Time running out in Hawaii to restore furlough days

Feb. 17, 2010
11 instructional days have been lost in budget-cutting move
From The Honolulu Star-Bulletin: With 11 instructional days already lost to teacher furloughs and just six remaining, time has all but run out in Hawaii on finding a solution to eliminate remaining furlough days this school year. But education officials, the governor's office and the teachers union say they are not giving up. Negotiators from the state Board of Education may meet with the Hawaii State Teachers Association soon.JANUARY 2010...from The Honolulu Advertiser: Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle's administration has again rejected a tentative agreement between education officials and the Hawaii State Teachers Association that would have ended "furlough Fridays" for the remainder of the current school year. DECEMBER 2009...from The Honolulu Star-Bulletin: The Hawaii teachers union and Gov. Linda Lingle's administration have hit a standstill in talks on reducing the number of Furlough Fridays at public schools. Lingle has supported the idea of using $50 million from the state's rainy day fund to restore 27 instructional days from next January through June 2011. Teachers union president Wil Okabe says that if the state using rainy day funds to restore the 27 school days, the state would have to lay off some teachers and increase classroom size. NOVEMBER 2009...from The Honolulu Star-Bulletin: Political leaders in Hawaii are supporting Gov. Linda Lingle's proposal to end Furlough Fridays in the state's public schools by changing the teachers' labor contract and raiding the state rainy day fund. Earlier...from The Honolulu Star-Bulletin: Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle plans to eliminate the so-called "Furlough Fridays" in the state's public schools by tapping the so-called rainy day fund and switching teacher training days to class time. Under the plan, furlough days would be restored starting Jan. 1 by using $50 million from the fund and converting noninstructional hours to instructional hours, totaling 15 school days.

Also from The Honolulu Star-Bulletin: The Hawaii Board of Education has approved a request by 100 regular public schools to increase instructional time by adjusting class schedules or canceling teacher planning days. Most schools are planning to convert one to three planning or waiver days into instructional days. The board voted for the change in light of an earlier decision to cut 17 days from the school calendar.

OCTOBER 2009...from The Wall Street Journal: Hawaii schools have drawn a stern rebuke from Education Secretary Arne Duncan. As the state awoke to "furlough Friday," the first of 17 furlough days planned for the school year, Duncan said that Hawaii had taken "a step in the wrong direction."

EARLIER...from The Honolulu Star-Bulletin: A federal judge has rejected emergency requests from families seeking to keep schools in Hawaii open, so public schools in the state were shut down today, the first of 17 Fridays when schools will be closed to save money.

SEPTEMBER 2009...from The Honolulu Star-Bulletin: Advocates for special education students in Hawaii have criticized the state public schools' plan to shorten the instruction year by 17 days. Jasmine Williams, program director of the Learning Disabilities Association of Hawaii, says students with learning disabilities already face challenges without eliminating 17 Fridays.

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