It is one thing to say our children matter; it is quite another to do something about it. We have invested more widely in classrooms than in previous years. We promised to cool 1,000 of Hawai‘i’s hottest classrooms where soaring temperatures have hindered learning for years. I’m proud to report that, with the Legislature’s support, we exceeded our original goal and we are at 1,200 classrooms and counting.
I also promised to empower our schools so they can focus on 21st century skills and critical learning. In meetings around the state, community members, teachers, staff and principals expressed frustration about top-down mandates and a one-size-fits-all approach to schools.
And so, with more than 3,000 parents, teachers and community members around the state, we created a new Blueprint for Education. This blueprint for change is now in the hands of new DOE leadership.
I also recognized that it is not enough to say to our teachers, “We respect how hard you work.” That’s why we have given our educators the pay raise they have long deserved.