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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Governor's staff, BOE to meet on teacher furloughs

Advertiser Staff

Gov. Linda Lingle's staff will meet with members of the state Board of Education tomorrow to discuss the ongoing furloughs of Hawai'i public school teachers.

Lingle spokesman Russell Pang said the meeting will occur "late Thursday" and include the governor's senior policy adviser, 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 that 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 that would have ended 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.