Hawaii State Funding for Private Early Childhood Education Programs, SB 1084 (2014)

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State Funding for Private Early Childhoo Education Programs, SB 1084
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Hawaii Constitution
Referred by:Hawaii Legislature
Topic:Education
Status:On the ballot

The Hawaii State Funding for Private Early Childhood Education Programs, SB 1084 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Hawaii as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure, upon voter approval, would allow the appropriation of public funds for private early childhood education programs.[1]

The amendment was sponsored in the Hawaii Legislature by State Senator Donna Mercado Kim (D-14) as Senate Bill 1084.[1]

Text of the measure

Ballot title

The official ballot text reads as follows:[1]

Shall the appropriation of public funds be permitted for the support or benefit of private early childhood education programs, as provided by law, to help the State meet its goal of providing an early learning system for the children of Hawaii?"[2]

Constitutional changes

The measure amends Section 1 of Article X of the Constitution of Hawaii to read:[3]

Section 1. The State shall provide for the establishment, support and control of a statewide system of public schools free from sectarian control, a state university, public libraries and such other educational institutions as may be deemed desirable, including physical facilities therefor. There shall be no discrimination in public educational institutions because of race, religion, sex or ancestry; nor shall public funds be appropriated for the support or benefit of any sectarian or nonsectarian private educational institution, except that public funds may be appropriated for the support or benefit of private early childhood education programs, subject to the non-discrimination provision above, as provided by law, and that proceeds of special purpose revenue bonds authorized or issued under section 12 of Article VII may be appropriated to finance or assist:
1. Not-for-profit corporations that provide early childhood education and care facilities serving the general public; and
2. Not-for-profit private nonsectarian and sectarian elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities.[2]


Support

2014 measures
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November 4
SB 886
SB 1084
SB 2876
HB 420
Endorsements
Local measures

The measure was introduced into the legislature by Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D-14).[1]

Supporters

Arguments

  • State Representative Roy Takumi (D-35) noted, "If you or a loved one have had the benefit of a preschool education, it was because a private provider gave it to you. For decades, they have shouldered the burden and responsibility of educating our youngest children alone. This constitutional amendment would allow government to step up to the plate and partner with the private sector as we seek to prepare our children to succeed in both school and life."[4]

Opposition

Opponents

Arguments

  • State Senator Samuel Slom said, "This is not about education. This is about funding a subsidy.”[4]
  • Alan Isbell, Waiuku Elementary School Teacher and HSTA representative, argued, “Most public school teachers wholeheartedly support early childhood education, but not for private schools funded by taxpayers. The Hawaii State Teachers Association [is]… unequivocally opposed to any privatization or subcontracting that has the potential to reduce the resources that otherwise would be available to achieve and/or maintain quality public education, or the potential to otherwise negatively affect public education. Such privatization also would allow public funds to be used for religious education or other religious purposes, weakening the wall between church and state.”[6]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Hawaii Constitution

State Senator Donna Mercado Kim (D-14) introduced a bill into the legislature to alter the constitution and put the measure before voters on January 24, 2013. The bill was approved through a two-thirds vote in both legislative chambers. SB 1084 was approved by the Hawaii Senate and Hawaii House of Representatives on April 30, 2013.[1]

Senate vote

April 30, 2013 Senate vote

Hawaii SB 1084 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 21 84.00%
No416.00%

House vote

April 30, 2013 House vote

Hawaii SB 1084 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 37 72.55%
No1427.45%

See also

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References