Aiona says Hawaii teacher furloughs won’t be an issue in election
HONOLULU — Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona says he doubts the contentious teacher furlough issue will be a factor in Hawaii’s gubernatorial campaign this coming fall.
At a press conference Tuesday, the Republican said voters will decide whether to assign him some responsibility for the ongoing dispute over the closure of Hawaii’s public schools for several days this school year and next.
Aiona and GOP Gov. Linda Lingle want to eliminate most remaining furlough days by using $50 million from a special state fund and converting non-instructional days into teaching days. The Hawaii State Teachers Association has previously dismissed that idea.
Aiona named an 18-member grass roots campaign team for Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.