Courtesy www.cbc.ca

HONOLULU, HAWAII – Governor Neil Abercrombie today signed into law a bill that gives the governor more accountability over Hawai’i’s public education by establishing the process for an appointed Board of Education (BOE).

The bill signing ceremony for Act 5 took place this afternoon at Washington Place among lawmakers and invited guests, including current BOE members.

“Education is one of my highest priorities.  The future of our children and state depends on the success of our public schools,” Governor Abercrombie said.  “In first voting for an appointed Board of Education and then passing this measure in such an expeditious manner, the people of Hawai’i and the State Legislature cleared the way for a new era of leadership for our public school system.”

In November 2010, voters approved a Constitutional Amendment to switch from an elected board to an appointed one.  SB 8 SD1 HD2 sets up the process for the Governor to appoint the nine members of the BOE – three from O’ahu, three at large, and one each from Hawai’i Island, Maui and Kauai.  Governor Abercrombie will also select the chairperson.  All members will need to be confirmed by the State Senate.

BOE members oversee the Department of Education (DOE), which has a $1.7 billion operational budget.  The DOE is one of the state’s largest organizations with more employees than the state’s five largest private sector employers combined.

Governor Abercrombie is looking for talented and dedicated leaders committed to our children’s education and the future of Hawai’i.  He is reviewing applications submitted through the Governor’s website and will appoint diverse individuals with varying skills, talent and experience.

“We continue to welcome every person interested in serving on the Board of Education to apply,” Governor Abercrombie said.  “We need to move quickly and have an appointed Board of Education in place so we can move forward on bringing change to public education in Hawai’i.”

Governor Abercrombie has until April 1, 2011 to submit his nominees for boards and commissions to the Senate for confirmation this legislative session.  He strongly encourages people interested in serving on the BOE and other boards to apply through his website: www.hawaii.gov/gov.

The bill signing ceremony was streamed live on the internet via the Governor’s website.

Submitted by the governor’s office

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