Appropriates funds for psychology and special education programs
at UH Hilo.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                     
STATE OF HAWAII                                                 

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the Felix consent
 2 decree has mandated that the State provide a system of care that
 3 includes special education and mental health services to public
 4 school children.  The consent decree necessitates an increased
 5 number of school and family counselors, school-based behavior
 6 management counselors, and special education teachers.  The
 7 University of Hawaii at Hilo is poised to offer two specific
 8 academic programs, a master's degree in counseling psychology and
 9 a special education license (i.e. a program qualifying a person
10 for state licensure), to meet the current need for these
11 professionals, particularly on the Big Island.
12      The legislature also finds that the State, in particular the
13 Big Island, faces a desperate shortage of adequately trained
14 counselors and clinicians.  The consent decree places the state
15 department of education in the position of needing to employ
16 forty to fifty-five master's level counselors to provide school-
17 based mental health services on the Big Island.  In addition, the
18 department of health has identified a severe shortage of master's
19 level mental health professionals on the Big Island.  As the

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 1 consent decree embraces principles which seek to preserve,
 2 strengthen, and include families as full participants in the
 3 delivery of services, the master's in counseling psychology
 4 program's tracks in school and career counseling and marriage and
 5 family counseling will address the State's critical shortage.
 6      If the two-year master's in counseling psychology program is
 7 offered continuously at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, then
 8 the State can expect to see an additional twenty new counselors
 9 entering the workforce per year once the program has enrolled
10 both first and second year students.
11      The legislature further finds that the shortage of special
12 education teachers in the State and on the neighbor islands is
13 widely known.  Statewide, almost one-half of the two thousand
14 currently employed special education teachers are not licensed.
15 The combined efforts of all institutions of higher education fall
16 far short of the need for trained professionals in special
17 education.  According to the department of education's ten-year
18 projection (1998-2007), four hundred special education teachers
19 are needed per year for the foreseeable future, while the current
20 local supply per year is seventy-five teachers.  In addition, the
21 educational assistants who augment instruction in special
22 education classrooms are insufficiently trained.  In order to
23 meet the need for special education professionals and comply with

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 1 the consent decree, the department of education must continue
 2 recruitment on the mainland, increase alternative preparation
 3 opportunities through existing programs, develop endorsement
 4 programs for teachers licensed in other fields, and support new
 5 programs at local universities.  Of the institutions which offer
 6 teacher education in Hawaii, including those programs from other
 7 states, the University of Hawaii at Hilo is the only one which
 8 does not offer special education programs.
 9      The proposed University of Hawaii at Hilo special education
10 program, a full year curriculum which allow licensed teachers to
11 qualify for special education licensure, will address the State's
12 critical shortage.  When the University of Hawaii at Hilo program
13 is operational, a distance learning component will allow
14 approximately one hundred teachers and educational assistants in
15 other areas of the State to receive appropriate professional
16 preparation.  Because of the difficulty in recruiting special
17 education teachers, an incentive that will provide full tuition
18 for those teachers who complete the program and teach three years
19 in a special education assignment is included in this Act.
20      SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general
21 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $1.00, or so much
22 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2000-2001, for a
23 counseling psychology program and a special education program at

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                                     H.B. NO.           

 1 the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
 2      SECTION 3.  The sum appropriated shall be expended by the
 3 University of Hawaii at Hilo for the purposes of this Act.
 4      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2000.
 6                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________