Hawaii teachers OK deal to reduce furlough days

AP News
Posted: Dec 29, 2009 9:16 AM

The union that represents Hawaii's public school teachers has approved an agreement to reduce the number of furlough days in the current school year.

Hundreds of parents protested a plan this fall to cut 17 instructional days, giving the state the shortest school year in the nation.

Hawaii State Teachers Association President Wil Okabe said Monday the number of teacher furlough days remaining through June has been reduced from 10 to three, and those days will be take at the end of the school year.

He says $35 million from the state's rainy-day fund will be used to restore five furlough days, and teachers will give up two planning days.

Gov. Linda Lingle, who must agree to the plan, rejected it, saying it would still shorten the school year. Her remarks were based on details she read about in the media. She said she hadn't yet heard about the plan directly from the teacher's union, the Department of Education and the Board of Education.