The Senate Education committee on Wednesday voted to recommend to the full Senate confirmation of current Board of Education member Kili Namauu to a second term ending 2023, putting to rest any question her seat is in trouble.

The committee had deferred decision-making on the re-confirmation back in May, when Chairwoman Michelle Kidani and Vice-Chairwoman Donna Mercado Kim grilled the board member on educational outcomes, teacher pay differentials and the Hawaii Department of Education’s then-COVID-19 response plan.

Wednesday’s committee vote to advise and consent took place with little fanfare. Namauu was appointed to the board by Gov. David Ige and began her term on July 1, 2017.

Department of Education board meeting.
The Board of Education will next meet on July 9. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2019

Board of Education chairwoman Catherine Payne said she received calls from several state senators since the May deferral to get her thoughts on the effectiveness of the board representative.

“I said she’s one of our strongest, most active board members who’s highly respected in her work in the Hawaiian community, and that’s a piece that’s really critical for us,” Payne said.

The Board of Education consists of nine voting members. It will hold its next meeting on July 9, with two brand new members at the table and a new student representative.

Help power our public service journalism

As a local newsroom, Civil Beat has a unique public service role in times of crisis.

That’s why we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content, so we can get vital information out to everyone, from all communities.

We are deploying a significant amount of our resources to covering the Maui fires, and your support ensures that we can pivot when these types of emergencies arise.

Make a gift to Civil Beat today and help power our nonprofit newsroom.

About the Author