Waipahu High Turns 75; New Bills Adopted At ‘Ledge’

A milestone for Waipahu High School

Save the date! Waipahu High School is gearing up for a day of celebration to mark the 75th anniversary of its campus. Since its founding in 1938, the school has graduated nearly 35,000 students. WHS has been at its current location since 1969, and has blossomed into a wonderful educational and community resource for our surrounding neighborhoods.

Under the guidance of dedicated teachers and administrators, students have distinguished themselves in district, state and even national forums, competing admirably in the arts and the sciences.

Its career pathways and leadership academies engage eager students in a broad variety of disciplines, and an enhanced college prep program guides graduates to future success.

The Diamond Anniversary celebration begins April 5 and continues with events through December. WHS plans to invite the entire Waipahu community, all alumni, its many business partners and friends to join the commemoration. Mark your calendars.

LCC Construction Progresses

Leeward Community College chancellor Manuel Cabral and LCC’s vice chancellor for administration Mark Lane visited my Capitol office recently. They brought me up-to-date on construction of the new teacher education building for which we broke ground last year. Major construction work is expected to be completed late this summer, and then through fall 2013, work will be under way on installing furnishings, fixtures and equipment.

LCC plans to welcome its first students into the new facility for the spring semester 2014 – less than a year from now.

Legislative Session Continues

I am pleased to report that a number of bills I introduced this session continue to move through the legislative process. Below are just two of them that I believe deserve further consideration.

Senate Bill 573 authorizes a state income tax credit of up to $250 for certain out-of-pocket expenses incurred by a schoolteacher. So many teachers expend their personal dollars to supplement classroom resources, and this would recognize that extra effort in a meaningful way.

The Legislature also is considering the governor’s budget request for a comprehensive overhaul of the state’s information technology, which is woefully inefficient and outdated. As a part of revamping our IT capabilities, I have proposed in SB 1287 that state agencies be required to share information to the extent possible to increase efficiency and eliminate duplication in their operations.

Too many times, agencies act as guardians rather than providers of information, even when dealing with other state entities. The state’s information technology director has plans to change this through upgraded IT systems that will greatly facilitate services to the public. This bill would assure that this becomes a required standard practice.

You can follow the progress of these bills and others on the Legislature’s website, capitol.hawaii.gov, by entering bill numbers or searching key words in the appropriate boxes.

Contact state Sen. Kidani by email at senkidani@capitol.hawaii. gov, call 586-7100 or visit her office in state Capitol room 228.