Local Connection: Invalid Constitutional Amendment

Local Connection: Invalid Constitutional Amendment
(Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Supreme Court did us all a favor Friday by invalidating the proposed constitutional amendment to fund public education.

The court ruled that the language on the ballot was so vague many voters would have no idea what they were approving.

Polls and a growing consensus in the community indicated that the amendment would not have the votes to pass anyway, so the court’s decision was sort of a mercy killing. It put to an end an increasingly polarizing debate.

Teachers and their union were disappointed of course, but it’s likely the proposed amendment was giving them false hopes of a quick infusion of money, anyway. It could have taken years for the legislature to figure out how to implement a new, complex and controversial tax.

The silver lining here is the need for more support for public schools came through loud and clear. Lawmakers have a huge opportunity to make good on the promise of more money — through more conventional means — in the upcoming session .

And another potential benefit is that voters can now focus on whether to approve a constitutional convention, which could be the right place to consider big changes like how we fund our schools.

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