Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.


Starbulletin.com


Monday, February 5, 2001




By Ken Ige, Star-Bulletin
Bridget Kanakaole collects lunch money from Kaiulani
Elementary School students. As a parent liaison, she is
someone parents can turn to when they are not
comfortable talking to principals or teachers.



Computers vs. parents.  Wants vs. needs.  Governor vs. education board. -- The education budget conflict

Cayetano and the BOE want to
restore education basics, but their
approaches vary greatly

Key differences between the school
board's and governor's plans


By Crystal Kua
Star-Bulletin

WITH about 12 kids to each computer, Makakilo Elementary could benefit from a $27.5 million proposal by Gov. Ben Cayetano to get more computers into the public schools.

But boosting computer numbers is not a budget priority for the Department of Education.

Bridget Kanakaole -- who welcomes homeless kids with a bag of school supplies on the first day of school at Kaiulani Elementary -- wants to see all schools in the state benefit from having a parent liaison like her so parents and their children feel more comfortable about school.

The department also thinks the idea is worthwhile and wants to spend $1.4 million more in its budget to expand Parent Community Networking Centers, which are not in the governor's budget.

Computers vs. parents. Wants vs. needs. Responsibility vs. efficiency.

Compare the different ways the governor and the Department of Education are looking to spend taxpayers' money on education for the next two years.

You will see the direction each side hopes to take the public school system.

The administration's budget wants to restore the basics of education through more technology, textbooks and renovated classrooms and other school buildings.

The department wants to do the same thing by seizing on better economic times to bolster test scores, make schools more accountable for student learning, improve special-education services and churn out and keep good teachers and principals.

The department is asking the Legislature for $164 million more to add to its $1 billion budget over the next two years to fund nearly 100 budget items.

The governor's request of $334 million more for the coming two years includes $4.5 million in textbooks along with $27.5 million for computers and related infrastructure to lower the statewide student-computer ratio to 4-to-1 from 6-to-1.

The governor also wants to spend more than $290 million in the separate capital improvement budget for repair and maintenance at the schools.

The Legislature -- which has to look at the entire state fiscal picture -- historically has come up with a budget that falls somewhere between what the department and the governor want.

"I would say the department's budget is more needs-based and the governor's is more initiative-based," said Karen Knudsen, Board of Education Budget Committee chairwoman.

The department used a $20 million lump sum set aside by the governor to shore up areas like standards and accountability not funded in the executive budget.

State Budget Director Neal Miyahira said the governor is "looking at strategic initiatives to help jump-start the schools."

But the governor also sets out in this request to show the "true cost" of education. It is something the executive branch began doing last year -- pulling out department-related health, pension, Social Security and debt service items totaling $217 million, which another department will eventually end up paying.

The executive budget also includes $42 million for the transfer of the state Department of Health's child mental health services to the Department of Education.

"Any kind of additional (computer) hardware would be a benefit," Makakilo Elementary Principal Gary Chun said.

Felix decree complicates matters

But along with computers, technology funding should also include training for teachers, maintenance and upkeep, and possible funds for technology coordinators, Chun said.

Makakilo Elementary has 625 students with roughly 20 computers in a computer lab, two to three computers in each classroom and related components such as printers. "We wanted to be in tune with the Internet," he said.

The school has been replacing older computers with newer ones through fund raising and disciplined budgeting, Chun said.

While helpful, computers are not a cure-all. Chun said what his school really needs help with is support for the basics: teachers and reading.

"There are so many things that are needed," Chun said.

Complicating the budget picture is the Felix consent decree, the federal court mandate to improve educational and mental health services to special-needs students.

The department says it needs $153 million to comply with the court order over the next two years or else face further sanctions from U.S. District Judge David Ezra. The bulk includes requests for people: $111 million for special-education teachers, educational assistants and support services.

"I'm hoping that by making sure we meet the Felix requirements that we're not taking away from others. It is a responsibility we have, but we need to make sure education for everyone remains solidly on the front burner," Knudsen said.

The governor's Felix request is basically a pared-down version of the department's request, or $86 million.

While Felix budget items are considered "nondiscretionary," or must-fund, "it doesn't mean that adjustments can't be done more efficiently," Miyahira said.

Labor settlement is awaited

The unknown factor in the budget formula is collective bargaining raises.

The teachers union, the Hawaii State Teachers Association, is still negotiating with the state for a new contract. The teachers are asking for a 22 percent raise, while the state has said it could afford 9 percent to 11 percent.

"We're in the process of negotiating with teachers. We're trying to get a settlement we can afford, and we're looking at some strategic concessions," Miyahira said.

And 14.5 percent arbitrated raises awarded to the Hawaii Government Employees Association still have not been approved by the Legislature. The union represents principals and other white-collar school support workers.

Kanakaole said that Parent Community Networking Center facilitators like herself are the people parents can turn to or talk to when they do not feel comfortable turning to the principal or the teachers. They help to bridge the gap between the home and the school.

Kanakaole, whose daughter used to attend Kaiulani Elementary, has been lauded for her work in helping homeless families feel more connected to the school.

She said that if teachers and principals get their pay raises, money left over should go to fund Parent Community Networking Centers positions because parents are just as important as teachers and principals in a child's academic success.

"Without the parents, you don't have kids. Without the kids, you don't have teachers," Kanakaole said.


Budget request:
Education Board vs. Governor

SCHOOL-BASED BUDGETING

BOE 2002

Gov 2002

BOE 2003

Gov 2003

$

$

$

$

Teachers for regular education enrollment change

-2,067,430

-444,926

-3,114,230

-1,711,612

Salary adjustment (Gov proposal)

0

3,100,000

0

3,100,000

Salary adjustment (Gov lump sum)

0

904,085

0

900,085

New Century Public Charter Schools fixed cost of staffing for projected 3 elementary, 3 intermediate, 17 high schools

6,815,183

0

6,815,183

0

Clerical staffing to meet 1990 study standards

6,798,320

0

6,758,070

0

Principal bonus for staying 3 years at same school (contractual agreement to submit request for bonus)

842,472

0

842,472

0

Contract for school safety managers for secondary schools

3,318,000

0

3,318,000

0

Campus supervision and patrol. Updated training, alarm monitoring, and personnel

998,286

0

1,036,486

0

Reduce computer ratio to 4-1 from 6-1 (Gov proposal)

0

21,300,000

0

21,300,000

Hawaiian Language Immersion teachers, substitutes, tuition waivers, bus subsidies, personal service contracts

672,738

0

672,738

0

Textbooks (Gov proposal)

0

4,500,000

0

0

Computer infrastructure and training (Gov proposal)

0

6,200,000

0

0

Parent Community Networking Center resource teacher, part-time positions for 50 schools in 2002 and another 45 schools in 2003.

805,744

0

1,288,676

0

Workersí compensation medical evaluations, wage loss benefits and special compensation fund

1,800,000

0

1,800,000

0

English for Second Language Learners staffing ratios

499,956

0

578,466

0

Health fund premiums (to be transferred to expending department)

0

13,049,029

0

25,133,328

Pension accumulation (to be transferred to expending department)

0

42,512,561

0

41,852,121

Social security (to be transferred to expending department)

0

7,122,515

0

8,096,220

Debt service (to be transferred to expending department)

0

31,108,178

0

50,350,759

SCHOOL-BASED TOTAL

37,613,243

143,908,607

40,343,914

143,764,662

SCHOOL SUPPORT

BOE 2002

Gov 2002

BOE 2003

Gov 2003

$

$

$

$

School custodial services such as supplies, increase in costs, restroom supplies for vandalism, new hire safety equipment and supplies; swimming pool maintenance chemicals, training of custodian; supplies

5,752,518

356,405

5,778,175

0

Restore classroom cleaners funding statewide

1,857,960

0

1,857,960

0

Repairs and maintenance of schools

1,040,000

520,000

1,040,000

520,000

SCHOOL SUPPORT TOTAL

11,389,579

2,651,224

13,422,448

2,875,304

SPECIAL-EDUCATION SERVICES

BOE 2002

Gov 2002

BOE 2003

Gov 2003

$

$

$

$

Teachers and EAs for projected special ed enrollment increases

10,044,100

-4,481,863

14,229,430

-16,838,275

Special-education summer schoolís extended school year enrollment increase

884,413

0

884,413

0

Assistive technology services and equipment for students with disabilities

738,190

0

752,105

0

Contract evaluation serviceís projected shortfall for DOH therapeutic facilities, in-state and out-of-state placement

3,209,805

0

3,209,805

0

Expansion of program on Effective/Positive Behavioral Supports which was piloted using federal funds

994,465

0

1,091,834

0

School based mental health services transfer from Department of Health

0

21,510,474

0

21,510,474

SPECIAL-EDUCATION TOTAL

17,973,669

17,754,314

22,402,278

19,639,791

INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT

BOE 2002

Gov 2002

BOE 2003

Gov 2003

$

$

$

$

INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT TOTAL

214,228

123,292

202,228

142,628

STATE AND DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION

BOE 2002

Gov 2002

BOE 2003

Gov 2003

$

$

$

$

Superintendent salary increase as allowed by law

59,959

0

59,959

0

Salary increase for deputy, assistant superintendents, district superintendents, district deputies in same proportion as superintendent

1,009,042

0

1,009,042

0

Compensation for educational officers obtaining advanced degrees (contractual agreement to submit request)

582,938

0

582,938

0

School administrator training program to train and certify new administrators

1,804,462

1,596,862

2,404,471

1,466,153

Integrated student information system to replace manual/stand-alone systems

428,592

0

3,291,533

0

Second and third year of a five-year plan to develop and implement a new Human Resource system

3,718,445

0

2,814,245

0

STATE AND DISTRICT TOTAL

9,035,904

2,347,900

11,601,186

1,947,149

FELIX RESPONSE PLAN

BOE 2002

Gov 2002

BOE 2003

Gov 2003

$

$

$

$

Extended school year

6,510,708

3,030,000

6,510,708

3,030,000

Integrated special-education database

2,164,722

518,000

1,814,722

518,000

School-based services

5,715,656

236,501

5,715,656

236,501

Targeted technical assistance

575,950

0

575,950

0

Maui District

756,930

58,000

756,930

58,000

Recruitment and retention

17,558,841

15,800,000

16,148,216

15,800,000

Services for Children with Autism

1,895,860

2,460,000

1,895,860

2,460,000

Coordinated services academy

1,610,687

704,940

1,610,687

704,940

Educational assistants

17,322,033

4,700,000

20,675,883

4,700,000

Related support services

21,007,956

12,318,184

20,427,909

12,318,184

Additional requirements

0

2,373,363

0

2,373,363

FELIX RESPONSE PLAN TOTAL

76,148,919

43,253,988

77,182,697

43,253,988



E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Feedback]



© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin
http://archives.starbulletin.com