Hawaii Board of Education member Jim Williams resigned Thursday, citing his differences with Gov. David Ige.

Williams has been on the BOE since April 2011. He served as chair of the Student Achievement Committee and was a member of the Human Resources Committee. His term would have expired June 30, 2017.

Formerly, he was president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, CEO of the Hawaii Employer-Union Benefits Trust Fund and taught at Kaunakakai Elementary School and Molokai High School.

In his resignation letter to Ige, Williams wrote:

Your lack of faith in and support of the Board have sapped my enthusiasm to the point where I no longer can continue to serve with the positive attitude the postion requires.”

Williams wrote that the work of Ige’s Every Student Succeeds Act team, which aims to “develop a blueprint for Hawaii’s public schools that is consistent with ESSA,” actually falls under the BOE’s jurisdiction. The ESSA team was announced in April 2016.

In a statement responding to Williams, Ige restated the role of the ESSA team in creating a blueprint for the state’s education system, noting a draft was being finalized. The team met with more than 3,000 stakeholders in the educational community, he wrote, and a second round of meetings will be held to seek feedback on the draft.

The statement also said:

We thank Jim for his years of service. He has made some good contributions to education in Hawaii, including his service as president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association and as vice chair of Voyager Public Charter School.

Jim Williams served on Hawaii's Board of Education from April 2011-September 2016.
Jim Williams, left, had served on the Hawaii Board of Education since 2011. Katherine Poythress/Civil Beat

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