Educators knew plan had no chance of OK, Lingle says


POSTED: Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gov. Linda Lingle says the teachers union and state Board of Education knew she would not approve the plan to end Furlough Fridays offered this week.

Lingle, in an informal meeting with reporters yesterday, said she and her senior staff had told the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the school board that she would not accept a plan that brought back large numbers of school support staff.

“;I think they knew in advance there is no way this can be funded,”; Lingle said. “;I have told them explicitly I will not release that amount of money. Our goal is not to give the union what they want. Our goal is to get the children back in the classroom.”;

;[Preview]  Plan to end furloughs is at standstill again

Governor Lingle says there in no way she'll release the $92M.


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Lingle this week offered her own plan, $30 million less than the $92 million cost of the BOE/HSTA plan. It wasalso was contingent on the Legislature passing a constitutional amendment allowing voters to decide whether the next governor should appoint the school superintendent.

“;They know I won't release that plan. They knew it before I came out with that plan. It just points up the board's dysfunction working with the labor union to come up with a plan they knew I wouldn't approve. They have talked to me about this before,”; Lingle said.

BOE Chairman Garrett Toguchi said he still hopes Lingle will approve their plan.

“;While I understand the governor's reluctance given the state's economic condition, the parents, students and the general public have stated that education should be a priority,”; Toguchi said.

Wil Okabe, HSTA president, said if the Legislature and the teachers approve their plan, there is still a chance Lingle would change her mind.

“;We believe she may feel differently when everything is in place. We know the parents and the public at large consider this the most important issue out of many important issues,”; Okabe said.