Governor Ige releases $5 million for design of new West Oahu high school.
A dormant budget item is revived following pressure from Rep. Bob McDermott
News Release from Office of Rep Bob McDermott
Following months of lobbying by Representative Bob McDermott, and his highly publicized criticism of money budgeted for a new Kihei, Maui high school, the Governor has revived an old budget item and released funding for the design phase of a new East Kapolei high school.
McDermott said the $100 million school for Maui was a political payoff and not needed nearly as much as new facilities in the rapidly growing Ewa and Kapolei areas. McDermott showed data produced by the DOE that showed student numbers dropping in Maui over the next five years while exploding in West Oahu.
“You have to have more involvement by the DOE on where new school facilities need to be built,” said McDermott. “By allowing politicians at the legislature to run amok without any real data or well thought-out priorities you have a recipe for disaster.”
DOE data shows that both Kapolei and Campbell are already well over capacity and will become more so as population growth continues on West Oahu. McDermott has been fighting for the DOE to become more involved and provide guidance to the legislature on where new schools are really needed. He said that decisions need to be made based on hard data not politics.
“If we don’t get that kind of planning and leadership from the DOE, you have nothing but political favoritism to make politicians look good and the kids in public schools pay the price,” added McDermott. McDermott says that until he started publicizing actual comparative data on where new schools will actually be needed, the previously budgeted money for developing a new high school on West Oahu would have shelved.
“Sometimes you have to make waves to catch a wave,” said McDermott.
Background: New School Construction: Intentional misuse of taxpayer money