COM. REP. NO. 469
RE: H.B. No. 1362
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 1362 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ACCESS TO LEARNING,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Establish the Hawaii Early Childhood Educator Stipend Program; and
(2) Clarify and make adjustments to Act 46, Session Laws of Hawaii 2020, which relates to access to learning, to reflect the current situation brought upon by the COVID‑2019 pandemic.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Education; Hawaii State Council on Developmental Disabilities; Early Childhood Action Strategy; Hui for Excellence in Education; Hawaii Children's Action Network Speaks!; and three individuals. Your Committee received testimony in support of the intent of this measure from the Department of Human Services and Executive Office on Early Learning. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the State Public Charter School Commission and Early Learning Board.
Your Committee finds that the demand for quality early care and education far exceeds the amount of available and qualified early childhood educators. This measure will support individuals seeking to become high‑quality early childhood educators, thereby moving the State toward reaching its goal of increasing access to high‑quality early learning programs.
Your Committee additionally finds that it is important to prioritize early learning despite the challenges the State has had to face with the COVID-19 pandemic. Your Committee believes that this measure will help to expand and strengthen the early childhood workforce, clarify key dates in the implementation of Act 46, Session Laws of Hawaii 2020, and clarify that a uniform assessment of kindergarten readiness will be used to support the readiness and learning of all students entering kindergarten in public schools and charter schools across the State.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Removing language which would have required the Executive Office on Early Learning to partner with the State Public Charter School Commission to provide the Early Childhood Education Program;
(2) Restoring language which requires the Department of Human Services to establish or augment an existing database to collect and analyze information it receives from the Department of Education and State Public Charter School Commission regarding standardized assessments for students entering kindergarten and prior early learning programs attendance disclosure;
(3) Repealing the requirement for the Department of Human Services and Executive Office on Early Learning to collaborate to identify the need for child care and early learning in geographic regions of the State;
(4) Requiring the Department of Human Services and the Executive Office on Early Learning to collect annual data on the total number of available seats, total number of vacancies, and available waitlist information, to be aggregated by age, program type, and zip code, and allow the Department and Office to work with outside providers and entities to aggregate the collected data;
(5) Changing its effective date to July 1, 2050; and
(6) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Education that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1362, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1362, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,
JUSTIN H. WOODSON, Chair