Parental Responsibility for Ed

Establishes an advisory legislative task force on parental
responsibility in education to search for unique solutions to
motivating children in the State to learn in schools that
recognize the importance of parental responsibility in being
involved in their children's education.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.846        
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that lack of parental
 2 responsibility lies at the root of many of our societal problems
 3 today, including a lack of motivation and readiness on the part
 4 of our children to learn in school.  In its 1991 publication, The
 5 Parent Principle:  Prerequisite for Educational Success, the
 6 Educational Testing Service reports that research data in
 7 education uniformly and convincingly affirm that parental
 8 involvement is the primary influence on children's motivation to
 9 learn.  Parental involvement in education heavily influences
10 children's learning, aspirations, and attitudes about school and
11 assists teachers to better motivate students.  It has been found
12 that the success of the Head Start program, which began in 1964,
13 was due in part to parental involvement.  Subsequently, it was
14 recognized that without continued parental involvement,
15 children's early gains could not be supported.
16      It has also been reported in Eager to Learn:  Helping
17 Children Become Motivated and Love Learning (Jaynes and
18 Wlodkowski, 1990), that there are four major influences on a
19 child's motivation to learn:  the culture, the family, the

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 1 school, and the child.  The values transmitted by the first three
 2 years work within the child to produce the value the child places
 3 on education.  The ethno-cultural influences of various Asian
 4 cultures resulting in the disproportionate educational success of
 5 Asian children in America has been given much play in the media.
 6 The success of educational systems in which moral or religious
 7 values are taught and which stress the importance of education
 8 has also been recognized.  Families that come from ethnic or
 9 cultural backgrounds that place great value on and respect for
10 education and knowledge consider parental involvement in their
11 children's education normal and routine.  Past efforts in the
12 educational system have focused primarily on the role of the
13 school in isolation and on programs to aid children at a
14 disadvantage, like the Head Start program.
15      Some states have begun to focus on the relationship of
16 parents to their children, in an effort to motivate children's
17 learning.  For example, Kentucky's Parent and Child Education
18 program, which began in 1986, targets families (rather than
19 children and parents separately) to change family attitudes and
20 behavior to break the inter-generational tendency toward poverty
21 and under-education.  The Parent and Child Education program
22 provides preschool education for children of parents who dropped
23 out of high school while simultaneously raising the parents'

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                                     H.B. NO.846        

 1 level of education and their educational expectations and
 2 aspirations for their children.  The program seeks to:
 3      (1)  Provide a role model for the child through parents'
 4           interest in their own education;
 5      (2)  Demonstrate to parents their power to affect their
 6           children's ability to learn; increase preschoolers'
 7           developmental skills to prepare for academic success;
 8      (3)  Teach parents basic academic skills;
 9      (4)  Enhance parenting skills; and
10      (5)  Enhance the parent-child relationship through planned,
11           structured interaction.
12 The program is nationally recognized and has received the
13 Innovations in State and Local Government Award from the Ford
14 Foundation and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at
15 Harvard University.
16      Hawaii emulated part of the Parent and Child Education
17 program through Act 329, Session Laws of Hawaii 1990, that
18 provided for two-family literacy programs as part of the family
19 center demonstration project.  Section 6 of Act 329 stated:  "The
20 family literacy program shall focus on learning sessions for
21 preschool-aged children and their parents.  During these
22 sessions, the children shall receive preschool education while
23 their parents shall receive education focusing on parenting

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 1 skills; traditional subjects, such as reading, language, and
 2 mathematics; and vocational training."  However, Act 188, Session
 3 Laws of Hawaii 1992, repealed the literacy programs but expanded
 4 the project.
 5      The State also operates several programs within the
 6 department of education which appear to be partial attempts at
 7 addressing the issue of parental involvement and children's
 8 motivation to learn in school.  First, the parent-community
 9 networking centers program operates in one hundred and fifty-five
10 schools in seven districts statewide.  A function of parent
11 facilitators is to promote parent participation in school-
12 community activities; develop and coordinate parent education
13 programs; create learning and support networks for students,
14 parents, and members of the community; and identify and secure
15 resources and services from the community as needed, using
16 community education as a process.
17      The department of education also operates two resources and
18 early access to learning (R.E.A.L.) sites at Kapunahala
19 elementary school and Wailuku elementary school through the
20 Families for R.E.A.L. program.  This program provides a parent
21 education program to strengthen the relationship between the
22 parent, the child, and the future school environment and works
23 closely with the parent-community networking centers program.

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 1      A third department of education program, the "incentive and
 2 innovation grant" program might possibly act as a source of
 3 funding to increase parental involvement.  This program's purpose
 4 is to fund experimental and innovative instructional programs,
 5 in-service training, and other activities that promote
 6 innovation.  Funds are to be expended to provide innovative
 7 strategies to improve student performance.
 8      The legislature finds, however, that because of the wide
 9 variety of variables involved, there has been no single most
10 successful program or approach.  Rather, the consensus is that
11 school-based innovations designed specifically for individual
12 schools appear to work best.  Five general methods to help
13 parents become involved have been identified by Epstein (1990) in
14 School Programs and Teacher Practices of Parent Involvement in
15 Inner-City Elementary and Middle Schools:
16      (1)  Families should provide for children's basic health and
17           safety needs; develop parenting skills to prepare
18           children for school and to maintain future healthy
19           development; and build positive home conditions;
20      (2)  Schools should communicate with families about school
21           and children's progress through a variety of means;
22      (3)  Parents should participate in children's education at
23           school by performing volunteer, in-school duties or by

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 1           attending student functions;
 2      (4)  Parents should work with children on at-home learning
 3           activities such as teacher-assigned homework designed
 4           to require parental involvement; and
 5      (5)  Parents should be involved in decision-making including
 6           governance and community advocacy, participate in
 7           parent-teacher associations, and advisory councils.
 8      Examples of various programs and approaches that attempt to
 9 get parents involved in helping to motivate their children to
10 learn, include an Educational Testing Service parents' literacy
11 program.  In contrast to Kentucky's dual parent-and-child
12 approach Parent and Child Education program, the Educational
13 Testing Service has operated an outside-the-school program to
14 develop parents' literacy to better enable them to interact with
15 their children.  Another is the family math program, developed by
16 the Lawrence Hall of Science, a public science center and
17 research and development unit in science and mathematics at the
18 University of California, Berkeley, which began in 1981.  Another
19 outside-the-classroom activity, the family math program targets
20 minorities and girls by encouraging parents and children to do
21 math together to help children develop problem-solving skills and
22 build self-confidence in the use of math through shared
23 activities.  A third example, is the mandate in 1988, that six of

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 1 eleven seats on each of the Chicago's five hundred and forty-two
 2 school councils be occupied by parents of students.  This drastic
 3 action was taken in response to a forty-one per cent dropout rate
 4 and low standardized test scores in Chicago schools.  It is too
 5 early to judge the results of forcing parents to take an active
 6 role in their children's schools.
 7      The purpose of this Act is to find the best and most
 8 appropriate solution to enable all our children to perform to the
 9 best of their abilities by motivating and preparing them to
10 embrace knowledge and to respect education.  Recognizing the
11 complexity of the issue, the diversity of cultures and values in
12 our population, the consequent need to generate unique solutions
13 that may not be carried over from other jurisdictions, and the
14 need to maintain flexibility, it is the intent of this Act to
15 cast as wide a net as possible in enlisting resources to address
16 the problem.
17      SECTION 2.  (a)  There is established an advisory
18 legislative task force on parental responsibility in education to
19 search for unique solutions to motivate children to learn, and to
20 emphasize the importance of parental responsibility in being
21 involved in their children's education.
22      (b)  The task force shall be jointly chaired by the
23 respective chairpersons of the house of representatives and the

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 1 senate committees having primary jurisdiction over lower
 2 education.  The president of the senate and the speaker of the
 3 house of representatives shall each appoint three members from
 4 their respective houses to the task force.  The board of
 5 education and the University of Hawaii shall each designate a
 6 representative to the task force.  In addition, the following
 7 executive departments shall designate one representative to the
 8 task force:
 9      (1)  The department of education;
10      (2)  The department of human services;
11      (3)  The department of health;
12      (4)  The department of budget and finance; and
13      (5)  The department of the attorney general.
14      The judiciary shall designate one representative to the task
15 force.
16      The task force shall also include one member each from the
17 Hawaii State Teachers Association, the Hawaii Government
18 Employees' Association, and the United Public Workers, Local 646.
19 The co-chairpersons of the task force shall appoint
20 representatives from the private sector including parents,
21 community groups, schools and other educational institutions both
22 religious and nonsectarian, research organizations, cultural
23 organizations, businesses both for-profit and nonprofit, and

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 1 concerned citizens to serve as members on the task force.
 2      (c)  The legislative task force shall be advisory in nature
 3 and thus shall not be subject to section 26-34, Hawaii Revised
 4 Statutes.  The task force shall dissolve after submission of its
 5 findings and recommendations to the legislature.  Matters
 6 relating to voting and quorums shall be determined by the co-
 7 chairs of the task force.
 8      (d)  The task force shall meet as often as deemed necessary
 9 by the co-chairs.  The task force shall research the issue of
10 parental involvement and responsibility in children's education
11 in Hawaii and other jurisdictions to develop practical and unique
12 solutions for Hawaii by January 1, 1998, and shall report
13 findings and recommendations, including any necessary proposed
14 legislation or rules, to the legislature no later than twenty
15 days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2000.
16      SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
18                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________