What is Hawaii 3R’s?

Senator Daniel and Irene Inouye

In 2001, U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye began a new initiative called Hawaii 3R’s (Repair, Remodel and Restore Hawaii’s public schools). Our mission is to bring outside financial and human resources together to tackle the approximate $640 million repair and maintenance backlog.

Working with state agencies, trade unions, businesses, military, community leaders, parents, teachers, and students, the goal is to match state, federal, and private funds with volunteerism — “sweat equity” — both skilled and unskilled, to reduce the backlog.

The Hawaii State Legislature passed and then-Governor Ben Cayetano enacted a new law providing initial funding and tax credits for contractors participating in the program. Federal funds have been received through the Joint Venture Education Forum. Private grants have been received from AT&T, Campbell Estate and the Hawaii Community Foundation.

How Will It Work?

Hawaii 3R’s will award grants to those public schools that step forward with private contributions and/or professional volunteerism – “sweat equity” – of equal or greater value to the requested grant amount. Grant awards are limited to $50,000 per application.

The program is a victory for all involved. The State saves thousands of taxpayer dollars. The schools receive much needed repair and maintenance. Contributing businesses earn valuable State tax credits.

“When I learned of the large backlog in school repairs, I felt that the greater community needed to step forward to support quality learning environments for our children. It is easy to lay blame, and then look the other way, but the children are the ultimate losers. I believe it must be our collective responsibility and challenge.”

Daniel K Inouye Signature