Lingle shocked by loss
of support for education cut

By Richard Borreca

Gov. Linda Lingle said she recommended cutting the state's adult education budget in half because Pat Hamamoto, superintendent of education, had promised to support it.

Lingle yesterday said she was "shocked" to read that Hamamoto had told the state Board of Education she opposed the budget cuts.

When Lingle announced the $2.7 million cut, as part of her plan to balance the state budget, she said Hamamoto agreed that portions of adult education program were not core functions of government.

Lingle explained yesterday that state budget Director Georgina Kawamura had talked to Hamamoto about the proposed cuts.

"She said that it was a reasonable place to go cut, that it wasn't a core function and that yes, we needed to take a look at it," Lingle said.

"Maybe I am naive in trusting people when they say something. It was a shock. Our budget people talked to her, and they came back and said this is what she said," Lingle said.

Asked if there was a misunderstanding, Lingle said no.

"The misunderstanding is her saying those things and then maybe later on the Board of Education having a different position, and her feeling she can have one position when she talks in private and then publicly she is going to take another position," Lingle said.

This week, Hamamoto issued a statement to the school board saying she opposed the cuts , that the reductions could jeopardize federal funds and that the adult education programs included needed basic adult literacy and adult secondary education programs.

Hamamoto was not available for comment, but Greg Knudsen, state Department of Education communications director, denied that the department would agree to the budget cut.

"There may have been some conversation that went along the lines of, 'If you are not going to give us any choice and we can't do anything about it, then we will have to live with it,'" Knudsen said. "But that is a whole lot different then saying we can live with it."

"This is completely inconsistent with board policy," he added. "It certainly was not agreeing to cut the DOE budget and certainly not in that manner. It is not our practice to agree to cutting half of one of our programs."

Lingle, however, said yesterday she believes that Hamamoto had originally agreed to the necessity of the cuts, and so she would continue to pursue them.

"I believe what she told us is what she really believes. I think it is truly her opinion and it is just not what she said in public," Lingle said.

Office of the Governor

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