Furlough Timeline Hawaii's school furloughs are over
June 1, 2009 Gov. Linda Lingle cuts Department of Education budget by 13.85 percent, or $270.3 million, over two years. The amount is equivalent to three-day-a-month furloughs for all state employees. When budget cuts from the state Legislature are added, the $1.8 billion public school budget was cut by $468 million.
Sept. 18 The Lingle administration and the HSTA announce a tentative agreement on a two-year contract that includes furloughs. Deal involves 17 furlough days a year for teachers on 10-month schedules and 21 furlough days a year for teachers who work year-round.
Oct. 23 First furlough Friday for 170,000 public school students and 13,500 school teachers. Hundreds of students and their parents rallied at the state Capitol, a demonstration planned by grassroots parent organization Hawaii Education Matters.
Nov. 15 Lingle says the state should tap $50 million from the "rainy day" fund and teachers should agree to give up their planning and collaboration days to end teacher furloughs.
Nov. 24 The Hawaii State Teachers Association says teachers are unwilling to give up all their 15 planning days between January 2010 and June 2011, calling into question part of Lingle's proposal to restore 27 "furlough Fridays," beginning in January.
Dec. 4 The HSTA runs newspaper and radio advertisements explaining the teachers' reluctance to give up planning days. Lingle derides the advertisements, calling them "ridiculous."
Dec. 16 Negotiations break down. Lingle's negotiators walk out of talks with the HSTA, but the union continues to negotiate with Board of Education Superintendent Pat Hamamoto and other top BOE officials.
Dec. 24 Hamamoto announces a tentative agreement with the HSTA. Lingle and state lawmakers were not briefed on the plan.
Dec. 29 The HSTA releases details of the tentative agreement $35 million from the state's rainy day fund would restore five furlough days. Teachers would then give up two planning days Jan. 4, the beginning of the second semester and May 27, the last teacher workday of the school year. The school year for students would end three days early on May 21, meaning the week of May 24 would be a furlough week for teachers. Lingle rejects the plan, calling it fiscally irresponsible.
Jan. 6, 2010 Lingle rejects the tentative agreement again, after agreeing to re-examine the details.
Jan. 8 Lingle announces a plan nearly identical to her original proposal. It calls for using $50 million from the "rainy day" fund and teachers giving up planning days to end 24 furlough days.
March 23 The HSTA, along with the BOE, announces a new $92 million supplemental agreement to eliminate four remaining furlough days in the current school year and all of next year's furloughs. The governor, simultaneously, announces her own plan to release $62 million, but only if lawmakers approve and put before voters her proposed constitutional amendment to abolish the BOE and allow the governor to appoint the superintendent of schools.
April 6 Members of the grassroots organization Save our Schools Hawaii, made up primarily of parents and some University of Hawai'i graduate students, stage a week-long sit-in at Lingle's office.
April 25 Lingle suggests teachers voluntarily return to the classroom without pay for the last three furlough days of the school year. The teachers' union and the state Board of Education reject the idea.
April 28 Lawmakers approve $67 million from the state's hurricane relief fund to eliminate furlough days for the 2010-11 school year. The bill awaits the governor's signature and release of funds.
Yesterday Lingle says the state will end teacher furloughs next school year with $57 million from the state's hurricane relief fund not the full $67 million set aside by legislators and an agreement by teachers to convert six of their planning days to classroom instruction. Lingle says she will also divert $2.2 million in federal stimulus money to help charter schools. Local banks, meanwhile, will provide a $10 million line of credit in case the state money Lingle releases is not enough to eliminate all 17 furlough days next school year.