Why I Support Giving Parents Power Over Their Children’s Education, Future

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    “Sam Slom Image”

    I must tell you why I strongly support decentralization of our school system. In part because:


    *(1). I am a product of public education all my life and a proud University of Hawaii (1963) grad but know we can and must do better and the single, glaring, limiting factor has been the political government school system status quo which has refused any meaningful changes in 40 years;

    *(2) I have sent my four sons to public schools in Hawaii against better advice, including that of the nearly 50 percent of public school teachers who send their kids to private schools;

    *(3) I tried to work with School Community Based Management and Parent Teacher Student Association for changes but was frustrated by “the system”;

    *(4) The Hawaii State Teachers Association cares about money and power, not children and education, and spends too much time and money trying to defeat discussion on change;’

    *(5) There is good reason why Hawaii is the only state with a bloated, single, statewide school district, and a direct correlation why we constantly rank 49th or 50th in the nation in results;

    *(6) My tenure on the Felix Investigating committee and testimony by the Department of Education, Board of Education and audits of both by the Legislator Auditor reveal why we must break up this power monopoly;

    *(7) Local, decentralized, parent/taxpayer involved boards can not create more bureaucracy if you dismantle the existing power structure which is part and parcel of the plan — it is not duplication it is replacement — and couple it with other reforms such as 90 percent of the money going directly into the classrooms, empowering the principals, weighted student formula and requiring accountability as well as results;

    *(8) You must support this if you support true home rule, choice and democracy;

    *(9) Decentraliziation is the best option if you really want teachers to teach and to be rewarded for what they actually do, students to have incentives to learn, and parents to have choices over the best education for their own children. Strong aloof centralization offers none of this; and

    *(10) All that the governor has asked is that the people be given the right to vote on changes; if that happens, and for some reason the public says, “No, we like our near-worst in the nation, $1.9 billion annual, wasted potential, non-productive, non-educating, old-boy network system, so be it. At least we gave ”’all”’ the public a chance to vote. Can you be against such a vote? Choice for parents?

    ”’Sen. Sam Slom, R-Hawaii Kai, who also serves as president and exective director of Small Business Hawaii, can be reached via email at:”’ mailto:sbh@lava.net

    ”’HawaiiReporter.com reports the real news, and prints all editorials submitted, even if they do not represent the viewpoint of the editors, as long as they are written clearly. Send editorials to”’ mailto:Malia@HawaiiReporter.com