Hawaii Lawmakers Urge Program Offering Flexibility
The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2007 data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds, unless noted.
The legislature passed several school-related resolutions, including one urging the state department of education to implement a pilot project that could offer more flexibility to a group schools in Hawaii’s statewide school district.
Lawmakers also approved a fiscal 2009 state budget of $10.4 billion that includes $2.3 billion for K-12 education, a 1.4 percent increase over fiscal 2008.
Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, has been unsuccessful in her attempts to win passage of legislation that would break the school system into several smaller districts with local boards.
But a resolution that passed asks the education department to implement a three-year pilot project in which a single school complex, which includes a high school and its feeder schools, could get greater freedom from what a department summary called policies and regulations that “impede effective decisionmaking, administering, and teaching.”
Another resolution asks the education department to collaborate with the state department of health in providing a report on child and adolescent mental-health services since the lifting of a consent decree in 2005. The decree, stemming from a 1993 class action in the case of Felix v. Cayetano, required that the two departments vastly improve the provision of education and mental-health services to children throughout the state with emotional and behavioral problems.
Vol. 27, Issue 39, Page 15