HSTA’s 2018 legislative package unveiled

Read about HSTA's proposed amendments to the State Constitution to increase funding for public schools.

Proposals for a constitutional amendment to create a steady funding stream for public schools, limits on standardized testing and a teacher on the Board of Education are included in this year’s package of bills HSTA is advocating for at the state Legislature.


Here’s a quick summary of each proposal, followed by the names of the lawmaker(s) who’ve introduced them and the House and Senate bill numbers:


Public schools additional funding, ConAm question:  Poses a ballot question to the public about whether or not to establish a dedicated funding source for public education by levying a surcharge on residential investment properties and visitor accommodations. (Sen. Kidani and Rep. Woodson introducing) SB2922; HB2608

Public school teacher on Board of Education:  (non-voting member) Amends the Board of Education membership by inviting the exclusive representative for bargaining unit 5 (teachers and other personnel of the Department of Education) to appoint a non-voting public school teacher representative to the Board. (Sen. Kidani and Rep. Gates) SB2380; HB2049

Teacher tax credit:  Establishes an income tax credit of up to $500 for classroom supplies purchased out-of-pocket by teachers. (Rep. Ing) HB1720

Charter school funding:  Re-introducing bill from last year to provide additional funding for public charter schools to use for facilities, including rent and maintenance. (Sen. Kidani and Rep. Woodson re-introducing) SB199 SD1 HD1; HB533 HD1 SD1; HB2508

NBCTs:  Updates the statute establishing National Board Certified Teacher bonuses to match STRIVE HI 3.0 and funds NBCT bonuses for charter school teachers, as well as school psychologists who have national certification. (Sen. Kidani and Rep. Woodson) SB2383; HB2162

Weighted Student Formula:  Establishes study of small/rural schools and their use of WSF to fund positions to see if these funds are allowing enough positions at a school to meet student learning needs. (Sen. English and Rep. DeCoite) HB2260 ; SB553 SD1 HD1 (reintroduced, base categorical funding)

Testing limits:  Limits testing time in schools by limiting the number of tests that can be given in any school year, requires a survey of testing time in the public school system, and requires the BOE/DOE to notify students and parents of their right to opt out of statewide standardized testing. (Sen. Shimabukuro and Rep. Johanson) SB2080; HB2117

School budgeting:  We wanted to Increase schools’ direct control of funding and resources to 90 percent (But this bill keeps it the same at 70 percent, with 20 percent going to SPED at the school level.) HSTA is planning to amend and wants the higher amount. (Rep. Nakashima) HB2079

Provide funding for SPED teachers to use for resources:  This funding once came from the federal government but doesn’t anymore. We are asking for $1,690 per SPED teacher. (Sen. DelaCruz) SB2521

Heat abatement: Appropriates funds to the Department of Education to install air conditioning in public schools that prioritize the project. (Sen. Espero and Rep. Woodson) SB 2411; HB 2510

Enter the bill numbers or key words in the Hawaii Legislature search engine to review the text of the proposals. https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/

Author: HSTA

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