Governor Says Revised Furlough Plan Is Not Viable

December 29, 2009, 7:24 AM HST · Updated December 29, 7:46 AM
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The Hawai‘i State Teachers Association (HSTA) and the Department of Education reached an agreement to restore classroom days lost to furloughs in their original contract.

Governor Linda Lingle has already spoken out against the plan saying, it “is not a viable solution.”

The plan calls for the restoration of seven out of 10 remaining furlough days.  Five of the days would be restored using $35 million from the state’s rainy day fund; and two additional days will be restored through the use of teacher planning days (on January 4 and May 21).  The three remaining instructional days will be taken as furlough days at the end of the year.

The governor must agree to the plan in order for it to go into effect.

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In a statement released by the Governor last night, she said the proposed plan, “defeats the intent of giving Hawai‘i’s children more instructional time.”

She said, “We cannot agree to a plan that does not solve the furlough situation and that shortens the school calendar at the expense of children and their families.”

HSTA president Wil Okabe said he is pleased with the agreement.  In a statement released on Monday afternoon, Okabe said, “The plan is the most reasonable and viable short-term solution to provide a safe and healthy environment for our children and to maintain the quality of instruction they deserve.”

Okabe went on to say, “The agreement will salvage the remainder of the current school year and position the DOE to receive an additional $75 million in federal Race to the Top funds.”

(Posted by Wendy Osher)

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