Compulsory School Attendance

Lowers the compulsory school attendance age from 18 years to 16
years.  Repeals the requirement that a child have an alternative
education plan before being excluded from school for disruptive
behavior or chronic truancy.  Makes attendance at a public school
after 16 years of age a privilege rather than a right.

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           964
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  Section 302A-1132, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 2 amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
 3      "(a)  Unless excluded from school or excepted from
 4 attendance, all children who will have arrived at the age of at
 5 least six years, and who will not have arrived at the age of
 6 [eighteen] sixteen years, by January 1 of any school year, shall
 7 attend either a public or private school for, and during, the
 8 school year, and any parent, guardian, or other person having the
 9 responsibility for, or care of, a child whose attendance at
10 school is obligatory shall send the child to either a public or
11 private school[.]; provided that this subsection shall not be
12 construed to prohibit a child who will not have arrived at the
13 age of eighteen years, by January 1 of any school year, from
14 attending a public school for, and during, the school year.
15 Attendance at a public or private school shall not be compulsory
16 in the following cases:
17      (1)  Where the child is physically or mentally unable to
18           attend school (deafness and blindness excepted), of
19           which fact the certificate of a duly licensed physician

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 1           shall be sufficient evidence;
 2      (2)  Where the child, who has reached the fifteenth
 3           anniversary of birth, is suitably employed and has been
 4           excused from school attendance by the superintendent or
 5           the superintendent's authorized representative, or by a
 6           family court judge;
 7      (3)  Where, upon investigation by the family court, it has
 8           been shown that for any other reason the child may
 9           properly remain away from school;
10      (4)  Where the child has graduated from high school;
11      (5)  Where the child is enrolled in an appropriate
12           alternative educational program as approved by the
13           superintendent or the superintendent's authorized
14           representative in accordance with the plans and
15           policies of the department, or notification of intent
16           to home school has been submitted to the principal of
17           the public school that the child would otherwise be
18           required to attend in accordance with department rules
19           adopted to achieve this result; or
20      (6)  Where:
21           (A)  The child has attained the age of sixteen years;
22           (B)  The principal has determined that:
23                (i)  The child has engaged in behavior which is

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 1                     disruptive to other students, teachers, or
 2                     staff; or
 3               (ii)  The child's non-attendance is chronic and has
 4                     become a significant factor that hinders the
 5                     child's learning[; and
 6           (C)  The principal of the child's school, and the
 7                child's teacher or counselor, in consultation with
 8                the child and the child's parent, guardian, or
 9                other adult having legal responsibility for or
10                care of the child, develops an alternative
11                educational plan for the child.  The alternative
12                educational plan shall include a process that
13                shall permit the child to resume school.
14           The principal of the child's school shall file the plan
15           made pursuant to subparagraph (C) with the child's
16           school record.  If the adult having legal
17           responsibility for or care of the child disagrees with
18           the plan, then the adult shall be responsible for
19           obtaining appropriate educational services for the
20           child].
21           Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to
22           require the department to enforce section 302A-1135
23           once a child is not liable to compulsory attendance at

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 1           school.  Except as required by federal law, every child
 2           in the State shall be entitled to a free appropriate
 3           education that meets the child's individual needs until
 4           sixteen years of age.  Except as provided by federal
 5           law, attendance at a public school after sixteen years
 6           of age shall be considered a privilege and not a
 7           right."
 8      SECTION 2.  Section 302A-1134, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 9 amended by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:
10      "(c)  No child who is [seventeen] sixteen years of age or
11 over shall be admitted to the ninth grade of a public four-year
12 high school, and no child who is [eighteen] seventeen years of
13 age or over shall be admitted to the tenth grade of a public
14 senior high school, except upon the written permission of the
15 superintendent when in the superintendent's opinion the facts
16 warrant admission."
17      SECTION 3.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that
18 matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were
19 begun, before its effective date.
20      SECTION 4.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
21 New statutory material is underscored.

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                                     S.B. NO.           964

 1      SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 3                           INTRODUCED BY:_________________________