STAND. COM. REP. NO. 759
RE: S.B. No. 1023
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 1023 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EARLY LEARNING,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to increase access to preschool.
Specifically, this measure:
(1) Appropriates moneys for the Preschool Open Doors program;
(2) Provides flexibility regarding the accreditation required for Preschool Open Doors program service providers;
(3) Expands eligibility for the Executive Office on Early Learning Public Prekindergarten program from children in their year prior to the year of kindergarten eligibility to three- and four-year-old children who are in the two years prior to entry into kindergarten;
(4) Expands eligibility for the Preschool Open Doors program to include children who are three years old and are in the two years prior to entry into kindergarten; and
(5) Authorizes the Preschool Open Doors Special Fund to accept federal funds.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Early Learning Board, Hui for Excellent in Education, Kamehameha Schools, Hawaii Children's Action Network Speaks!, Early Childhood Action Strategy, Hawaii Association of Independent Schools, Stonewall Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, and two individuals.
Your Committee received written comments on this measure from the Department of Human Services, Executive Office on Early Learning, Department of Budget and Finance, and one individual.
Your Committee finds that children who attend two years of preschool are much better prepared for success than children who attend one year of preschool or no preschool at all. Your Committee also finds that this measure will help to increase the number of preschool classrooms in the State, especially classrooms for economically disadvantaged children who would not otherwise attend preschool.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure; and
(2) Making technical nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1023, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1023, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair