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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Court hears arguments to overturn ruling on Hawaii's 'furlough Fridays'

By Loren Moreno
Advertiser Education Writer

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this morning heard arguments in Honolulu to overturn a federal judge's Nov. 9 ruling that rejected a request to halt "furlough Fridays."

Circuit Judge Carlos T. Bea of San Francisco, Senior Circuit Judges Jerome Farris of Seattle and Dorothy W. Nelson of Pasadena listened to nearly 30 minutes of arguments from Honolulu lawyers representing families of special-education students.
Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge A. Wallace Tashima originally ruled Nov. 9 that while special-education students may suffer "irreparable harm" because of the state's decision to eliminate 17 classroom instruction days, ordering schools to reopen would cause more harm than good to the overall public interest.
Carl Varady asked the court to reinstate furlough Fridays for seven families with special-education students in five Hawaii schools. Varady argued that the 17 furlough days a school year under the current teachers’ union contract violates the “Individual Education Plans” for disabled students.
He did not request that the court order the state to reinstate furloughs for all of Hawaii’s public school.
No immediate ruling was delivered. A ruling could come within days or weeks, attorneys said.

For more on this story, see tomorrow’s Honolulu Advertiser.