Legislature “Concerned” About Distance Learning and DOE Plans for Reopening Schools

June 26, 2020, 3:21 PM HST · Updated June 26, 3:31 PM
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The Hawai‘i State Legislature sent a letter to the Board of Education stating that they are “extremely concerned” about distance learning and plans for reopening schools.

The letter, dated June 24, outlines “low participation rates for distance learning, internet connectivity and device access inequities among students, and the lack of a concise plan for how they will spend the federal CARES Act funding they have received.”

The letter is signed by Senate President Ron Kouchi and House Speaker Scott Saiki, Senate Education Committee Chair Michelle Kidani and her House counterpart Representative Justin Woodson, and budget committee chairs Senator Donovan Dela Cruz and Representative Sylvia Luke.

The legislators ask that the Board of Education’s Finance and Infrastructure Committee convene an emergency meeting on July 2, to vet the Department’s plan for financial implications and resource requirements and provide a report to the Legislature, before they will consider allocating any additional funding. 

The state Department of Education submitted a reopening plan on June 19 to the Senate Special Committee on COVID-19.

The text of the letter is posted below. (Click on the respective images to view in greater detail):

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