STAND. COM. REP. NO. 347
RE: H.B. No. 608
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. 608 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 and report to the 2022 Legislature on the implementation of the open forums.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from two individuals. Your Committee received testimony in support of the intent of this measure from the League of Women Voters. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Office of Information Practices, Board of Education, and 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:
(1) Removing language which would have allowed only less than a quorum of Board of Education members to attend a community forum;
(2) Requiring the Board to give written public notice that indicates the date, time, and place, of each community forum and meets the posting and filing requirements pursuant to section 92-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, which provides public meeting notice requirements for certain state entities;
(3) Requiring the community forums to be open to the public for all persons to attend and allow for all interested persons to share data, views, or arguments, on any public education or public library issue; and
(4) Changing its effective date to July 1, 2050.
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. 608, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 608, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,
JUSTIN H. WOODSON, Chair