Support Truly Appointed BOE

One of the most important bills to be considered in the upcoming 2011 legislative session is the enabling legislation for the 2010 Constitutional Amendment that changed the procedure for selecting Board of Education members from ‘elected’ to that of ‘appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate as provided by law.’
The voters opted for accountability when they chose to have the governor nominate Board of Education members. However, the legislature gets to pass the enabling legislation, and unless the governor takes a strong, principled stand that the public supports, the legislature almost surely will limit the governor to selecting board members from a short list prepared by others. This would defeat the primary reason for converting to an appointed board, which is to create a governance structure in which someone finally can be held accountable for results.
The Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Hawaii unanimously supports enabling legislation that would let the governor choose whomever he wants to choose, subject only to Senate confirmation. The advice and consent of the Senate will afford the necessary checks and balances. No process is perfect, but giving the governor freedom to select whomever he wants (subject to Senate confirmation) is essential if we are ever to hold someone accountable for results.
We urge all citizens to contact the governor to urge him to make the decision that best guarantees accountability: that he demand to make his own nominations for Board of Education membership.
Valere McFarland, Ph.D., Education Chair and Pearl Johnson, President
League of Women Voters of Hawai‘i


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