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Saturday, October 24, 2009
October 24, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:47 PM :: 7120 Views

Lingle: DoE Superintendent should be appointed by next Governor

Grabbing the political high ground on a day union operatives had sought to shape debate as a choice between tax increases and cutbacks, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle this morning announced her intention to propose a constitutional amendment which would transfer control of the State Department of Education from the existing Board of Education and make the DoE into a cabinet-level department headed by an appointed Superintendent.  Promisingly, her proposal was immediately endorsed by Rep Neil Abercrombie, the leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

ADV: Hawaii governor wants DOE to be part of Cabinet (Headline is false, proposal would not come into effect until next governor--and here is some of the resistance the proposal will face....)

State Sen. Norman Sakamoto, D-15th (Waimalu, airport, Salt Lake), the chairman of the Senate Education and Housing Committee, said he would consider the governor's idea next session. But he said the governor should immediately make more of an effort to include state schools Superintendent Pat Hamamoto in her Cabinet meetings to demonstrate how such an idea might work.

"Starting immediately, she should invite them to her Cabinet meetings and, ideally, the chemistry would improve," said Sakamoto, who is running for lieutenant governor next year.

Karen Knudsen, a member of the school board, said she wished the governor and lawmakers would put questions of educational governance aside and focus on how to restore (the) classroom instruction days lost to (the) furloughs (created by the BoE/DoE/HSTA).

"I think at this time it would be more constructive to focus on the issue at hand, which is the state budget, the furlough days, and how we can make this better and work with what we have," she said. "The bigger issue of education governance is always an important topic to discuss, but at this point I think it takes away from the immediacy of what we're dealing with now."

SB: Protesters rally in support of education

WHT: We want school

Maui News: Parents, students rally on 1st Furlough Friday -- has more on assault, arrest, and this:

Martin Michaeelson, the father of a son in the 7th grade at Kalama Intermediate, said his son slept in Friday.

"He doesn't quite get what it means," Michaeelson said, adding that as an accountant he reviewed some of the Department of Education's budget expenses and could not understand why furloughs had to occur.

"You look at the administrative costs and the number of students and it doesn't match up. It doesn't make sense," he said. "I think the DOE is spending money like it's Monopoly money, and they're not spending it on the kids."  (Sure looks like some parents are not buying the tax increase rhetoric.)


More furlough-related articles on the day (some) Democrats and HSTA sought to herd parents into demanding tax increases  (they didn't quite succeed, did they)

  • School day continues for UPW custodians, cafeteria employees
  • State office closures catch several by surprise
  • State courthouses and Judiciary offices will be closed for pair of Fridays a month
  • School days off might be subject of special session

    Read More

    House Speaker rejects call for raid on hurricane fund to help schools (HGEA vs HSTA)

    House Speaker Calvin Say today rejected calls to shift millions of dollars from the state's hurricane fund to help alleviate the budget deficit that has led to the closure of public schools for 17 Fridays each academic year.

    Say (D, St. Louis Height-Wilhelmina) wrote. "Parents and the public, however, should be aware that public education is one of several priorities that will be adversely impacted by the budget crisis. Other state services and employees will suffer (HGEA vs HSTA) because of furloughs and, possibly, layoffs. The Legislature must also consider those state services and employees."

    Say noted that raiding the hurricane fund would be "shortsighted" since it helps the state issue bonds at good interest rates. "If the hurricane fund is depleted, interest rates on those bonds may increase, requiring higher annual debt repayments. (Capital Improvement Project contractors vs HSTA) Moreover, the hurricane fund has no revenue source to replenish itself. Because of this, the use of the hurricane fund would not be a long-term solution," he said.

    He called for budget solutions that combine "revenue enhancements and expenditure reductions."

    read more

    HR: Root of the DOE Crisis – Spending and Waste - Not Examined in Media Reports

    People across the state say they are opposed to the furloughs and don’t want the DOE to get more money – they want the DOE to spend the $2.4 billion or $14,000 per student – more efficiently and effectively. They want the notoriously inept DOE to be better managed.

    That is the case on Maui, where dozens of tea party organizers and concerned parents and students have been calling for “Cut waste not classes” and saying they are “Taxed Enough Already.”

    LINK: Union Member Assaults Maui Tea Party Organizer at School Furlough Protest

    read more

    Your ACT 215/221 tax dollars at work: Hoku sells out to Chinese Company

    The company had shut down plant construction this summer as it searched for financing. It obtained funding to partially finish the plant last month in agreeing to give up a 60 percent ownership interest to Tianwei New Energy Holdings Co. Ltd.

    (HAWAII tax dollars given to Hoku owners so they can build a polysilicon plant in IDAHO and then sell it to a CHINESE company.  What is the benefit to HAWAII?  -- All we did is give tax dollars to a group of guys who used them to become rich.)

    (And the HSTA wants a tax increase?????) 

    read more

    Hawaii reforming child welfare service

    A report citing increased child abuse, neglect and fatalities across the country does not reflect major child welfare reforms and improvements in Hawaii, says a state Department of Human Services official.

    The Every Child Matters Education Fund said 10,440 children were known to die in the United States from abuse and neglect between 2001 and 2007, including 32 in Hawaii, and the national figure possibly was 50 percent higher.

    In 2007, it reported, four children died in Hawaii of abuse — a rate of 1.4 per 100,000 children in the state.

    "The report said we can do better, and we are already doing better," said Amy Tsark, Child Welfare Services Branch administrator. She said there were two child abuse deaths in Hawaii last year.

    Confirmed child abuse and neglect cases in the islands dropped to 2,075 in 2007 from 3,930 in 2001 "from all the tremendous investment we made," she said.

    read more

    SB: Inouye's longevity benefits isles, nation

    (Kennedy croaks, Star-Bulletin celebrates Inouye's seniority gain.  And no. Inouye pork does not benefit the state.  It benefits Inouye cronies who loot the state.)

    read more

    Youth project draws the line against climate change

    Today, students statewide will be literally drawing the line on climate change. Using blue chalk, thousands of students from over 30 schools statewide will be drawing a line that indicates the risk of flooding with a 1-meter of sea level rise.

    (Even with furloughs, there is still time to brainwash children into becoming believers in the global warming scam.)

    read more

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