Hawaii constitution could be amended for preschool - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii constitution could be amended for preschool

By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
Associated Press

WAIANAE, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii voters are being asked to change the state constitution that bars public money from funding private preschool programs.

Supporters say it will help children in a state where 42 percent start kindergarten without any early learning opportunities.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association opposes the ballot question saying it will lead to a voucher system for children to attend expensive private schools.

It's not clear how the amendment would be implemented, including how money will be disbursed.

One early childhood education program that could receive state money if the measure passes is Keiki Steps, a program where parents, grandparents or other caregivers are also in the classroom.

Having adults alongside children in a preschool setting was borne out of Hawaiian culture that values kupuna - elders - as caregivers.

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