LT. GOVERNOR AIONA SIGNS LAW TO ESTABLISH MINIMUM AMOUNT OF INSTRUCTIONAL TIME AT PUBLIC SCHOOLS
HONOLULU — Lt. Governor James R. “Duke” Aiona, Jr., as acting governor, today signed into law, House Bill 2486, which establishes a minimum number of hours of instructional time for Hawai‘i public school students.
“Hawai‘i is the only State in the nation that does not set by statute the minimum number of hours of instructional time a public school student should receive,” said Lt. Governor Aiona. “Our families, principals and teachers deserve a public school system that ensures our students have the tools and classroom time needed to succeed.”
Hawai‘i has the shortest amount of instructional time in the nation – 4 hours and 43 minutes per day. Thirty-two states average 5-and-a-half hours per day of instructional time (990 hours per school year) and 16 states mandate a minimum of 6 hours of instruction per day (1,080 hours per school year).
Under the new law, Act 167, the State Department of Education (DOE) must maximize the amount of instructional time under the current collective bargaining agreement during the 2010 – 2011 school year. With “furlough Fridays” resolved, there are 178 instructional days in the coming school year.
For the 2011 – 2013 school years, all public schools, except charter schools, will be required to have a school year of 180 days of instruction. Elementary schools would be required to offer 915 hours; middle and high schools would have to offer 990 hours of instruction.
In addition, the measure requires for the 2013 – 2015 school years, all schools, except charters, must retain the 180 days and expand instructional time to 1,080 hours for elementary, middle and high schools.
Public charter schools were exempted at the request of the charter school community to respect the autonomy and individuality of charter schools. Some charters already have longer days, or include projects and off-site learning experiences as part of their instruction.
The bill explicitly defines instructional time to exclude lunch, recess or time for the students to pass between classes.
STATEMENT FROM LYNN FINNEGAN ON ACT 167 ESTABLISHING A MINIMUM NUMBER OF SCHOOL DAYS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
HONOLULU - State House Minority Leader Representative Lynn Finnegan, candidate for Lt. Governor, released the following statement about Lt. Governor Aiona's signature of Act 167:
“As House Minority Leader, I am excited that the Lt. Governor signed Act 167 today, requiring a minimum number of school days for our public school system. The Republicans led the way for this proposal to be enacted by first presenting it as part of the House minority package in November of last year, and it is great to see the commitment to education solidified by Lt. Governor Aiona’s signature today.
“Even with this minimum requirement for classroom time, it is important for Hawaii to remain as focused on the quality of education as we have been on the quantity. As the next Lt. Governor, I plan to continue reforming Hawaii’s education system to be student focused.”
GOVERNOR’S BILL ACTION REPORT
June 15, 2010
Lt. Governor James R. “Duke” Aiona, Jr., as acting governor, has signed the following bill into law.
ACT 167 (10)
HB2486 HD2 SD2 CD1
Signed by Lt. Governor Aiona, Acting Governor: June 15, 2010
RELATING TO EDUCATION.
Establishes a minimum amount of instructional time public school students shall receive.