HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1756

TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2014

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO YOUTH.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that in the United States, more than one-fourth of the children, or fifteen million, are left alone and unsupervised after school. Thirty per cent, or nearly four million, of middle school students are left unsupervised until their parents return home from work.

The legislature further finds that juvenile violence peaks in the after-school hours on school days and in the evenings on nonschool days. Sixty-three per cent of violent crimes committed by juveniles occur on school days, while nearly one-fifth of all juvenile violent crimes occur between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. During fiscal year 2013, the police made over three thousand arrests of juveniles between the ages of twelve and fourteen in Hawaii.

The legislature finds that according to the superintendent of education's annual report of 2011, Hawaii's dropout rate has reached over sixteen per cent, with a graduation rate of only around eighty per cent. Nearly half of the high school dropouts reported that they started high school ill-prepared.

The legislature further finds that research indicates that each disconnected youth costs the taxpayers nearly $14,000 per year, which can continue and even increase in the future as some disenfranchised youth become part of the juvenile justice system. The stakes of youth disengagement are high. Once students are disconnected, recruitment, enrollment, and retention programs require stronger and more persistent outreach, more intensive services, and more long-term participation.

Middle and intermediate school years are a pivotal time for our keiki, a time when they can succumb to peer pressure and significantly derail their education and futures. Accordingly, participation in high-quality after-school programs can lead to improved school attendance, better behavior, and better academic performance. Keeping our keiki engaged in positive after-school activities will help to keep them on the path toward graduation and productive futures.

Currently, there are approximately thirty-nine thousand middle and intermediate public school students in Hawaii. Approximately half of the roughly fifty-one middle and intermediate schools in the State receive some federal or state funding for after-school programing; however, funding is inconsistent or unreliable.

The legislature finds that in March 2013, the lieutenant governor established the resources for enrichment, athletics, culture, and health (R.E.A.C.H.) initiative to develop a standardized framework and funding for after-school programs for public middle and intermediate school students throughout the State. The establishment of a state-subsidized after-school program for middle and intermediate public school students is important to the future of our keiki and the welfare of our State as a whole.

The legislature further finds that the office of youth services, within the department of human services, provides comprehensive front end services and programs for youth to prevent delinquency and reduce the incidence of recidivism. The office is dedicated to creating opportunities for youth to develop competencies that foster resiliency and enable them to achieve a successful transition to young adulthood. The legislature determines that the objectives of the R.E.A.C.H. initiative are wholly aligned with those of the office of youth services.

The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Statutorily establish the R.E.A.C.H. program within the office of youth services to provide a standardized framework and funding for after-school programs in public middle and intermediate schools;

(2) Establish a revolving fund to receive fees and other moneys to help meet the costs of administering and operating the program;

(3) Appropriate funds for establishing the R.E.A.C.H. program to provide funding for after-school programs in middle and intermediate public schools; and

(4) Establish one full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) position to support the program and appropriate funds for that position.

SECTION 2. Chapter 352D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding three new sections to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"352D-A Resources for enrichment, athletics, culture, and health (R.E.A.C.H.) program; established. There is established the resources for enrichment, athletics, culture, and health program, hereinafter referred to as the R.E.A.C.H. program, within the office.

352D-B R.E.A.C.H. program; powers and duties of the office. (a) The office shall provide funding to establish, support, or enhance after-school programs in public middle and intermediate schools. The office may enter into contracts with middle and intermediate schools, individuals, organizations, or other entities to provide after-school programs to public middle and intermediate schools.

(b) The office shall:

(1) Establish criteria and application, selection, and award processes for funding after-school programs;

(2) Monitor the after-school programs within each school;

(3) Conduct site evaluations for schools with after-school programs funded under the R.E.A.C.H. program; and

(4) Ensure each after-school program meets contractual expectations.

(c) The office may establish participation fees and other charges to be assessed to each student for the cost of administering and operating the R.E.A.C.H. program. The revenues shall be deposited into the revolving fund established pursuant to section 352D-C and shall be used to supplement the costs of administering and operating the program.

352D-C R.E.A.C.H. program revolving fund. (a) There is established the R.E.A.C.H. program revolving fund to be administered by the office.

(b) The R.E.A.C.H. program revolving fund shall consist of:

(1) Fees collected by the office for administering and operating the R.E.A.C.H. program, and for the provision of program services;

(2) Legislative appropriations;

(3) All interest earned on the deposit or investment of moneys in the R.E.A.C.H. program revolving fund; and

(4) Any other moneys made available to the R.E.A.C.H. program revolving fund from any other sources."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $        or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2014-2015 to be deposited into the R.E.A.C.H. program revolving fund.

SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the R.E.A.C.H. program revolving fund the sum of $        or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2014-2015 to carry out the purpose of this Act, including the establishment and operation of the R.E.A.C.H. program and hiring of one full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) position for the office of youth services.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of human services for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 5. In codifying the new sections added by section 2 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.

SECTION 6. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.


 


 

Report Title:

Youth; After-school Programs; R.E.A.C.H. Program; Appropriation

 

Description:

Statutorily establishes the Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture, and Health (R.E.A.C.H.) Program within the Office of Youth Services to provide after-school programs in public middle and intermediate schools. Establishes revolving fund. Appropriates funds to establish the program and one full-time position. Effective July 1, 2050. (HB1756 HD1)

 

 

 

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