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Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Furloughs: Lingle offers $62M ransom for release of Constitutional Amendment, students
By News Release @ 6:31 PM :: 5358 Views :: Energy, Environment

GOVERNOR LINGLE PROPOSES NEW PLAN TO RETURN STUDENTS TO SCHOOL

HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle is proposing an updated plan to immediately end Furlough Fridays.  Her plan would return public school students to class for the 21 remaining furlough days that would be lost between now and the end of the next school year.

The proposal would:

  • Eliminate 21 days of teacher furloughs – four this year scheduled in April and May and 17 in the next school year.

  • The State would increase teacher pay by a total of $62 million to pay for 12 furlough days.  These funds would be made available through the Rainy Day fund or the Hurricane Relief fund.

  • Teachers would be asked to contribute one planning day this year and eight next year, allowing children to return to schools on these days when the schools are closed but teachers are paid.  Teachers would still have two paid non-instructional days when children would not be on campus.

  • School-level personnel would return to open up the classrooms and provide instruction.  Other non-essential Department of Education (DOE) employees would remain on furlough, similar to other State employees.

  • Funding would cover both the salaries and fringe benefits of teachers.  Release of the funds would be contingent upon legislative passage of a constitutional amendment to allow voters to determine if the next governor should appoint the school superintendent.

“This plan recognizes it is important to restore both the quantity and quality of instructional time our children receive in public school,” Governor Lingle stated.  “Making the superintendent of education directly accountable to the governor ensures there is one person ultimately in charge of improving our schools.  We won’t see progress until this happens.”

Prompt adoption of this plan would give teachers an opportunity to vote on the proposal prior to the next scheduled furlough day on April 23.  Parents would have time to adjust back to the normal school calendar with the least amount of disruption to their family schedules.

This new plan builds upon previous proposals made in November 2009 and January 2010.  It reflects a shift away from requiring teachers to give up all of their non-instructional time. Key members of the Legislature were briefed on the plan earlier this month.

The proposal will need to be offered to the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association by the employer group, consisting of the Governor, Board of Education and Department of Education. 

####

Response:  Furloughs: DoE, HSTA outline new $92M ransom demand

ADV: Competing plans announced to end Hawaii teacher furlough days

SB: Teachers and DOE plan to end Furlough Fridays differs from Lingle's latest proposal

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