Teach Science In Science Class

We’ll be asked to pass a state constitutional amendment for tax money to go to some private — even church-run — pre-kindergarten schools. But look at those charter school problems managing state money. And kids taught in religious schools?

But I’ll gag my reservations and vote “yes.” We need schooling for our 18,000 kids turning 4 years old. Some parents can pay for private schools, but many more cannot.

If we say yes, we can float bonds or use reserves to fund sufficient private schools to handle every 4-year-old. We would qualify for federal funds. Forty states permit that, but that’s as meaningless to me as saying that there are states that have loose or public-carry gun laws. I want what’s good for Hawaii.

There’s nothing as conducive to our long-term community success than early-childhood education. Kids are ready to learn at 4, so let’s teach them. If we don’t have the qualified public schoolteachers and the public facilities for that, then we bite the bullet and use private preschools. Yes, non-union is OK with me.

Many preschools and charter schools are supported by churches and religious organizations. So we need to ask: Does the school avoid religious education?

Democratic Senate candidates Brian Schatz and Colleen Hanabusa disagree on the amendment. He favors it. She does not.