New bill would allow schools to ask for donations for facilities

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What if there were a way to get public schools the money for new buildings and facilities without touching tax dollars? Representative Rida Cabanilla Arakawa is introducing legislation to do just that. 

Many Hawaii public schools are in need. Some need new locker rooms others, air conditioning. Arakawa said her bill will fix that problem.

“The bill will allow the department of education or a certain school to be able to solicit donations from the private sector,” said Arakawa.

That means schools can ask businesses, companies or even private donors for money to foot the bill.

In exchange, the donor could have their name or product placement visible. But those details would be negotiated.

“It’s all our purview to say go or no go…it will need approval by the complex supervisor, and of course, it has to be in line with the priorities of the state and our values as citizens of the state of Hawaii,” Cabanilla explained.

It would also shore-up money for other things.

“Remember there’s over $800 million in repair and maintenance that the Board of Education is looking at…this is a way to address the needs of schools whereby, it doesn’t compete with current priorities. And  it lessens the burden of taxpayers and it’s being delivered in a faster pace,” said Cabanilla.

It’s all about giving island keiki the best learning environment possible, as quickly as possible.

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