Hawaii law now requires 180 days of school per year

June 16, 2010
State received negative publicity for having the shortest school year in the nation

From The Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Hawaii has enacted a law that requires public schools to have at least 180 days of instruction. The law is a response to the teacher furloughs that gave Hawaii the shortest school year in the nation. Hawaii is the last of the nation's 50 states to mandate a minimum amount of instructional time for public schools. The 180-day requirement will go into effect in the 2011 school year.

MAY 2010...from The Honolulu Star-Bulletin: After enduring a school year cut short by 17 Furlough Fridays, Hawaii public school students and their parents, along with principals, teachers and other education officials, head into next year with a complete academic calendar once again. An agreement that restored all furlough days had been reached in March, but it was contingent on the legislature's approval. Lawmakers set aside $67 million from the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund to pay for the agreement. The governor has agreed to release $57.2 million to cover 11 of the 17 furlough days scheduled for next year. Teachers will convert six of their planning days to instructional time, to cover the remaining days.

APRIL 2010...from The Honolulu Star-Bulletin: Hawaii lawmakers have given final approval to using $67 million from the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund to restore public school furlough days. The proposal goes to Gov. Linda Lingle, who has final authority to release the funds. EARLIER...from The Honolulu Star-Bulletin: Hawaii State Board of Education Chairman Garrett Toguchi says Gov. Linda Lingle's request for teachers and principals to return to classrooms without pay for three furlough days left in this school year is "reckless" and "ridiculous." Toguchi says Lingle has the power to release some funds restricted this school year, if she wants to fund the three furlough days. Lingle has announced that she is willing to release $57.2 million toward eliminating 17 Furlough Fridays for the next school year. The governor also is encouraging teachers and principals to voluntarily come back to work without pay for the three remaining Furlough Fridays this school year.

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