Supporting Our Public Schools
Having been involved in educational reform efforts since the early 1990's, Senator Tokuda focused on key initiatives to provide our public schools with the support and structure they need to create a supportive and effective environment in which to learn.
While Vice Chair of the Senate Education Committee, Senator Tokuda made it a top priority to establish Complex Area Business Managers to provide school leadership with the professional support they needed to maximize funds and look for cost savings and efficiencies within the complex, while adhering to generally accepted accounting procedures. As a result of these positions, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost savings have been realized, and principals and schools have received the support they need to make good financial management decisions.
In 2010, Senator Tokuda authored and introduced SB2124, which made funds available from the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund for the purposes of ending Furlough Fridays. Co-signed by a vast majority of her Senate colleagues and also supported by the House of Representatives, SB2124 was signed into law as Act 143, and was cornerstone in the solution to ending furloughs for the 2010-2011 school year.
Focused on career and college readiness, Senator Tokuda's very first bill to become law in 2007, SB885, established the Career and Technical Education program with the Department of Education and established and expanded critical programs in the areas of agriculture, robotics, applied learning, STEM, and business education and mentorships.