Lingle staff, BOE to meet Thursday on furloughs
Gov. Linda Lingle’s staff will meet with members of the state Board of Education Thursday to discuss the ongoing furloughs of Hawaiçi public school teachers.
Lingle spokesman Russell Pang said the meeting will occur “late Thursday” and would include the governor’s senior policy advisor Linda Smith and the state human resources director Marie Laderta.
The governor said Monday that she has not given up her attempts for a resolution, but she said any agreement should take into account the state’s dire financial situation — an estimated $1.2 billion budget deficit through June 2011.
The Hawaii State Teachers Association last week filed a complaint with the state labor board against the governor, claiming Lingle “willfully and unlawfully” killed the union’s tentative agreement with the Board of Education to end furlough days for the current school year.
The teachers union and state education officials agreed in late December on a plan to cut seven furlough days this year using $35 million from the state’s “rainy day” fund, leaving 17 furlough days for the 2010-11 school year. The governor rejected the plan and came back with a proposal to use $50 million from the rainy day fund to cancel 24 furlough days this school year and next.