Why does the State compel attendance at school? This "why?" question has three interpretations: 1) The historical "why?". What events coincided with the State's entry into the education business? 2) The welfare-economic "why?". What does society gain from a State role in the education industry? 3) The political science "why?". What do those politicians who support the State's presence in the education industry gain from their support. Today we consider the third version.
Two legislative sessions ago, the Democratic majority of the Hawaii State legislature passed Act 51 in response to Governor Lingle's (R) proposal to decentralize Hawaii's State-wide school district. Under Act 51, the system, already the most centralized in the US, assumed responsibility for payroll and pensions from the Department of Budget and Finance, and assumed responsibility for Repair and Maintenance from the Department of Accounting and General Services. Until the ascent of a Republican to the Governor's office, the majority (D) had indicated no sense of urgency to move these functions under the DOE wing. With Republican appointees exercising oversight of DAGS and B&F, suddenly the majority (D) recognized a need to move these functions into the union-dominated DOE bureaucracy.
For reasons the Agenda's author will discuss later, he does not expect to see honest coverage of the DOE budget from The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, or The Honolulu Weekly.
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