This Year's Education Bills (Mary Anne Raywid)
Affordable Shelter (Jackie Parnell)
New LWV State Website (Andrea Dean)
2006 Freedom of Information Compliance Audit (Jackie Parnell)
League Makes it to the Wheel (Jean Aoki)
Voter Owned Elections (Clean Elections) (Kory Payne)
Education Committee Report (and why political reform...) (Mary Anne Raywid)
Never Say it Makes No Difference (Jean Aoki)
Court Rules Private Serial Communications Violate State's Sunshine Law
Martha Black Dies
Gambling: Hopefully a Non-Issue This Legislative Session (Judy Rantala)
Century of Accountability (Mary Anne Raywid)
Prophecy Gone Wrong (Dwight D. Eisenhower)
Chapter Reports: Kauai (Carol Bain)
Chapter Reports: Honolulu (Jackie Parnell)
Chapter Reports: Hawaii (Marianna Scheffer)
Chapter Reports: Maui (Joshua Cooper)
This Year's Education Bills
This year's bills on education have included some interesting ones that the Education Committee has not testified on but which we nevertheless found noteworthy for one reason or another.
Some seem like very good ideas -- like the one that would pay teachers with national board certification a $10,000 bonus annually to teach for three years, and mentor teachers, at one of Hawaii's schools in need of improvement.
One bill suggests that a residential developer "should pay a school impact fee proportionate to their impact on the need to construct additional facilities." Certainly sounds reasonable. A companion bill seeks to make developers responsible for the purchase of land needed for schools for the areas they develop.
Another bill would make kindergarten mandatory. Even though it extends the hand of government, a lot of research would support this -- and especially for the children unlikely to attend unless it were mandatory.
A bill that might raise more questions for some would give high school diplomas to those veterans of World War II, the Korean conflict, and the Vietnam War whose high school careers were interrupted by compulsory military service. While they are surely entitled to lavish veterans’ benefits, including educational assistance, the bestowal of diplomas may not really prove a boon.
A couple of interesting bills sponsored by the interagency working group established pursuant to Act 51, the "Reinventing Education Act," are recommending the repeal of the transfer of certain functions from the departments of budget and finance, human services, and the attorney general to the department of education.
And for those who deny there's a problem of the Legislature micromanaging the schools, there is one bill seeking to "develop students' critical and creative thinking skills," Kindergarten - 7th grade, that has it all planned out down to content focus at each grade level, length of lessons, contents of the teacher guide, number of words per lesson, characteristics of discussions, textbooks, and other learning materials.
Mary Anne Raywid