Upon further review... furlough deal still dead - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Upon further review... furlough deal still dead

Garrett Toguchi. Garrett Toguchi.
Linda Smith Linda Smith

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The on again off again proposal to reduce teacher furlough days is officially off again. Wednesday Governor Lingle rejected the proposal for a second time.

The proposal was crafted by the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the Board of Education and the Department of Education.

The plan was to use $35-million from the state's rainy day fund to get teachers back in the classroom on seven of the ten furlough days this school year.

Governor Lingle originally rejected the deal because it did not address the 17 furlough days next school year.

Education officials were at the governor's office last week hoping to revive the proposal. Those same people met with Lingle advisors Wednesday and were told the governor still rejects the proposal because it does not eliminate enough furlough days.

"We'd like very much to come up with a solution that addresses the existing semester as well as the next school year," said Linda Smith, Lingle's Senior Policy Advisor.

"While it is sad that we're going to set aside the agreement that we had with HSTA, I think it is optimistic still yet that we're working ... we're back together again and crafting a new proposal," said Board of Education Chairman Garrett Toguchi.

Smith said the governor's team will now draft a new proposal. It will be shared with the BOE And DOE If they approve, the proposal will be forwarded to the HSTA for consideration.

There is no timetable for all this to happen, but everyone would like to see a plan in place before the next furlough day on January 15th.

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