Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 2782

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2016

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 2782 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to create an incentive program for educational assistants that work in hard-to-fill schools to attain teacher licensure if they commit to teaching in a hard-to-fill school for three years.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Department of Education, Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission, College of Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Special Education Advisory Council.


     Your Committee finds that the Department of Education struggles to place teachers in schools with high turnover rates or that are designated as hard-to-fill.  Although they lack teacher licensure, educational assistants serve important roles in the classroom, including tutoring, mentoring, and assisting the teacher with classroom management and safety.  One obstacle many educational assistants face in obtaining teacher licensure is the cost.


     Your Committee believes that providing educational assistants with tuition reimbursement for teacher certification programs will encourage more educational assistants to seek out the necessary education to become certified teachers.  Additionally, your Committee believes that requiring educational assistants to commit to working at a hard-to-fill school for three years in order to receive tuition reimbursement will assist the Department of Education with its hiring needs.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1)  Changing the appropriation from $870,000 to an unspecified amount; and


(2)  Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure.


     Your Committee notes that as this measure moves forward, the Department of Education is expected to consider and report back on the estimated cost for providing the alternate route to teacher certification proposed under this measure.


     Further, should a standing committee in the House of Representatives decide to hear this measure, your Committee respectfully requests the committee to consider inserting the clarifying language proposed in the Department of Education's testimony regarding this measure.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2782, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2782, S.D. 1.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,