Education that Opens Door of Opportunity to All Keiki

Ensuring that every child in Hawaii has an equal opportunity to receive a quality education will help to prepare them for college and their future roles in the workforce. As the current needs in the workforce continues to change, we must continue to adapt so that we can fill these critical positions. Questions of exactly how we can achieve this, and how we can keep our keiki from leaving Hawaii, continue to challenge lawmakers and employers across the state.

Click to expand to learn more about the bills we weighed in on during the 2019 Legislative Session.

Topic/Bill Chamber Position Description Bill Status

DBEDT Regional Economic Plans for K-16 Pathways and Qualified Internship Program


Requires DBEDT to develop annual regional economic plans for each county to provide K-16 pathways and qualified internship programs to meet each region’s specific industry needs. Appropriates funds.

*SB365 was eventually amended to extend the film tax credit, which the Conference Committee deferred

2/15/19, Referred to the Committee on FIN as amended in HD2

DOE Land Leases and Transfers

SUPPORT Allows DOE to lease public school lands for a term of not more than ninety-nine years per lease. Amends Act 206, Session Laws of Hawaii 2017, to allow the City and County of Honolulu to transfer lands under existing DOE facilities directly to the DOE, rather than through the DLNR. Excludes lands set aside by the Governor to HPHA and lands to which HPHA holds title from the definition of public lands in section 171 2, HRS. 

7/9/19, Enacted by Governor as Act 272

Education Funding Study

SUPPORT Requires DOE to contract with a consulting firm that specializes in school finance, particularly with respect to adequacy studies of public education systems in multiple states, to perform a study on the adequacy of funding for education in Hawaii. Appropriates funds.

2/15/19, Passed Second Reading and referred to WAM/JDC

Public School Lands














Requires the City and County of Honolulu to transfer to the DOE fee simple title to the property on which the department’s Student Transportation Service Office – Young Street is located. Appropriates funds.

Extends the lease term for public-school lands from 55 to 99 years.

3/5/19, Referred to PSM/EDU, WAM





2/6/19, Passed Second Reading and referred to Committee on JDC

School Impact Fee Exemption

SUPPORT Exempts affordable housing units, additions to existing dwelling units, accessory dwelling units, ohana dwelling units, housing developed by HPHA, and certain housing units developed by self-help housing nonprofit organizations from school impact fee requirements.

2/7/19, Passed Second Reading and referred to the Committee on LHE

Workforce Development Education Pipeline

SUPPORT Establishes a Workforce Readiness Program within the DOE to allow students to graduate from an extended high school enrollment with an industry-recognized associate degree to complement the student’s high school diploma. Appropriates moneys to develop and implement the program, including (2.0) FTE Educational Specialist II staff positions and (7.0) FTE District Office Teachers. Effective 7/1/2050.

3/15/19, the Committees on LAB/LHE recommends that this measure be deferred

Workforce Development Education Pipeline

SUPPORT Establishes a K-12 Curriculum-to-Career-Pipeline Initiative to enable students to pursue training and education throughout their time at a school complex so that upon graduation they are prepared to enter the State’s workforce. Appropriates funds.

3/21/19, Passed Second Reading and referred to the Committee on FIN

This is inserted at the bottom