BOE CHAIR TOGUCHI'S STATEMENTS REFUTED by efd15348

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									For Immediate Release: February 1, 2010



           BOE CHAIR TOGUCHI’S STATEMENTS REFUTED



HONOLULU – Linda Smith, the Governor’s senior policy advisor, today refuted statements made by
Board of Education (BOE) Chair Garrett Toguchi and again called on the BOE and Department of
Education (DOE) to move forward on presenting her plan to the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association
(HSTA) to use $50 million from the Rainy Day Fund to re-open schools for all but three of the
remaining furlough days this semester and next school year.

Toguchi’s statement on Saturday that, “if she (the Governor) wanted to, she could take her proposal to
the HSTA herself,” is inaccurate.

Under Hawai‘i’s collective bargaining law – HRS Section 89-6(d)(3) – the Governor cannot act alone in
presenting a formal proposal to the HSTA. The Governor must have the vote of either the Board of
Education or the Department of Education, or both, in order to make a formal proposal.

Similarly, Toguchi’s contention that an agreement between the HSTA, DOE and BOE is already in
place is inaccurate because by the same law there can be no formal agreement without the Governor’s
vote. Governor Lingle has said she will not agree to the HSTA/BOE/DOE’s Dec. 28 proposal to use
nearly two-thirds of the $50 million Rainy Day funds to restore only seven furlough days this semester
and none next school year.

In addition, neither Governor Lingle nor anyone on her staff or negotiating team has received the letter
Toguchi claims he sent last week.

“We are once again calling on the Board of Education and Department of Education to stop
stonewalling and to move forward on our reasonable plan to use up to $50 million in Rainy Day funds
to return our children to the classroom and end the furlough situation immediately,” said Smith.

On Jan. 8, the Governor proposed a new plan to use $50 million from the Rainy Day Fund to return
students to school for 24 of the 27 furlough days. Since then, two more furlough days (Jan. 15 and 29)
have passed, keeping students and teachers out of school.

Under the Governor’s latest plan, up to $50 million from the Rainy Day Fund would be used to restore
12 furlough Fridays – five this semester and seven in the 2010-2011 school year. An additional 12
instructional days – two this semester and 10 in the next school year – would be gained by using days
when teachers are paid to be in their classrooms but do not teach students.

By solving the furlough issue immediately for this semester and next school year, teachers and
students would be able to focus on the lessons in the classroom, rather than being distracted by
drawn-out furlough negotiations.

								
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