Hawaii Board of Education appointment issue may appear on state ballot

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April 1, 2010

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HONOLULU, Hawaii: Voters in Hawaii may get a chance to decide whether Hawaii State Board of Education members should continue to be elected or appointed by the governor. Two legislative bills have been proposed - SB 2570 and SB 2571. Senate Bill 2570 proposes allowing the governor to appoint the school board and allowing the school board to appoint the superintendent. Senate Bill 2571, on the other hand, calls for allowing the governor to appoint board members from a list of qualified candidates. The list would be organized and selected by a selection advisory council. The board would appoint the superintendent.[1]

In 1964 the state of Hawaii converted from an appointed to an elected school board. According to reports, the proposed appointed school board would function similarly to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, also appointed by the governor.[2]

In Hawaii, the state legislature must approve a proposed amendment by a supermajority vote of 2/3rds but the same amendment can also qualify for the ballot if successive sessions of the Hawaii State Legislature approve it by a simple majority.

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