County Level Boards of Education
Nothing is more a part of good government than the local School Boards. Because of Hawaii’s century old habit of centralization, the once statewide elected School Board was changed, by vote, to that of a Governor appointed one.
How sad, not only because the issues of a elected School Board has completely fallen off the radar for parents and teachers but the dominant issue was one of local input.
Like the questionable statewide school system, the loss of local input into neighborhood and home island schools only breeds greater bureaucracy and less local innovation and leadership. Most states operate on a county school system (just like most states operate their on county election boards and have multiple incorporated municipalities) which means a more robust school system when correctly applied.
One innovation to change this would be elected School Boards on every island modeled after the Neighborhood Boards on Oahu. The Neighborhood Board is an elected/volunteer position that functions as a committee system which nominates and elects its on leadership.
The Oahu Neighborhood Boards act as an intermediary between neighborhood residence and the Honolulu City and County. While the Neighborhood Boards have only a “suggestion” role in government matters, changing this for an elected/volunteer School Boards system to have a mandated level of legislative input would be very different.
A system where parents, teachers, administrators and students can collaborate on local issues invites just the sort of input, consensus building and “ownership” that strengthens and build a more dynamic community.