HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

649

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO TEACHER HOUSING SUBSIDIES.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that approximately ten per cent of the State's teachers switch schools, relocate, or leave the profession each year. Fewer than sixty per cent have been employed at their current school for more than five years. Chronic turnovers force the department of education to rely on emergency hires and substitute teachers to fill vacancies.

The legislature further finds that teacher recruitment and retention is especially difficult in disadvantaged communities. The department of education's 2015 report, Equitable Access to Excellent Educators, found that 21.48 per cent of teachers in high-poverty schools are inexperienced, unqualified, or teaching outside of their fields, compared with 14.48 per cent in low-poverty schools.

The legislature finds that Hawaii's high cost of living significantly contributes to the department of education's difficulty with teacher recruitment and retention. According to a WalletHub study, the State ranked fifty-first out of fifty states and the District of Columbia for starting teacher salary and median teacher salary when adjusted for the cost of living.

The purpose of this Act is to improve teacher recruitment and retention by establishing a teacher home assistance program to provide housing vouchers to full-time teachers employed by the department of education, including teachers at public charter schools, who teach in hard-to-fill schools, as determined by the department of education, and whose household income does not exceed eighty per cent of the area's median income.

SECTION 2. Chapter 201H, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part II to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"201H-   Teacher home assistance program. (a) There is established a teacher home assistance program to be administered by the corporation.

(b) The corporation shall provide housing vouchers to full-time teachers employed by the department of education, including teachers at public charter schools, who teach in hard-to-fill schools, as determined by the department of education, and whose household income does not exceed eighty per cent of the area median income.

(c) Housing vouchers shall be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

(d) Each housing voucher shall not exceed $         in a single year.

(e) A housing voucher provided under the teacher home assistance program may be used for:

(1) Rent;

(2) Mortgage payments for the teacher's primary residence; or

(3) Down payment on residential real property; provided that the residential real property shall be the teacher's primary residence and that the teacher shall not own, operate, or control any other residential real property.

(f) The corporation shall:

(1) Develop an application procedure;

(2) Develop the processes, procedures, and forms necessary to implement and maintain the program; and

(3) Cooperate with the department of education and state public charter school system to develop a process to verify an applicant's status as a full-time teacher employed at a hard-to-fill school.

(g) Any housing voucher provided pursuant to this section shall be renewable for one additional year without further application or verification by the corporation or the department of education.

(h) The corporation shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 for the purposes of this section."

SECTION 3. 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 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 to provide housing vouchers through the teacher home assistance program established by this Act.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the Hawaii housing finance and development corporation for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2050.



 

Report Title:

HHFDC; Teacher Home Assistance Program; Appropriation

 

Description:

Establishes the teacher home assistance program within HHFDC to provide housing vouchers to full-time DOE teachers (including public charter school teachers) who teach in hard-to-fill schools and whose household income does not exceed eighty percent of the area's median income. (HB649 HD1)

 

 

 

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