Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty


Parent Power: Opportunity Knocks by grassroothawaii
June 1, 2010, 8:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Malia Evans, parent of a student at Haleiwa Elementary School, wrote an article in the 5/30/10 issue of the Honolulu Advertiser; “Shutting Haleiwa school is shortsighted”. Ms Evans is opposed to the closing of the school saying that it “has functioned as a focal point of our community and a gathering place for generations of Haleiwa families”.

What a wonderful opportunity is this !

Parents, the community, the DOE, the whole state can all win a great victory with enhanced productivity, improved education, increased community cohesiveness, a lower DOE budget and more. Below is a broad outline of the formula for success:

First, the state DOE gives the school property, building and other facilities to the Haleiwa community in fee simple.

Next, the state DOE offers to issue annually to each parent “education stamps” for each child. Each of these stamps will represent 75% of the cost to support a DOE student (total DOE budget divided by the number of DOE students last year, minus 25%). Those stamps will be eligible to be converted to dollars for education only.

Then, the non-profit Community Association which now owns the school property, contracts for a private operator to run the school.

Each parent will decide, based on child and family needs and wants whether to take the stamps or not. If not, the child will go to another DOE elementary school. If the stamps are taken, the parents decide what non-government school will best serve their wants and needs.  That choice will include the new community school as well as others.

The non-DOE school which gets the student will collect the stamp each month from the parents and cash it in for real dollars from the state to run the school as long as the child stays in the school.

Think about the results:

DOE saves money right away.

DOE has one less school to maintain.

The community saves its valuable resource and gains a strong community mission.

Schools will be competing for students which should make all of them more effective.

And, most important of all;

Parents get Power Restored.

And

The government loses power over children.

One final horrible thought: If the individuals in the Haleiwa community do not fight for the solution above or a similar one, they deserve their fate, as decided by DOE.  I would call that shortsighted or maybe even blind to the strength of PARENT POWER.  Parents pay taxes, parents vote, parents teach and act as role models, parents guide the building of character, parents nurture the oncoming generation, parents build family values, parents accept responsibility and accountability, parents worship God and inspire humility and creativity, parents love and parents care—deeply. Which of those do they share with the DOE?

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