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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Competing plans announced to end Hawaii teacher furlough days

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

From left, Board of Education chairman Garrett Toguchi, BOE lead negotiator John Penebacker, Hawaii State Teachers Association President Will Okabe and acting Department of Education superintendent Ronn Nozoe at a press conference today announcing a plan to end teacher furloughs.

DEBORAH BOOKER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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The Hawaii State Teachers Association and the state Board of Education today announced a tentative agreement that would restore all of the remaining public school furlough days by using $92 million to be appropriated by the Legislature.

There are four “furlough Fridays” left in the current school year and 17 scheduled for next year.
The HSTA said it would ask public school teachers to vote on March 31 to approve the tentative agreement, which would be subject to legislative approval for the appropriation and Gov. Linda Lingle’s release of the money.
Lingle floated a counter proposal earlier in the day to end furlough days through use of $62 million from the state's “rainy day” and Hurricane Relief funds.
The funding would be contingent upon legislative passage of a constitutional amendment allowing voters to determine if the next governor should appoint the school superintendent. Legislators, so far, have not moved on the governor's proposed amendment.
Under the governor’s plan, the school-level personnel would return to open up the classrooms and provide instruction.
“Other non-essential Department of Education employees would remain on furlough, similar to other state employees,” according to a news release form the governor’s office.