STAND. COM. REP. NO. 69-20
RE: H.B. No. 2510
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Lower & Higher Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 2510 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Require the Board of Education to hold no less than six community forums annually, rather than committee meetings, with at least one community forum to be held in each county; and
(2) Require the Board to include an open forum for public comment on non-agenda items at the end of each public Board meeting through June 30, 2025, and report to the 2021 Legislature on the implementation of the open forums.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Democratic Party of Hawaii Education Caucus. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Board of Education and the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest.
Your Committee finds that community meetings held by the Board of Education improve the public's access to the Board and allow the public to provide the Board with more information to help with decision-making and priority setting. Greater access to the Board of Education from communities in each county across the State through community forums will allow the Board to hear from more community stakeholders and receive more information before making decisions at a later date.
Your Committee has amended this measure by changing its effective date to July 1, 2050.
Should the Committee on Judiciary decide to hear this measure, your Committee respectfully requests that it consider:
(1) The concern raised in testimony from the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest that treating community forums as permitted interactions under the Sunshine Law will eliminate certain open meeting requirements, including those for public notice, and that elimination of these requirements may be contrary to the goal of the forums, which is to allow the Board to receive input from the community; and
(2) Amending the measure to specifically require community forums to be held on the islands of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai, rather than only generally requiring forums in the County of Maui.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Lower & Higher Education that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2510, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2510, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Lower & Higher Education,
JUSTIN H. WOODSON, Chair