Pod Squad on Preschool Ballot Measure

Education reporter Alia Wong and host Chad Blair discuss the pros and cons of allowing public funds to be spent on private preschools.
By Mike Webb /

In order to help our readers and listeners better understand the Question 4 constitutional amendment, we invited Civil Beat education reporter Alia Wong to join Pod Squad host Chad Blair in a discussion about what it would mean for preschool children.

The pair talked about what the amendment calls for in terms of allowing public money to be spent on private preschools, where the HSTA stands on it, the dubious names of the groups supporting/opposing the measure and how much they’re spending, and why the Legislature couldn’t take action on its own.

“This past session they (state legislators) were ready to get the wheels rolling on this and start some sort of private/public system,” said Wong. “But then in the middle of session, they get an opinion from the AG that says, ‘look you can’t really establish this system without a constitutional amendment.’ And hence the amendment proposal on the ballot.”

Ultimately, the Civil Beat Editorial Board urged voters to support the measure, but our most recent poll shows it trailing.

Sadly, this will be our last podcast with Alia who is leaving Civil Beat to become the associate education editor at The Atlantic. Good luck — we’ll miss you. Aloha Alia!

Listen to the Pod Squad here, or subscribe to it on iTunes or Stitcher.

Mike Webb produces Civil Beat’s podcast every week.

The Executive Office on Early Learning, which supports the ballot measure, receives in-kind support from The Omidyar Group and Collaborative Leaders Network as well as grants from the Hawaii Community Foundation via the Omidyar Ohana Fund. Pierre Omidyar is the CEO and publisher of Civil Beat and a member of the Civil Beat Editorial Board.

Want to hear more? Check out Civil Beat’s other podcasts.
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