Hawaii restricts education funds for now

Hawaii restricts education funds for now

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii's Department of Education approved wide-ranging spending restrictions to deal with budget cuts.

The reductions will impact special-education positions, athletic programs, per-pupil spending and bus transportation.

The Star-Advertiser reports the Board of Education approved $18.6 million in budget restrictions Tuesday.

The cuts are needed because Gov. Neil Abercrombie restricted 10 percent of discretionary spending from the department's $1.4 billion budget.

The department initially said the single largest reduction should come from special education services. They wanted to slice $9.15 million from the funding set aside for salaries. But special education advocates protested, so they proposed cutting $4.9 million instead.

Board of Education member Brian De Lima says it's money not spent for student needs.

The funds are not cut permanently. They can be restored if Abercrombie releases more money.

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