October 23rd, 2009 :: Permalink
It is my hope residents wake up today and collectively and resoundingly demand urgency from our elected officials. This current course of action, which has pushed us into Furlough Fridays and irreparably harms our Keiki and future, is unconscionable. From my point of view only Senator Hooser has demonstrated leadership. He alone has requested a special session to address this issue.
A special session is needed immediately as each party or group representative, to this point, has negotiated from narrow self-interests: the governor and general legislature were focused on balancing the budget not meeting our Keiki's education needs; DOE/BOE acted to satisfy terms set by politicians regardless of impact to parents or students; unions fought for teachers' conditions, not those of students; teachers were placed between a rock and a hard place and asked to vote on straight pay cuts or pay cuts that included days off. Rational self-actors will always chose the latter.
This issue warrants immediate debate in the public arena with all parties present and accountable. Options must be comprehensive; all funding sources, including federal as well as potential tax increases and various fund contributions, must be on the table.
We agree collectively on one thing: while we should be expanding learning opportunities, Hawai'i truly is moving in the exact opposite direction with furloughs.