Testament to tenacity

The story in Wednesday’s paper that the state budget for Fiscal Year 2015 includes $130 million for construction of a high school in Kihei is tremendous news for the coming generation of students in South Maui.

It is also a testament to the tenacity of Sen. Rosalyn Baker. Yes, she has had help by a succession of state representatives from South Maui including Joe Bertram, George Fontaine and incumbent Kaniela Ing.

But it is Sen. Baker who has pushed steadfastly for the new school. She fought back an attempt to remove $20 million in planning funds from the state’s 2009 budget. She will have championed the cause for over a decade when the school finally opens.

Sen. Baker said the $130 million appropriation means the school can be bid and built in its entirety, instead of phases. She pointed out that this will save the state between $20 to $25 million.

“On July 1, 2015, the department (of education) can go full steam ahead,” Baker was quoted in the story as saying.

She was effusive in thanking Ing “and our good friends who chair the House Finance and Senate Ways and Means committees and the governor for putting it in his budget.”

And Maui can thank Sen. Baker for pushing so hard for this much needed school.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.