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THE SENATE                           S.C.R. NO.            
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                    SENATE  CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION

  REQUESTING THE OMBUDSMAN TO INVESTIGATE AND OBTAIN INFORMATION
    REGARDING GEOGRAPHIC EXCEPTIONS GRANTED BY THE DEPARTMENT
    OF EDUCATION.


 1        WHEREAS, pursuant to section 302A-1143, Hawaii Revised
 2   Statutes, the Department of Education is authorized to allow
 3   students to attend public schools in districts other than in
 4   the district of their legal residence; and
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, the Department of Education's philosophy for
 7   granting geographic exceptions is to consider the welfare of
 8   the student by having the receiving school accept and provide
 9   the student with all rights and privileges enjoyed by other
10   students at the receiving school and by allowing the geographic
11   exception to be granted through the student's terminal year at
12   the receiving school; and
13   
14        WHEREAS, the geographic exception process begins with
15   applications being accepted every January 1 for the following
16   school year, and the Department of Education granting
17   geographic exceptions as follows:
18   
19        (1)  First, by giving priority consideration to applicants
20             who fall in one of the following four categories:
21             have an authorized physical residence in the
22             receiving school's geographic attendance area, seek a
23             program of study at the receiving school that is not
24             available at the home school, have siblings currently
25             enrolled in the receiving school who will be enrolled
26             in the coming school year, or are children of staff
27             at the receiving school;
28   
29        (2)  Second, by requiring the receiving school to
30             implement a chance selection process if either the
31             priority requests exceed the number of spaces at the
32             receiving school or all priority requests are filled
33             and spaces are available for some but not all of the
34             remaining requests; and
35   
36        (3)  Third, by accepting applications for unforeseen

 
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 1             circumstances such as students transferring into the
 2             school system and for what the Department of
 3             Education deems as exceptional students;
 4   
 5   and
 6   
 7        WHEREAS, for the 1998-1999 school year approximately 8,288
 8   public school students attended school on a geographic
 9   exception and some schools, such as Campbell High School, Ilima
10   Intermediate, and Maui High School, experienced a net loss of
11   over 100 students who transferred to other public schools due
12   to geographic exceptions; and
13   
14        WHEREAS, although there are various reasons why parents
15   seek geographic exceptions, including proximity to the work
16   place and after-school child care, reputation of the school,
17   and discipline problems, the most prevalent reason reported by
18   parents for requesting geographic exceptions is for child care;
19   now, therefore,
20   
21        BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twentieth Legislature
22   of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2000, the House of
23   Representatives concurring, that the Ombudsman is requested to
24   make inquiries and obtain information regarding geographic
25   exceptions for public school attendance granted by the
26   Department of Education, specifically, which schools experience
27   significant losses in enrollment due to geographic exceptions,
28   which schools these students transfer to, and why students
29   leave certain schools more than others; and
30   
31        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Office of the Ombudsman is
32   requested to report findings and recommendations to the
33   Legislature twenty days before the convening of the Regular
34   Session of 2001; and 
35   
36        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that duly certified copies of this
37   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Ombudsman and
38   Superintendent of Education.
39 
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42                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________