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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Students Now Facing More Cuts, Higher Costs Under Ige's Budget Leadership
By News Release @ 11:11 PM :: 3632 Views :: Education K-12, Politicians

Students Now Facing More Cuts, Higher Costs Under Ige's Budget Leadership

Senator Ige Has No New Solutions For Fixing Our Schools In Need

News Release from Hawaii Republican Party

HONOLULU (October 22, 2014) -- The Department of Education announced today that it will need additional emergency funding in order to avoid cutting bus routes and increasing the cost of school lunches. Senator Ige likes to brag about his leadership on education funding as the Chairman of Ways and Means, but problems persist under his leadership and policies from the past four years.

"Senator Ige says he is proud of his leadership on education over the past four years, but the results speak for themselves. Hawaii is already one of the most expensive places to raise a child, and with the threat of more education cuts and higher costs for their keiki, the last thing parents want is four more years of the same. " --Hawaii Republican Party Communications Advisor Ted Kwong

BACKGROUND:

Senator Ige Bragged About His Leadership On School Funding As Chairman Of Ways And Means. "As chair of Ways and Means Committee, I always believed that the state budget is the most important bill that I work on in any given session. You know, the budget allows me to set priorities for the state and focus in on those areas I think most important. I just wanted to highlight a few things that are meaningful here on the Big Island. First and foremost it really is about investing in education." (Sen. David Ige, Waimea Community Association Debate, 7/23/14)

But Now Schools Are Facing Cuts To Bus Routes And Increases In Lunch Prices. "The Department of Education says it needs $19 million in emergency funding from the Legislature to cover shortfalls in its school lunch and bus transportation programs, or officials warned that meal prices might go up and some bus routes could be eliminated." (Nanea Kalani, "DOE seeks $19 million to cover lunch, bus programs," Honolulu Star Advertiser, 10/22/14)

SCRUTINY CONTINUES OF IGE'S EDUCATION LEADERSHIP

Ige Also Doesn’t Regret Killing A Series Of Bills This Year To Help Fix The Hot School Problem And Charter School Funding Woes, Among Others. “Still, Ige doesn’t regret his highly scrutinized decision to kill a series of key education-related proposals this year. The state, he reasoned, simply couldn’t afford to fulfill those promises, something he realized after the Council on Revenues’ downgraded forecast. The bills would’ve cost an additional $90 million, he said. That legislation included a bill that would have required the DOE to survey schools’ classroom needs and develop a ‘master cooling strategy.’” (Alia Wong, “Aiona, Ige Largely Like-Minded on Needed Education Reform,” Honolulu Civil Beat, 9/30/14)

  • “Several of the bills — from those promoting early childhood learning to those aimed at better funding charter schools — would have significantly altered the state’s education landscape. ‘It’s kind of sad that this doesn’t get to the finish point,’ said GG Weisenfeld, director of the Executive Office on Early Learning." (Alia Wong, “Hawaii Legislature: Procedural Mixup Dooms Key Education Measures,” Honolulu Civil Beat, 4/26/14)

The Poster Child For Ige's Education Failure Continued To Outrage Parents As Recently As Last Month. "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." (Diane Ako, "Hilo charter school’s ‘bucket chairs’ anger some parents," KHON2, 10/2/14)

And The Hot School Problem Continued To Receive Scrutiny This School Year. "Ilima Intermediate, which was built in 1962 and serves about 820 students in grades seven and eight, is one of the 242 regular public schools across Hawaii that lack central air conditioning. The hot conditions have always been a problem, but teachers and students say it’s particularly bad this school year. Classes started a little more than a month ago, as did a new, extended bell schedule that has some days ending at 3 p.m. A wave of exceptionally hot weather, meanwhile, has plagued the islands recently." (Alia Wong, "Classes Off to a Hot Start in Schools Without Air Conditioning," Honolulu Civil Beat, 9/16/14)

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