Hawaiʻi Gov. Green signs 11 education and early-education bills

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Hawai’i Gov. Green signs four education bills into law on July 3, 2023, at Royal Elementary School in Honolulu. (Photo Credit: State of Hawai’i)

At the Royal Elementary School library in Honolulu on Monday, Hawaiʻi Gov. Josh Green signed into law four education and early-education bills that include housing for teachers.

“We need 1,200 teachers to fill our annual teacher shortage,” Green said while signing SB941 (Act 172). It authorizes the School Facilities Authority to partner with public and private agencies to develop housing on- or off-campus for teachers, other educators and staff, and to develop classrooms.

Affordable housing will aid in recruitment and retention of teachers, and that will help to address the shortage, according to a press release from Green’s office.

Green signed HB960 (Act 175) that places pre-kindergarten facilities within the authority of the Department of Education’s School Facilities Authority and transfers $200 million in general funds to the School Facilities Special fund for FY 2023-24. The funds will expand access to Pre-K to eligible children.

“All the momentum building to prioritize statewide preschool expansion, builds on decades of hard work from the early learning and childcare community in Hawaiʻi.The acts Governor Green signed today will not only focus on our youngest learners but provide economic stability to local families and support the state’s early education workforce,” said Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke, who has spearheaded Ready Keiki initiative.


Applications are now being accepted for pre-kindergarten on the Big Island.

Hawai’i Gov. Green signs four education bills into law on July 3, 2023, at Royal Elementary School in Honolulu. (Photo Credit: State of Hawai’i)

Green signed HB503 (Act 174) that acknowledges the importance of computer science in an increasingly technology-driven world by requiring the Board of Education to determine whether making computer science a graduation requirement would be in the best interests of public school students and the public.

If so, the Board of Education would work with the Department of Education to analyze a timeline and process for making computer science a graduation requirement by no later than the 2030-2031 school year.

“From artificial intelligence to advances in healthcare, renewable energy and agriculture, the current and future impact of technology cannot be overstated,” said David Sun-Miyashiro, executive director of HawaiiKidsCAN. “That is why computer science is a foundational area of education in 2023 and beyond.”

At the elementary school library, Green also signed SB1344 (Act 173) that amends to ‘school health assistants,’ the former term ‘school health aides,’ to better reflect changes to the job title. The new law allows administration of medication to public school students by school health assistants, with the approval of a health care professional within the Department of Education, Department of Health or a health care service pursuant to a written agreement with the Department of Education.


Additional education and early education bills signed by Green:

SB7 HD1 CD1, (Act 165) Relating to the School Facilities Authority

School Facilities Authority Pilot Program: Makes necessary amendments to clarify certain references to the School Facilities Authority used in section 302A-1151.1, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes.

SB105 HD1 CD1, (Act 166) Relating to Education

Special education autism IEPs: Changes the Department of Education’s quarterly report requirement on autism spectrum disorder to an annual report.

SB1340 SD2 HD2 CD1, (Act 167) Relating to the Practice of Behavior Analysts

Reinstates the exemption from the behavior analyst licensing requirements for certain teachers working in collaboration with a licensed behavior analyst or licensed psychologist. Expands the exemption for registered behavior technicians to implement applied behavior analysis services under the direction of a licensed psychologist. Reinstates the exemption from the behavior analyst licensing requirements for individuals who implement applied behavior analysis services to participants in the Medicaid home and community-based services waiver program. Requires the Department of Education to report to the Legislature on the implementation of Medicaid reimbursements for applied behavior analysis services.


HB1045 HD1 SD1 CD1, (Act 165) Relating to Education

Transfer students, emancipated minors, homeless students: Requires a minor student’s parent or legal guardian, rather than the student, to produce the required student records when transferring schools. Clarifies that emancipated minors may produce the required student records when transferring schools. Clarifies that the transfer process is the same whether a transfer is within the same complex area or to another complex area. Exempts students eligible for assistance provided under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 from producing required student records when transferring schools. Effective 1/1/2024.

Early Education Bills

SB239 SD2 HD3 CD1, (Act 169) Relating to Early Learning Accreditation:

Requires the Department of Human Services to establish a Child Care Accreditation Program to assist licensed and registered child care providers obtain accreditation. Authorizes the use of the Child Care Grant Program Special Fund for Child Care Accreditation Program grants. Extends the deadlines by which existing Preschool Open Doors Program service providers are required to commence the accreditation process and obtain accreditation. Appropriates funds for the Child Care Accreditation Program, including the establishment of one full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) position for the program.

SB1022 HD1 CD1, (Act 170) Relating to the Early Learning Board

Amends the composition and qualifications of the Early Learning Board to consist of individuals from each county, instead of from particular entities or types of providers. Establishes general qualifications for the members of the Early Learning Board appointed by the governor.

HB961 HD1 SD2 CD1, (Act 171) Relating to Early Learning

Expand Preschool Open Doors to 3-year-olds: Expands the types of entities from which a Preschool Open Doors service provider may obtain accreditation. Beginning 1/1/2024, expands the Preschool Open Doors Program application process to eligible 3year-old children.

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