As an education advocacy nonprofit organization, HawaiiKids- CAN is grateful to have been a close partner with outgoing Hawaii Department of Education Superintendent Christina Kishimoto on a number of critical initiatives, such as expanding computer science education.
Before a new leader is selected for our school system, however, we think the Hawaii Board of Education (BOE) and our broader community must consider critical issues. While the challenges of the pandemic are difficult and will persist, it’s also important we remember there were serious issues in our education system before COVID-19.
For many parents, the No. 1 concern is learning loss. The disruption of schools over the past 12 months has clearly had damaging effects, with 1 in 5 students at risk of chronic absenteeism or off track to graduate. The recently passed American Rescue Plan, which will send another $123 billion to states for K-12 education, including $414 million for Hawaii, will be a big help in closing budget holes — but the new superintendent will have her or his hands full to make sure this funding maximizes a positive impact on students.