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SENATE STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR IGE'S FAILURE TO TRANSMIT ALL BOARD OF EDUCATION NOMINEES



The Hawaiʻi State Senate issued the following statement regarding the Governor’s failure to transmit all of the Board of Education’s (Board) nominees:


“The Senate takes its constitutional responsibility for advise and consent proceedings with the utmost sincerity and seriousness. Many of these boards and commissions are charged with the oversight, policy-setting, and effectuation of laws passed by the Legislature. In some cases, these boards are also tasked with the hiring of the chief executive officer for their respective departments.”


In relation to the Board of Education, Senate Vice President Michelle Kidani (District 18 - Mililani Town, portion of Waipi‘o Gentry, Waikele, Village Park and Royal Kunia) adds, "It is extremely concerning that Governor Ige chose not to send down names for all three Board of Education seats whose terms are ending. In doing so, the Governor leaves the public out of the opportunity to weigh-in with their concerns over who should serve on the Board. This is especially concerning given that the Board is currently engaged in the search process for a new Superintendent."


“As an appointed Board, the advise and consent process is the only opportunity for the general public to weigh-in and be heard by potential Board members on the qualities that the next Superintendent should have, and what issues within the Department of Education need to be addressed.


By choosing not to submit a name for the third Board seat, the Governor provides himself with the opportunity to name an interim Board member of his choosing. This action, outside of any public input, presents the opportunity for potential interference in the selection of the next Superintendent. While this level of intrusion on the process should be seen as an unprecedented action by the Governor, it is not the first time this has occurred.


In March of 2017, then-BOE member Darrel Galera, who was an interim appointment to the Board of Education in November 2016 by Governor Ige, resigned from the BOE announcing his intention to run for the position of Superintendent. This sparked concerns from the public that he had an unfair advantage over other candidates due to his relationship with the Governor and for his role as a Board Member where he volunteered and chaired the investigative committee charged with organizing the next Superintendent search.”


Senator Kidani further adds, “The Senate firmly believes that the advise and consent process was setup so that the public could provide input on appointed positions. Purposefully skirting this process when the Board is proceeding with the selection of the next Superintendent leaves the public without an opportunity to weigh in on the decision-makers who will determine the leader in charge of our keiki's education for years to come.”

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