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Friday, October 23, 2009
Furloughs: Rep Ward backs raid on Hurricane Fund
By News Release @ 7:06 PM :: 9623 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment


The following statement was released today by the office of Rep Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai)

Furloughing educators during scheduled classroom times is inexcusable. Of all our investments, we should not cut back on education. We need to do whatever is necessary, including raiding the Hurricane Relief Fund and the Rainy Day Fund, to get our kids back in the classroom.  However, restoring these funds will, at best, give us back our already fragile system, which has left Hawaii's keiki behind nationally and internationally. With 163 school days, children in Hawaii will go to school over 2 months less than students in China and Indonesia, whose students go to school 220 school days a year. We need to develop long-term solutions, such as:

  • Increasing the mandatory school year to 200 days so Hawaii students can compete INTERNATIONALLY with students from countries that are scoring exponentially higher than Americans.
  • Enacting legislation that will expedite the processes for schools to convert waiver days and other development days to instructional days.
  • Enacting legislation that will expedite the processes for schools to extend their school days because even 20 minutes a day would make a difference.

Following today's first Friday Furlough, parents and family members must keep the heat on all government officials, particularly the Legislature who has the majority of the power to enact these changes and make our students whole, once again. A mind is a terrible thing to waste and dumbing down our kids' education is not the way we should go.


Editor's Note: This is what happens when one accepts the framework artificially created by the DoE and HSTA. 

All the money needed to make Hawaii public schools world-class is already in the DoE budget--even after cutbacks.  The problem is not lack of money.  It is fraud, cronyism, and corruption within the DoE and the willingness of the DoE and HSTA to furlough public school teachers and students in a cynical political maneuver designed to stampede the legislature into rewarding the DoE for its malfeasance by increasing taxes and raiding special funds.

The legislature can solve Hawaii's problem with one stroke and it won't cost a penny.  Enact legislation to make every school in the DoE system into a charter school.  This will also unleash the potential of Hawaii's students, teachers, and parents and will move Hawaii a long way towards attaining world-class educational standards.

Meanwhile individual parents can begin charter conversion of their children's school right now.   Every DoE school in Hawaii can be legally converted to a charter school under existing laws.  If enough parents step up, who needs the legislature? 


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