

SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2019.

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Private Trade, Vocational, and Technical School Special Fund

 

Description:

Amends the Private Trade, Vocational, and Technical School Special Fund within the Department of Education to fund vocational, technical and career pathway classes for public school students and to cover student costs associated with career and technical education classes. Allows individuals to teach vocational, technical or career pathway classes without a bachelor's degree.

 

 

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