STAND. COM. REP. NO. 504
RE: S.B. No. 848
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2017
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Higher Education and Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 848 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HIGHER EDUCATION,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to create the Hawaiian Language University College and transfer the University of Hawaii at Hilo Hawaiian Language College's rights, duties, powers, and functions to the Hawaiian Language University College while maintaining some shared functions between the two entities.
Prior to the hearing on this measure, your Committees posted and made available for public review a proposed S.D. 1, which deletes the contents of the measure and inserts language to:
(1) Expand the University of Hawaii at Hilo Hawaiian Language College's functions;
(2) Establish a five-year pilot project in pursuit of innovative strategies and approaches for development of a Hawaiian medium pathway; and
(3) Require the development of an implementation plan to expand Hawaiian language instruction throughout the University of Hawaii System as recommended by the working group created by S.R. No. 97, S.D. 1, Regular Session 2015.
Your Committees received testimony in support of the proposed S.D. 1 from the Ka Haka Ula O Keelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language; Hale Kuamoo Hawaiian Language Center; Native Hawaiian Education Council; Public Charter School Board of Ke Kula O Nāwahīokalani-ōpuu; Kanu o ka Āina New Century Public Charter School; Hoomana Pono, LLC.; Keaukaha General Store; We Are One, Inc; Hawaii Bilingual; Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Guam Department of Education; over one hundred individuals; petitions from numerous schools with signatures of support from teachers at the schools; and a petition with signatures from over eighty students of Ka Haka Ula O Keelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to the proposed S.D. 1 from the University of Hawaii System, Hawaiinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, University of Hawaii at Mānoa; Center for Hawaiian Sovereignty Studies; and four individuals.
Your Committees find that a history of legislative action exists demonstrating the importance of assuring that opportunities are available throughout the State to use and study the Hawaiian language. Over the past three decades, the Legislature has formed the basis of the Hawaiian language medium pathway parallel to the long standing English medium pathway of preschool through doctoral level education. Your Committees note that as the only state to have two official languages operationalized in public education under a single state education system, Hawaii is in a prime position to develop a strong Hawaiian medium pathway across its state educational system.
Your Committees further find that the Hawaiian Language College was established at the University of Hawaii at Hilo has made many strides forward to revitalize the Hawaiian language, provide immersion instruction in Hawaiian at the Pre K-12 level, and develop curricula and instructors of the Hawaiian language at all levels of education. Currently, there are over three thousand students enrolled in Hawaiian medium immersion schools at the P-12 level, and an estimated 13,500 students enrolled in various Hawaiian language coursework in public and private education.
Your Committees appreciate the numerous individuals and groups that submitted testimony on this measure, including many students, parents, teachers, faculty, and community members. Your Committees find that it is crucial for children throughout the State to have the opportunity to pursue higher education through the Hawaiian language, especially for those students who learn through the Hawaiian language during their primary education years. Your Committees also heard testimony on this measure from various departments and individuals from the University of Hawaii System and acknowledges the need for resources and collaboration in order to fully implement Hawaiian language instruction system-wide with general education courses taught through the Hawaiian language.
Your Committees recognize that 2017 represents the twentieth anniversary of the passage of legislation establishing the Hawaiian Language College, and that it is important to continue supporting expanded innovative approaches to develop a highly-functioning Hawaiian medium pathway of education in the State. Your Committees find that although data shows some healthy signs of language recovery, there remains much to be done in order to provide an equitable quality education for Hawaiian medium students across Hawaii's education system. Your Committees heard testimony on this measure from the Chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Hilo who indicated that the pursuit of higher education through the medium of the Hawaiian language at Hawaii's state university, and the current lack thereof, is a matter of statewide concern.
Your Committees have amended this measure by adopting the proposed S.D. 1 and further amending the proposed S.D. 1 by:
(1) Adding language to the purpose section declaring that access to education taught through the Hawaiian language is a matter of statewide concern;
(2) Deleting language limiting the pilot project to five years;
(3) Making the establishment of the pilot project optional instead of mandatory;
(4) Expanding the pilot project to the entire University of Hawaii System instead of having the pilot project be implemented solely at the University of Hawaii at Hilo;
(5) Inserting language to establish that the Chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Chancellor of the University of Hawaii West Oahu, and Chancellors of the University of Hawaii System Community Colleges may assist the President of the University of Hawaii and Chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Hilo with the pilot project;
(6) Inserting language that requires the directors of all of the University of Hawaii System Hawaiian language programs to join with the President of the University of Hawaii and the working group created by S.R. No. 97, S.D. 1, Regular Session 2015, to develop an implementation plan to address the system wide Hawaiian language goals;
(7) Inserting a provision requiring the University of Hawaii to report to the Legislature each year regarding efforts to implement education taught through the Hawaiian language, the status of the implementation plan for Hawaiian language instruction, the number of students pursuing educational options available through the Hawaiian language, and any recommendations for statewide efforts to promote education taught through the Hawaiian language;
(8) Deleting the appropriations;
(9) Making it effective upon approval; and
(10) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Higher Education and Hawaiian Affairs that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 848, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 848, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Ways and Means and Judiciary and Labor.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Higher Education and Hawaiian Affairs,
MAILE S.L. SHIMABUKURO, Chair
KAIALI'I KAHELE, Chair