Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 608

       H.D. 2

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 608, H.D. 2, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


     (1)  Require the Board of Education to hold no less than six community forums annually, with at least one forum in each county;


     (2)  Require the Board of Education to include an open forum for public comments on non-agenda items; and


     (3)  Require a report to the Legislature on implementing open forums.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the League of Women Voters and one individual.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Board of Education and Office of Information Practices.


     Prior to the hearing on this measure, your Committee posted and made available for review a proposed S.D. 1 of this measure.  The proposed S.D. 1 retained the contents of this measure and also inserted provisions that eliminate the Superintendent of Education as a voting member constituting the public employer for the purpose of negotiating a collective bargaining agreement with personnel of the Department of Education.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of the proposed S.D. 1 from one individual.  Your Committee received testimony in opposition to the proposed S.D. 1 from the Department of Education and League of Women Voters.  Your Committee received comments on the proposed S.D. 1 from the Office of Information Practices.


     Your Committee finds that community meetings held by the Board of Education improve the public's access to the Board and allow the public to provide the Board with more information to help with decision-making and priority setting.  Greater access to the Board of Education from communities in each county across the State through community forums will allow the Board to hear from more community stakeholders and receive more information before making decisions at a later date.  Your Committee further finds that eliminating the vote of the Superintendent of Education for purposes of negotiating collective bargaining agreements for bargaining units (5) and (6) will encourage the Department of Education to work more closely with the Board of Education in developing terms of collective bargaining agreements for those bargaining units.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by adopting proposed S.D. 1.


     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. 608, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 608, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,