Winter 2002 Home   Newsletters

Convention Edition 2003

Fall 2003

President's Message (Maile Bay)
First Saunders Award to Jean Aoki (Mary Anne Raywid)
Ray of Hope for School Governance Change (Mary Anne Raywid)
Initiative and Referendum Forms
Action Needed Now to Support Clean Air (Kay Maxwell)
Busy Year Ahead for Judiciary Study Committee (Jean Aoki)
Thanks for Evaluation Efforts! (Jean Aoki)
Two New Studies Approved at Convention
League of Women Voters of Hawaii Board of Directors 2003-2005
Administration Blows to Education
Hawaii Pro-Choice License Plates
Big Vote of Thanks (Suzanne Meisenzahl & Mary Anne Raywid)

A Ray of Hope for School Governance Change

The Legislative session just closed had to be a disappointing one for anyone interested in school governance change. The only bills passed having anything to do with anything resembling school governance seemed merely to confirm the superintendent's organization of the state into 15 school complexes, each consisting of a high school with its 'feeder' elementary and middle schools. Although a number of other governance-related bills had been introduced – including the Governor's bill, which would have divided the state into seven local districts – none made any headway.

But shortly before the end of the session, a resolution was introduced which may have considerable long-term implications. It instructed the Board of Education to work out a plan for implementing a Weighted Student Formula prior to the opening of the next legislative session. This is in follow-up of the idea introduced by Professor William Ouichi of UCLA which attracted so much interest. It would have the effect of turning over a great deal of budgetary control of schools to principals, and at the same time of decentralizing a great many decisions to the school level. Teachers and parents would also be empowered by the arrangement, as well as principals.

In a recent People's Pulse survey, two out of three people in Hawaii seemed to favor shifting such decisions from the DOE to the building level, including people from all of the islands and those of all ethnic groups. A slightly larger percentage favored the weighted per pupil funding formula. So perhaps we may get around to some school governance change after all.

Mary Anne Raywid

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