Child advocacy group meets; Governor responds to HSTA over teacher contract talks

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state's largest child advocacy group held its annual convention in Waikiki Saturday.

The Hawaii Parent Teacher Student Association is a non-profit group that promotes parent involvement in schools.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie spoke to the group as the state and the teachers' union are still not close to reaching a contract agreement.

On Friday, the state made what Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi called its "last, best and final" contract offer. Wil Okabe, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, gave the offer a grade of "B-."

Abercrombie said it may not be a perfect offer, but it's the best the state can make under current economic conditions.

"What I want teachers and parents to know is that if we get together now, understanding that we don't have a contract that we'd all like to have, that if prosperity comes back as a result of us all moving forward together, then we can take a look at it again, and of course get back again to an A+," Abercrombie said.

Abercrombie said an agreement must be reached before the start of the new school year in August. The current teachers contract expires June 30.

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