FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2001
Contact: Sen. Bob Hogue
MINORITY POLICY LEADER CALLS FOR COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF FELIX CASE; URGES COLLEAGUES TO LOOK AT OVERALL SYSTEM
HONOLULUSenate Minority Policy Leader Bob Hogue today accused the House-Senate Felix Investigatory Committee of going on a fishing expedition at the expense of children with special-needs.
Between November 2000 and May 2001, then-freshman Senator Hogue met with Felix monitor Ivor Groves, federal court master Jeff Portnoy, state Auditor Marion Higa, and a network of active parents and teachers to learn the history of Felix and understand the current system of services.
"I used the information and insight gained from these meetings to formulate a legislative package to strengthen the services provided to recipients of special education services. As underscored in our legislative package, if the problem is fiscal mismanagement, then why not have an outside CPA firm perform a full fiscal audit? If the problem is legal interpretation--including definition of special needs/identification--then why not hire an outside attorney to research this? The concern should be about what's best for the children," Hogue said.
"Through my research and discussions with key people involved in Felix, I have concluded that Felix is an indictment of our system. We need those committed to this process to come forward with viable and positive solutions for the Felix kids. The problem is that our current system continues to fail us. This situation is yet another reason why Republicans favor decentralization of our public schools. It appears as if the way we are providing services is not the problem it may be the overall structure of the system that is at fault," Hogue said.
"The Democrats have thus far led us to this point. We're stagnating and not moving forward. It's frustrating that research is being duplicated and we're wasting time instead of getting to the meat of this very important issue. The more time that is wasted means more time wasted at the expense of those with special-needs," Hogue said.
The House-Senate Investigatory Committee meets Friday at 9:00 AM in Room 325 of the State Capitol.
PR 2001-10 Felix Overview Needed BH