What DOE Can Do - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

April 6, 2009

What DOE Can Do

The Department of Education is questioning the governor's efforts to use federal stimulus education money to replace state money earmarked for the DOE, which would then be used as general funds to help make up for the growing state deficit.  In the plan, some $30-million in cuts that had been planned would be restored for the next two fiscal years.  And, of course, federal mandates dictate that certain criteria must be met to receive additional funding, as disadvantaged schools and disabled students must be constructively dealt with in this whole money mix.

But what about the fact that, even in better fiscal times, many schools can't get enough books, supplies, or working computers?  What about the fact that many teachers dig into their own pockets to provide their classrooms and students the very basics to make learning a reality and not an over-hyped mantra?  Is now as good a time as any to look at revamping the entire system, to ensure that when this economic crunch eases that our keiki will truly have the best opportunities to allow them to succeed?

Everybody loves education, it's the key to our future, it's a priority; we hear that every election cycle and in public statement sessions, whenever it fits.  But are we really looking at the details and the direction?  Are we willing to say what doesn't work- and then change it?  If so, great, then we should see the fruits of these efforts in high graduation rates, pro-active parental involvement, and test score improvements.  If not, then let's either say that we accept mediocrity, or really try to fix the system for good.  Think about it...

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