Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie replaced every member of Hawaii’s elected, statewide school board last week with handpicked appointees who will answer to him, a change that was approved by voters last year to bring more accountability to education.
The change to the board’s structure was, in part, a reaction to teacher furloughs that led to schools being closed for 17 days in the 2009-10 school year. Voters approved a constitutional amendment in November giving the governor ultimate responsibility for the direction of public education.
The nine board members selected by the governor faced Senate confirmation hearings in early April. First Hawaiian Bank Chief Executive Officer Don Horner, who the governor previously appointed to fill a vacancy on the board, was named chairman.
A version of this article appeared in the April 06, 2011 edition of Education Week as Hawaii’s Governor Replaces Entire Elected School Board