Authorizes parents or caregivers to take a leave of absence from
work to attend conferences for individualized education programs.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  Under the Felix v. Cayetano consent decree, the
 2 approximately 800 children affected must receive appropriate
 3 education.  Otherwise the State may be found liable for fines
 4 from $10,000 to $100,000 per day until compliance is achieved.  
 5      Presently, an individualized education program (IEP) must be
 6 developed for each child covered by the Felix consent decree.  A
 7 period of sixty days from initial request to completion of the
 8 IEP is allowed.  Within this time period four meetings are
 9 required.  Five parties must be in attendance, as follows:
10      (1)  A parent or caregiver;
11      (2)  The child;
12      (3)  The child's teacher;
13      (4)  An administrator of the child's school; and
14      (5)  A diagnostician.  
15      The schedules of the child, teacher, administrator, and
16 diagnostician may be easily adjusted to accommodate the required
17 meetings.  A parent or caregiver who is employed may not have the
18 same flexibility.  While previous legislation attempted to

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 1 resolve this difficulty by providing for substitutes or the use
 2 of flexible scheduling, in practice this has proved impossible to
 3 implement.  The financial implications of a failure to comply
 4 with the consent decree are grave, and it is improbable that
 5 further extensions will be granted.  
 6      Action must be taken now to ensure that a parent can attend
 7 IEP meetings for children covered by the Felix consent decree.
 8 The purpose of this bill is to allow parents or caregivers of
 9 these children to be able to take leave from work to attend IEP
10 meetings.
11      SECTION 2.  Chapter 398, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
12 by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to
13 read as follows:
14      "398-     Individualized education program conference
15 leave.  An employee shall be entitled a leave from work to
16 attend, as a parent or caregiver, any conference required to
17 establish an individualized education program that complies with
18 the Felix v. Cayetano consent decree.  To the greatest extent
19 possible, these conferences shall be scheduled for non-work hours
20 of the employee.  This section shall apply to all employees, and
21 section 398-2 shall not apply."

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1      SECTION 3.  Section 398-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 2 amended to read as follows:
 3      "[[]398-2[]]  Inapplicability.  The rights provided under
 4 this chapter shall not apply to employees of an employer with
 5 fewer than one hundred employees[.], except that section 
 6 398-    shall apply to all employees." 
 7      SECTION 4.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 8 New statutory material is underscored.
 9      SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999.
11                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________