The Hawaii Department of Education is not requiring schools offer distance learning options for the 2021-22 school year.
Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto said in Thursday’s Board of Education Meeting distance learning options will be decided by schools due to budgetary concerns.
“We know that we have some schools that are already stretched thin with their current staff and are getting ready to fully reopen,” said Dr. Kishimoto.
David Miyashiro, Executive Director of HawaiiKidsCAN, a local nonprofit focusing on equitable education, testified in the meeting that his is frustrated by this, saying distance learning will still have value for some families.
“It should be possible to have some kind of system-wide, centralized distance learning option for families who want it,” Miyashiro told KITV4.
Miyashiro believes that even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, distance learning will be a part of the future of public education.
“[Distance learning] opens up a whole new world where kids have access to a wide range of courses their school wouldn’t normally offer,” he explained.
Other benefits, Miyashiro told KITV4, are flexible scheduling allowing for students to work, intern or participate in different athletic activities in addition to take classes.