Categorized | Education

Lingle: HSTA plan doesn’t meet criteria

MEDIA RELEASE

The agreement between the Hawaii Teachers Association (HSTA) and the Department of Education and Board of Education is not a viable solution to restore 27 days of classroom time to Hawaii’s school children, the governor said.

On Nov. 15 Gov. Linda Lingle proposed a comprehensive solution that would have assured that children would be in the classroom for the balance of the next year-and-a-half.

Today’s proposal being floated in the media would use more than two-thirds of the $50 million offered by the governor and would only restore five days of instruction.

“This arrangement is not a credible plan, it is not fiscally responsible and it is not sustainable,” Lingle said.

This proposal comes out after more than a month after the governor made her proposal. The short-sighted offer comes after the Council on Revenues’ recently lowered revenue estimates for the coming year projecting a worse economic outlook than when Governor Lingle made her very fair and common-sense offer to the teachers union. The proposal completely ignores the state’s worsening economic outlook.

The governor’s original plan called for teachers to do their part by returning to classes for 15 days. Under the HSTA’s proposal, teachers would give up only two days – Jan. 4 and May 21. The proposed plan also calls for the school year to be shortened by three days, defeating the intent of giving Hawaii’s children more instructional time.

“We cannot agree to a plan that does not solve the furlough situation and that shortens the school calendar at the expense of children and their families,” Lingle said.

To date, the HSTA, the DOE and BOE have not shared details of the proposed plan with the Administration nor have they returned phone calls since last Wednesday.

Lingle noted her senior staff remains available to discuss the details of her affordable, comprehensive plan with members of the HTSA, the DOE, the BOE, parents and community groups.

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