Ruling OK's tour companies paying for teacher travel

Ruling OK's tour companies paying for teacher travel
(Image: Raycom Media)

HONOLULU (AP) - Teachers who organize school trips outside Hawaii can have their travel paid for by tour companies under a new ruling.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the Hawaii State Teachers Association's attorney argued that educators were worried about possibly violating an ethics commission opinion and cancelled at least 31 trips in the past school year.

Ethics commissioners said in a 2015 opinion that free travel could be perceived as an incentive for teachers to promote trips and bring revenue to companies.

Judge Rhonda Nishimura said the broad opinion had the effect of creating a rule, which would require the public's input.

Teachers for decades have planned out-of-state trips that include free travel for a chaperone per six to 10 kids.

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission can appeal.

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