We know this is a challenging time for our state, schools and families and it will take a community-wide effort to fight learning loss and ensure our kids have the skills they need to succeed in Hawaii and help the state recover.

1) Ensure 100% participation in learning through safe alternatives.
Why: In this time of uncertainty, families deserve safe, quality options to prevent learning loss, including pandemic pods. We want to ensure all children are able to thrive without financial, geographic or technological barriers.

2) Preserve the integrity of the school year by maintaining adequate instruction time and providing clear and accessible assessment data.
Why: The disruption from Covid-19 has the potential to inflict unprecedented, unrecoverable learning loss on students this year. HawaiiKidsCAN has a deep responsibility to push back against this tide, be a watchdog for students and promote critical supports such as tutoring and federal financial resources.

3) Require all elementary and middle schools to teach computer science (HB1222 / SB242).
Why: Since our successful 2018 campaign, computer science course offerings at the high school level have increased dramatically. The same, however, has not been true for the elementary and middle school levels. Exposure to computer science skills and high-growth industries at earlier levels is essential to encouraging participation and representation in the workforce.

4) Pass legislation to codify universal access to high-speed internet and educational technology (resolution pending).
Why: The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the deep digital divide in Hawaii’s communities. Hawaii needs to set a bold goal to fully eliminate this digital divide. Education equity is not possible without digital equity.

5) Ensure Hawaii collects student attainment data for individual industry-recognized credentials (HB1223 / SB516).
Why: Building on our work the last two legislative sessions, we believe Hawaii is lacking the fundamental policy infrastructure to track and report critical data showing student attainment of quality industry credentials. Given that Hawaii will struggle to recover economically for years to come, it is more important than ever to harness our career readiness programs to make smart investments that put Hawaii’s kids on a pathway to high-demand, high-wage jobs.

We would be grateful for your support to move the needle on these issues. Please fill out this short survey to let us know which goals speak to you and how you can help!

Let us know what you think of our policy goals

Thank you so much for your support. We’re looking forward to a great 2021 with you!

David is the founding executive director of HawaiiKidsCAN. He lives in Honolulu, HI.


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