For 1st District state Rep. Mark M. Nakashima, who also introduced the bill, his support was for allowing the electorate to make up its own mind.
“Personally, I would like to see redistricting of the BOE, so it would become much more accountable to the voters,” he said.
“In the end, my colleagues decided we would put this constitutional amendment to the voters to consider instead.”
Nakashima said he feels schools need more local input, and the pro- posal before voters lessens that input in an attempt to increase accountability.
“This issue gained trac- tion because of furlough days focusing attention on public education, with the argument that school fur- lough days would never have happened if things were different,” he said.
“Just because there’s accountability doesn’t mean good decisions are made,” he said. “People tend to for- get that the governor pro-posed the furlough days. She actually proposed three furlough days a month, not two.
“(The amendment) might create more accountability, but if accountability is all we’re looking for, why wouldn’t we just go with an appointed superintendent?” he asked. “I think we need public input into the school system.”
Nakashima said he believes that the Legislature approved the appointed- BOE plan due to the intense pressure it was receiving from the public last year over the furlough days.
“The incident with Save our Schools folks, and the incident with the arrests in the governor’s office con- tributed,” he said. “It created a momentum for change. Some believe any change is better than what we have. At this point, I’m willing to let the voters come to a decision on it.”