I have devoted much time to organizing support around public education in Hawaii. I have taken many days out of my schedule to testify in front House and Senate committees, as well as the Board of Education, to inform our elected representatives about the reality we face in our schools.
I am disappointed to find out that the Constitutional Amendment, which had such a wide public support, as well as garnered support in both the House and the Senate, was not put up for a vote last Thursday night. It is sad that a small handful of politicians were able block a measure from even being considered by our full legislative body.
House Session Legislature1. 18 july 2016
The proposed constitutional amendment that would have a created a new funding mechanism for public schools died when lawmakers failed to move it out of committee last week and bring it to a vote of the Legislature. Cory Lum/Civil Beat
The proposed bill, if passed by the entire House and Senate, and voted on by the public, would have generated significant monies for our public schools. It would have helped to retain and recruit teachers in order to mitigate a teacher shortage crisis of unprecedented proportions (which carries unprecedented consequences on the lives of our students).
Over the last few years, I have seen HSTA, under new president Corey Rosenlee’s leadership, come up with more progressive and innovative ideas – and actual bills – that would help our public schools than our legislators. I am shocked that our elected representatives choose to obstruct progress while they themselves have not been able to meaningfully addressed the critical issue of underfunding our schools.

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