Local Connection: New Year for DOE

As public schools open this week, let's all hope that this will be a better year for Hawaii's keiki.

One positive change - by the end of summer about 1,000 classrooms that were chronically overheated will have air conditioning.

As we reported last week, the upgrades were finally done at places like Ewa Elementary for a reasonable cost, and we are happy for the thousands of kids that will have a more comfortable learning environment, even though it took way too long.

There was another ray of hope for a long-neglected school as Farrington High held its first football game at its renovated stadium.

Let's also hope that the new Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto has what it takes to move the huge, cumbersome DOE forward.

The firing of prior superintendent -- who was not a favorite of the governor -- and the process of selecting Kishimoto have been openly questioned. So whether she succeeds or fails will be a direct reflection of the governor's influence on the school system.

Perhaps having a superintendent in which he is politically vested will inspire the governor to work even harder and more creatively to win more support for our public schools at the legislature and the community.

There is literally nothing more important for the future of our state.

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