Parents Speak Up For Education
Wednesday - October 21, 2009 Share
By Jennifer Moy, volunteer coordinator
Hawaii Education Matters
Parents need to speak up.
Right now, public-school parents all over Hawaii are scrambling to find appropriate care for their children on those 17 working Furlough Fridays. For some, this is an inconvenience; for others, it is a family crisis.
Moms and dads have to decide if their neighbor can be trusted with their 5-year-old. Who can care for their special-needs child? How many days will their boss let them take off before they are fired? What bills should go unpaid to pay for childcare? For some, the question has even boiled down to where to get food for the breakfast and lunch their child had for free at school.
The best public schools in Hawaii have intensely committed parent-teacher organizations, and cutting class time has brought out high passions in parents and groups that advocate for children.
It is time for parents to have a voice in this debate.
We named our parent group Hawaii Education Matters. It was born of PTO and PTA parents, but is quickly gaining steam in our community. We want our children’s class time restored. We want all parties - the governor, superintendent, DOE, HSTA and BOA - to reach an agreement that does not cripple our kids’ chance at a good education.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been helping to plan a parents’ rally at the State Capitol to protest Furlough Fridays. People keep saying, “It’s great that parents are organizing!” But this is a problem that we cannot improve with a fundraiser, volunteering or a fresh coat of paint.
Join us from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, in front of the Capitol, where we’ll have an exciting program of speakers, keiki performances and Jack Johnson. Sign up to help at our Web site, www.hawaiieducationmatters.org. While there, sign our petition and check for information on free bus rides to the rally.
Whatever you do, don’t stay silent when your children need you to speak up.
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