HSTA recommends Gov. David Ige for re-election

The Hawaii State Teachers Association is pleased to recommend Gov. David Ige for a second term because he has been a strong leader for Hawaii and the nation.

“It is a privilege of the HSTA to recommend Gov. David Ige for four more years as governor because he has been a leader for human and civil rights as well as a strong advocate for Hawaii’s public schools, teachers and keiki,” said HSTA President Corey Rosenlee.

“When President Trump issued an executive order trying to prohibit incoming travelers from Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iran and Libya, Gov. Ige stood against this attack on people based on their religion,” Rosenlee said.

As he announced Hawaii planned to sue the federal government over the immigrant ban, Gov. Ige said, “Certainly we felt compelled to take a stand against the executive order which, to us, is clearly focused on national origin and religious basis.” Under Gov. Ige’s leadership, Hawaii took this case to the Supreme Court in defense of our constitution as well as human and civil rights.

“Gov. Ige made Hawaii the first state in the nation to stand up to the National Rifle Association by signing a key gun control bill,” Rosenlee added.

The new law enters gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if a Hawaii resident is arrested anywhere else in the country. This common sense legislation targets people who have broken laws in other states from getting access to firearms.

“Gov. Ige has been a leader for Hawaii in education,” said Rosenlee. For decades, Hawaii’s children have suffered in classrooms where temperatures sometimes exceeded 100 degrees. Gov. Ige was able to air condition and install cooling measures in more than 1,300 classrooms.

Gov. Ige also made a strong contract for teachers one of his priorities. During negotiations last year, he worked with HSTA for days at the bargaining table. Sometimes he stayed up with us until 3 a.m. to find compromises that would work for the state, DOE and for teachers.

In the end, an overwhelming majority—98 percent—of the public school teachers who turned out voted to ratify the contract.  It will bring a 14 percent raise for teachers over four years. The new contract also removed the onerous and inefficient parts of the teacher evaluation system.

Gov. Ige has worked with the Department of Education to lead the nation to take advantage of the new provisions allowed under the Every Student Succeeds Act, known as ESSA. Working with 3,000 teachers and community members, the governor’s task force created a new Blueprint for Education.

One of the task force’s key recommendations was to move to a new way of assessing students by shifting to project-based assessments instead of standardized tests. Gov. Ige has worked with the DOE for Hawaii to apply to be one of seven states in the country to move away from bubble tests to assessments that require higher-level thinking.

The HSTA plans to announce its recommendations in several other key political races over the next week.