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Hirono: Energized by education

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono has released the following statement:

To bring the best paying jobs to Hawaii, we need to have the best educated workforce.

So I wanted to pass along some good news about action taken last week at home in the islands and in our nation’s capital to strengthen schools and provide our keiki with greater access to preschool.

The U.S. House passed bipartisan legislation that strengthens the quality and accountability of America’s charter schools, including 31 in Hawaii. It’s a positive step as Congress continues its efforts to update the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), commonly known as No Child Left Behind.

The bill requires charters to serve all student populations – from those with disabilities to English language learners and low-income children and redirects charter schools to their purpose of developing and sharing innovative teaching practices that benefit all public schools.

More of Hawaii’s keiki will be able to attend preschool thanks to a $6 million commitment from the State Department of Education. The announcement is part of the state’s Race to the Top (RTTT) plan, which is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – legislation I strongly supported and voted for.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Early Childhood Coordinator Lock, and Hawaii’s early learning providers should be applauded for their commitment to our youngest learners.

Congratulations to King Liholiho Elementary School, Koko Head Elementary School, and Waialua Elementary School for being named 2011 National Blue Ribbon award-winning schools.

I attended Koko Head Elementary School, so it is especially meaningful that Koko Head is being awarded a 2011 National Blue Ribbon. The teachers there helped spark my love for reading and learning.

In congratulating these three schools for this recognition, I also want to acknowledge the hard work by the students, teachers, staff and administrators at every school across the state for working to create a positive learning environment for our keiki.

Finally, congratulations to the exceptional art students from Kahuku and Leilehua High Schools, who last week were presented with this year’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in Washington, D.C.

Hawaii’s Scholastic Art & Writing Award winners recently met with Hirono on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

These talented student artists traveled to our nation’s capital to participate in a ceremony that helped highlight the importance of keeping arts in our schools. Their work is being displayed in a special exhibition at the U.S. Department of Education.

These students make Hawaii proud.

One more note: I value your feedback. If you have any questions or comments about this MaziEmail or need assistance, contact my Hawaii office at (808) 541-1986.

Mazie K. Hirono
Member of Congress
2nd District of Hawaii

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