Neighbor Island Town Hall Meetings to Hear About ESSA

Senator Michelle Kidani (Dist. 18 – Mililani Town, portion of Waipi‘o Gentry, Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia), Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, will travel to three neighbor islands next week for a series of public Town Hall meetings to discuss new Federal education legislation.

Senator Michelle Kidani

Senator Michelle Kidani

When fully implemented, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) will affect the way teachers, students and campus leadership interact and conduct public school instruction.

“It’s important that the public understand and have some input about how schools are educating our youngsters,” Senator Kidani said.  “I have invited education policy expert Lee Posey from the National Conference of State Legislatures to be a guest speaker at our Town Hall sessions.  I’ve heard her presentations, and they provide an excellent overview of ESSA and how the new law can benefit the state.”

As Education Chair, Senator Kidani is a member of Governor David Ige’s ESSA Team that has scheduled a public forum this weekend at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.  Lee Posey will also be a presenter at this Saturday’s forum before proceeding to the neighbor island venues next week. Posey is a Federal Affairs Counsel with the Education Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

She conducts NCSL lobbying activities on education, representing state positions and concerns to Congress and the Administration, and was NCSL’s chief lobbyist on Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization.  Ms. Posey has been at NCSL since 1999 and her experience includes work on a wide variety of issues including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), federal childcare grants, child welfare, child support, food and nutrition programs, agriculture, and rural development.

The neighbor island Town Hall sessions are jointly sponsored by the Hawai‘i State Senate and the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association (HSTA).  Senator Kidani’s colleagues from the respective Senate districts will join her for the presentations, including Senate President Ronald Kouchi from Kaua`i, Senator Lorraine Inouye from Hilo, and Senators Rosalyn Baker and Gilbert Keith-Agaran from Maui.  Others may join the sessions as their schedules allow.

The Town Hall sessions are all open to the public at no charge at the following locations:

  • Monday, July 11 – Hawai‘i Island, Hilo High School, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 12 – Maui, Baldwin High School, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 13 – Kaua`i, Kapa`a High School, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

For additional information, contact Senator Kidani at or HSTA at


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