Court’s decision on ‘ConAm’ question prompts new conversation about school funding

The proposed constitutional amendment ballot item would’ve raised investment property taxes.

Court’s decision on ‘ConAm’ question prompts new conversation about school funding
Supporters rally in support of a constitutional amendment that would've raised investment property taxes to fund public education. (Hawaii News Now/file)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -The Hawaii State Teachers Association and other leaders met Monday to discuss solutions to fund public schools.

The meeting comes after the state Supreme Court struck down a proposed constitutional amendment ballot item that would’ve raised investment property taxes for education, invalidating the question and preventing it from being voted on during the November general election.

The proposal had the backing of Gov. David Ige.

At a news conference Monday at McKinley High, Ige said he remains “committed” to providing a quality public education system in Hawaii. But he didn’t offer any new ideas for boosting funding for schools.

“We continue to look for new funding resources,” he said.

HSTA President Corey Rosenlee said while he’s disappointed in the state Supreme Court’s decision, he believes a conversation has been started.

“This is the beginning. This is a problem that we must solve,” Rosenlee said. “We still have 1,000 classrooms without a qualified teachers. This must be our moral imperative. At the end of the day, this is about one thing. This is about our keiki.”

The Affordable Hawaii Coalition, all four county mayors and four former governors said the language in the ballot question was misleading and unclear.

The counties petitioned the Supreme Court, and the justices sided with them.

Lawmakers spent two years drafting the language of the proposed amendment.

The HSTA said it was shocked the justices ruled the way they did, but the teachers union is still trying to find a way to fund public schools.

Live News Conference

#LIVE: HSTA, others discuss public education funding after controversial constitutional amendment that would have hiked taxes for schools is thrown out by the state Supreme Court. MORE: http://bit.ly/2SbmaQm #HINews #HNN

Posted by Hawaii News Now on Monday, October 22, 2018

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.