In order to move Hawai'i forward, education needs to be one of our top priorities. Established in 1840 by Kamehmeha III, Hawai'i has the oldest statewide public education system west of the Mississippi, and In recent years it has been decimated by state budget cuts. I believe that these cuts are undermining Hawai'i's economic recovery and stalling progress for generations of students and their families. I am dedicated to finding common ground among parents, teachers, principals, small & large local businesses, industries and educational institutions to rebuild our schools.
Every one of the schools in our state are uniquely different. We cannot put them all through the same cookie cutter system and expect different results. I believe that a greater percentage of the money allocated for education needs to be given directly to the schools so they can determine how to best teach their students. As a product of the Hawai'i public school system I was privileged to attend school at a time when we had music and arts programs and a full time Physical Education teacher. Unfortunately most schools in Hawai'i today don't offer these programs because of lack of funding, and I believe our children are suffering because of it. If we cut wasteful spending from the top and bring the money down to the level of the individual schools, we can take the first step toward a brighter future for our keiki.