Twenty-First Century Schools Bill Advances in House:
The House Committees on Water & Land, Education, and Finance held a joint hearing today, where they adopted HB865, which would establish the framework for the development of twenty-first century schools through the redevelopment of public school lands.
The adopted draft takes into consideration issues voiced over the original legislation, which was part of the Governor’s Legislative Package. The Board of Education would oversee the endeavor, complying with all county zoning requirements and providing opportunities for community input. The current version of the bill finances the program through a special fund and limits its scope to five projects, allowing lawmakers to observe the impact of the program and revisit it again in the future.
“Forging public-private partnerships is an innovative approach to generate revenues necessary for much needed improvements to our public schools,” said Committee on Water & Land Chair Cindy Evans (North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala). “HB865 allows the State to team with the private sector and still respect community development plans and comply with environmental safeguards.”