THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

825

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to education.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the funding policies adopted in the state budget each year display the moral values of the State. In times of economic difficulty, such as the State faces today due to the COVID-19 pandemic, funding decisions indicate the priorities of the State. The State is facing a projected deficit of $1,400,000,000 per year for the next four years. While broad, across-the-board cuts may seem like a convenient way to reduce the deficit, not all cuts carry the same impact and effects. Areas that serve our keiki, our most vulnerable group, must be kept intact to the best of the State's ability. The demands of a balanced state budget cannot be borne by our youngest citizens.

The legislature further finds that school funding, specifically per-pupil spending, impacts school performance and outcomes. A 2016 report from the Albert Shanker Institute found that aggregate measures of per-pupil spending are positively associated with improved or higher student outcomes.

Using the lessons we have learned from the Great Recession, school funding for students and services should be maintained. After the budget cuts instituted in 2009 due to the Great Recession, it took Hawaii five years to recover from the cuts to education spending. In addition to the loss of funding, students also lost instructional time. For special education services like aides and additional assistance in the classroom, reduction in budgets can render the programs unable to meet student needs as mandated by federal and state law.

The New York Times reported in June 2020 that graduation rates could decrease or foundational concepts could be missed if schools reopen with significant budget cuts. While cuts to the department of education's budget may appear temporary, the impact will be long lasting. Therefore, every proposed reduction in the budget must be evaluated before being implemented.

The State must commit to protecting educational services for students and the workforce engaged in their education. To that end, the State shall adopt student-centered budgeting in the legislative review process.

The objectives of student-centered budgeting are to ensure that all students have the opportunity for high-quality, equitable public education so that all students are educated, healthy, and joyful lifelong learners who contribute positively to our community and global society, as stated in the department of education's vision statement.

The purpose of this Act is to support a student-centered budget in the legislative review process by:

(1) Requiring committee chairs to make certain determinations when bills directly affecting the moneys appropriated to the department of education are deliberated on by their committees; and

(2) Requiring such determinations be written into the committee reports accompanying those bills.

SECTION 2. Chapter 37, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"37-    Legislative review of the department of education's budget; committee chairs; committee reports. (a) Chairs of committees in the legislature, including standing committees and conference committees, shall make the following determinations when bills directly affecting the moneys appropriated to the department of education for operational expenses are deliberated by their committees:

(1) The impact of the proposed budget on students. Specifically, the impacts on Native Hawaiian students, special education students, English learner students, and economically high-needs students;

(2) Whether there is a gendered impact by the proposed budget;

(3) Whether certain geographic areas are disproportionately impacted;

(4) Whether the needs of students with disabilities and students requiring accommodations and special services have been taken into consideration; and

(5) The length of time the proposed changes to the budget will impact students.

(b) The determinations in subsection (a) shall be included in the committee reports, including standing committee reports and conference committee reports, accompanying the bills when the bills are reported out of the committees."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

DOE; Budget; Legislature

 

Description:

Requires chairs of legislative committees to make certain determinations when bills directly affecting the moneys appropriated to the department of education are deliberated on by their committees and to place those determinations in the accompanying committee reports.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.