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Horner turns in education gavel

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The goal of Hawaii’s educational policymakers should be to improve the public schools so much that they become the first choice of middle-class parents who so often now scrape by to pay their children’s tuition at private schools. Achieving that would not only boost the financial stability of those families, it would lift up the whole state by ensuring that the state has a well-educated population.

So, we tip our hats to Don Horner, who is stepping down as chairman of the state Board of Education after leading the inaugural appointed board through major changes since 2011. There is still much work to be done, but Horner got the ball rolling. He appreciates the value of a good education, for the individual who receives it and for the community at large.

Elderly poor face bleaker future

For the elderly poor in Hawaii, the prospects for high-quality long-term care have never been good. But it’s getting worse: Leahi and Maluhia hospitals, which serve Medicare and Medicaid patients, announced that budget deficits will force them to lay off 64 workers and close two skilled nursing wings.

It’s been projected that 1 out of 5 Hawaii residents will be 65 or older by 2030, so there’s little doubt that more of Hawaii’s elderly will need expensive long-term care, but will be too poor to pay for it. The solution? Better preparation for the future, with an emphasis on growing old gracefully at home. Public policies that support “aging in place” need a higher priority.

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