HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to trauma-informed education.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that incorporating trauma-informed education in the State's public education system will help to address adverse childhood experiences. Trauma‑informed education involves mental health education for students, teachers, staff, parents, and community members, adds a flexible, responsive, and measured strategy for addressing trauma, and would be an important component to the department of education's multi-tier system of supports. Incorporating a trauma-informed education program in the public schools will enhance the staff's trauma awareness and skills to recognize behavior that results from exposure to trauma.
The legislature further finds that trauma‑informed education shifts the mindset of schools from discipline‑oriented to relationship‑oriented and from exclusionary practices to inclusionary practices, which can help reduce suspension rates. Trauma‑informed education also creates a compassionate school culture, which has a positive impact on the child and engages families and communities. It further promotes social and emotional learning in schools and focuses on providing resources for students, rather than negative consequences, such as suspensions and expulsions. The legislature also finds that trauma-informed education changes the culture of the school, creates social connectiveness, provides concrete support in times of need, teaches social and emotional competence, and promotes resilience, attachment and belonging, capability, and self‑empowerment.
The legislature additionally finds that the Nanakuli‑Waianae complex area has incorporated trauma‑informed education into its schools and, since 2015, has seen a reduction in the suspension and absenteeism rates and an increase in graduation and teacher retention rates.
The legislature also finds that the windward district, which includes the Castle, Kailua, and Kalaheo complex areas, created the Compassionate Koolaupoko Coalition, which includes numerous stakeholders who are currently working to bring trauma‑informed education to the district. A few schools in the district have already been trained in trauma-informed education.
The legislature acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted children and families in a multitude of ways, such as food and housing insecurities, due to unemployment. Distance learning has also made it difficult for students and families to access existing education resources and necessary support systems.
The purpose of this Act is to require the department of education to establish a three-year pilot program to develop a trauma-informed education program in the Castle, Kailua, and Kalaheo complex areas, based on the Nanakuli‑Waianae complex area's trauma‑informed education program and to build upon the work already done by the Compassionate Koolaupoko Coalition, and to appropriate funds for this purpose.
SECTION 2. (a) The department of education shall establish a three‑year pilot program for the development and implementation of a trauma‑informed education program in the Castle, Kailua, and Kalaheo complex areas based on the Nanakuli‑Waianae complex area trauma-informed education program. The goal of the pilot program shall be to replicate the results of the Nanakuli‑Waianae complex area trauma‑informed education program throughout all schools in the Castle, Kailua, and Kalaheo complex areas, including elementary, intermediate, and high schools, and pre‑kindergarten programs that are part of the elementary school. The pilot program shall terminate on June 30, 2024.
(b) The department of education shall submit a report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2024. The report shall include:
(1) The department's progress in implementing the pilot program in the Castle, Kailua, and Kalaheo complex areas, and if applicable, any additional time and resources necessary to fully implement the pilot program;
(2) The results of the pilot program and the methodology used in determining those results;
(3) Whether the required trauma‑informed education program should be terminated, extended, or revised and the feasibility of expanding the pilot program to other complex areas;
(4) A projected cost estimate to fully implement the pilot program throughout department of education public schools, projected costs to maintain the program for another ten years, and the means to finance the program;
(5) Any proposed legislation; and
(6) Any other relevant information.
SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2021-2022 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 for the three‑year pilot program established pursuant to this Act, including for training purposes, and shall be used for the salary and benefit of one temporary twelve-month district educational specialist, to be located within the office of the Castle-Kahuku complex area superintendent.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of education for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2021.
Trauma-informed Education Program; Pilot Project; Appropriation
Requires DOE to establish a three‑year pilot program for the development and implementation of a trauma‑informed education program in the Castle, Kailua, and Kalaheo complex areas, based on the Nanakuli‑Waianae complex area trauma‑informed education programs and report to the legislature. Appropriates funds.
The summary description
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not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.