Poll shows voters favor appointed school board

Randy Baldemor
Randy Baldemor
Garrett Toguchi
Garrett Toguchi

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than half of voters are in favor of the governor appointing the school board rather than being elected by the people.  That's according to a new Hawaii News Now and Star Advertiser poll.

In school an "A" means a good grade.  For voters on the appointed school board question "A" stands for accountability.

The board of education is currently selected by a vote of the people, but that could change if the poll numbers stay true.

The ballot question asks "Shall the Board of Education be changed to a board appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate as provided by law?"  People in the poll were read the question then asked will you vote yes or no on this amendment.  More than 53 percent said yes and 35 percent said no.  There were 11 percent who don't know or refused.

Supporters are excited by the results but are still concerned since a blank vote counts as no.

"For this ballot question everyone should be concerned about it.  Rather than voting blank, take a stand vote yes, vote no but it's important to everyone," said Randy Baldemor, Hawaii's Children First, a ballot issue committee supporting the appointed board amendment.

Opponents aren't surprised by the results considering supporters have spent nearly half a million dollars getting their word out.

"I think the propaganda that people have used to persuade people to vote to say yes is somewhat of an insincere approach to providing the voters with appropriate information about the issue," said Garrett Toguchi, current Hawaii Board of Education Chair.

In the end it comes down to whether you think an appointed board gives you more or less accountability.

"If you appoint the board you then hold the governor accountable for public education," said Baldemor.

"There are over 150 boards and commissions out there right now that the governor has responsibility over so how do you hold the governor accountable for one more appointed board when the governor is not held accountable for all the other boards and commissions that are out there," said Toguchi.

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