Hawaiian Language; Funding

Appropriates funds for the Hawaiian language immersion program,
Ka Papahana Kaiapuni Hawaii.

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           2694
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  As one of the two official languages of the
 2 State of Hawaii, the legislature finds that the full use of the
 3 Hawaiian language in all facets of daily and civic life,
 4 including education, is a customary and traditional right that
 5 must be preserved and strengthened if the Hawaiian people are to
 6 remain a distinct and thriving culture.  This right is, in part,
 7 recognized through Ka Papahana Kaiapuni Hawaii, the Hawaiian
 8 language immersion program within the department of education,
 9 which began in 1987 as a pilot program with only two sites and
10 approximately forty students.  After thirteen years of success,
11 instruction in the Hawaiian language is currently offered at
12 sixteen sites encompassing grades kindergarten through twelve and
13 enrolling about 1,600 students throughout the State.  Further,
14 this year marks the very first graduating class of students
15 educated in the immersion program.
16      The legislature recognizes the immersion program as a model
17 for other native language immersion programs and praises the high
18 level of parental and community involvement.  Maintaining such a
19 growing program and ensuring that the curriculum and faculty
20 skills meet both the physical and educational needs of the

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 1 students and their families has proven to be a task bigger than
 2 anyone anticipated.  As a result, the legislature, through the
 3 adoption of House Concurrent Resolution No. 281 in 1997,
 4 requested that the department of education, in conjunction with
 5 the Hawaiian language immersion advisory council, develop a long-
 6 range financial and operational plan to ensure the development of
 7 the immersion program.
 8      The legislature acknowledges that to create an optimum
 9 immersion environment:
10      (1)  Distinct immersion sites, grades kindergarten through
11           twelve, should foster not only language fluency but
12           `ohana relationships between students and teachers;
13      (2)  Trained professional teachers and staff coupled with
14           quality instructional materials are needed to provide
15           the foundation for any effective education program;
16      (3)  Lower student-to-teacher ratios are needed to allow
17           teachers to focus on individual student needs and
18           promote mentoring relationships between students and
19           teachers;
20      (4)  Transportation should be available to provide access to
21           immersion sites;
22      (5)  Teaching methods should be based upon Hawaiian cultural
23           values and should reflect the importance of providing a

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 1           varied language experience to the student.  In many
 2           cases, the student may not have the opportunity to
 3           converse in the language outside of the classroom;
 4      (6)  The allocation per student should be increased.  The
 5           greater the allocation per student, the greater the
 6           opportunities for the student, faculty, and the
 7           community;
 8      (7)  Families of immersion students should directly support
 9           their children's education through classroom
10           participation, assisting with curriculum development,
11           fundraising activities, and program advocacy.  As such,
12           innovative means of bringing the Hawaiian language to
13           the families need to be explored and cultivated; and
14      (8)  The immersion program should have provisions to assess,
15           evaluate, and educate children with special needs.
16           Currently, there are no such provisions.
17      SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general
18 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $4,000,000, or so much
19 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2000-2001, for the
20 maintenance and expansion of the Hawaiian language immersion
21 program, Ka Papahana Kaiapuni Hawaii.  The funds shall be used
22 to:
23      (1)  Create a Hawaiian language immersion framework based on

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 1           the standards for culture-based content and performance
 2           established and enforced by the board of education;
 3      (2)  Generate program support within the communities of
 4           individual sites as well as throughout the State;
 5      (3)  Provide grants to each immersion site for the
 6           development of parent involvement activities, including
 7           the development and distribution of a parent handbook;
 8      (4)  Establish a resource of knowledgeable teachers to
 9           coordinate and produce curriculum materials for
10           classroom as well as state-wide use;
11      (5)  Provide teacher release time, sabbaticals, and
12           additional positions for in-service training,
13           instructing and mentoring new teachers, and improving
14           student-to-teacher ratios to twenty-to-one at all grade
15           levels;
16      (6)  Provide transportation subsidies until the department
17           of education can develop guidelines for the
18           transportation of students;
19      (7)  Develop specialized certification programs for
20           immersion teachers in conjunction with the University
21           of Hawaii;
22      (8)  Create a resource library of materials covering
23           subjects such as immersion, general education, Hawaiian

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 1           language, culture, and history;
 2      (9)  Provide access to resources available through the use
 3           of new technologies;
 4     (10)  Develop and support secondary programs and new
 5           immersion sites;
 6     (11)  Study the feasibility of providing access to immersion
 7           education at all public schools across the State; and
 8     (12)  Develop special education services, evaluation tools,
 9           and training for teachers in special education methods.
10      SECTION 3.  The sum appropriated shall be expended by the
11 department of education for the purposes of this Act.
12      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2000.
14                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________