June 23, 2006

Senate Bill 3101: Government Nanny Bill

Senators Sakamoto, Chun Oakland, Nishihara

This bill was one of two “government nanny” bills focusing on early learning programs for children 5 and under. Senate Bill 3101 passed both branches of the Hawaii legislature but the version the Senate passed was different from the bill the House passed. A conference committee was created with members from both branches in an attempt to come up with a compromise for each bill.

The Conference Committee has come up with a compromise for Senate Bill 3101. The revised bill was sent to both the House and Senate and approved on May 2, 2006.

While we were not able to defeat this bill, your calls helped amend it. Our main concerns with this bill was that it was a waste of money at that the voluntary programs supported in the bill might later become mandatory, particularly with Hawaii's history on compulsory education bills.

1/25/2006(Senate) Introduced
1/30/2006(Senate) Referred to EDM/HMS, WAM.
2/9/2006(Senate) The committee(s) on EDM recommend(s) that the measure be passed, with amendments.
2/9/2006(Senate) The committee(s) on HMS recommend(s) that the measure be passed, with amendments.
2/28/2006(Senate) The committee(s) on WAM recommend(s) that the measure be passed, with amendments.
3/7/2006(Senate) Passed Third Reading, as amended (SD 2).
3/7/2006(House) Received from Senate (Sen. Com. No. 335) in amended form (SD 2).
3/9/2006(House) Referred to EDN/LAB, FIN.
3/20/2006(House) The committees on EDN recommend that the measure be passed, with amendments.
3/20/2006(House) The committees on LAB recommend that the measure be passed, with amendments.
3/31/2006(House) The committees on FIN recommend that the measure be passed, with amendments.
4/11/2006(House) Passed Third Reading as amended in (HD 2) with none voting no (0) and Representative(s) Stevens, Stonebraker excused (2).
4/11/2006(House) Transmitted to Senate.
4/13/2006(Senate) Senate disagrees with House amendments.
4/17/2006(House) House conferees appointed: Takumi, Caldwell, Takamine Co-Chairs.
4/17/2006(Senate) Senate Conferees appointed: Sakamoto, Chair; Chun Oakland, Taniguchi, Co-Chair(s); Tsutsui.
4/18/2006(House) House conferee(s) added: Representative(s) Ching.
4/19/2006(House) Bill scheduled for Conference Committee Meeting on Thursday, 04-20-06 at 3:30 pm in conference room 329.
4/24/2006(House) Bill scheduled for Conference Committee Meeting on Wednesday, 04-26-06 3:00 pm in conference room 329.
4/28/2006(House) The Conference Committee recommends that the measure be Passed, with Amendments.
5/2/2006(Senate) Passed Final Reading, as amended (CD 1). 24 Aye(s); Aye(s) with reservations: none. 0 No(es): none. 1 Excused: Senator(s) Hee.
5/2/2006(House) Passed Final Reading as amended in (CD 1) with none voting no (0) and Abinsay, Nakasone, Stonebraker excused (3).
5/2/2006(House) Received notice of Final Reading (Sen. Com. No. 875).
5/4/2006(Senate) Received notice of passage on Final Reading in House (Hse. Com. No. 850).
5/8/2006(Senate) Enrolled to Governor.

HSLDA's Position:

Action Requested:
Please call and e-mail your state Senator and Representative immediately and give them this message in your own words:

    "Please vote against Senate Bill 3101. Creating the Early Learning Task Force would only waste taxpayer money. Most studies have shown that any educational gains are lost by the 3rd grade.

    Additionally, a recent study found attendance at preschool programs, even for short periods of time, hindered young children's social skills."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler; instead you can identify yourself as a concerned parent and taxpayer.

Use our legislative toolbox to find your representative.

Under Senate Bill 3101 the early learning task force is created with the intent of implementing standards for age and developmentally appropriate curriculum. While these standards would only be for public programs at this time, the task force is required to submit a report over the next two years to proposed legislation to advance early education.

S.B. 3101 appropriates $250,000 for the early learning task force in 2006-2007 as well as $1,000,000 for junior kindergarten services. Another $300,000 in this bill is appropriated for Families for Resources and Early Access to Learning (Families for REAL) a 10-week program for parents and children age birth to 5 in the public school system. There is an additional appropriation of $700,000 for Early Head Start and Head Start in this bill, too.

One of the goals of the Office of Early Learning created by House Bill 3237 will be to ensure voluntary access to early learning programs for all children age 4. Additionally, the Office of Early Learning is to implement a plan to motivate and promote the value of and participation in early childhood learning programs for parent and the general public.

Currently H.B. 3237 appropriates an unspecified amount for the operation of the Office of Early Learning and $2.4 million for four pilot programs, one in each county. These pilot programs are to include:

  1. parenting, caregiver, and family childcare education with social and emotional training;
  2. play and learn group and parent participation preschool programs;
  3. summer transition programs for children entering kindergarten or junior kindergarten.

Both of these bills seek to spend several million dollars for early childhood care and education while claiming that this will have a long-term impact on their development. However, most studies have shown that any educational gain made by placing young children in school is lost by the 3rd grade.

A 2005 study conducted by Stanford University and the University of California found attendance at preschool programs hindered young children's social skills.

This study reported that "attendance in preschool centers, even for short periods of time each week, hinders the rate at which young children develop social skills and display the motivation to engage classroom tasks, as reported by their kindergarten teachers." The negative behavior that was demonstrated by this study included "children's externalizing behaviors (such as, aggression, bullying, acting up), interpersonal skills (such as, sharing and cooperation), and self control in engaging classroom tasks."

For more information see our issue analysis: "Institutionalized Early Childhood Education and Development Background and Issues."

 Other Resources

Apr.-6-2006—Hawaii—Calls needed to stop Government Nanny Bills

Apr.-20-2006—Hawaii—More Calls needed to stop Government Nanny Bills

May-1-2006—Hawaii—Last Chance to Stop Government Nanny Bill

Bill Text

Bill History