STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1346
RE: S.B. No. 245
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Education and Higher Education & Technology, to which was referred S.B. No. 245, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to require the Department of Education's existing Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) working group to create a state plan to make completion of the FAFSA or an opt-out waiver for FAFSA completion a statewide graduation requirement by the 2023-2024 school year and submit a report to the Legislature, Superintendent of Education, and all complex area superintendents prior to the Regular Session of 2022.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, HawaiiKidsCAN, Maui Chamber of Commerce, and one individual. Your Committees received testimony in support of the intent of this measure from the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Education, Office of Information Practices, and League of Women Voters of Hawaii.
Your Committees find that Hawaii left $10,000,000 in unclaimed federal Pell Grants on the table in 2018, enough to send roughly 2,500 students to a University of Hawaii community college tuition-free. Your Committees further find that in 2016, the State of Louisiana began requiring students to fill out the FAFSA because more than half of high school seniors were not completing the paperwork for FAFSA. Louisiana is now ranked first in the nation for FAFSA completion. This measure will allow the State to develop a plan to also require FAFSA completion, including an opt‑out provision for FAFSA completion, for students in Hawaii.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Changing its effective date to July 1, 2051; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Education and Higher Education & Technology that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 245, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 245, S.D. 1, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Education and Higher Education & Technology,
GREGG TAKAYAMA, Chair
JUSTIN H. WOODSON, Chair