Hilo Parents Outraged After Ige's Education Funding Failure
News Release from Hawaii Republican Party October 2, 2014
A new story breaking this evening has parents outraged over conditions at a Hilo charter school, where students are relegated to sitting on plastic buckets in classrooms (KHON2, 10/2/14):
Some students at a Hilo charter school are using fishing buckets as chairs. One parent called Action Line to voice her frustration.
Shirleen Simons learned about the seating arrangements for the 4th and 5th grade classes at Ka Umeke Kaeo Charter School from her daughter.
“She sits on a white seven-gallon bucket with a black top,” Simons said. “I’ve never heard of that going on anywhere. We sit on chairs wherever we go.”
Simons says the bucket seat was causing her daughter to suffer.
This exact school was mentioned when Senator Ige failed to pass widely supported bipartisan education bills in April that would have included badly-needed financial relief for charter schools (Civil Beat, 4/26/14):
A group of measures sought to come up with more funding for the state’s charter school facilities.
Hawaii’s 33 charter schools have long struggled to pay for construction, campus upkeep, and even basic furniture because — unlike regular public schools — they can’t dip into capital improvement funds. Instead, the schools have to rely on their operating budgets to cover those costs.
Without money for facilities, some charter schools have had to hold classes in tents or portables. One school even has some of its students using plastic buckets for seats.
Senator Ige was directly to blame for this failure (Civil Beat, 4/26/14):
Lawmakers on the finance committees failed to OK the 14 education bills that still needed approval — even though most of the bills didn’t have an appropriation attached to them. But, under legislative rules, the measures couldn’t advance without the committees’ go-ahead.
It’s unclear why the money committee chairs — Sen. David Ige and Rep. Sylvia Luke — didn’t sign off on the bills. Even Sen. Jill Tokuda, who chairs the Education, was at a loss as to explain what happened at the end.