BY MICHELE VAN HESSENRepresentative Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai – Kalama Valley) today announced that his office is sponsoring a community forum on the constitutional amendment to have the Governor appoint the board of education rather than have it elected as is now the case.  The constitutional amendment will ask voters to ratify or reject this on the November 2, 2010 ballot.

Support for an elected board will kick off the evening by a presentation from Board of Education Chair Garrett Toguchi followed by a presentation from “Hawaii’s Children First” – a ballot issue committee formed specifically for the promotion and passage of the constitutional amendment.

“I used to think an elected board was the only way to get reforms implemented until I realized that an elected board is part of the problem that nothing gets done in a system that has no accountability and transparency in it,” Rep. Ward said.

The origins of the constitutional amendment were likely from the public’s reaction to the 17 lost school days from “Furlough Fridays,” in addition to our low national ranking of Hawaii’s school system, now at the bottom as 47th out of 50 states.

“We hope to have a lively debate and win this initiative, though the voices of the dissenters are joined by the blank votes in their favor, because blank votes are considered the same as “no” votes in the constitutional amendment balloting,” Ward concluded.

WHAT: Future of the Board of Education Townhall Forum

WHERE: Haha‘ione Elementary School Cafeteria

WHEN: Tuesday, October 5 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Contact: Rep. Gene Ward at  586-6420.

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