Putting Abercrombie & Aiona in the hot seat, Part 6: The more... - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Putting Abercrombie & Aiona in the hot seat, Part 6: The more furloughs question

Kim Gennaula Kim Gennaula
Lt. Governor James "Duke" Aiona Lt. Governor James "Duke" Aiona
Neil Abercrombie Neil Abercrombie

By Kim Gennaula

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Both Neil Abercrombie & James "Duke" Aiona seem committed to improving education – from Kindergarten through college.  But before we talk about how they plan to do that, we have to ask the question: Will the next governor guarantee we're done with Furlough Fridays?  Not necessarily.

I asked the candidates, "Are furlough days a possibility in the future?"

Aiona admitted, "Furloughs will have to - in some form.  We're gonna need some form of maintaining the labor savings that we have right now. Furloughs is one way that we got the labor savings that we needed.  I'm not going to agree to having any furlough days on an instructional day.  You could have a furlough day on a vacation day, you could have it on a holiday, and you could also have it on what they call these non-instructional days.  This is where the teachers come in but the students don't.  If you want to have it on those days that's fine with me."

Neil Abercrombie has promised no furlough days on his watch.  But he's also not willing to close schools, raise taxes or layoff teachers.  So how exactly does he plan to pay for the rising deficit in education?

Abercrombie appealed,"Give me this opportunity and I will do it. I will reprioritize, I will redirect funds as I have done in every single instance to this time.  It doesn't have to cost more money, Kim, it takes imagination, and it takes leadership.  It takes a little inspiration of people and personnel so that they feel, ‘Hey, we're in this together.  And that my ideas are being taken seriously'."


In Part 7, both candidates say they're optimistic about where we're going with education and share some of their ideas on how they'll get students college and career ready for the future..


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