Public Health & Education
Supports:
  • Increased Funding, Higher Teacher Pay & Retention in Public Schools
  • Universal Pre-K
  • Free Public Higher Education
  • Progressive Education & Teacher Empowerment
  • Healthcare Reform
  • Investment in Mental Health Services
  • Domestic Violence Services
  • Ending Human Trafficking

As a fitness instructor focused on maternal health, I believe that every child deserves a safe, healthy environment in which to grow. As a parent of two girls in the public-school system, I believe that investing in our schools is the key to ensuring a successful future for my daughters and all of Hawaiʻi’s keiki. Schools are where our children’s’ futures are shaped and improving the quality of education that they receive should be a top priority. This includes expanding access to early childhood education, which is one of the best investments we can make for our entire community.

We are in the midst of a severe teacher shortage because we have failed to value the contributions our educators make to a prosperous and functioning society. I support expanding the state's Grow Our Own teacher initiative and will work to increase teacher pay to keep talented, local educators here. The Department of Education strategic plan and Governor Ige's Blueprint for Public Education are good starting places, but much of the recommendations in these important guiding documents have yet to be implemented.

Our teachers have the ability to shape our children into the problem solvers of the 21st century, but they must be empowered to move away from standardized testing and, instead, move toward progressive education that emphasizes critical thinking, collaboration, and community service.

​I support investments in a full spectrum of programs, including art, music, civics and history. But our investment should also include expanding healthy school meal programs, ensuring a clean and safe learning environment, attending to the mental health and wellness of our keiki, and making sure kids have time to play. 

We also suffer from a shortage of physicians and a burdensome healthcare system that, too often, lets individuals suffering from mental health disorders slip through the cracks. I support public investments in wrap-around mental health services for homeless individuals, and a greater emphasis on treating these illnesses before the lead to complications, as well as system-level reforms to our general healthcare infrastructure that will let doctors spend time treating patients instead of dealing with insurance companies and endless paperwork.

Abuse in the home and human trafficking are additional public health problems that I will work tirelessly to address. I will support increased funding for domestic violence education, prevention and trauma treatment, and push for regulations that crackdown on sex buyers and human traffickers while working to protect survivors.

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Paid for by Friends of Becky Gardner

PO Box 11781

Honolulu, HI 96828-0781