East Hawaii News

Outer-Islands Participate in Google-Plus ‘Hangout’ with Governor

March 22, 2013, 5:10 PM HST
* Updated March 22, 5:12 PM
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Early childhood education providers and stakeholders from Oahu and the outer islands, including Hilo and Kona, met today via video-conference with Governor Neil Abercrombie for a roundtable discussion on early childhood education in Hawaii.

The Google+ ‘Hangout’ was hosted by Senate Committee Education Chair Senator Jill Tokuda.

U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono’s Chief of Staff Betsy Lin also linked in, via Google+ Hangout from Washington, D.C. to discuss Hirono’s “PRE-K Act” introduced earlier this month in Congress. The act would allow states like Hawaii to apply for startup funds if they submit a plan to establish a high-quality preschool program within two years.

Abercrombie has made statewide early childhood education his top priority this year.

“We had an interesting discussion on the future of early education and what’s at stake for our children,” said Sen. J. Kalani English of Maui, who participated in the Hangout.

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The discussion also utilized Twitter to receive questions from the public.

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Puna’s Sen. Russell Ruderman also attended the event, stating “I am excited especially for the neighbor islands residents because they were able to participate in government through the use of the technology available.”

This is the second Google+ Hangout event this legislative session. In February, Tokuda conducted the Senate’s first ever Hangout, dubbed the “Principal Hangout,” in which she sat down with principals from around the state to talk about the Weighted Student Formula.

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