Education Bills Focus on Pre-K access and Teacher Housing

On Monday, Gov. Josh Green signed four education legislation into law, claiming that they will aid in addressing the teacher and housing shortages as well as increasing access to prekindergarten.

“These new laws will provide additional support to advance the efforts of many throughout our public school system, to educate students,” Green said. “Nearly 169,000 students were enrolled in public and charter schools during the 2022 to 2023 school year. A number like that highlights the need for sound policies and support systems, sufficient funding, and resources for employees to ensure quality teaching and learning. Clearly, our students of today, are our leaders, our workforce and our parents of tomorrow, and it is our kuleana to set them up for success.”

Green noted that the state needs 1,200 additional teachers to make up for its yearly teacher shortfall, and that the development of affordable teacher housing might help with both teacher recruitment and retention.

According to a press release from the Governor’s Office, Senate Bill 941, now Act 172, empowers the School Facilities Authority to collaborate with public and private organisations to build classrooms and residences on- or off-campus for teachers, other educators, and employees.

Additional legislation that Green signed on Monday aims to strengthen prekindergarten facilities and take technological advancements into account in the curriculum.

House Bill 960, which is now Act 175, moves $200 million in general money to the School Facilities Special fund for the fiscal year 2023–2024 and places pre-K facilities under the state Department of Education’s School Facilities Authority. The money will give more eligible kids access to pre-K.

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