Hawaii teachers to begin voting on rejected offer

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii's teacher union members begin voting this week on a contract they rejected earlier this year, despite warnings from the state that the agreement is no longer valid.

Hawaii State Teachers Association members will vote electronically and via telephone from Thursday through Tuesday.

The union says asking members to revisit the contract they rejected in January is an attempt to prevent the state from losing a $75 million federal grant to carry out education reforms. The U.S. Department of Education has warned the grant could be taken away because of unsatisfactory progress on promised reforms, including using student performance when evaluating teachers and determining compensation.

Governor spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz says the union did not accept the state's offer to return to the bargaining table.

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