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Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Lingle: "Overwhelming majority of teachers demonstrated leadership"
By Gov. Linda Lingle @ 6:05 PM :: 5398 Views :: Energy, Environment

STATEMENT BY GOVERNOR LINDA LINGLE ON HSTA RATIFICATION

“The Department of Education, Board of Education and the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association, along with the overwhelming majority of teachers who ratified this contract have demonstrated leadership in dealing with the current financial crisis.  They understand that everyone must make a shared sacrifice to help our state get through this difficult period and for State government to live within its means.

“I realize this contract is not what teachers and their families hoped or planned for, and that our public school students and their parents will be impacted.  But the newly ratified contract reflects our economic and fiscal realities. 

“As part of its share of helping to close the growing budget shortfall, the Department of Education’s budget was restricted by 14 percent.  The DOE and the Board of Education have been working to determine how to realize the 14 percent savings, whether through reducing operating costs, cutting programs, labor savings or other means.

“For labor savings, the DOE and the BOE decided that furloughs, which equate to approximately 8 percent savings, as opposed to layoffs, is the fairest way to minimize the impact to the public and the teachers.

“The furlough days will present challenges, but like other situations, our residents will come together to kokua, and ultimately come up with real, common sense solutions.  Moreover, I know the private sector will jump in to help, especially in the area of day care.

“I am confident our teachers will remain committed to their students and will find innovative ways to make the best of these challenging circumstances to ensure our children get the best possible education.”

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