SCR49 Encouraging Hawaiʻi Private Schools to Offer Hawaiian Instruction
SB643 SD1 Requiring Hawaiian in All Public Transactions and Acts
Hawaiian Language is the first language of the Hawaiian archipelago and has been an official language of the State of Hawaiʻi for over 30 years. Therefore, it is a travesty that many public documents and transactions are only in English and other foreign languages and many private schools fail to offer Hawaiian language instruction.
There are now approximately 3,000 students enrolled in Hawaiian Immersion schools from pre-k to grade 12 and hundreds more students enrolled in post secondary Hawaiian Language courses. Having public transactions and acts available only in English and other foreign languages does not address the needs of the growing number of Hawaiian Language speakers.
According to the Kamehameha Schools study “Culture Based Education and Its Relation to Student Outcomes” (2010) culture based education (including Hawaiian Language) have positive outcomes that translate into higher math and reading scores for all students, especially Kanaka Maoli students.
The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Kuwaihuelani school currently offer Bachelor and Master degrees in Hawaiian Language while the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani college currently offer Master and PhD degrees in Hawaiian Language creating a viable workforce for the growing need for Hawaiian instruction and public documents and acts in Hawaiian.
Support SB 643 SD 1 and SCR 49 because it will help to raise the status of the native language of the Hawaiian Archipelago, address the needs of thousands of Hawaiian language speakers in Hawaiʻi, will provide job opportunities for a growing number graduates with college degrees in Hawaiian, and most importantly will raise the overall wellbeing of the Kanaka Maoli people.