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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 17, 2010

Aiona opposed to parent plan to end furloughs

Advertiser Staff

Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona does not support a parent plan to reduce Hawaii's public school furloughs.

Aiona, the leading Republican candidate for governor, issued his thoughts today on the parents' plan to eliminate 15 of the remaining 21 furlough days through a combination of money from the Hurricane Relief Fund or some other emergency fund and teachers giving up planning days.

"I would recommend that each school be given the flexibility to determine which staff members are necessary to return on furlough days to open and operate," Aiona said in a prepared statement. "Instead of pursuing the plan we discussed, the group chose instead to announce a different plan on Friday that I cannot support because it would leave the furlough situation unresolved and incomplete."

The mandatory furlough of public school teachers is likely to be an issue for the state's next governor.

Two parents groups announced their plan yesterday, but Aiona could not be readily reached for his reaction.