Political Radar


May 11th, 2014

We took a look at U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz's and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa's views on a constitutional amendment on preschool funding in the newspaper on Sunday.

Here are some of the other comparison stories in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate:

*Social Security

*Bipartisan Budget Act

*Arctic drilling

*Medicare drug rebates

*Marriage equality

5 Responses to “Contrasts”

  1. Kolea:

    I find myself in agreement with Hanabusa's concerns about the proposal to fund private pre-schools with taxpayer dollars. I think Abercrombie is ignoring the inherent problems which MUST arise when tax dollars are used to finance religious education. Many religious schools make a pitch to the parents of prospective students that they offer an education which places religious values at the center of the education. They believe children need more than "reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic" to become fully formed human beings. That they must have an appreciation of God as the foundation for good values.

    I am not religious. But I respect that vision of education and do not expect pre-schools run by churches to abandon that mission. Nor do I think it right to tempt them into playing "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" games and pretending they would only use state money for secular portions of the education, while using hteir own, private funds for the religious portion. That would be forcing them into being dishonest. And it would force the state to be dishonest as well.

    I think HSTA is right to be opposed to this vague proposal for a voucher system. I am grateful to Representative Hanabusa for echoing those concerns. I would urge Senator Schatz to withhold his complete support until enough details are known to assure us this proposal will not fund religious education using taxpayer dollars.

    Governor Abercrombie, of course, is so enamored of "public-private partnerships" that he has lost a balanced understanding of the risks inherent in his proposal.

  2. OILPAN:

    I haven't heard any argument against the importance and value of universal pre-school. So, wide support for the general principle. But all kinds of pilikia over a specific proposal, and no alternatives proposed by the NOs. So typical of the Little Red Hen syndrome. No to the hard work, Yes to the easy.

    Some facts. (1) there's simply no room on present school campuses to accomodate all pre schoolers; (2) the constitutional amendment would merely authorize funding to public and private pre schools so that spaces can be found for pre schoolers; (3) legislation must then be passed to implement, AND REGULATE the program; (4) UNFORTUNATELY, as headlined in one media outlet "Procedural Mixup Dooms Key Education Measures". As the outlet further noted, "It's unclear why the money committee chairs -Sen. David Ige, and Rep. Sylvia Luke- didn't sign off on the bills. Even Sen. Jill Tokuda, who chairs the Education, was at a loss as to explain what happened...One of the bills to die was House Bill 2276, which would have set the groundwork for a statewide preschool system." That bill was contingent on the Const. amend. passing. Had there been no screw up on HB 2276, and if the Const. amend. passed, hearings could then be held to address the "religious" issues raised by Kolea. If it fails, then we're back to square one, pre schoolers who are pre schoolers only once in their lives, will not have the opportunity and they and their parents must be "content" listening to nice, endless speeches in support of the above general principle.

    As for the HSTA, where was the strong support for junior k when the legislature voted to eliminate it. What's your proposal for pre schoolers? NO IS NOT ENOUGH

  3. innocent observer:

    why is pre-kindergarten schooling so important - the children have 12 years in kindergarten, elementary, intermediate and high school to learn. one year early when their brain has not really matured any many do not really care to "learn" but to play, is not that crucial - those who think so are pulling people's legs. in my generation over 65 year ago, there was no such thing, has there been a large breach of people in my generation that were deficient because they did not have early pre-K education? If so, tell my how and why? this really just a con job. maybe good to have but not crucial or critical to a childs" development socially and intellectually.

  4. itoboy:

    innocent observer: When I was growing up, preschool was not an option - my parents struggled to pay for rent and put food on the table. I think I've done well even without preschool, but I often wonder what it would have been like with a head start. With children of my own who have had the privilege of going to preschool, I honestly believe in early childhood education before Kindergarten. Although the devil is always in the details, I find it hard to disagree with early childhood education. Preschool has made a tremendous difference for my kids - it amazes me what they know and can do at ages 2 and 4. I think for me it's about giving our keiki the best opportunities in life (without spoiling them). With young keiki of his own, Schatz perhaps shares this perspective.

  5. Especially Incognito:

    Pre-school is to replace baby sitters....
    Students should be potty trained....
    Teachers would complain if they had to change diapers..

    "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America,
    and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God,
    indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

    Not loyal to anyone...but original did not have "under God"
    Reason of being without ethics....

Leave a Reply

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.