It’s crunch time at the Capitol.

House and Senate lawmakers are working to reach an agreement on well over a dozen different education bills affecting kids in preschool all the way up through the university level.

Conference committee members said Wednesday that they were close on most of the bills.

Representative Roy Takumi is flanked by Representative Belatti during joint House/Senate education committee meeting. 22 april 2015. photograph by Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Rep. Roy Takumi speaks during a joint House-Senate conference committee meeting on education bills.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Rep. Isaac Choy and Sen. Brian Taniguchi are the lead negotiators on many of the higher-ed bills, including an omnibus measure that makes comprehensive changes affecting the entire University of Hawaii system.

They are reconvening for many of their bills at 1 p.m., Monday.

Rep. Roy Takumi and Sen. Michelle Kidani have the lead for bills affecting the Department of Education, ranging from proposals to combat bullying to restructuring early childhood education and creating financial incentives for teachers.

House Bill 11 would give teachers a bonus for maintaining their national board certification and teaching at a school that could use a good educator.

There’s debate over whether the Legislature should retroactively give some 54 teachers a $5,000 bonus that they should’ve gotten last year but didn’t because lawmakers accidentally didn’t renew the program in the craziness that ensues at the end of each session.

The conference committee is reconvening at 2 p.m. Friday to hear HB11 and several others.

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