STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3639
RE: H.B. No. 2088
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Education and Higher Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 2088, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Establish a working group to create a state plan to make Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion a statewide graduation requirement and an opt-out waiver for FAFSA completion by the 2022-2023 school year; and
(2) Appropriate funds.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the State Public Charter School Commission, Hawaii State Teachers Association, HawaiiKidsCAN, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Maui Chamber of Commerce, Maui High School, and eight private individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Government Employees Association and Molokai High School. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Education, Office of Information Practices, and a private individual.
Your Committees find that motivating more students and providing resources to assist them in completing their FAFSA will help ensure that high school graduates do not forgo post-secondary educational opportunities simply because they cannot afford to pay for them. This accords with the Hawaii P-20 initiative's "55 by 25" goal of having fifty-five percent of adults earn a college degree by 2025. Although the State is making progress towards this objective, attainment remains at 46.3 percent. One potential avenue to help realize this goal could be to follow Louisiana's example. A national success story, Louisiana's FAFSA completion rate jumped from forty-four percent to nearly eighty percent after they made FAFSA completion or an opt-out waiver a statewide graduation requirement.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Including a representative of the charter school community in the working group; and
(2) Making the working group subject to the Sunshine Law.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Education and Higher Education that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2088, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2088, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Education and Higher Education,
DONNA MERCADO KIM, Chair
MICHELLE N. KIDANI, Chair