Education bills move governor’s priorities forward

Posted on Aug 25, 2022 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main

Legislators and advocates joined the governor and Mrs. Ige for the bill signings.

Governor Ige called it “the largest state investment in pre-kindergarten education in Hawai‘i’s history . . . our first big opportunity to make progress in this area.” The legislation — HB 2000, now Act 257— provided $200 million for pre-K construction and helps deliver on a vision the governor described in his 2019 State of the State address. He called for “a universal, statewide public preschool system to give every child in the state a head start on learning.” This and other bills signed into law that day added to the Ige administration’s track record of advancing education at all levels. In addition to HB 2000, the other bills included:

  • Public schools heat abatement – SB 2862 provides $10 million to install more air conditioning units for public school classrooms. This continues the Department of Education’s efforts to provide heat relief to the schools and builds on the efforts by the governor and the 2016 legislature when $100 million funded heat abatement for more than 1,300 classrooms.                                
  • Promoting school gardens and farm-to-school programs – SB 2182 establishes a new DOE school garden coordinator position to provide start-up resources and technical support for campus gardens. The Ige administration made support of local food production one of its priorities. School gardens provide hands-on learning laboratories for sustainability.
  • New state coordinator position for summer learning – SB 2812 is intended to coordinate summer programs for students who experienced learning loss and disruption during the pandemic and to coordinate efforts with other organizations.
  • New Adult Workforce Readiness initiatives – HB 1561 provides opportunities for Community School for Adults programs to offer industry credentials, associate degrees and important job training programs.

Read more in the September Capitol Connection newsletter.

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