KAAAWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Leave Kaaawa alone - that's the message from parents in Windward Oahu as the Board of Education considers a plan to close Kaaawa Elementary School to save money.
A task force even says it's a bad idea.
It was a standing room only crowd at Kaaawa Elementary on Wednesday night, with folks testifying against closing down the school during a public hearing at the school's cafeteria.
The Department of Education (DOE) has appointed a task force to study the impacts of consolidating Kaaawa Elementary with Hauula Elementary and/or Waiahole Elementary. That would save the DOE up to $450,000.
At the public hearing, the task force told the community that it plans to recommend against the consolidation. That brought cheers and applause from parents.
"We love our school so much. It's a small, close-knit community and our school, we really treasure it and we feel like the academic program is really good here," said Olivia Ramie, a parent of a student at Kaaawa Elementary.
"This school was founded in 1904 and I can't believe they would think about tearing down a piece of history like that," said Matt Ramie, Olivia's husband.
In its draft report, the task force listed results of its study.
Their findings show that consolidation would result in overcrowding and loss of programs. The task force will continue accepting written testimony for the next three days, after that it will send its recommendation to the Complex Area Superintendent for review.