An overwhelming number of people who submitted written testimony to the Hawaii Board of Education as of midday Wednesday asked the BOE not to renew the contract of Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto.
The Hawaii State Teachers Association’s proposal to add a nonvoting member to the Board of Education who is a public school teacher received initial approval from the state House Education Committee Thursday.
One day after Gov. David Ige announced plans to furlough tens of thousands of employees in his state workforce, details are emerging showing the so-called plan actually isn’t one.
HSTA opposes this action, and we are willing to take the governor to court to keep it from happening by asserting and protecting our collective bargaining rights. These furloughs would create devastating, long-lasting consequences for our schools and our keiki.
The Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA), the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA), the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA), and the United Public Workers (UPW) stand in strong opposition to Gov. David Ige’s plan to unilaterally implement furloughs starting in January 2021.
Many principals and complex area superintendents have drastically changed their approach, opting for grab-and-go arrangements to keep the number of students on campuses much lower than originally planned.
On Thursday, July 30, at 1 p.m., the board will hold a special meeting to discuss school reopening options. The agenda includes three action items that link to background, recommendations, and implications as submitted by the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE). On Tuesday, July 28, we submitted joint testimony with HGEA and UPW on all three action items, which we are sharing below.
BOE Chair Catherine Payne said the board will “hold a special meeting to address the concerns in the testimony about training and health matters that came up. At that point, we could also consider a waiver (of the 180 required student instructional days) for some additional professional development days.”
We have a critical obligation to our communities to take every step and precaution necessary to ensure the safety of our students and members as we reopen schools.
For the first time since his administration floated the unwise idea of 20-percent pay cuts for state employees, including educators, Gov. David Ige appears to be considering a federal low-interest loan program suggested by the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) and other unions to avoid those reductions.