Kindergarten; Pre-kindergarten

Lowers the compulsory education age from 6 years to 5 years,
making attendance in kindergarten mandatory.  Requires the BOE to
organize and conduct a program of public pre-kindergarten
education to the extent that federal funds are, or from time to
time may become, available.  Appropriates funds.

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           871
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1                              Part 1
 2      SECTION 1.  Section 302A-410, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 3 amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
 4      "(a)  The department plan for quality early education shall
 5 focus on children from ages [four up to six] three to five
 6 years."
 7      SECTION 2.  Section 302A-411, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 8 amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
 9      "(a)  The department shall establish and maintain
10 kindergartens with a program of instruction as a part of the
11 public school system[; provided that attendance shall not be
12 mandatory].  No child shall attend any kindergarten unless the
13 child will be at least five years of age [on or] before
14 [December 31] January 1 of the school year; provided that [a]:
15      (1)  A child attending a school that convenes after the
16           regular school schedule shall be five years of age [on
17           or] before one hundred [twenty-five] twenty-six days
18           following the date the school convenes; and [provided
19           further that the]

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 1      (2)  The board shall develop informational guidance to
 2           promote the understanding of a child's readiness for
 3           kindergarten."
 4      SECTION 3.  Section 302A-1128, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 5 amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
 6      "(a)  The department shall have entire charge and control
 7 and be responsible for the conduct of all affairs pertaining to
 8 public instruction.  The department may establish and maintain
 9 schools for secular instruction at such places and for such terms
10 as in its discretion it may deem advisable and the funds at its
11 disposal may permit.  The schools may include high schools,
12 kindergarten schools, schools or classes for [pregrade] pre-
13 kindergarten education, boarding schools, and evening and day
14 schools.  The department may also maintain classes for technical
15 and other instruction in any school where there may not be pupils
16 sufficient in number to justify the establishment of separate
17 schools for these purposes."
18      SECTION 4.  Section 302A-1131, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
19 amended to read as follows:
20      "[[]302A-1131[]]  Public schools; attendance.(a)  Except
21 as authorized by section 302A-411, and except with respect to
22 schools or classes for pre-kindergarten education, no child shall

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 1 attend any public school unless the child will be at least [six]
 2 five years of age before January 1 of the school year; provided
 3 that:
 4      (1)  A child attending a school that convenes after the
 5           regular school schedule shall be [six] five years of
 6           age [on or] before one hundred [twenty-five] twenty-six
 7           days following the date the school [shall convene;]
 8           convenes; and
 9      (2)  The department may establish procedures and criteria to
10           determine the psychological and physiological readiness
11           of children for public school and may grant an
12           exception in the case of a child who is found to be
13           ready.
14      (b)  All teachers who teach in kindergarten and in the first
15 and second grades, and all principals of public schools shall
16 enforce this section and require proof of age by birth
17 certificates or certificates of registration, or if none can be
18 obtained, then by satisfactory evidence."
19      SECTION 5.  Section 302A-1132, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
20 amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
21      "(a)  Unless excluded from school or excepted from
22 attendance, all children who will have arrived at the age of at

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 1 least [six] five years, and who will not have arrived at the age
 2 of eighteen years, [by] before January 1 of any school year,
 3 shall attend either a public or private school for, and during,
 4 the school year, and any parent, guardian, or other person having
 5 the responsibility for, or care of, a child whose attendance at
 6 school is obligatory shall send the child to either a public or
 7 private school.  Attendance at a public or private school shall
 8 not be compulsory in the following cases:
 9      (1)  Where the child is physically or mentally unable to
10           attend school (deafness and blindness excepted), of
11           which fact the certificate of a duly licensed physician
12           shall be sufficient evidence;
13      (2)  Where the child, who has reached the fifteenth
14           anniversary of birth, is suitably employed and has been
15           excused from school attendance by the superintendent or
16           the superintendent's authorized representative, or by a
17           family court judge;
18      (3)  Where, upon investigation by the family court, it has
19           been shown that for any other reason the child may
20           properly remain away from school;
21      (4)  Where the child has graduated from high school;
22      (5)  Where the child is enrolled in an appropriate

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 1           alternative educational program as approved by the
 2           superintendent or the superintendent's authorized
 3           representative in accordance with the plans and
 4           policies of the department, or notification of intent
 5           to home school has been submitted to the principal of
 6           the public school that the child would otherwise be
 7           required to attend in accordance with department rules
 8           adopted to achieve this result; or
 9      (6)  Where:
10           (A)  The child has attained the age of sixteen years;
11           (B)  The principal has determined that:
12                (i)  The child has engaged in behavior [which]
13                     that is disruptive to other students,
14                     teachers, or staff; or
15               (ii)  The child's non-attendance is chronic and has
16                     become a significant factor that hinders the
17                     child's learning; and
18           (C)  The principal of the child's school, and the
19                child's teacher or counselor, in consultation with
20                the child and the child's parent, guardian, or
21                other adult having legal responsibility for or
22                care of the child, develops an alternative

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 1                educational plan for the child.  The alternative
 2                educational plan shall include a process that
 3                shall permit the child to resume school.
 4           The principal of the child's school shall file the
 5           alternative educational plan made pursuant to
 6           subparagraph (C) with the child's school record.  If
 7           the adult having legal responsibility for or care of
 8           the child disagrees with the alternative educational
 9           plan, then the adult shall be responsible for obtaining
10           appropriate educational services for the child."
11      SECTION 6.  Section 302A-1401, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
12 amended as follows:
13      1.  By amending its title to read:
14      "[[]302A-1401[]]  Administration and use of federal funds[,
15 including pregrade education]."
16      2.  By amending subsection (b) to read:
17      "(b)  The board shall organize and conduct a program of
18 public [pregrade] pre-kindergarten education to the extent that
19 funds provided therefor by the United States government are, or
20 from time to time may become, available.  In establishing and
21 carrying on the [pregrade] pre-kindergarten education, any such
22 federal funds shall be expended during any school year as nearly

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 1 as practicable in each of the school supervisory districts of the
 2 State in the proportion that the number of inhabitants of each
 3 district of less than [six] five years of age bears to the total
 4 number of the inhabitants of the entire State within the age
 5 limits, as shown by the latest report of the department of health
 6 preceding the opening of the school year."
 7      SECTION 7.  There is appropriated out of the general
 8 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $        , or so much
 9 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 1999-2000, and the
10 sum of $        , or so much thereof as may be necessary for
11 fiscal year 2000-2001, to lower the compulsory education age from
12 six years to five years.
13      SECTION 8.  The sums appropriated shall be expended by the
14 department of education for the purposes of this Act.
15                              Part 2
16      SECTION 9.  Section 237D-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
17 amended to read as follows:
18      "237D-3 Exemptions.  This chapter shall not apply to:
19      (1)  Health care facilities including all such facilities
20           enumerated in section 321-11(10).
21      (2)  School dormitories of a public or private educational
22           institution providing education in grades

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 1           [kindergarten] pre-kindergarten through twelve, or of
 2           any institution of higher education.
 3      (3)  Lodging provided by nonprofit corporations or
 4           associations for religious, charitable, or educational
 5           purposes; provided that this exemption shall apply only
 6           to the activities of the religious, charitable, or
 7           educational corporation or association as such and not
 8           to any rental or gross rental the primary purpose of
 9           which is to produce income even if the income is used
10           for or in furtherance of the exempt activities of such
11           religious, charitable, or educational corporation or
12           association.
13      (4)  Living accommodations for persons in the military on
14           permanent duty assignment to Hawaii, including the
15           furnishing of transient accommodations to those
16           military personnel who receive temporary lodging
17           allowances while seeking accommodations in Hawaii or
18           while awaiting reassignment to new duty stations
19           outside the State.
20      (5)  Low-income renters receiving rental subsistence from
21           the state or federal governments and whose rental
22           periods are for durations shorter than sixty days.

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 1      (6)  Operators of transient accommodations who furnish
 2           accommodations to full-time students enrolled in an
 3           institution offering post-secondary education.  The
 4           director of taxation shall determine what shall be
 5           deemed acceptable proof of full-time enrollment.  This
 6           exemption shall also apply to operators who furnish
 7           transient accommodations to students during summer
 8           employment.
 9      (7)  Accommodations furnished without charge such as, but
10           not limited to, complimentary accommodations,
11           accommodations furnished to contract personnel such as
12           physicians, golf or tennis professionals, swimming and
13           dancing instructors, and other personnel to whom no
14           salary is paid or to employees who receive room and
15           board as part of their salary or compensation."
16      SECTION 10.  Section 302A-406, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
17 amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
18      "(a)  The department may provide suitable transportation to
19 and from school and for educational field trips for all children
20 in grades [kindergarten] pre-kindergarten to twelve and in
21 special education classes.  The department shall adopt such
22 policy, procedure, and program as it deems necessary to provide

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 1 suitable transportation.  In formulating the policy, procedure,
 2 and program, the department shall consider the school district;
 3 the school attendance area in which a school child normally
 4 resides; the distance the school child lives from the school; the
 5 availability of public carriers or other means of transportation;
 6 the frequency, regularity, and availability of public
 7 transportation; and the grade level, physical handicap, or
 8 special learning disability of a school child, and it may also
 9 consider such conditions and circumstances unique or peculiar to
10 a county or area."
11      SECTION 11.  Section 302A-417, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
12 amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
13      "(a)  The department may establish and administer a traffic
14 safety education program to be conducted at each public school
15 for students from grades [kindergarten] pre-kindergarten through
16 twelve."
17      SECTION 12.  Section 302A-640, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
18 amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
19      "(a)  Schools with only one class for each grade level in
20 [kindergarten] pre-kindergarten through grade six shall be exempt
21 from the average statewide class size ratio that may be
22 established under any collective bargaining agreement between the

Page 11                                                    
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 1 teacher's exclusive bargaining representative and the department.
 2 These schools shall maintain a minimum staffing level of not less
 3 than one full-time equivalent teacher position per grade level
 4 per school, for [kindergarten] pre-kindergarten to grade six.
 5 This subsection shall not apply to a school with fewer than
 6 twelve students in any one grade level."
 7      SECTION 13.  Section 302A-901, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 8 amended to read as follows:
 9      "[[]302A-901[]]  Specific definitions.  For the purposes of
10 sections 302A-1154 to 302A-1163, "school" means any day care
11 center, child care facility, headstart program, preschool, pre-
12 kindergarten, kindergarten, elementary, or secondary school,
13 public or private, including any special school for children in
14 the State."
15      SECTION 14.  Section 321-241, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
16 amended to read as follows:
17      "[[]321-241  Purpose; establishment of program.[]]  The
18 purpose of this part is to establish a statewide school health
19 services program.  There shall be within the department of health
20 a permanent comprehensive school health services program for
21 grades [kindergarten] pre-kindergarten through twelve in all the
22 public schools of this State.  It is in the general welfare of

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 1 the State to protect, preserve, care for, and improve the
 2 physical and mental health of Hawaii's children by making
 3 available at the public schools first aid and emergency care,
 4 preventive health care, health appraisals and follow-ups, and
 5 health room facilities."
 6      SECTION 15.  Section 346-152, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 7 amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
 8      "(a)  Nothing in this part shall be construed to include:
 9      (1)  A person caring for children related to the caregiver
10           by blood, marriage, or adoption;
11      (2)  A person, group of persons, or facility caring for a
12           child less than six hours a week;
13      (3)  A pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, school, or program
14           licensed by the department of education;
15      (4)  A program that provides exclusively for a specialized
16           training or skill development for children, including,
17           but not limited to, programs providing such activities
18           as athletic sports, foreign language, the Hawaiian
19           language, dance, drama, music, or martial arts;
20      (5)  A multiservice organization or community association,
21           duly incorporated under the laws of the State, which
22           operates for the purpose of promoting recreation,

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 1           health, safety, or social group functions for eligible
 2           pupils in public and private schools through seventeen
 3           years of age;
 4      (6)  Programs for children four years of age and older,
 5           which operate for no more than two consecutive calendar
 6           weeks in a three-month period;
 7      (7)  A provider agency operating or managing a homeless
 8           facility, or any other program for homeless persons
 9           authorized under part IV of chapter 201G;
10      (8)  After-school, weekend, and summer recess programs
11           conducted by the department of education pursuant to
12           section 302A-408;
13      (9)  Child care programs for children five years of age and
14           older conducted by counties pursuant to section
15           302A-408; provided that each county [adopt] adopts
16           rules for their programs; and
17     (10)  Any person who enters a home in a child caring capacity
18           and only cares for children who are of that household."
19                              Part 3
20      SECTION 16.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
21 New statutory material is underscored.

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 1      SECTION 17.  This Act shall take effect upon on July 1,
 2 2000, except that sections 7 and 8 shall take effect on July 1,
 3 1999.
 5                           INTRODUCED BY:_________________________