State Rolls Out New School Supply Subsidy Pilot Program at Nāʻālehu Elementary

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State Sen. Dru Kanhuha joined officials with the state Department of Education to roll out a new statewide school supply subsidy program Monday, Aug. 8, at Nāʻālehu Elementary School. (Courtesy of the state Senate)

What started as an effort to offset the cost of school supplies for families in a Big Island community will benefit ‘ohana throughout the state.

Officials from the state Department of Education on Monday, Aug. 8, visited Nāʻālehu Elementary School to roll out a new School Supply Subsidy pilot program. The program subsidizes the cost of school supplies at all schools composed entirely of students eligible for participation in the Title 1, Part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act.

State Sen. Dru Kanuha, who represents Kona and Kaʻū, joined the DOE officials during the rollout event. Kanuha has introduced measures for the past four years to establish a school supply subsidy program at Nāʻālehu Elementary. This year, an amended version of the original bill, to include all qualifying schools in Hawaiʻi, passed and was signed into law by Gov. David Ige.


“I am extremely excited to see this one-year school supply subsidy pilot program finally come to fruition,” Kanuha said in a press release. “Through discussions with ‘ohana and teachers throughout my district, I am keenly aware of the difficulty many parents have in affording required school supplies, as well as the cost burden many of our teachers assume to purchase extra supplies for ‘ohana that can’t afford it themselves. … Today, we take a huge step towards ensuring every keiki has the supplies they need to succeed.”


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