Hawaii families, students and teachers.
United States of America

The decline in Hawaii’s economy and state tax revenues have necessitated corresponding cuts to public programs. There are plenty of unnecessary government programs available to cut.

However, instead of cutting the Department of Education (DoE)’s singularly over‐large central bureaucracy as appropriate, the DoE and the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA), have determined to meet the DoE budget reduction mandate by, in part, furloughing public school teachers for 17 days each year.

The government option has failed and the burden is being thrown onto students, frontline teachers and families. In addition to bearing job losses while having to pay the already increasing taxes that the Hawaii legislature is pursuing, Hawaii families now have to bear the additional financial burden of providing child care or suitable private instruction for their children on the furlough days. Plus, our teachers are out of work for 17 days.

The Hawaii Community is available to provide the following services at no cost to the taxpayer:

1. Provide statewide coordination of community volunteers to serve as skeleton staffing at public schools on furlough days so students have a safe place to go and learn without additional cost to the parents;

2. Provide statewide coordination of private fundraising to offset school fund losses;

3. Contract, using such raised and other private funds as appropriate, furloughed teachers to return to the classrooms on a part‐time basis on the furlough days so community volunteers have guidance from teachers and teachers can recover at least some of their lost income while continuing to serve the students and families
they were hired to serve in the first place.

In order to do so, we are asking for cooperation from the relevant agencies and unions, including:

1. Waiver of state‐union contract terms and/or state guidelines which prevent HSTA teachers from volunteering and/or working for pay under separate private contract in the public classrooms on furlough days;

2. Waiver of state‐union contract terms and/or state guidelines related to minimum salaries and staffing at public schools;

3. Waiver of state‐union contract terms and/or state guidelines related to minimum school administrative staffing;

4. Waiver of criminal and sex offender record check fees for processing of community volunteer applications;

5. Assignment of a Deputy Attorney General and a liaison from each of the DoE, the HSTA and the HGEA to serve with Hawaii TEA Party officers on a Rapid Response Team to provide fast solutions to the regulatory and procedural challenges that this unprecedented operation will entail; and

6. Such other assistance and cooperation as may be needed.

The Hawaii Community Stands Ready to Help Offset Impacts of Teacher Furloughs petition to Hawaii families, students and teachers. was written by Ramon K. Madden and is in the category Education at GoPetition.