THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

114

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO TEACHER HOUSING.

 

 

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. Only fifty to sixty per cent of current teachers have been at their school for five years or more. Chronic teacher turnover forces 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 for poor and hard-to-staff communities. Equitable Access to Excellent Educators, a report published by the United States Department of Education in 2015, found that an average of 14.48 per cent of teachers in low-poverty schools are inexperienced, unqualified, or teaching outside of their field of expertise. In high-poverty schools, however, an average of 21.48 per cent of teachers are inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teaching.

The legislature additionally finds that Hawaii's high cost of living is a significant contributing factor in the department of education's teacher recruitment and retention efforts. 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 adjusted for 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 at a hard-to-fill school, as determined by the department of education, and whose household income does not exceed eighty per cent of the area median income.

SECTION 2. Chapter 201H, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section 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 at a hard-to-fill school, 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. Each housing voucher shall not exceed $500 per month for as long as the qualified teacher is employed by the department of education, teaches at a hard-to-fill school as determined by the department of education, and resides in the State.

(d) 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 residence shall be the teacher's primary residence; provided further that the teacher shall not own, operate, or control any other residential real property.

(e) Upon the establishment of the teacher home assistance program, the corporation shall develop an application procedure, as well as processes, procedures, and forms necessary to implement and maintain the program. The corporation shall work with the department of education and state public charter school commission to develop a process to verify an applicant's status as a full-time teacher employed at a hard-to-fill school as determined by the department of education.

(f) Any housing voucher granted pursuant to this section shall be renewable for one additional year without further application or verification; provided that the person requesting the renewal shall submit to the corporation proof of continued employment as a teacher with the department of education.

(g) The corporation may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 to effectuate the purpose 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 July 1, 2052.


 


 

Report Title:

Teacher Home Assistance Program; HHFDC; Appropriation

 

Description:

Establishes the teacher home assistance program to be administered by the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation to provide housing vouchers to full-time teachers employed by the Department of Education, including teachers at public charter schools, who teach at a hard-to-fill school, as determined by the Department of Education, and whose household income does not exceed 80% of the area median income. Appropriates funds. (SB114 HD1)

 

 

 

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