TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO HIGHER EDUCATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaiian is an official language of the State, and the legislature has a unique responsibility to assure that opportunities are available to use and study the Hawaiian language. Over the past three decades, the legislature has carried out this responsibility by forming the basis of the State's Hawaiian language medium pathway parallel to the long standing English medium pathway of preschool through doctoral level education.
These legislative efforts began in 1986 with removal of a barrier to use Hawaiian as the medium of education. Shortly thereafter in 1989, the legislature mandated the creation of a Hawaiian language center at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, in association with its existing Hawaiian language medium bachelor's degree, to produce Hawaiian language medium educational materials and teacher support. In 1997, the legislature required that a Hawaiian language college be established at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, building on the existing degree and Hawaiian language center, to expand the University of Hawaii at Hilo's Hawaiian language medium programming, including teacher education, preschool through twelfth grade laboratory school programming, graduate education, and indigenous language outreach. Before the legislature took action, less than fifty children in the State were proficient in Hawaiian. Today, U.S. Census data indicates Hawaiian is the largest non-English language spoken in Hawaii among children ages five to seventeen. Many of these children are part of the preschool through twelfth grade Hawaiian medium programs currently educating over three thousand students annually.
The legislature finds that in response to S.R. No. 97, S.D. 1, regular session 2015, the office of the president of the university of Hawaii system, director of the Hawaiian language college, and a working group contributed to a report that considered the restructuring of the Hawaiian language college and examined the expansion of Hawaiian language instruction throughout the University of Hawaii system. One of the issues presented to the working group was that the existing structure of the University of Hawaii system is not optimal for a state whose official languages are English and Hawaiian. The report provided to the legislature, and made available to the public, delves into the data and trends in the teaching of the Hawaiian language and through the offering and use of Hawaiian language in the University of Hawaii system and beyond. The report also references some of the challenges and barriers to expanding these efforts as well as potential solutions to these challenges. A noteworthy reference in the report is the barriers the Hawaiian language college has encountered in instituting general education courses through the medium of Hawaiian. The report also highlights the underlying contradictions throughout the University of Hawaii system in relation to advancing strategic directions toward a Hawaiian language planning vision. Relative to these barriers, the report also acknowledges international tertiary education models that have successfully overcome similar challenges.
The legislature recognizes that 2017 represents the twentieth anniversary of its passage of legislation establishing the Hawaiian language college. Since its inception, the Hawaiian language college has not only provided key support for Hawaiian language medium education throughout the State but has also become a national resource for Native American language revitalization and has initiated international collaborations in pursuit of global indigenous language excellence. The continued need for, and interest in, the programs and support provided by the Hawaiian language college is evidenced in part by the continued growth in Hawaiian language course enrollment at the college, despite decreasing overall enrollment numbers for the University of Hawaii system. The driving focus fueling the Hawaiian language college's commitment to provide these much-needed programs that are impacting indigenous language initiatives here and abroad is the desire to establish a high-functioning Hawaiian medium pathway of education alongside the State's current, dominant, English medium pathway. In recognition of thirty years of legislative policy supporting the revitalization of Hawaiian language as well as the Hawaiian language college's noted progress in creating new and strengthened pathways to further the normalization of this official language of the State, the legislature seeks to support expanded innovative approaches to the development of a highly-functioning Hawaiian medium pathway of education.
The legislature finds that access to education taught through the Hawaiian language is a matter of statewide concern. Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to:
(1) Expand the Hawaiian language college's functions;
(2) Authorize the establishment of a pilot project in pursuit of innovative strategies and approaches for the development of a Hawaiian medium pathway; and
(3) Provide for 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.
SECTION 2. Section 304A-1301, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
Hawaiian language college; establishment. (a) There shall be a
Hawaiian language college at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. The college
shall provide a Hawaiian liberal education program providing education
primarily through the Hawaiian language.
(b) The Hawaiian language college shall be internally administered primarily through the Hawaiian language, operate year round, and offer and administer a variety of programs and qualifications. The programs of the college shall be offered primarily through the Hawaiian language and may be offered worldwide and through electronic means."
SECTION 3. Section 304A-1302, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
§304A-1302[ ]] Functions.
In addition to providing a quality education primarily through the medium of
the Hawaiian language, the Hawaiian language college shall:
(1) Provide an indigenous and minority language outreach program to involve indigenous and minority language scholars and to maintain and develop the program's Polynesian language database;
(2) Provide a Hawaiian medium teacher training
program incorporating Nawahiokalani‘opu‘u school and other
schools, as appropriate, as laboratory schools; [
(3) Maintain a Hawaiian language support center with
educational specialists in the areas of research, curriculum development, assessment
development, reference materials development including dictionaries,
language development, archival work, and educational technology[
(4) Provide a specially facilitated general education, dual enrollment, liberal studies, and shared courses and programs pathways through the medium of Hawaiian language to serve students, using technology as appropriate;
(5) Develop, pilot, and disseminate other distinctive pathways, procedures, and rules that provide for the support and use of the Hawaiian language and other endangered languages, including use of such language in government functions;
(6) Provide for national Native American language medium education research and support in partnership with the national coalition of Native American language schools and programs, and other entities as appropriate; and
(7) Enter into agreements of cooperation and reciprocity with other entities to meet the requirements of this section and section 304A-1301."
SECTION 4. The University of Hawaii system may establish a pilot project to implement Hawaiian language instruction and develop new ideas, practices, and processes relative to Hawaiian language medium education. This pilot project may include collaboration between all University of Hawaii system programs and campuses, and may implement innovative strategies and approaches for the development and approval of Hawaiian language medium general education programs and coursework, building on international models that address indigenous and minority official languages as the operational medium of education. The pilot project may serve as a possible model for replication for other purposes in Hawaii. The pilot project may operate under the jurisdiction of the president of the University of Hawaii, assisted by the chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, 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 while using shared resources as the President deems appropriate.
SECTION 5. The directors of all of the University of Hawaii system Hawaiian language programs shall 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, with additional members as deemed appropriate by the president of the University of Hawaii, to develop an implementation plan to address the system wide Hawaiian language goals indicated in the report generated by the working group created by S.R. No. 97, S.D. 1, regular session 2015. Once completed, the implementation plan shall be submitted to the legislature.
SECTION 6. The University of Hawaii shall submit a comprehensive report to the legislature no later than twenty days before the convening of each regular session detailing:
(1) Efforts throughout the University of Hawaii system, including efforts at individual campuses, to implement education taught through the Hawaiian language;
(2) The status of the implementation plan that addresses the goals indicated in the report generated by the working group created by S.R. No. 97, S.D. 1, regular session 2015;
(3) The number of students pursuing educational options available through the Hawaiian language; and
(4) Any recommendations, including any proposed legislation, for statewide efforts to promote education taught through the Hawaiian language.
SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Hawaiian Language College; University of Hawaii at Hilo; Hawaiian Language Medium General Education Coursework Pilot Project; Hawaiian Language Instruction Implementation Plan
Expands the Hawaiian language college's functions. Authorizes a Hawaiian language medium general education coursework pilot project. Supports the development of an implementation plan for Hawaiian language instruction throughout the University of Hawaii system. Requires the University of Hawaii to report to the legislature each year with information about efforts to implement education taught through the Hawaiian language. (SD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.