Lingle and Cayetano
find common ground
on DOE

The governor says he agrees
with her stand on the bureaucracy

By Richard Borreca

The planets are not in alignment, the moon is not full, but still there was a strange agreement yesterday as Gov. Ben Cayetano said he concurred with a portion of Linda Lingle's campaign platform.

Cayetano, who defeated Lingle four years ago in a bitterly fought race for governor, was equally harsh last week in his criticism of Lingle's economic plans for Hawaii.

But yesterday, when asked about a portion of Lingle's 19-point plan for public education, Cayetano said he and Lingle saw eye to eye on at least part of her plan.

Cayetano was asked at an informal news conference what he thought about Lingle suggestion that 50 percent of the money now spent on the "DOE's centralized bureaucracy" should be spent in the classroom or at the local school level.

Cayetano acknowledged that he has talked to Pat Hamamoto, state schools superintendent, about reducing the four Oahu district offices to two.

"My proposal to her (Hamamoto) was, wipe out one or two offices and return the personnel to the classroom. So, strangely enough, maybe Ms. Lingle and I have something in common," Cayetano said.

On another portion of the Lingle plan, to break up the statewide, 13-member Board of Education into smaller districts, Cayetano said he had urged a similar solution when he was lieutenant governor, but after "learning more about education issues," he said there were more savings through consolidation.

Lingle was not available for comment.

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