August 12, 2010 – Kapa’au, Hawaii
Video by David Corrigan
Students, teachers, and Kohala residents rallied at the Kohala Middle School on Wednesday evening, in the hopes of convincing the Board of Education to accept a recommendation not to consolidate the three schools located in Kapa’au.
In January, the Kohala Schools Consolidation Task Force studied the issue and found few advantages to the consolidation. The majority of the community agreed.
DOE Interim Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi amended her initial recommendation made to the BOE, which at first urged the continued exploration of the school merger. Now, she “says no consolidation should take place at this time” according to newspaper reports.
Kohala School Consolidation Task Force Chairwoman Randee Golden spoke to Big Island Video News about the upcoming BOE vote, and said she remains hopeful.
Kohala has gotten plenty of backing from local officials. Hawaii state senator Josh Green, councilman Pete Hoffman, and representative Mark Nakashima stand in support of the task force recommendation, and on Wednesday evening Mayor Billy Kenoi also backed the effort to save the Middle School.
The BOE is likely to make its decision at an August 19th meeting in Hilo.