As a member of the House Committee on Education, Brian helped push for legislation that decreased class size, decentralized decision making to principals, and tripled the school repair budget. He was a consistent advocate for both higher standards and higher compensation for educators, and was a stalwart supporter of the University of Hawaii as an economic and educational driver in Hawaii.
Says Brian: "The first thing we need to do is end Furlough Fridays. It's allowing a labor dispute to hurt our students and their prospects for success. Any talk about anything else at this stage is premature. We have to get the kids back in school."
Early in the process, before the Furlough Fridays started, Brian, as Democratic Party Chair, proposed a compromise that would have allowed some of the days to be brought back using Rainy Day Fund money, as well as additional time found on Wednesdays and non-instructional days. A similar compromise is still possible, but cooler heads must prevail.
Says Brian: "After we get our students back in school, we must focus on applying for and adhering to the ideas in Barack Obama's Race to the Top." This program provides incentives for high performing teachers and schools, and provides a pathway to success for those who aren't successful yet. It takes the best ideas from both political parties, provides fundamental respect for work educators perform, and allows schools to innovate their way to success.