By: Lokelani Wilder
According to the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE), 26 percent of seniors are off track to graduate ― that’s nearly 3,000 students statewide. The DOE is offering multiple opportunities for seniors to get the credits they need this summer as well as helping younger students who’ve fallen behind.
DOE is preparing to kick off its largest summer program yet in hopes of helping students who fell behind during the pandemic. The Board of Education authorized $30 million for the program so that parents won’t have to pay for summer school. Over the summer, in-person learning will be a priority. There will be some distance learning, depending on capacity.
While students have the opportunity to catch up over the summer, finding teachers to work after a tough school year is challenging. DOE is struggling to find enough teachers. A lot of teachers just want a break. DOE leadership simply says that teachers cannot be forced to teach during the summer.
Let’s be clear. The pandemic did not get 3,000 seniors behind. This state’s Democrat leaders and the Hawaii Teachers Union that kept our students out of school until March got our seniors behind. When hardly anyone except the military was vaccinated, DOE reopened state schools for in person learning. How is that possible without federal pressure and the state hoping to entice Rescue Plan Act funding? It is not possible. Our na keiki were pawns in this whole Democrat sham.
The 2020 and 2021 na keiki are the ones who need a break. The 64 percent of Hawaii’s workers who could be fired easily, who were not invited to join the elite union clubs, had to become remote at-home teacher aides, information technology technicians, work, or try to find work all at the same time. We were vilified by teachers and the unions who accused parents of needing “babysitters”. We still had to pay taxes for higher level of services we were not even being provided. We paid for services that our government and the unions purposefully refused to provide it. We went without sleep, wages, and sometimes without enough food while educators still had their jobs and were safe behind sanitized empty school bastions.
Now, we have $30 million of taxpayer money applied to run summer school so our na keiki can catch up however teacher and unions once more do not want to do their part? This is a dead-beat repeat attempt on the part of the Democrats and the unions. The unions did not build the middle class, unions are destroying this middle class and the next one. Democrats are leading it all. We cannot leave the future of this state in such dead-beat corrupt hands!