Categorized | Elections, News

Hannemann shares education platform


The Hannemann for Congress campaign has released the first plank of its platform, focusing on improving America’s education system by strengthening early childhood education, providing greater support for teachers and improving access to affordable higher education.

In releasing his education platform, Mufi Hannemann said, “The Hannemann family has always believed in the importance of education. I carry my family’s commitment to education with me to this day and pledge to make improving our education system one of my top priorities on Capitol Hill.”

Hannemann continued, “From my kindergarten teacher at Kalihi Kai Elementary, Barbara Leong, to Mike Hashimoto at Puuhale Elementary, to Florence Wong and Thelma Takemoto at Fern Elementary, my teachers growing up were instrumental in reinforcing my parents’ commitment to education. From there, and in middle school, high school, and at the university level, I’ve been profoundly impacted by all the teachers in my life. That’s one of the reasons why I became a teacher after returning to Hawaii and continue to go into schools and universities to speak to students to this day.”

To strengthen early childhood education for Hawaii’s keiki, Hannemann will:

* Advocate for legislation that strengthens our early childhood education programs such as Head Start and Early Head Start

* Work to establish sensible processes for evaluating school readiness for our youngest keiki to make sure that they begin on a path to success at an early age

* Be a steadfast partner for our state government and local nonprofit organizations so that early childhood education programs are as accessible and affordable as possible for all Hawaii families

To provide greater support for Hawaii’s teachers, Hannemann pledges to:

* Invite all stakeholders to the table as Congress takes on the task of improving upon and fixing the flaws of “No Child Left Behind” during the upcoming reauthorization of the ESEA (Elementary & Secondary Education Act)

* Support the National Education Association’s goals of improving teacher quality through new teacher induction programs to support recruitment and retention; professional development opportunities; classroom preparation time; licensure; and involvement in decisions affecting their evaluation

* Fight for teachers to earn a fair, professional wage and receive meaningful assessments that employ valid and reliable techniques and use multiple measures to gauge performance in the classroom

To ensure accessible and affordable higher education for Hawaii families, Hannemann will:

* Support lowering interest rates on student loans, extending tax credits for families paying for college expenses, increasing Pell Grant awards, and expanding work-study programs for those working their way through school

* Collaborate to find ways to streamline federal programs to ensure that they are as effective, efficient, and accessible as possible for students and their families

* Prioritize federal funding and grants for our community colleges, four year universities, and graduate-level research institutions to ensure that our young people remain competitive in the globalized 21st century economy

* Reach out to the private sector to build partnerships to promote the University of Hawaii system both nationally and internationally

Hannemann has earned the endorsement of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, and the Hawaii Government Employees Association, the three unions that represent Hawaii’s more than 13,000 public school teachers, 4,000 university faculty members, and 830 public school principals, vice principals, and educational officers.

In making their endorsements earlier this year, HSTA stated, “Mufi Hannemann’s knowledge of issues important to Hawaii equips him to work toward bold solutions to put our nation back on track and to make contributions that will allow our children to choose to call Hawaii home.”

The UHPA Board of Directors said, “[Mufi Hannemann] clearly understood the faculty concerns about measuring the success of higher education strictly on graduation rates and the need for faculty to be given the autonomy of developing their own standards and definitions of success. His perspectives on education reform for higher education resonated well with us.”

The Political Action Committee of HGEA wrote, “We believe Mr. Hannemann will be a strong fighter and advocate for us in Washington D.C., where the political atmosphere is strained and divisive. He has proven experience and a strong record of accomplishment in various levels of government, and his election will bring added strength to Hawaii’s dynamic congressional delegation.”

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