Categorized | Education, Government

Governor Lingle’s statement on use of hurricane relief funds to end furloughs


“I believe it is still possible to return children to their classrooms both this school year and next.

“On Wednesday the Legislature will vote on a bill, SB 2124, that appropriates up to $67 million to restore instructional days for the 2010-2011 school year. I urge them to pass this measure. Without this bill we will be facing 17 school furlough days when school resumes in the fall.

“The Hawai‘i State Teachers Association has stated they will agree to allowing children back into the classroom for six days when teachers are paid, but children are not present. I am glad the teachers union has offered this.

“I am prepared to release up to $57.2 million to restore the remaining 11 days next school year so that children can come back to school. Further, in the spirit of recognizing that each school knows what is best for their students, I am encouraging schools to make the decision on what personnel they need or do not need to reopen their campuses.

“Unfortunately the pending legislation does not make hurricane relief money available to me to end furloughs until July 1, 2010. This still leaves us with three school furlough days this year.

“I have met teachers, principals, and education officials who tell me they want to return to the classroom. This is encouraging. I therefore am calling upon teachers and principals to voluntarily agree to come back for the remaining three days this school year. This would be a welcome and significant gesture to heal our community.

“I also believe any hurricane relief funds not used to end school furloughs should be returned to the hurricane relief account. Sooner or later there will be another hurricane in Hawai‘i. When that happens, we will be glad to realize that there is adequate money in that account.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.