Saturday, November 1, 2014

One very long reason why my vote will count.

Just three days before Hawaii’s general election and with my last minute efforts to be a responsible citizen, I find myself on this gorgeous Saturday morning actually clicking away on my computer and rummaging through online articles to understand the proposed amendments for my precinct.  The perplexing question I am trying to get resolution on is in regards to the purpose of the amendment relating to Early Childhood Education.

The ballot question is as follows:

CON AMEND: Relating to Early childhood Education
“Shall the appropriation of public funds be permitted for the support or benefit of private early childhood education programs that shall not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex or ancestry, as provided by law?”
One of my primary thoughts is, I don’t have any children, why would I care?  While it is my constitutional right as a citizen to vote, I have to consider making a pono decision.  Win or lose, with or without child, I know that I support the side of the question that best suits my morals and beliefs.
While it sounds crazy that providing public funds to private entities may occur under this amendment, the reality is much more complex.  According one of the major supporters of voting “yes,” I found an answer to one of the important questions I had:

How will it be funded?  The amendment does not dictate how much or what specific sources would provide funding. Rather, it simply puts Hawaii on the same early learning playing field as every other state in the nation by giving it the option to use a mixed delivery system. Funding for the program will ultimately be determined by our elected officials. Hawaii will also be able to leverage federal funds to create prekindergarten options. Without the amendment, current state law makes us less competitive in applying for these funds. (

Voting yes will apparently change current state laws and provide more opportunities for federal money.  What clearly sticks out is this, “Funding for the program will ultimately be determined by our elected officials…”  Instead of trying to determine what to vote here on the amendments, we need to focus on who were are electing as our officials.  Vote yes and do your research on which official you want in office that will spearhead this project and ensure that this amendment is not a useless process. 

….and now back to me…although I do not have any children, my vote does count!

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