Ethics issues could block private hiring of furloughed teachers


POSTED: Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Parents said a state ethics opinion poses a major hurdle in hiring teachers privately to instruct their students during the 17 days when Hawaii public schools are on furlough because of budget cuts.

State schools Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto advised groups yesterday about the opinion and to check with the Ethics Commission if they were hiring teachers from the same school as the students, because the opinion might differ under various circumstances.

Starting Oct. 23, public schools and teachers will be on furlough on 17 Fridays during the school year to meet a reduced education budget.

Kathy Bryant, co-president of the Parent Teacher Student Association at Aikahi Elementary in Kailua, said she was not happy about the presentation.





        The YMCA taking registration for programs on school furlough days at ymcahonolulu.org or in person. Other groups offering programs on furlough days:

        » Kamaaina Kids: kamaainakids.com, 262-4538.

        » Hawaii Nature Center's science-based learning program: hawaiinaturecenter.org, 955-0100, ext. 26.

        » My Gym Hawaii's Fitness & Art program: mygym.com, 537-1900.

“;I'm not pleased. ... It seems like hiring teachers to work in their classroom with their kids is not going to happen.”;

Bryant said her association wants to provide academic instruction to students on the 17 furlough days.

“;Parents don't want child care. They want instruction. They want their kids learning the curriculum.”;

Bryant said association members will look at what other options might work.

Ray Sanborn, a spokesman for Kamaaina Kids, said his group is prepared to provide child-care ser-vices at 21 sites on Oahu, the Big Island and Maui.

The large majority of the Kamaaina Kids sites are at public schools.

The Rev. Raymond So of Calvary Chapel Assembly of God said he was listening to the presentation because his group has teachers as church members in the Palama area who might provide services.