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On the Issues:

Education

As a state, we need to focus on improving the access and quality of early education and post-secondary education. I'm a parent of three adult children, one of which is a second-grade teacher, and I know the challenges within our education system at every level. Together, I know we can improve education in Hawaiʻi by enriching students' experiences through real-life learning and by supporting classroom teachers.

Through emotional, social and intellectual support for all students, we can help develop good character and citizenship in our future leaders. I will continue to commit myself to supporting education initiatives from preschool all the way through our university system by working directly with individuals and groups that understand the needs of our keiki and educators, including the Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association (HSTA) and University of Hawaiʻi Professional Assembly (UHPA).

Retain and Hire Quality Educators:

  • Teachers are the frontline that deal directly with our keiki
  • Ensure teachers have the resources and support of the state
  • Brainstorm ways to keep teachers in-state and attract qualified individuals
    • Teaching incentives such as housing allowances, advanced degree programs, etc.
    • Consider extending General Excise Tax (GET) and using extension exclusively for teachers and schools

Bridge Resources:

  • Bring together state and federal Department of Education (DOE) officials, legislators, teachers, parents, NGOs and others to discuss policy, projects and funding
    • How do we make FREE preschool statewide feasible?
    • Should we implement a K-12 school schedule that aligns with parents' work hours (9am to 5pm)?
    • Should we change the school year to a true year-round schedule?
    • How do we improve our school facilities for greatest use?
    • How do utilize our public resources to best capitalize school properties to generate a new funding stream?
    • How can we better manage our University of Hawaiʻi system of colleges?
    • How can we offer more trade and boot camp programs for students not interested in traditional 4-year college programs?
    • How can we improve internship and apprenticeship opportunities with local businesses?

On Kauaʻi:

  • Creating DOE curriculum on Kauaʻi Nui Kuapapa program in elementary schools
    • Initiative to identify Kauaʻi's 54 ahupuaʻa and six moku including Niʻihau
    • Part of Holo Holo 2020 plan
    • Researched and identified each moku
    • Installing signage to mark each ahupuaʻa and moku
    • Substantial benefits to learning about our rich Native Hawaiian culture and availability of natural resources within each region
    • Make intelligent, well-informed decisions on agriculture/farming (what grows well in each region based on historical references)
  • Created recycling curriculum Kauaʻi Keiki Recycles that our Public Works' Solid Waste division supports in DOE schools
  • Kauaʻi Police Department (KPD) dedicated School Resource Officers in each high school to work IN the schools
    • Officers develop relationships with students, teachers, parents and staff
    • Help to develop safety and security plans specific to each school
    • Work with school on bullying prevention, cyber security, etc. type of education and outreach
    • State pulled funding for this unit several years ago, but I was dedicated to continuing program, now with county funds
  • County administration stays in very close communication with DOE Superintendent Bill Arakaki

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Līhu‘e, Hawai‘i 96766
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