STAND. COM. REP. NO. 478

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2021

 

RE: H.B. No. 613

H.D. 2

 

 

 

 

Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 613, H.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to appropriate elementary and secondary school emergency relief fund (ESSER funds) monies received by the State from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Public Law 116-136 (CARES Act), and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021, Public Law 116-260 (CRRS Appropriations Act) to offset any budget reductions that are identified or proposed by the Department of Education and the Governor that would result in the reduction of personnel who are subject to a collective bargaining agreement pursuant to chapter 89, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and who are employed at the school level, subject to certain requirements and conditions.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii State Teachers Association, Hui for Excellence in Education, Democratic Party of Hawaii Education Caucus, and five individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Board of Education and Department of Education.

 

Your Committee finds that the Department of Education is the only public education system in the country that is wholly state funded, resulting in the Department facing unique challenges to utilizing federal funds to offset the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Your Committee further finds that for states who received certain federal funds, including ESSER funds established by the CARES Act and CRRS Appropriations Act, are required to assure that they will maintain support for education programs during fiscal years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 by meeting certain benchmarks. Your Committee believes that this measure will allocate funds to maintain that support by ensuring that Department of Education employees at the school level continue to remain employed and not face layoffs, furloughs, or pay reductions.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Removing language noting that the State is not currently experiencing a precipitous decline in revenues, as this language may jeopardize future federal funding;

 

(2) Appropriating an unspecified amount of ESSER funds received by the State from the CARES Act and CRRS Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2020-2021 as an emergency appropriation to be expended by the Department of Education for the same purpose as the appropriation of ESSER funds received by the State from the CARES Act and CRRS Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 and subject to the same requirements and conditions;

 

(3) Changing its effective date to July 1, 2050; and

 

(4) 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. 613, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 613, H.D. 2, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.

 

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,

 

 

 

 

____________________________

JUSTIN H. WOODSON, Chair