Friday, October 17, 2008

Rep. Takumi's letter on DOE budget cuts

Rep. Roy Takumi's letter to the editor appeared in today's Honolulu Advertiser. Here it is:

Our nation is facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, a situation Warren Buffett describes as "an economic Pearl Harbor." As a state we are clearly seeing signs of an economic downturn with fewer visitors, layoffs and companies closing their doors.

This is why it’s critical all of us work together to find our way out of this situation. When Governor Lingle (Honolulu Advertiser 10/12) responded to the anticipated $45 million cut to the Department of Education by saying that it probably won't affect the classroom, she said this without having one meeting with the Board of Education. How does she know, for example, what the proposed cuts will do to the students at charter schools without talking to them?

I do agree with Lingle when she said, "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." And the best way to be part of the solution is to provide the leadership and the presence necessary to get things done.

However, you can't do that when you are flying off to campaign for the McCain-Palin ticket or showing up in Denver for the release of the Hawaii Commemorative quarter. In challenging times, we need to focus on what’s important. We need to work collaboratively and cooperatively to seek common ground. And, more than ever, we need to put Hawaii first and presidential politics second.

Rep. Roy Takumi
Chair, House Committee on Education

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