STAND. COM. REP. NO. 479
RE: H.B. No. 1078
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 1078 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE HAWAII SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF AND BLIND,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) By August 1, 2021, the Board of Education to meet with alumni, student, and parent representatives of the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind, other members of the Hawaii deaf community, and representatives of the Department of Education on progress to convert the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind to a charter school and to discuss other alternatives; and
(2) By October 1, 2021, the Department of Education to develop an implementation plan to transition the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind to a conversion charter school.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from nine individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Government Employees Association, AFSCME Local 152, AFL-CIO. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Education.
Your Committee finds that deaf and deaf-blind children are best served by a specialized school where their special communication, language, and development needs will be understood. Your Committee further finds this measure will begin the process to convert the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind to a charter school, enabling the School to focus on the needs of deaf and deaf-blind children from early childhood through transitioning to employment and adult life.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Requiring the State Public Charter School Commission or applicable authorizer to begin the approval process for the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind to become a conversion charter school upon receipt of the letter of intent to convert the School;
(2) Requiring the Department of Education's implementation plan to allow for a public school student whose individualized education program prescribes that the child needs the support provided by the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind to be granted automatic admittance into the School;
(3) Requiring conversion charter schools to enroll any student whose individualized education program prescribes that the conversion charter school provides support for blind, deaf, or hard of hearing students;
(4) Changing its effective date to July 1, 2050; and
(5) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Education that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1078, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1078, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,
JUSTIN H. WOODSON, Chair