Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Monday, October 05, 2009

Have parents subsidize teacher pay

Starting Oct. 23, the public schools will be closed on Fridays. When this takes place it will financially impact much more than the teachers. For parents, we will need to pay for child care or arrange with friends and/or families. This is not a win-win situation for anyone, especially our keiki.

The way to resolve it would be to have the parents pay $15-$20 dollars for each student (25 kids per class multiplied by $20 equals $500) on each furlough Fridays to the schools. This money could be used for the teachers' pay so they could do go to work on Fridays and teach our kids. This plan would only be good for two years as indicated by the governor and the union.

Funny thing is that as we go through all of this with our kids, most of our representatives feel no effects since the majority have their kids in private school. No make sense!

Bob Martin






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Mandate number of school days

I'm dismayed that the Hawaii State Teachers Association and state Department of Education leadership believe the best solution to balancing the DOE budget is to cut nearly 10 percent of instruction days and to slash teacher salaries.

Instead of playing the blame game, let's find solutions to make sure our children won't fall even further behind in their education.

Some schools have proposed using planning days for instruction. I would like to see all public schools step up and do this and restore the remaining furlough days with paid holidays. I understand the importance of professional development, but it's about priorities. Some PTAs have proposed hiring teachers to teach on furlough days. As one PTA president said, “;We (the parents) want instruction, not childcare.”;

I hope the DOE will permit PTAs to hold fundraisers to hire teachers to instruct on furlough days and to set up a scholarship fund for parents who cannot afford to pay.

Finally, our legislators have the power to hold a special session to stop teacher furloughs. What are y'all waiting for? If public education is important, mandate a minimum number of instruction days per year. The time to act is now. The first furlough day starts in less than two weeks.

Shiyana Thenabadu



Watada editorial was cowardly

Your paper's editorial on Sept. 29 (”;Watada victory bittersweet,”; Star-Bulletin, Sept. 29) is a shining example of journalistic cowardice.

There is no doubt that the illegal U.S. war on Iraq violated both the U.N. Charter as well as the Nuremberg Trials' finding on aggression.

Even your paper admitted that, “;from a legal standpoint, there is no doubt that Watada won.”; Yet you went on to belittle Ehren Watada's heroic stand by equating his integrity and courage with the unjustified—even if strongly felt—criticism from “;many Iraq vets and their families.”;

Certainly, there is much to be said about journalistic neutrality, but when the Star-Bulletin's disturbing editorial logic elevates supporters of an unjustified war of aggression to the same level as that of principled war resisters, then there is indeed “;bittersweet”; conclusion to the current quagmire for an imperial America.

Danny H.C. Li

Keaau, Hawaii